Transdisciplinary Symposium on Advanced Future Studies

  • Date & location:
    Wednesday, February 8, 2017
      Panasonic Hall, Yukawa Memorial Building, Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University
    Thursday, February 9, 2017  
      Panasonic Hall, Yukawa Memorial Building, Yukawa Institute for Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University
    Friday, February 10, 2017   
      Clock Tower, Kyoto University
  • Reception:
    6:30 p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2017
      Food Café “Sako Boon” (Map)


We are living in the face of dramatically changing circumstances through the complex interactions between humans, organizations, societies, and so on. Our world is more global than ever; and thus it looks like a huge system involving systems nested within systems. By focusing on “external” agents, we have tried to solve serious problems, although, such intensive efforts have not succeeded very well. The reason for this is that some of our solutions have seemed to solve the existing problems at first, but eventually created further problems due to the chain of hidden causation. Even with a better understanding of the individual systems involved, we have hardly controlled the systems at all. Because of such self-nested structures, these systems often exhibit abrupt disruptions just like global financial crises and unexpected consequences even without natural disasters or human errors.

Certain features of these disruptions seem to be surprisingly consistent, despite the diversity of their details. It is now time to attack the unsolved problems on the basis of “transdisciplinary” discussions among different disciplines such as ecology, economics, cognitive science, and so on. In solving serious problems, we need radical new approaches instead of our habitual way of thinking. Two different kinds of approaches have been studied in different fields. One is based on a system-design perspective: we should not intend to control systems for avoiding errors, but to design systems ready for failures. This is relating to an emerging field of “Resilience” (Zolli, 2012). Presumably, we will learn about dynamical features typical of resilient systems by studying living systems. Another is more or less a human-oriented approach, as we human beings are considered as parts of systems. It was pointed out that the central issue of our time across all system levels emerges from our “internal” condition (Scharmer, 2009). Without changing our thinking ways relating to our internal condition, we will not be able to solve serious problems.

The present “Transdisciplinary Symposium” will invite both approaches, as they are closely related to each other. It is our hope to develop new perspectives and new actions toward our future through stimulating discussions beyond different disciplines.

Program & Maps