Tohoku University: Science and Technology in Society Forum 2021: The University Presidents’ Meeting

On October 2, 2021, Tohoku University co-hosted online the University Presidents’ Meeting with Heidelberg University in Germany. Tohoku University’s President Hideo Ohno co-chaired the conference with Heidelberg University’s Rector Bernhard Eitel. Around 40 university presidents from around the world engaged in lively discussions under the theme “How Universities Engage with and Contribute to Building Global Resilient Societies in the Post-covid Era.”

President Ohno kicked off the conference discussing some of the immense global issues facing humanity today such as the spread of coronavirus and natural disasters. He also talked about Tohoku University’s contributions to solving these problems, stressing the importance of bridging “comprehensive knowledge” between universities and society so they can work together to build a more resilient society.

At the end of the presentation, President Ohno set-out five themes to facilitate breakout discussions on the role that universities play in building global resilient societies in the post-covid era.

Group discussions by participating presidents included how universities can foster talented leaders capable of tackling global issues, and how universities work in tandem with local communities, governments, and industries to tackle complex issues.

The meeting was held as part of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum 2021. Held in Kyoto every year, STS forum is a non-profit organization that brings together world leaders, scientists, economists, and journalists from around the world to discuss science and technology for humanity. For the past two years, the forum has been held online.

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