The Silk Road Initiative in Russia: International Academic Cooperation in Uncertain Times

IAFOR launched its 2018 Silk Road Initiative programme with a roundtable in February in partnership with Moscow State University. The event was hosted by the Moscow State University Institute of Asian and African Studies. The old Silk Road was an arteria to irrigate continents with new artefacts, but also new thinking. This event looked at how freedom and academic liberties are in many cases limited by secular traditions, by political controls, and by the necessity to use a universal language. Economic crises have often been used as a pretext to limit funding to universities and research centres, with these limitations affecting all academic areas in the arts, humanities and social sciences. The international delegates present discussed how to ensure and commit to international academic cooperation, especially in politically difficult times. The event was chaired by Professor Georges Depeyrot of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Professor Svetlana Ter Minasova of Moscow State University.

The IAFOR Innovation and Value Initiative

The 2018 IAFOR Innovation and Value Initiative program launched at the United Nations in New York.

On June 6, 2018, IAFOR collaborated with the United Nations in the hosting of a special session at the Third Annual Multi-stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (STI Forum 2018) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

At this session, moderated by IAFOR Chairman, Dr Joseph Haldane, the potential of blockchain to address some of the world’s most pressing problems was discussed, and the session was used to officially launch the IAFOR Innovation and Value Initiative, a large scale multi-sectoral project to explore the drivers, processes and outcomes of innovation and value creation across countries, markets, industries and sectors and identify the drivers that foster the most healthy innovation and value-creating ecosystems across (1) heritage businesses, (2) multinational companies, (3) entrepreneurial startups, (4) educational institutions, (5) governments, and (6) NGOs and NPOs.

The IAFOR Innovation and Value Initiative is comprised of the following elements: research, education, dissemination (working papers, workshops and conferences), and initiate collaborative implementation projects with businesses, local, regional or international NPOs and/or international organisations (for example, the humanitarian use of blockchain technology). The three nodes, “Value and International Economy”, “Value and International Politics”, and “Value and Social Innovation” will have each have its independent research component, but the researchers will also work closely to share findings, teach classes at OSIPP, integrate their works at implementation level or producing policy recommendations where possible and practicable, and plan new collaborative projects.

STI Forum 2018 Links:

The IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit (GIVS) in Tokyo

As the first major standalone associated with the Innovation and Value Initiative, The IAFOR Global Innovation & Value Summit (GIVS) was organised in Tokyo and comprised of both an open public business symposium, and a two-day in-depth academic conference with the aim of bringing together the best of business practice and research.

The event saw an unparalleled line up of business leaders, industry experts, notable Japanese entrepreneurs and leading figures from government and education. The conference considered questions of innovation and value, and there was a special focus on innovation ecosystems in the global, regional and local ecosystem of Japan.

The event was a collaboration between IAFOR, The Wall Street Journal, and J Walter Thompson, as well as Osaka University and Doshisha University. Speakers included executive representatives from Toyota, Nissan, Lixil, and Nestle, as well as Special Keynote Presentations by the Chairman of Kikkoman Corp, the Governor of Mie Prefecture, the Japanese Cabinet Adviser for Innovation. In a Special Keynote Address, outgoing Japanese Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi used GIVS to outline the Japanese government’s preparation for Society 5.0, where AI is a fully integrated part of lifelong education.

IAFOR’s media partners for the event were The Wall Street Journal, Harper Collins and J. Walter Thompson Intelligence. The corporate strategic partner was J. Walter Thompson Japan.

GIVS2018 Links:

Celebrating the 10th Asian Conference on Education

October 2018 marked the 10th anniversary of IAFOR’s flagship education conference, The Asian Conference on Education (ACE), which saw more than 500 attendees celebrate this milestone in Tokyo. Other events in the autumn included The IAFOR Conference on Heritage & the City (HCNY), held at and in partnership with Hofstra University in New York, USA.

In Hong Kong... finally!

Returning to the plan envisioned back in 2011, IAFOR finally held a conference in Hong Kong after being approached by Professor Ka Ho Joshua Mok, Vice President of Lingnan University, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP), as it moved its secretariat from the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Lingnan University. The IAFOR Conference on Higher Education Research (CHER) brought together scholars from around the world to discuss the most pressing issues in higher education, notably the role of the liberal arts in education in East Asia. Speakers included Professor Deane Neubauer of the East-West Center, USA; Professor Leonard K Cheng of Lingnan University, Hong Kong; and Professor Anthony Welch of the University of Sydney, Australia.

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