The aim of this project is to cultivate “global leaders” who can take necessary and appropriate actions in (multinational) companies, governmental sectors, or NGOs to respect (and sometimes utilize) cultural diversities. Economic globalization seems to be creating “cultural convergence” across nations, but this is not the case. Variety of cultures embodied in organizations or social groups (class, ethnic group, religious group, gender, local communities, etc.), nations or governing bodies have been maintaining their “cultural birthmarks” and differences and relations among them have been changing dynamically. In such complex situations, we need to create new values, which encourage our cooperation across the boundaries. In this project, participants are expected to conduct their own independent researches, based on their own intellectual as well as practical interests on concrete issues of cultural diversity. Group discussion and activities are strongly encouraged. Patience and concentration to design action plan and persuasiveness and passion to realize it will be nurtured in this project.
Since the beginning of 21st century, I have come to have more opportunities to organize collaborative research with foreign scholars and institutions. Recently, I go abroad more than ten times annually, roughly once in a month, which suggests how greatly and profoundly our research conditions have changed.
The same can be said to our educational environment. From 2000 to 2009 when I taught sociology courses in Chuo University and Waseda University, I worked with a lot of undergraduates and postgraduates in and out of Japan. We organized international joint seminars with foreign partners every year, studied with more than 150 undergraduate as well as postgraduate students (or more than 500 students if students of foreign partner universities are included) within these 9 years.
After joining the University of Tokyo, my alma matter, after 19 years’ service for private universities, I lost such opportunities because I could find limited number of Japanese students in ITASIA course (in which all the courses are taught in English), GSII, whose management I have been in charge. Therefore, I’ve made the most of my opportunity, including designing and carrying out joint summer program with National Taiwan University and University of Hong Kong in 2013 and 2014 at Division of International Affairs, and conducting the project of “Second Wave of Asian Student Survey” in undergraduate class of sociology, which was initiated, carried out, and managed by undergraduate students in 2013, to see the potentials of Japanese undergraduate students.
My observation is that undergrads here have huge potentials; but, unfortunately, their exposure to international / global learning is very limited. What a pity! By getting support from graduate students as well as international students in the campus, I’d like to organize intellectually stimulating seminars on the issue of “diversity” to polish the talents of those who will join GLP-GEFiL Program. Ambitious students are most welcome!