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Invitation to Prospective Students

Sustainability is an indispensable keyword for the future of humankind. No matter who you are, where you live, and what you do, you must always keep "sustainability" in the forefront of your mind if you truly want to make a positive contribution to our common future. Fortunately, to meet such a concern, a number of academic programs named after "sustainability" have been established in various universities around the world.

The Graduate Program in Sustainability Science Global Leadership Initiative (GPSS-GLI) is proud to be one of the leading, pioneer programs in sustainability science in the world today. However, you may ask yourself: why study sustainability in Japan? What is the uniqueness of the program?

Japan has been accommodating about 120 million people on a very limited habitable land area with virtually no natural resources, yet with frequent natural disasters caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, and typhoons. We Japanese, therefore, have had to carefully examine not only the property and designs of our society, but our ethics, lifestyle, and behavior within the parameters of our limited resources and the frequency of natural disasters. "Mottainai", a Japanese expression meaning to minimize wasteful habits, clearly represents such culture that the Japanese have developed. Although Japanese society seems to have regretfully forgotten such a common attribute of our society and have lightheartedly enjoyed consuming energy and materials during the post war era, the contemporary concern for sustainability has rung the bell to revive the underlying virtues of the Japanese people. Studying sustainability in Japan includes not only attending classes and seminars on campus, but experiencing such a society based on the idea of "mottainai", a model that the world should consider as one of the models for our common sustainable future.

We hope to have students who respect this concept, and thus wish to learn such common culture that the Japanese have been nurturing for so many years.

Although "sustainability" has come to be a keyword for the world's future, no clear definition of the term has ever been achieved. GPSS-GLI too has been established without such a definition; and moreover, our sustainability program has no specific textbook even after having been established more than seven years ago. Why? Because we want our students to contribute to the development of this new scientific discipline called "sustainability science". We neither intend to provide an established framework, technologies, nor tools for sustainability. GPSS-GLI is the place for those who want to discover and develop sustainability science. What we expect of our students, and those who will be our students, is to become one of the frontrunners in fostering sustainability science, and to become those who develop their own framework and definition of sustainability. If you are looking for individual technologies/tools to achieve sustainability under a well-established framework, then GPSS-GLI is not the place for you. We do not expect our students to be followers. We expect students to collaborate with us in our efforts, and to become the leaders of the sustainability movement that our world needs.

Sustainability science is yours to develop.

 
 

Takashi MINO,
Doctor of Engineering
Coordinator of GPSS-GLI
Dean, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences
The University of Tokyo