Message from the Dean
“If an egg is broken by outside force, life ends. If broken by inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from inside.”
Are you all familiar with this saying?
The external environment surrounding our society is undergoing change. Waves of informatization and globalization are washing over Japan. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, with its AI, blockchains, nanotechnology, IoT, automatic driving technology, and so on, is characterized by technological integration and innovation spanning a diverse range of fields. Unprecedented transformations are being brought about in our society, our industries, our lives, our culture.
If we turn our attention to regions experiencing declining birthrates and aging populations, we can see that regional communities are being confronted with a complex and diverse range of issues: a paucity of industry promotion and business creation, stagnant industrial technology innovation, environmental issues, periodic natural disasters, shrinking populations in agricultural, mountain, and fishing villages, the decline of regional communities and cultures, and so on.
As these regional issues grow increasingly complex qualitatively as well as quantitatively, reliance on conventional forms of knowledge and experience alone will not be sufficient in formulating adequate solutions.
Outmoded experiences of success can, depending on the circumstances, in fact hinder social innovation. Skillful response to external changes occurring in the social environment requires internal change on all fronts: societal, industrial, cultural, educational. What regional communities are in need of are human resources capable of proactively tackling issues facing regions, finding ways to optimize the use of their resources, and working hand in hand with local residents to lead their communities toward sustainability—human resources with the capacity, that is to say, to bring about internal change themselves.
The Ehime University Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation is steadily progressing with the development of education and research focused on the needs of regional communities. The Faculty’s curriculum and educational results have received high appraisals from society for the way they have deepened students’ expertise and enhanced their issue resolution skills by integrating a broad range of specialized fields from the humanities and sciences and striking a good balance between theory and practice.
In March 2020, graduates from the inaugural class made their way out into society, bringing with them all they had learned here at the university. I have no doubt that they will go on to take leadership roles of active engagement in regional communities, work to resolve their issues from inside, and effect new value creation there. Calling all high school students: won’t you consider joining us here at the Ehime University Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation and breaking personal and societal “shells” together with your classmates to take on the challenge of new community development together with us?
Dean of Facuty of Collaborative Regional Innovation