[APPLAUSE] HIROKAZU MIYAZAKI: Think you, David. This has been a really exciting conference. I want to say, it's been really a pleasure to work with David and Chris, and other staff members at the Atkinson Center. I think what I have to say really resonates really strong and powerfully with what David said in the morning, and also what Wally said this afternoon.
Think collaboration is really crucial in today's world. Probably because resources are limited, by any account. And also, issues are complex. And the world is really deeply interconnected. So sharing resources of all kinds is really the only way to find solutions to today's problems.
But as many of us have articulated in different ways, and also in the last panel, [? Nima ?] pointed this out really clearly, but collaboration is not easy. And it's not straightforward. And it's a really complex and a delicate endeavor on its own.
And that is what we do and what we struggle with daily at the Einaudi Center. The Einaudi Center is a university-wide unit dedicated to inter-discipline or international studies. And it's been around for more than 60 years at Cornell.
And the center has over 500 faculty affiliates from all the colleges of Cornell. And the center has eight core programs, the East Asia program, the South Asia program, the Southeast Asia program, the Latin American Studies program, and the Institute for African Development, and Economic Institute for European studies and Comparative Muslim Societies program, and the [? Rutge ?] Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.
Currently, we are also hosting two cross-college initiatives. One is called Cornell Institute for China Economic Research, CICER, and then Meridian 180, a multi-lingual platform for global policy solutions.
The last few months have been a very difficult period, just to say the least, for many of us at US universities. And especially with those of us involved in international studies committed to the free movement and exchange of ideas and people. The last election really demonstrated how deeply divided United States is. And the current situation has been particularly difficult for minorities, immigrants, foreigners, and women. And also, for those of us who are committed to the idea of sustainability.
But the phenomena of inward-looking society is not unique to the United States. It is a global phenomena. You can just think of Brexit, and many other examples from Europe. And there are some symptoms of inward-looking society in Asia as well.
Paradoxically, however, the inward turn that US and other societies are making is a reaction to and also a consequence of the complexity and interconnectedness of the global world. Today we are living in an economically, politically, culturally, intellectually connected interconnected world. And as a result, the problems we face as citizens as well as leaders, are exceedingly complex. And there are no simple solutions for these problems.
I think climate change is one of those on complex global problems. So both citizens and leaders are facing an increasingly uncertain situation, in which they are expected to make difficult and consequential decisions in a timely fashion. So this really speaks to David's point about complexity and urgency. Complexity is one thing. But we also need to solve those problems fast.
So we all face the urge to believe that national boundaries still define the parameters of our interests. Or that they are simple domestic solutions to global problems. In my view, the most urgent problem we face today is the problem of what I call discernment. That is the problem of how to make decisions thoughtful, and timely decisions under conditions of uncertainty, where there is no clear direction one way or another.
In other words, we must approach global issues with a holistic global vision which simultaneously takes into account the unique perspectives of diverse communities, interests, and values. Moreover, many of today's global issues are also highly technical. We need to create a collaborative environment with technical experts and a broader range of social scientists, humanists, and most importantly, citizens of various visions of the world can work together.
In this context, the Einaudi Center is trying to accomplish two things. One, to become Cornell's own incubator space for cross-college into disciplinary collaboration on pressing global issues. Two, to develop a platform for global collaboration. I'm going to explain what I mean by platform build.
The center's existing intellectual resources and extensive global networks will serve as the crucial resources for fostering this focused and yet intellectually-broad collaboration and public engagement. I would like to focus today, on the center's ongoing collaborative project on nuclear energy as an example. Since this issue has been discussed on an earlier panel.
Since the severe nuclear accident falling, the earthquake and tsunami in March, 2011, in Japan, the Einaudi Center has developed an international collaborative project from the future of nuclear energy. Building on the longstanding work of the East Asia Program on Japan, and of the [INAUDIBLE] Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies on Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy.
And we also have developed this project in collaboration with Meridian 180 and its global network of scholars and practitioners. We have hosted several major events over the last five years. And last week, the center hosted former Prime Minister of Japan, Naoto Kan, who lead Japan's response to that crisis in 2011.
Mr. Kan's lecture was attended by over 700 people, and a heated conversation about the future of nuclear energy between Mr. Kan and Cornell students and faculty followed. As [? Satsuki ?] [? Takahashi ?] mentioned earlier, the goal of our international collaborative effort is to provide a fuller picture of the costs of a nuclear accident, and propose policy solutions for open and democratic discussion.
To return to the point I made at the beginning, this problem, the issue of nuclear energy, demands many perspectives and many forms of expertise. The Einaudi Center, the East Asia Program, and the [? Rutge ?] Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies assemble a team of US-based social scientists and historians specializing in three major nuclear accidents, Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.
The Meridian 180 Network assembled renewable energy researchers and activists, legal scholars and lawyers working with victims of these disasters, and project finance specialists, working with the nuclear industry from Europe, the US, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, and Singapore. So having assembled this fairly large group of people, the next challenge for me was how to engage this diverse group.
First we used Meridian 180's multi-lingual platform for online forums, to initiate a broad conversation about the future of nuclear energy among it's over-800 members from around the world. So this was a very broad conversation this team of about 30 people we assembled for this project led.
And there are already some scholars, legal professionals, and project finance professionals long involved in nuclear energy and renewable-energy-related issues in the network. But we also included many more to the network in this process, including a important former nuclear regulator, anti-nuclear civic activists, and experts on the three major accidents. Other members who have never actively been involved in nuclear-energy-related issues also offered valuable perspectives informed by their own expertise.
This global consultative process led to two public events at Cornell, a panel discussion on nuclear power plant accidents, and a public debate about whether nuclear energy still constitutes an effective climate-change solution in the past [INAUDIBLE].
Subsequently, we organized a three-day intensive meeting in Okinawa, Japan, during the summer of 2016. My role as the Director the Einaudi Center was to find that possible point of productive collaborative work for this diverse school.
But the three-day meeting in Okinawa, the issue of compensation emerged as a workable framework for our collaboration. We had about 30 people in the room from various professional backgrounds. Everyone in the room was interested in the issue, albeit, for entirely different purposes.
Compensation is also the end point of nuclear disaster management. The costs of nuclear energy need to be incorporated in the costs of compensation. This is also true for project finance specialists who work with the industry.
But also, this is the phase in which ordinary citizens are implicated. Not only as victims, but also taxpayers. So we thought that this would give us a holistic kind of framework for our discussion.
Also, this was a problem. Compensation was the problem. None of us will be able to resolve without others' help. It needed not just scientists and engineers, but also civic activists, anthropologists who work with ordinary citizens, lawyers who work with victims, and project finance specialists who will work with the industry and investors.
The international comparative study we have pursued in collaboration with Meridian 180 and other international partners demonstrates that the current US, Russian, and Japanese frameworks for compensation are inadequate for different reasons. The report which we are about to release through the Einaudi Center's new publication series with Cornell University Press suggests that each country and the regional and international community should develop a framework that takes into account a fuller extent of compensation in advance. So far all of the compensation schemes were developed after the accidents. So there's been always an ad-hoc nature to those schemes.
So what do I mean by a platform for collaboration? The center is developing a digital platform for global collaboration and research dissemination with Cornell University press, the library, and Meridian 180 at the moment. The multilingual online forums-- I'm sorry, the center will soon have a capacity for multi-lingual online forums and is also about to launch a new e-publication series with Cornell University Press, as I mentioned.
But these technologies will enable easy and cost-effective global collaboration in the conversation. So we don't necessarily always meet in person. We can meet online. And then if the conversation goes well, we can convene and in-person meeting.
But what I mean by a platform for global collaboration goes well beyond these technologies. Our main goal is to create intellectual rounds for global collaboration and conversation among who very rarely have opportunities to engage with one another. So for example, the engineers and ordinary citizens, and the project finance specialist and anti-nuclear activists.
It is important to appreciate how difficult it is to create this kind of collaboration and conversation. Finding a proper framework for people who tend to see each other as adversaries, or for people who do not think that they can learn anything from each other is not easy.
Nuclear energy is one of several global issues we are pursuing at the center at the moment. Other issues include the politics of central banking and legal and sociotechnical issues involved in cyber security and data governance. The latter project is a collaborative project with CIS.
These are all highly-technical issues that have far-reaching causes and consequences, beyond what technical expertise can understand. That is why we cannot afford to let a small group of experts make decisions and policies for us.
At the same time, in the aftermath of Brexit and the US elections, we all know that we cannot afford to let uninformed perspectives bulldoze technical intricacies of expert knowledge. In all of these areas, we need more evidence and scientific-knowledge-based democratic and open collaboration and conversation.
We have created cross-college working groups for working across disciplines and professions, in order to find effective solutions to these global technical problems. And each group is expected to produce tangible outlets, from undergraduate courses to policy [INAUDIBLE] publication within a two-to-three-year framework.
Our goal is to reach not just policymakers, as a goal, but also the broader public. I believe the public, which decides who our leaders should be, and policy makers who shape the direction of our world must have easy access to the kind of knowledge we produce at the University.
And this whole project of creating a platform for collaboration-- and [? this ?] [? is the ?] [? summation ?] at the center-- is all about making available all the research we do at the center, and in an accessible form. In the age of fake news and anti-science activism, universities like Cornell have a profound responsibility for providing the public with intellectually-robust and broad analysis in an easily-accessible fashion, easy-accessible form.
We must empower the public, as well as political and thought leaders, with techniques for working towards timely and yet nuanced solutions for the world's pressing problems that are sensitive to multiple perspectives. This is not an easy task. It really requires a great deal of patience and care. But I believe it is the only way we can change the world, that we open our world to others and the community of people with different interests and different visions. Thank you.
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On April 7, 2017 Hirokazu Miyazaki delivered a keynote address entitled "Developing New Forms of Communication and Collaboration" as part of the conference, Sustainability in Asia: Partnerships for Research and Implementation, which took place April 6-7 at the Cordis Hotel, Kowloon, Hong Kong. The conference brought together international scholars, scientists, practitioners, and policy influencers from the United States and Asia who are working to advance sustainable practices and solutions in the face of climate change, increased energy needs, and the specter of slower economic growth.
Hirokazu Miyazaki is a professor of anthropology at Cornell and the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies. Miyazaki has published extensively on theories of exchange, futurity, and hope. His latest book, co-edited with Cornell sociologist Richard Swedberg, is The Economy of Hope, is a systematic investigation of hope across time, space, and socioeconomic circumstances. Miyazaki’s current research focuses on public and corporate debt and debt relations in post-Fukushima Japan. In addition to serving as the director of the Einaudi Center, he coordinates the center's Global Finance Initiative.