Kyushu University hosted the 4th World Social Science Forum (WSSF 2018), in the presence of Their Imperial Highnesses the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, at Fukuoka International Congress Center from September 25 to 28, 2018. This is the first time for the Forum to be held in the Asia-Pacific region. “Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures” – which is among today’s most pressing issues – was this year’s principal theme. Alongside it, nine sub-themes were set up to promote trans-disciplinary and trans-sector dialogues. Among them are: Security and the 2030 Agenda; Health, safety and biosecurity Freedom; Democracy and Security. Of the four WSSFs so far, this year’s attracted the greatest number of participants. Over 1,000 individuals, consisting of researchers, policy makers, political activists and journalists from around 80 countries, attended the Forum.
His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince delivered an address at the opening ceremony on the first day of the Forum, followed by messages from Mr. Masaji Matsuyama, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Mr. Hiroshi Ogawa, Prefectural Governor of Fukuoka, and Mr. Soichiro Takashima, Mayor of Fukuoka. The welcome words from Prof. Daya Reddy, President of International Science Council (ISC), Prof. Juichi Yamagiwa, President of Science Council of Japan, Prof. Kazuo Miyamoto, Chair of the WSSF 2018 Executive Committee, and Prof. Chiharu Kubo, President of Kyushu University ensued one after the other. The Opening Ceremony was closed with the lively speech by Prof. Elisa Reis, Chair of WSSF’s Program Committee and Vice President of ICS.
The core of WSSF is, of course, the academic program. Categorized broadly by nine sub-themes, a little over 100 sessions, large and small, took place. A number of globally renowned scholars, including Sir Partha Dasgupta (Frank Ramsey Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Cambridge), gave keynote lectures, and engaged in passionate debates with the audience. On the third night of the Forum, the Banquet took place at Hotel Nikko Hakata, where local dishes were served, and Japan’s traditional music performance entertained the participants. The surveys taken by the attendees indicate that all in all, they found the quality of the program as well as the organization very satisfactory.
On September 29, one day after the finale of WSSF 2018, several of the Forum’s guest speakers were invited to Kyushu University’s new campus – Ito Campus – to run workshops and give special lectures. These events were sponsored by Kyushu University to commemorate the relocation of the new campus.
WSSF’s success presumably contributed to Kyushu University’s global presence. It was also a morale booster for International Science Council (ISC), WSSF`s parent organization, which had been created back in July 2018 to provide a platform for not just social scientists, but natural scientists alike.
About WSSF 2018
◆WSSF 2018 Fukuoka
◆Pictures during the forum