Our R&D Area
Despite dramatic advancements in science and technology, today's society faces many issues including declining birth rate, aging of population, growing fiscal deficit, increase in environmental burden, depopulation in rural areas, and increased risk of natural disasters. These issues are all related to sustainability and common throughout the globe, with some differences per country, as indicated by the adoption of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in 2015.
While various efforts have been made to tackle these issues, it is clear that a segmented approach treating them separately has limited impact. Instead, we should take a holistic approach towards the real problems in respective regions, taking into account the varied local resources available.
We believe that intergenerational co-creation is an important methodology in this regard. This is because an intergenerational approach makes people active, affects their mindset, enables gathering of diverse knowledge, facilitates consensus formation, and enhances sustainability of activities.
This is not to say all problems can be solved by this methodology, or that there is no room for improvement. Hence, we would like to further develop methods of intergenerational co-creation as a social technology, so that people in many regions can take advantage of it. This will, we believe, help lead to the realization of sustainable society.
Our aim can be summarized in the following three points:
(1) We will clarify how intergenerational co-creation is effective in achieving sustainability in cities and regions.
(2) In the areas where intergenerational co-creation is expected to be effective, we propose mechanisms to promote, put into practice and improve it.
(3) We will make efforts to implement these mechanisms in our society while building a network for exchanging experiences and know-how.
Almost all the projects in this research area have regional fields, owing to the above point of view, providing a venue for first verifying their research hypotheses. In addition, each aims for activities to continue in some way so that they become ingrained into society beyond the RISTEX research period.
By "co-creation," we mean a cooperative activity to create something together, rather than simply allowing one generation to take care of the other. What we expect to be created are not necessarily physical products, but could well include values such as improvement in health or well-being, and reduction in fiscal deficit or environmental burden.