The New Set-up of The Research Centre Shonan Fujisawa since August 2015

The Research Centre Shonan Fujisawa was launched in August 2015 at Keio University Fujisawa Campus. The Research Centre has been working on national implementation of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by conducting transdisciplinary research, including participant observation in the implementation process of SDGs by the national government, local municipalities, academic institutions, business enterprises amongst others, as well as contributing to broad debates about national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Earth System Governance Tokyo Research Centre established at Tokyo Institute of Technology is the precursor.

Based on the past research achievements developed by The Earth System Governance Tokyo Research Centre, the Research Centre Shonan Fujisawa is currently working on the academic issues facing with the idea of “Governance Through Goals,” including indicator mechanism for achieving governance goals, multi-stakeholder engagements, SDGs investments, sustainable consumption and production, SDGs education amongst others. The Research Centre is experiencing the dynamic, transformative process of SDGs implementation in Japan by participating in such research projects as well as discussions with multi-stakeholders, which is considered to lead to drawing fresh insights for the study of “Governance through Goals.”

The Activities by Earth System Governance Tokyo Research Centre as Precursor

Since it was set up as the ESG Tokyo Research Centre in the Tokyo Institute of Technology, it has made significant contribution trough research results. As one of key activities, the workshop “Earth System Governance Hakone Vision Factory: Bridging Science Policy Boundaries” was held on 27-29 September 2011, in Hakone, Japan, to address the key issues required for a fundamental transformation of global sustainability governance in the 21st century. The goal of the workshop was to come up with a proposal that identifies five key policy options that need to be addressed at Rio+20 Conference and its follow-up processes in order to come to an improved Architecture for International Environmental Governance (IEG), and Sustainable Development. The main outcome was summarized in the statement “Towards a Charter Moment. Hakone Vision on Governance for Sustainability in the 21st Century” which served as input to preparations for the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”).

The Earth System Governance Tokyo Conference was also held on 28-31 January 2013 at the United Nations University Headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. This event was the fourth in a global series organized by the Earth System Governance Project, and also the first conference held in Asia. The Earth System Governance Tokyo Conference was jointly hosted by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS), the International Environmental Governance Architecture Research Group and the Tokyo Institute of Technology on behalf of the Earth System Governance Project. The themes of the conference were as follows:

  1. Earth System Governance Architectures in the 21st Century;
  2. Climate and Energy Governance Architectures;
  3. The Nexus between Architecture and the other “A’s” in Earth System Governance;
  4. Political Dynamics in the Interface of Agency and Architecture;
  5. Methodological Challenges to Complex Architectures and Multiple Agents;
  6. Special Conference Stream on Nuclear Safety and Post-disaster Governance.

Also, the Research Centre was involved in following projects and conducted related research activities, with a significant focus on the initiatives in transdisciplinary research as follows.

Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (ERTDF) S-11 POST 2015: Project on sustainability transformation beyond 2015

The aim of this project is to contribute to international discussions toward the establishment of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the short term, and to propose policies and frameworks for a long-term transformation in human behaviour toward sustainable society.  Specifically, the objectives of the project are:

  • To contribute to establishing the post-2015 development agenda;
  • To promote trans-disciplinary research into ways to harmonize environment and development by leveraging sustainable development goals;
  • To create a new trans-disciplinary epistemic community by promoting research-based collaboration (This is to address the lack of communication between research communities dealing with environmental issues and development issues.);
  • To aim to become an international research centre through relevant international collaboration and networks.

Through these activities, the Research Centre contributed to a broad societal debate about sustainability transformation.

JST Basic Research Program: trans-disciplinary research towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation

In cooperation with Future Earth, a ten year global research programme for sustainability, this project conducts the research with a strong focus on institutional architecture.  The main purpose of this project is to make an intellectual contribution to the transdisciplinary research and its practical application for the SDGs setting as well as to the implementations at different levels of governance from UN (global/international), regional, national, local or corporate/organizational ones.

The Current Activities by Earth System Governance Research Centre Shonan Fujisawa (since 2015)

Since 2015, the Research Centre Shonan Fujisawa has worked and is currently working by setting thematic activities with centring on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) , partnering with Keio Research Institute at SFC (KRIS) xSDG Consortium as:

  • Theoretical Study on Governance through Goals;
  • SDGs and Business;
  • Sustainable Investing: the Study on SDGs or ESG Investment Related Assessment;
  • Sustainability Governance for Plastic Pollution Control;
  • SDGs and Local Initiatives;
  • SDG related

Investigating into the mechanisms for enabling governance through goals

Also, the Research Centre has participated in the following projects and conducted related research activities, with a significant focus on the SDGs initiatives in transdisciplinary research  for investigating into the mechanisms for enabling governance through goals as:

As for the activities by Keio Research Institute at SFC (KRIS) xSDG Consortium, it holds the conferences with the participations of a wide range of vision sharing partners which include business enterprises, private banks, local municipalities as well as ministries and agents.  The role of business enterprises in today’s sustainable development governance is becoming highly essential, particularly with an aim to attain the SDGs by 2030.  The Research Centre and the Consortium welcome the opportunities of collaborative research projects with business enterprises to  share knowledge and expertise to bring about the desired outcomes envisioned by the SDGs.   The Research Centre makes the most of the opportunities offered by the Consortium for developing further the understandings of the theories of governance through goals as well as forging the multi-stakeholders network for producing intellectual innovations in terms of both theories and practice.