Message - Tokyo College


A message from HANEDA Masashi, Director of Tokyo College.

Message from the Director

Creating new knowledge for the future

Tokyo College is a new scheme started by the University of Tokyo to collaborate with aspiring people of the world in thinking about the future of the earth and humankind, and in acting in order to achieve this future. This initiative will invite leading researchers, young researchers with prospective futures, and influential intellectuals from overseas to come and stay at Tokyo College. This will foster frequent opportunities to exchange ideas with the universities scholars and students, thereby generating synergy and creating new knowledge for the future. Tokyo College will then organize public lectures and seminars in order to immediately and directly distribute the knowledge created by these activities to the public.

The allure of Tokyo College lies in the intense spark of ideas created through the interaction of researchers at the cutting-edge of their fields, the breath of new learnings that emerge from flexible and innovative ways of thinking, and the penetrating contemplations of intellectuals backed by practical experience.

Almost one year has passed since Tokyo College came into existence. The number of invited researchers staying at Tokyo College is gradually increasing, as is the number of young researchers who are beginning work here. Thanks to this, we are now able to frequently hold lectures and seminars for students and the public. This is the time for Tokyo College to begin in earnest.

January 2020

東京カレッジ Director, Tokyo College HANEDA Masashi

From the President

Creating new knowledge and disseminating it to the world
President of the University of Tokyo GONOKAMI Makoto

Today, advancement in information and communication technologies such as computers and internet, brought about by the semiconductor electronics born in the middle of the twentieth century, have become indispensable part of our society and economy. The speed in which these new technologies evolve and spread across the world is becoming ever faster.

Every second, an enormous amount of data from all parts of the world is being collected through the internet and accumulated in cyberspace. The recent advancement in AI technology is opening up the possibility for us to fully utilize this big data. It is creating an unprecedented situation in the history of humanity, where the physical world in which we live fuses with the cyber space in a very sophisticated manner. In this Digital Revolution, the source of economic value will shift from physical resources to data and ideas. It will bring about a disruptive transformation to our world and how we relate to one another. It is not easy for us to predict where this transformation will lead us and our planet.

However, I believe that this transformation has a great potential to help us realize a better future for all, empowering us with tools and ideas to overcome difficult global issues, including disparities of many kinds, climate change, anti-foreignism, national and regional conflicts. We can realize a future where diversity is embraced and where every individual is able to take part in society on their own terms, at the same time achieving sustainable and harmonious growth of the humanity and the planet. On the other hand, this transformation could also make our world much more unstable. The Digital revolution could result in the critical escalation of existing global issues, by creating new problems like the monopolization of data.

What should we do to make sure that this transformation can project us to a better future for all? I believe that it is important for each individual to consider this time of change as a chance, and have the courage to strive for a positive outcome. Then, we must share this will and desire with individuals from all walks of life, work together by combining each other’s strength and create a large momentum for change. The University of Tokyo is determined to provide a platform for such activities and become a driving force of social innovation. Throughout its 142-year history, the University of Tokyo has contributed to humanity by adding to the diversity of knowledge through the unique collaboration of traditional Japanese scholarship and the scholarship of the world. The Inauguration of Tokyo College is an ambitious step to further enhance our strength and capacity to contribute to the creation of an inclusive future.

Tokyo College aims to create new knowledge and communicate it to the global public, by bringing together excellent leading researchers and intellectuals, from broad range of fields and from around the world. It also aims to create strong synergy with the scholars of the University of Tokyo, crossing the boundaries of traditional disciplines to create a wellspring of new academic ideas. Tokyo College will provide an exciting environment for students where they can constantly access leading researchers and cutting-edge research and be motivated to become global leaders.

The most important role of the Tokyo College is communication. We want to communicate the importance of appreciating the value of cutting-edge knowledge and the environment that creates it. We hope to share with a global public the excitement, profoundness, and breadth of academic pursuits carried out over a variety of the time scale. Through the activities of Tokyo College, we hope that the global public will become a part of our global community, and partners as we work together to create a better future for all.