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HIS x Sapporo University: Cross-Cultural Discussion on the SDGs and Our Future

On October 27, about 20 of our high school Huskies visited Sapporo University to discuss the SDGs with their university students.

 

HIS x Sapporo University

Cross-Cultural Discussion on the SDGs and Our Future

Words: Theo Brennan and Kiyo Shichida

Photos: Yoji Clarke & Theo Brennan


As our world continually becomes further industrialized, it also becomes further polluted. Recognizing this, around 20 of our high school Huskies of HIS met with Sapporo University students to discuss climate change, one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The discussion was held on Thursday, October 27, in the SWING Library at Sapporo University (SU). Since this HIS x SU discussion was a cross-cultural event, it helped students of HIS and SU enhance a valuable skill — the ability to communicate with people from different cultures. The discussion also helped all participants rediscover the issues in our world and the solutions to them that may have been lost from their memory. 

After roughly 50 students were jumbled into around 12 groups, Eric Johnston, a reporter for The Japan Times, gave an opening speech. He revealed the discussion’s agenda: to find solutions to problems causing climate change, including replacing fossil fuels such as oil, which is used to create plastics and many other uses. In doing so, he challenged students that to create a more sustainable world, solutions to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels must include all aspects. He also mentioned that this year, Egypt will host a Model United Nations conference about solutions to climate change and that finding solutions to this issue is significant to us and future generations.

Following the opening speech, each group was given a sheet containing five topics:

  1. General Environmental Issues
  2. Environment, Industries, Policies, and Solutions
  3. You and the Environment
  4. Fast Fashion and the Environment
  5. Fast Food and the Environment.

Each group chose one topic to discuss and answered questions dedicated to that specific topic. Some groups spoke in English while others spoke in Japanese. There was a group that mixed Chinese and Japanese and a few groups made use of both English and Japanese. Clear communication and meaningful discussions were the highest priority.

After each group finished discussing all questions for their topic, they wrote their final ideas for each question on a whiteboard. 

After the groups discussed their topics for around 80 minutes, a few of them presented their concluding ideas to everyone, and a handful of students gave feedback about the event overall.

When all of the presentations and speeches were over, Eric Johnston gave a closing speech, applauding students for their thoughtful, serious conversations and calling students to take a role in the world where they convert their discussion into action.

The event ended with a final group photo, where students from HIS and SU stood, intermingled, symbolizing the cross-cultural come-together through their discussions on the environment.

This event not only helped our students rediscover information and possible solutions to climate change but also helped them rediscover their daily impact on Earth and how so many things we use and do affect our environment.

  • Climate Change
  • Leadership
  • SDGs
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