University College Utrecht professors at academic events in Japan

Dr. Chiara Robbiano and Dr. Gerard van der Ree participated in the interdisciplinary Hasekura Symposium at the University of Tohoku (Sendai, Japan), organized by dr. Christopher Craig and dr. Koji Ono. Various University College Utrecht instructors participated in previous editions of this symposium, in Venice and in Ghent. This year’s theme was ““Naraku: Discord, Dysfunction, Dystopia”. Chiara: "It has been really an outstanding way to “train” our interdisciplinary muscles —how to enter in dialogue with others, how to present for an audience of non-specialists in our discipline".

Chiara organized a panel about leadership (The need for a new kind of leadership  — in the face of dystopias of freedom and harmony), which was very well received, among other reasons because of the presence of red thread among our presentations: we (from UU, TU Delft and Luther College) all looked at aspects of leadership that recognizes the importance of interconnectedness from the perspectives of different theories in philosophy, politics, religious studies, sociology, psychology. Gerard’s lecture was: “Learning to regulate. Growing up and Showing up Differently in the Face of Dangerous Futures” and Chiara’s “From freedom-obsessed tyrants to de-centered leaders”.

They also participated in the Hasekura summit to commemorate 125 years of Tohoku University and 100 years of Humanities and Social science, during which Deans/Directors/Heads of many universities around the world discussed the relevance of Humanities and Social science. President of Tohoku University, Hideo Ohno (physicist) (Youtube  -Pass code: 895660- e.g. min 16.45) referred e.g. to the importance of the Humanities and Social sciences in a world in which unforeseen situations are becoming the norm, since they are disciplines used to study issues from different perspectives, capable of engender awareness of how diverse cultures respond to challenges etc. Chiara: "We were happy to see a university with such a great reputation in the sciences to be so enlightened when talking about HUM and SSC."