2017

Following restructuring after the passing of The Reverend Professor Stuart D. B. Picken, the new Board of Directors of IAFOR is named and holds its first meeting at Gakushuin University in Tokyo.


Introducing the IAFOR Research Centre at Osaka University

The IAFOR Research Centre (IRC) is founded with the support of Professor Toshiya Hoshino, and the faculty at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) at Osaka University, Japan. The IRC is a politically independent international interdisciplinary think tank based at OSIPP, that conducts and facilitates international and interdisciplinary research projects. The main focus is to encourage mutual international and intercultural understanding and cooperation in line with the mission of The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) of encouraging interdisciplinary discussion, facilitating heightened intercultural awareness, promoting international exchange, and generating and sharing new knowledge.

The IRC is a research centre that is a collaborative project between OSIPP and IAFOR under the rules of the university and is housed at OSIPP. It was founded on April 1, 2017, by ordinance of the executive of OSIPP and is jointly funded by IAFOR and the university, and solicits external initiative and project funding. The university administers its direct funding.


The Stuart D. B. Picken Grant & Scholarship

In Memory of The Reverend Professor Stuart D. B. Picken the first Stuart D. B. Picken Grant & Scholarship is awarded.

Stuart D. B. Picken was a cherished friend and an inspiration to IAFOR and its community of supporters. In honour of Professor Picken and his dedication to academia, the ideals of intercultural understanding and the principles of interdisciplinary study, IAFOR has created the Stuart D. B. Picken Grant and Scholarship, an award supported by the Stuart D. B. Picken Memorial Fund. Awards will be made to PhD students and early career academics who are in need of funding to complete their research, and whose work demonstrates excellence in the core values of academic rigour, intercultural sensitivity and interdisciplinarity.

The Stuart D. B. Picken Grant and Scholarship is awarded to PhD students and early career academics who are in need of funding to complete their research, and whose work demonstrates academic excellence. Priority will be given to attendees whose work is interdisciplinary in nature.


The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative

In 2017, The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative is founded as a joint program, building on the existing DAMIN research program, based at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris, France. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative encourages individuals and institutions working across the world to support and undertake research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia. The initiative is concerned with all aspects of this contact, and examines both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.

As an organisation, IAFOR’s mission is to promote international exchange, facilitate intercultural awareness, encourage interdisciplinary discussion, and generate and share new knowledge. In 2018, a major new and ambitious international, intercultural and interdisciplinary research initiative was launched that uses the silk road trade routes as a lens through which to study some of the world’s largest historical and contemporary geopolitical trends, shifts and exchanges.

IAFOR is headquartered in Japan, and the 2018 inauguration of this project aligns with the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration of 1868, when Japan opened its doors to the trade and ideas that would precipitate its rapid modernisation and its emergence as a global power. At a time when global trends can seem unpredictable, and futures fearful, this Silk Road Initiative gives the opportunity to revisit the question of the impact of international relations from a long-term perspective.

This ambitious initiative will encourage individuals and institutions working across the world to encourage research centring on the contact between countries and regions in Europe and Asia, from Gibraltar to Japan, and the maritime routes that went beyond into the South-East Continent and the Philippines, and later out into the Pacific Islands and the United States. The IAFOR Silk Road Initiative will concern all aspects of this contact, and will examine both material and intellectual traces, as well as consequences.


IAFOR Chairman Delivers Keynote Address to University of Belgrade Conference

Talks on cooperative projects between IAFOR Silk Road Initiative anchor institutions, the University of Belgrade and IAFOR took place in Belgrade at the time of the Faculty of Philology Digital Humanities Conference, in May 2017. Dr Joseph Haldane, Chairman of IAFOR, delivered the conference Keynote Presentation on “The Development of Cultural and Information Flows: Historical, Geographical and Cultural Contexts”. The discussions that followed concentrated on the importance of the Silk Road historically, but also technological developments in the era of big data and rapid change.


“Educating for Change”

The European Conference on Education (ECE2017) in Brighton was held in partnership with the Universities of Brighton, Sussex and Birkbeck, University of London and on the theme of “Educating for Change”, which included a focus on new and radical education. In his Keynote Presentation, Matthew Taylor of the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) used ECE to preview policy recommendations on creating “entrepreneurial education” from the soon to be published Taylor Review, commissioned by UK Prime Minister Theresa May. Prior to becoming Chief Executive of the RSA, Mr Taylor was Chief Adviser on Political Strategy to the Prime Minister. Professor Anne Boddington, Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at Brighton University, then chaired a session on the conference themes with Sussex University Head of School, Professor Brian Hudson. Professor Kwame Akyeampong of Sussex University then linked this to the global context in his Keynote titled, “Addressing the Challenges of UN Sustainable Development Goal 4”.


IAFOR Sponsors the 1st Symposium of International Silk Road Academic Studies

As part of the IAFOR Silk Road Initiative, IAFOR sponsors the 1st Symposium of International Silk Road Academic Studies, held September 21 to 22 at Nevsehir University in Turkey. The event was arranged in association with the Turkish Ministry of Culture and universities from Italy, Serbia, Russia, Japan, and Turkey.

Dr Joseph Haldane was a Plenary Speaker at Nevsehir University for the 1st Symposium of International Silk Road Academic Studies, where he delivered an Opening Address, along with the rector of the university, as well as a presentation entitled “A Perspective from the Furthest Ends of the Silk Road”. IAFOR were happy to be a co-sponsor of this international event, which attracted more than 300 delegates. Nevsehir has an ancient history, and important role in the silk road story. The conference was chaired by Professor Ljiljana Markovic of the University of Belgrade.


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A message from the IAFOR Board of Directors on the impact of COVID-19 on our activities.