We live in a period characterized by rises in regionalism, nationalism and authoritarianism; a time of great global uncertainty and anxiety, as well as inequality and iniquity which both reflects and drives political divide, and undermines international systems of cooperation. Clashes of identities, beliefs and ideologies are evident in academia, media and the arts, contributing to a feeling that humanity is spiraling out of control; that our relationships with each other, as well as with the earth and environment, have never been worse.
Yet, as humans, we are not conditioned by fear alone, but instead by a remarkable ingenuity, and a capacity for hope, self-reflection, activism and action. This agency to improve our own lives, and those of others, is the theme of this international conference, inviting us to consider the ways in which we contextualize and process the past, reimagining ourselves, our relationships, and our environments; driving positive change and reclaiming the future as a time we look towards with hope, and even optimism.
This conference is organized by IAFOR in association with the IAFOR Research Centre at the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in Osaka University, Japan.