East-West Center Collaboration

The IAFOR Research Centre (IRC) collaborated with the East-West Center in Washington, D.C., and announced the “US-Southeast Asia-Japan Partnership in a Dynamic Asia” fellowship programme. The programme invited six fellows from around Asia to spend a month in the IRC at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in the beginning of 2019, followed by two months at the East-West Center in Washington, D.C., and then a return to Osaka to complete white papers on their research.

This program was the IRC’s first residency fellowship running at OSIPP, and the first partnership with the East-West Center in Washington, D.C. The fellowship received support from the Japan Foundation and the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

Images from ECE/ECLL2019 in London.

London Calling!

IAFOR moved its annual European Conferences on Education (ECE) and Language Learning (ECLL) to London for the first time. ECE/ECLL2019 was hosted jointly at IAFOR’s Global Partner, Birkbeck, and at University College London’s Institute of Education. Of the many notable presentations, Professor Thanassis Rikakis’ research titled, “Transdisciplinary Knowledge Ecosystems Can Advance Interdependence and Agency” was particularly well received and lead to an international collaboration on further research into the topic.

IAFOR Research Foundation Recognised as a Non-Profit

Based in the United States, The IAFOR Research Foundation is recognised as a non-profit organisation (501c3).

“Independence & Interdependence”

2019 was a packed year for IAFOR, and one that saw the organisation reach new heights, explore new partnerships, all the while inspiring global research collaborations between individuals and institutions across the world.

IAFOR began its 2019 in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, cementing its place as Hawaii’s premier conference on education, with the state’s three senior-most leaders in education giving their reflections on leadership and positive change around the conference theme of “Independence & Interdependence” at the IAFOR International Conferences on Education (IICEHawaii) and Sustainability, Energy and the Environment (IICSEEHawaii). Dr Christina M. Kishimoto, Superintendent of the Hawaiʻi State Board of Education, Dr David Lassner, President of the University of Hawaiʻi, and Dr Richard R. Vuylsteke, CEO of the East-West Center, spoke in a Plenary Panel chaired by Dr Joseph Haldane of IAFOR.

East-West Center and Stanford Social Innovation Review Collaborations

The IAFOR Research Centre (IRC), housed at Osaka University’s Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), continued to grow strongly, with diverse collaborative international initiatives, including those with the East-West Center (“US-Southeast Asia-Japan Partnership in a Dynamic Asia”), the China Edition of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (Innovation and Value Initiative), and with Rohingya Vision, looking at the creation of IDs for stateless peoples through blockchain. We look forward to the Centre further expanding its activities in 2020.

Working with the Japanese Government through the Prime Minister’s Office

2019 was also the year that saw IAFOR asked to collaborate with the Government of Japan through the Prime Minister’s and Cabinet Offices in the organising of the Kansai Resilience Forum, which sought to re-examine resilience from interdisciplinary perspectives and paradigms, from the abstract concept to the concrete, with contributions from thought leaders in academia, business and government. Although Japan-focussed, the Kansai Resilience Forum invited comparative and contrastive reflection on the concept and reality of resilience as a positive and necessary trait for survival in individuals and societies, and how it is nurtured through education and training in the preparation for challenges of all kinds.

The one-day invitation-only event comprised panels on Disaster Management Strategy, Resilience and Society, and Resilience and the Globalising Economy, and culminated with a Special Keynote Presentation by world renowned architect, Tadao Ando, who designed the event venue, the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art, following the Kobe earthquake of 1995. Completed in 2002, the museum is a symbol of regeneration and renewal, and a testament to the resilience of the city.

The Kansai Resilience Forum was organised with the kind support of the IAFOR Research Centre, the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University, Kobe University and the Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art. This high profile collaborative interdisciplinary event brought new attention to IAFOR and to the ways in which such public interest events can be conceptualised. IAFOR would like to thank the Wall Street Journal, the official media partner for the event.

Nurturing Excellence in Documentary Photography

2019 saw an increased focus on the IAFOR Documentary Photography Award, as we looked to organise events promoting the winning photographers. Past Grand Prize Winner, Ezra Acayan, came and spoke at two IAFOR events on his work in the Philippines. As an organisation, IAFOR remains committed to the Award as part of our mission and commitment to freedom of speech.

Our 2019 award was announced at the very end of the year, with the Grand Prize awarded to Emilienne Malfatto for her project “Al-Banaat” (“the girls” in Arabic), an “intimate journey through the world of two little sisters in Iraq”. Emilienne is a freelance photojournalist from France, whose work focuses on post-conflict and social issues, mostly in Iraq.

The 2019 IAFOR Documentary Photography Award received over 120 submissions from more than 30 countries – offering the judges a wide range of international perspectives on the theme of “Embracing the Future”. Commenting on the winning entries, Founding Judge Dr Paul Lowe (VII Photo Agency/University of the Arts London) said the following:

Yet again we were overwhelmed with the quality of the entries, with a wide range of styles and approaches to important and meaningful subjects and issues. The judges awarded the first prize to Emilienne Malfatto, impressed by her strong proposal and the intimacy of her portrait of the relationship of two sisters growing up in Iraq. Second place went to Maximilian Mann for his lyrically engaging pictures of the Iranian desert, whilst third place went to Rafael Heygster for his intelligent interpretation with the way that conflict now pervades everyday life. Honourable mentions went to Alba Diaz whose marriage of concept and technical execution was exceptionally well handled in her work on the historical memory of the terrors of the Franco regime in Spain, and to Mohammed Zaanoun for his exceptional coverage of the protests of Palestinians against the Israeli occupation.

Special thanks to our judges, Dr Paul Lowe, Poulomi Basu and Jenny Matthews, and our supporters World Press Photo, University of the Arts London and MediaStorm.

Conferences Continue to Grow

Our conferences continued to see a steady growth, and it was special for us to have our European Conference on Education (ECE2019) hosted at the University of London at and with two world-leading institutions (Birkbeck and the IoE), as well as see our flagship Asian Conference on Education (ACE) in Tokyo reach an attendance of some 600 academics and students from around the world. ACE2019 welcomed almost 600 people from around the world to Tokyo, Japan.

Given the political situation in Hong Kong, we were concerned that The IAFOR Conference on Higher Education Research (CHER2019), hosted at Lingnan University, and on the theme of “Uncertain Futures” would be affected, but the event did not dodge the issues, showing instead an integrity and purpose, underlining that these questions of freedom are far from “only” academic, and underlining the role of education and educational institutions at the heart of a healthily functioning civil society.

IAFOR ended the year in London, for the first European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen), hosted by UCL’s Bartlett Real Estate Institute, and the speakers were incredibly impressive, with world-leading academics from a number of disciplines, notably Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, Professor Tsuyoshi Sekitani, Professor Nick Tyler, Professor Paul Higgs, and Professor James Barlow. We thank Professor Evangelia Chrysikou and Professor Andrew Edkins of UCL for their continued support and commitment for this event, which highlighted the fact that demographic change should be seen as an international public policy and human security issue, requiring of cooperative and coordinated responses.

Scopus Recognition

2019 began with the announcement that the IAFOR Journal of Education had been been approved for indexing in SCOPUS. SCOPUS-indexed journals are rigorously vetted and selected by an independent review board. The approval of the IAFOR Journal of Education, in publication since 2013, attests to the journal’s strict academic standards and high quality.

IAFOR Event in Hong Kong Amidst Protests

Lingnan University co-hosted The IAFOR Conference for Higher Education Research (CHER), and The Asian Conference on the Liberal Arts (ACLA) in Hong Kong, in partnership with the Asia Pacific Higher Education Research Partnership (APHERP). The theme of CHER2019 was "Uncertain Futures: Repurposing Higher Education", a title chosen to reflect the precarious nature of global socio-economic development today. The Asian Conference on the Liberal Arts (ACLA) 2019 was held alongside CHER, under the theme "Uncertain Futures: The Role of Liberal Arts Education".

Keynote and featured speeches were given by Professor Leonard K. Cheng (President, Lingnan University), Professor Francis Green (University College of London, UK), Professor Simon Marginson (University of Oxford, UK), Professor Adam R. Nelson (University of Wisconsin-Madison, US), Professor Deane Neubauer (East-West Centre, US), and Professor Joshua Mok (Vice President, Lingnan University). Dr Bernard Charnwut Chan (Executive Council member of the Government of the Hong Kong SAR), gave the opening remarks. He emphasised the need to establish strong ties between educational institutions and governments due to the uncertain socioeconomic futures faced by various societies around the globe.

Speakers at both conferences discussed how a formal education and a liberal arts education could be redesigned to prepare populations for life in societies that are moving very quickly towards uncertain futures. This conference was particularly topical to HongKong as it occurred during anti-government protests and concurrent pro-democracy rallies, many of which were centred on university campuses.

Click here to view the CHER/ACLA2019 Photo Report.

University College London hosts the First European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen2019)

Organised in partnership with The Bartlett Real Estate Institute at University College London (UCL), The National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) and the IAFOR Research Centre at Osaka University, The European Conference on Aging & Gerontology (EGen) featured a star-studded lineup of globally renowned speakers, including Hiroshi Ishiguro, Tsuyoshi Sekitani, Nick Tyler, Paul Higgs, and James Barlow. Led by Dr Evangelia Chrysikou and Professor Andrew Edkins of UCL, the event highlighted the fact that demographic change should be seen as an international public policy and human security issue, requiring of cooperative and coordinated responses. Click here to view the EGen2019 Photo Report.

Association of Asian Studies enters into collaboration with IAFOR to co-host 2020 AAS-in-Asia Event

Due to the 2019 protests in HongKong, the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) decided it would no longer be tenable to host its 2020 AAS-in-Asia conference at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and its executive asked IAFOR to co-host the 2020 event in Japan. IAFOR asked Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto Universities to join a supporting consortium of National universities in the Kansai region to support the event.

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