Event: Co-Design the Nexus Approach to SDGs

As the closing engagement event this fiscal year, M-NEX organized a joint workshop Co-Design the Nexus Approach to SDGs with Yokohama SDGs Design Center on Jan 29th of 2019 at Laiosha, Hiyoshi Campus of Keio University. 46 participants joined the workshop including 30 from governmental offices, companies, and local communities, 14 from universities and 2 overseas guests.

The workshop commenced with the opening speech addressed by Mr. Masato Nobutoki, the director of the Yokohama SDGs Design Center. Launched almost at the same time as M-NEX, Yokohama SDGs Design Center will work with stakeholders for the implementation of national SDGs Initiative from the multiple perspectives of Economy, Environment and Social Development.  The Food-Energy-Water nexus with regards to the sustainability of suburban towns is an area where M-NEX is working with local communities in the city of Tama-Plaza and shall be one of the missions of the center.

Dr. Virji delivered insightful keynote speech

With the introduction of prof. Rajib Shaw and the interpretation by Ms Pareek Ami and Ms Tomoko Takeda, Prof. Virji Hassan delivered an insightful keynote speech on Belmont Forum/JPI Urban Euorpe’s SUGI:Food-Water-Energy Nexus and SDGs. Prof. Virji Hassan is the chairperson of the monitoring committee of SUGI Nexus Program. He illustrated the complexity of modern cities in the system of human and nature systems. The demand by dramatic population growth and the urbanization have exceeded the boundary of the planet in biodiversity, fossil fuel and land capacity etc. The only way to overcome the problems is to transform the development path to sustainable ways, by building unity in just the same way that ants can build a bridge cross an abyss simply by holding on to one another.

Responding to the question from a high school teacher, Prof. Virji further suggested students should learn from playing games.

Following the keynote speech, representative participants from municipalities, universities, schools,  NPO and citizens introduced their projects and activities, primarily as a way for the participant to get to know one another. This introduction like an icebreaker provided information to know each other and mold the atmosphere for next session. The presenters are

  • Mr. Kazuhiro Kobayashi (Yokohama City) WISE living lab, the Next Generation of Suburban Town
  • Prof. Hirmo Kobori (Tokyo City Univ.) Citizen Science for biodiversity conservation and learning
  • Ikuru Ishibashi (Toin School) GIS and Environmental Education
  • Michiyo Azuma (General Assoc. Smart Women’s Community)  Low footprint food
  • Ms. Reina Ohashi (Supermap, Japan) Spatial data analysis
  • Ms. Yumiko Kashiwaki (NPO Kawamori Aoba) Nature obervation and learning by Citizens
  • Keidai Kishimoto (M-NEX, Keio ) Visualizing ecosystem services in Futako-Tamakawa Area for Green Infrastructure
  • Shun Nakayama (M-NEX, Keio)  Analysis of the food life in suburban town, Tama-Plaza
  • Mr. Akinobu Yasuda (Add-sol Inc.) AR Sandbox demonstration for environmental eduation and M-NEX.
AR Sandbox demonstration by Ad-sol Inc.

The second part of the workshop was a group work facilitated by Prof. Wanglin Yan, Keio University. The participants were grouped at three tables. Following the instruction of Prof. Yan, members first introduce themselves each other by sharing information about affiliation, profession, activities, projects, and specific concerns on SDGs. Then they were guided to discuss what contributions they could make to each others projects and what was concretely needed to achieve their specific goals. Insight about connections and the value of bringing different fields together was a useful outcome. Each group proposed a sketch project on a poster, taking advantage of their specialties while considering the conditions needed to realize their ideas, such as knowledge, technology, finance, and involvement etc. Finally, each team presented the idea and discussed actively with participants.

Active debates were held by each tables

Fostering SDGs mind-set. A joint education program with the collaboration of universities, schools, communities and local companies. A year round schedule was designed, starting from schools with the help from universities and communities leaders, finally practicing at the local companies. Sustainable & Livable Community. This idea is to enhance the interlinkage in suburban with residents, officials, and business persons etc. rather than the interlinkage among the indicators of SDGs. Social Network Apps for everyone to work vividly in a sustainable future city.

Prof. Hikaru Kobayashi, the former vice minister of Environment

Prof. Hikaru Kobayashi, the former vice minister of Environment joined the workshop and kindly gave comments to the proposals and presentations. Although two years have passed since the enactment of SDGs in United Nations the concept is still new to public and the actions are just started. The workshop to design the nexus approach with the engagement of multi-stakeholders is absolutely timely and the style of this event is very exciting and inspiring. Moving to another place with another group we could make many different ideas. Prof. Virji Hassan and Prof. Rob Roggema expressed their impression on the power of citizens in Tokyo and Yokohama. This kind of co-design approach will become the driving force for humankind nexusing together to cross the abyss of conventional development and achieve to SDGs side. Finally, Prof. Yan, the leader of M-NEX delivered closing remarks. Our journey to SDGs is recently set out and the development of a nexus approach is on the way. Many participants could not present their projects because of time and the detail of the proposals need to be considered. That will be the mission going forward.

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慶應義塾大学環境情報学部 EcoGIS Lab(厳網林研究室)