Leading the way in uncertain times
More than 30 years have passed since the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies was founded in 1990. The Faculty has had the Internet as its infrastructure since its establishment, and this has been a driving force in the development and spread of Internet technology. But not even our forerunners could have imagined that, 30 years on, we would be living in an age where almost every person has a small computer (smartphone) to hand, and that information would instantly travel around the world via SNS.
COVID-19, which swept the world starting at the end of 2019, has drastically changed our everyday lives. The environment around us has undergone rapid changes in recent years, making predictions difficult and raising uncertainties for the future, thus bringing about a situation which has come to be referred to as VUCA (an acronym derived from the words volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity). We are currently living in the age of VUCA. While global environmental problems such as drastic global warming and a decrease in biodiversity cast a dark shadow over our future, emerging technologies may enable us to do things we had never even imagined.
Studying across disciplines to develop the ability to respond to change
Throughout the Earth’s long history, numerous organisms have been affected by unimaginable environmental changes. It would be truer to say that the species that have survived and their descendants are those which have been able to flexibly adapt to changes in the environment, rather than those which have overcome the competition as expressed by the phrase “the law of the jungle.” I believe that what we learn at the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies is the ability to adapt to such changes. Our concept of Environment and Information Studies is not limited to the words “environment” and “information,” but is an interdisciplinary academic field consisting of five disciplines: design engineering and media art, advanced biosciences, human environment, environmental design, and novel computing and communication systems. The Faculty of Environment and Information Studies will produce leaders who can survive and create the future in an age when that future is unpredictable.
Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies