Facing the real world beyond the field of academic disciplines
“Thinking about policy” — the Faculty of Policy Management is dedicated to education and research designed to facilitate thinking about policy since its establishment 30 years ago. The discipline of “thinking about policy” is to address challenges that exist in the real world require constant change as the order of society itself changes and values that were once seen as a matter of course are dynamically transforming. Existing solutions are not always compatible with many of the issues we now face in our society, which demand new ways of thinking.
Issues that exist in our society are transboundary in nature. Only through a scholarship that engages with interdisciplinary domains can we develop the ability to think about policy. In the past, academia primarily emphasized a deep inquiry into the subject. Of course, it is necessary to explore things deeply. However, this will not suffice even for the question of identifying a particular issue. The issue that we are focusing on now may not have been the real issue in the first place; to think about policy is to face the real world.
Nurturing students who are determined to make a difference in Japan and the world
Policies are not only made by the government. Just as the English word “policy” refers to corporate policies and personal guidelines, policy is widely used to help us deal with reality. In addition, thinking about policy is not just about making proposals; it is about taking the initiative and being proactive about matters.Through the study of policy management, we nurture students equipped with the ability to discern the future, the capacities to analyze situations, the dynamism to design policies, the power to persuade others of the significance of policies, the inventiveness to implement these policies, and the competencies to synthesize these abilities.
The Faculty of Policy Management aims to nurture students imbued with the strong determination to change Japan and the world by putting their own ideas into practice and to build a human network not only in Japan but also on a global scale.
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.