ISHES Newsletter

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[ISHES Newsletter #1]

2018/08/23 15:05:11
ISHES Newsletter #1
August 23, 2018
Copyright (c) 2018,
Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society
See what's new on our web site:

Hello! I am Junko Edahiro, founder and president of the Institute for
Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society (ISHES). This is the first
issue of our English newsletter, so please allow me to introduce the
Institute. Here is our English website.

The Issues

We live in human societies that extract resources and energy from the
Earth and engage in economic activities. But for what purpose? What are
we seeking? The ultimate aim is probably "happiness."

In the pursuit of happiness, people work and companies expand their
economic activities, but today's economies and ways of working may not
be leading us to happiness, and in fact, in some ways we are reducing
the happiness of present and future generations.

What kinds of economies and societies do we need to have in order to
build a happy and sustainable society for present and future generations?
What is the best way to account for the finiteness of the Earth, which
we may have been able to ignore until now? How should we measure things
like true progress and happiness?

Happiness. Economy. Society. They are all interconnected and intertwined
in complex ways, and we need to think about them together. It is
inconceivable to sustain a situation in which the economy is good but
people are becoming unhappy and society is falling apart. The impacts of
the global economy are growing so much that we now live in an era in
which it has become more urgent to think about what kind of economy and
society can support people's happiness, including future generations. We
need to go forward and create initiatives that move us in the right
That is how we at ISHES see the challenges. We will learn from, analyze,
and think about theory and cases in Japan and around the world regarding
"what is happiness" and "what kind of economy and society will create
and support happiness." And we will provide a forum and assistance to
turn ideas into practices.

In terms of concrete activities, besides organizing seminars and book
discussion groups, we publish books and articles, conduct research, and
speak at academic meetings and symposiums in Japan and overseas. We
study public opinion on important themes and based on what we learn we
also provide feedback as input into public opinion as well as
governmental policy making. And with this launch of our English
newsletter, we are putting a new effort into sharing information with
the world.

Sixteen years ago, in 2002, I wanted to do something about the
increasingly serious global environmental issues and wanted to be of
service by letting the world know about Japanese initiatives, thinking
and technologies. So with the big aspiration giving Japanese initiatives
an additional push, I worked with colleagues to create an NGO named
Japan for Sustainability. Thanks to kind cooperation from many people,
over the years we produced 5,054 articles (including 560 newsletter
articles) for our more than 11,000 readers in 191 countries.

I still believe that Japan can and should have a role as one of the
world's first countries to face many critical issues, and as a country
that in many ways is positioned between the East and the West. Facing a
rapidly declining and aging population, how can we create a sustainable
and happy society? How should we think about and address the currently
imbalanced status of, and roles and collaboration among, urban and rural
areas? What should we think about the state of the economy which people
still expect to grow even though humanity is already significantly
exceeding the Earth's capacity? What is true happiness and what do we
really need to be happy?

Many people point out the current gridlock in modern Western
civilization, but how can we communicate about Eastern wisdom with the
rest of the world and create a new sense of values and a new paradigm

ISHES will pick up the baton from JFS to share information with the
world about initiatives in Japan and will help propagate the wisdom of
Eastern thought. We hope you will join us on this journey. We would
appreciate your assistance by forwarding our information to people you
know and letting them know what we are doing. Here is the link to
subscribe to our newsletter.

In this, our first issue of the ISHES Newsletter, we introduce two areas
where we will be particularly focusing our thoughts and energy to help
create new order by sharing Eastern wisdom with the world.

The first is the "Shizenkan University" Graduate School of Leadership
and Innovation, which opened this month in Tokyo. Here is an
introduction from its own website.
Revolutionary New Business School Opens in Tokyo

Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation (henceforth
Shizenkan) will open in Tokyo in August 2018. The school's mission is
bold and ambitious. It aims to present a new "whole-person" leadership
approach and is committed to developing authentic risk-taking,
innovative leaders with high aspirations, creativity and strength of

By integrating Western rationalism with Asian spiritual traditions, and
leveraging innovation in science and technology for the betterment of
humanity, it strives for a paradigm shift in leadership and management
education, and aspires to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive

Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation builds on the
legacy of the Tokyo-based Institute for Strategic Leadership
(hereinafter ISL), which has educated more than 1,300 top business and
social leaders since 2001. In partnering with like-minded institutions
in Asia, Europe and the rest of the world, we want to help transform the
prevailing global standard of management and leadership education that
was developed in the U.S. over the course of 20th century, to help
businesses and society confront the challenges in this century and the
next millennium.

Shizenkan combines the US business school model, which excels at
quantitative, logical and strategic analyses, with the design school
approach that harnesses creativity and emerging ideas to empower people
to sketch out a better world. We incorporate liberal arts education in
an attempt to give students deeper insights into humanity and history in
order to drive transformational initiatives. At Shizenkan,
self-reflection and deep-seated Asian philosophies will help students to
discover their inner voices, develop sensitivities to people and society,
and instill a pride and passion that will encourage them to seek
challenges for a better future.

Shizenkan will open to its first class of graduate students on August
20th 2018 and offer a master's degree. The part-time, 22-month program
is designed for professionals in their mid-20s to late-30s. Classes take
place basically twice a week, in the evenings and weekends. The first
intake will be 80 students. Half the students will complete the program
exclusively in English, and the other half basically in Japanese. Most
courses will be offered in both languages, which makes Shizenkan a truly
bilingual school.

The diversity of the students, who come from the business, civic and
government sectors, will help create an atmosphere where they can
inspire and collaborate with each other across the boundaries of all
three. Shizenkan has 44 faculty members from equally diverse backgrounds,
including business and design schools, the liberal arts, psychology and
coaching. The faculty consists of 15 fulltime and 29 visiting professors.
The master's degree, officially titled "MBA in Design and Leadership for
Societal Innovation," is accredited by the Ministry of Education,
Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, and symbolizes
our aspiration to inherit the strengths of traditional MBA management
education and at the same time go beyond that to prepare for the future.
I am serving as a professor in this new graduate school for
professionals, teaching "systems thinking for sustainability" and
assisting classes in Eastern thought. This first year, we will have 84
students for the first term, including 52 Japanese and 32 foreign
nationals. I am happy that we are starting with such a rich diversity of
students, with more than twenty foreign nationalities, about 20% from
the non-business sector, and about 30% being female.

Please visit this website for details if you are interested in the
integration of Western and Eastern wisdom instead of the conventional
short-term maximization for economic efficiency and profit, and are
interested in leadership education to earn an MBA that values
sustainability, human qualities, and social contributions in the truest

A second area of attention at ISHES is the "Research Institute for
Creating New Paradigms based on Eastern and Western Wisdom," where Prof.
Yoshifumi Taguchi plays a leading role in activities. (He also happens
to be a lead person on Eastern thought at Shizenkan as visiting faculty.)
Its mission is as follows:
To explore order creation, enduring peace, prosperity based on human
nature, and the creation and maintenance of a good relationship of the
environment, all things, and humanity--through a sincere and
unpretentious attitude and the sharing of Eastern and Western wisdom,
while recognizing the realities of human history. With the following
objectives, four principal researchers including myself are promoting
activities under Prof. Taguchi, who serves as President of the Institute.

- To create new paradigms based on Eastern and Western wisdom as a new
compass for humanity--in order to clear up the current gridlock in
contemporary Western thought.

- To offer Eastern thought and wisdom to the West and elicit Western
thought and wisdom; to debate, elevate and deepen both forms of thought;
and to propose guidelines--in order to explore the ideal "way of being"
of state, society and humanity, with a global perspective.

- To articulate and propose the essential character of and a vision for
society--in order to ensure that the fourth industrial revolution
(mainly a technology-driven transformation) brings something better for
A new website will also be launched in English for the Research
Institute for Creating New Paradigms based on Eastern and Western Wisdom.
The URL will be announced in the next issue of ISHES newsletter.

Ahead of many other countries of the world, Japan as a country is facing
issues such as rapid population decline and aging, regional decline and
depopulation, the need to boost resilience to increasingly abnormal
weather and disasters, a major transition in energy systems, the shift
to a sustainable economy, and reconstructing society for everyone to
live securely. Japan is taking on various initiatives and challenges in
new ways, and ISHES is actively involved in many of them.

In future ISHES newsletters, we will join with readers in the search for
what needs to be done to create a truly sustainable and happy society,
and for that we would like to share wisdom, thought, and initiatives
from Japan and the East for the benefit of the world. We welcome your
feedback and comments at any time.

We invite you to forward and share the content of this newsletter far
and wide, with credit to ISHES. Also, anyone can subscribe here.

Junko Edahiro
President of the Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society

The Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and Society newsletter
is a free monthly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the latest
information. ISHES bears no liability for the newsletter's contents or
use of the information provided.

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Copyright (c) 2018, Institute for Studies in Happiness, Economy and
Society. All Rights Reserved.

We invite you to forward this ISHES newsletter and/or use its contents
in your own publications, with credit to the "Institute for Studies in
Happiness, Economy and Society,"

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