Student of TUFS participated in the G200 Youth Summit (Germany) as part of the Japan Delegation
May 20, 2016
From the 6th (Wed) to the 10th (Sun) of April 2016, Koudai Ikeda (School of International and Area Studies, Regions of Southern West Europe, 4rd year) took part in the G200 Youth Summit (Sponsored by: G200) which was held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany) as part of the Japan delegation. At the summit, various problems that international society is currently faced with were discussed amongst university students and young researchers. As the representative of Japan, Mr. Ikeda focused on how Japan`s environmental technology can contribute to the world and the Japanese mindset regarding protection of the environment.
Further information can be found here.
Participants from Japan (Mr. Ikeda furthest on the left)
The Dinner Party
G200 Youth Summit Participant`s Report
School of International and Area Studies 4th year, Koudai Ikeda
Date: 6th – 10th April 2016
Location: Germany, Garmisch-Partenkirchen
○Overview of the Summit
The summit called G200, is a meeting sponsored by the NGO where university students and young researchers discuss how to solve the various problems facing the current international society. Participants came from a wide variety of backgrounds not limited only to students and researchers, university professors and people from international organizations also participated. There was also a large range of nationalities and groups of representatives formed of 1 to 7 people from every country and region that had gathered. Including me, a total of 4 students came from Japan.
The summit is loosely divided into 3 parts, the conference, international young parliaments` debate and the youth summit. At the conference, researchers were announcing their own findings from a range of different fields including politics, economics, environment, education and technology. At the international young parliaments` debate, a debate was conducted amongst the young generation of every country that will support the future regarding such topics as women’s rights and sustainable development. I participated in the youth summit where roughly 15 people from every field gathered and held a meeting to discuss solutions to the problems of their individual fields. In addition to the above stated fields, other events such as invited celebrities giving lectures and workshops on leadership were held and I was able to gain valuable experience that that you cannot usually obtain.
○ Regarding the Youth Summit
The youth summit is compromised of the following 5 committees; Global health, Shaping the labour market, From consumer society towards value-based society, New strategies for financial and world economy and Technological challenges. Of these I was affiliated with the From consumer society towards value based society committee. At this committee meeting, the problematic issues that stem from mass production and mass consumption and the potential solutions to these problems were discussed. We also discussed from various viewpoints including environmental, energy crisis, legal framework and education what kind of strategy we can take to avoid materialistic ways of thinking. I had a strong impression that there would be many Anglo-American students in the committee but there were also students participating from every Asian country, Australia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and China. The content of the meeting was summarized and sent to every participating country`s government as a recommendation.
Communique website can be accessed below.
○The Role I Fulfilled
I participated in the committee in the position of minister of foreign affairs however instead of this role I mainly received requests to state my opinion as the representative of Japan. Though for some reason, at the committee, representatives of every country stated their opinions and then we all had to create one communique opposed to conducting international negotiations. This led to everyone becoming one team and thinking of common interests instead of everyone speaking for the benefit of their individual countries.
As the representative for Japan I mainly focused on emphasizing the following 2 points.
①Japan`s Environmental Technology
At the discussion regarding environmental and energy problems, I raised Japan`s recycling methods, energy-saving products, environmentally friendly technology, and economic policy as examples of how Japan can contribute to the world as a technologically advanced developed country.
②The Japanese Mind that cares for the environment
I proposed that Japanese people who have an environmentally friendly way of thinking rooted into their psychology with examples such as not throwing rubbish on the street and making sure where possible to recycle and reuse items and so on, would be able to nurture a similar way of thinking in people from other countries through policy and education.
○Exchange with Participants
At the summit, there were many places where you could exchange cultures with other participants. For example lunch was prepared in a buffet style so I was able to talk and deepen connections with other participants as I worked my way around the tables. Within a few days I was able to make many friends by participating in a dance party and going to the bar with other likeminded members after the days meetings had come to an end. The bonding would continue after this and one of the Indonesian people who I had gotten to know at the summit came to hang out after the days tasks were completed.
As I expected, the ability to clearly state your opinion in English was a vital component. English is not my specialty but I knew that speaking as much as possible would link to my development and so I tried my best to find opportunities where I could state my opinions. On the other hand, the specialist knowledge that I studied beforehand did not really come in use. This was due to the fact that the topics that were dealt with at the committee were abstract with very few references to specific examples. In fact I felt almost like that our thinking power regarding abstract topics and our approach and ability to derive a solution was being tested.
After applying through the school, I needed to write a CV, motivational letter and also receive a letter of recommendation. After receiving the university`s recommendation, all contact was done directly with the G200 executive office where the committee to which I would belong and attendance of the workshop were determined.