The theme of this year’s Forum is Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures and the line-up for the four-day event brings together scientists and other experts and stakeholders to discuss what’s at stake and where we are headed on these critical issues.
The opening plenary, on 25 September, will feature Craig Calhoun, Arizona State University, moderating a forward-looking discussion of existential risks. The panel includes the ‘renegade economist’ Kate Raworth, author of the best-selling book Doughnut Economics – Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist; Ursula Oswald Spring, the peace and conflict resolution expert and former Minister of Environmental Development (Morelos, Mexico) and Emiko Okuyama who, as Mayor of Sendai, played a critical role in the reconstruction of the city after the 2011 tsunami. The opening plenary will be livestreamed. Follow https://youtu.be/sqgynQRu3CA from 12.30 JST (UTC+9) and join the discussion on Twitter with #WSSF2018.
On 26 September, the plenary session will tackle one of the most debated security issues of our times: the co-evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and human intelligence, exploring the role for the humanities and social sciences in AI development. Speakers will include world experts such as Jiro Kokuryo, Vice-President of Keio University; Urs Gasser, who heads the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and Katsumi Emura, who, as Vice-President and Chief Technology Officer of NEC, will approach the issue from the perspective of a world-leading corporation in financial services. The discussion will also consider the risks of AI, including the implications of inequalities in access to new AI technologies, as well as ‘unknown unknowns’, such as the possibility that AI could eventually evade human control.
The 2018 Inclusive Wealth Report (IWR), Measuring Progress Towards Sustainability, will be launched during a special evening event on 26 September. The forthcoming Report includes a wider range of data than previous editions, and highlights the linkages between scientific data and policies to consider policy implications at local, national and regional levels. Chaired by the 2018 IWR editor, Shunsuke Managi, the discussion will introduce the main conclusions of the global report, while highlighting some of its implications for human security. The event will include leading speakers such as the economist and architect of the Inclusive Wealth measure, Partha Dasgupta; the world expert on growth and former Chief Economist at the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, Barbara Fraumeni, and Pushpam Kumar, Senior Economic Advisor at UN Environment (UNEP).
An increase in regional tension across Southeast Asia, and the role of ASEAN, will be in the spotlight during the 27 September plenary. Moderated by Professor Nabuhiro Aizawa, the session includes important policy actors and experts, such as the former Foreign Minister of Thailand, Kasit Piromya; the former Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Hassan Wirajuda; and the Chancellor of the Prefectural University of Kumamoto and leading international relations expert Takashi Shiraishi.
New forms of conflict in a global age will be the subject of the livestreamed closing plenary on 28 September. Hoda Abdel-Hamid, Al Jazeera war correspondent, will moderate a discussion among Mohamed Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou, expert on transnational terrorism and Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; Andrew Feinstein, expert on the global arms trade and corruption; and Jo Husbands, a specialist on bio-weapons and misuse of scientific research. The session will explore war in the modern world, including discussions on new types of conflicts, hybrid warfare, new weapons and the arms trade. The closing plenary will be livestreamed at https://youtu.be/Ve8gNm0Hevg, and you can pose questions to the panel via twitter using #WSSF2018.