This year, JpGU-AGU (Japan Geoscience Union – American Geophysical Union) Joint Meeting was held again at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture from May 20th to 25th, in which Christoph Rupprecht and Kazuhiko Ota from FEAST HQ participated. The members of JpGU mainly come from the field of geoscience including astronomy, geology, climate change study as such, but JpGU also provides a platform for dialogue, information dissemination, review and input on a variety of social challenges related to the environment.
On 22nd, Kazuhiko gave a presentation titled “Integrating a participatory back-casting methodology into research on sustainable social transition: Case study from the workshops on the ideal future of food” at the transdisciplinary session co-organized by Prof. Yasuhisa Kondo at RIHN. In his talk, Kazuhiko emphasized that it was important to disseminate not only what the problem was, but also what the situation should look like after working out a solution to the problem, and that a participatory back-casting methodology had been demonstrated effective. In this methodology, the first step is to envision the desirable future, then work backward to the present, proposing step-by-step activities. A series of workshops on the ideal future of food for Noshiro, Akita Prefecture in 30 years, which had been organized by FEAST in October and November, 2016, were presented as a case study.
Among various challenges discussed at the session, the most striking was how we should scale the outcome of transdisciplinary research. The preceding works by Prof. Roland W. Scholz at ETH Zurich such as “The real type and ideal type of transdisciplinary processes” (Part I, Part II) might provide thought-provoking ideas. Thank you, Prof. Kondo, for this opportunity for a very productive discussion!
Another session FEAST was involved in focused on ‘International comparison of landscape appreciation’. Since 2012, the session has brought together a diverse and exciting mix from researchers in Japan and abroad. This year we welcomed researchers from the UK, Russia, Turkey, Korea, Indonesia and China (you can find the program and attendees here: session 1, session 2, poster session). Christoph again helped to organize the session and served as a co-convener and session chair for the oral presentations. In the evening, he then presented a poster on the foodscape & foodshed mapping workshop that took place in Chiang Mai (Thailand) in February 2017. The fact that tourists turned out to eat more locally than the locals led to some lively debate. Many were also interested in participant observation, and not just because in food research this means you get to enjoy something delicious while working hard!
What would a visit to the JpGU be without saying hello to friends and colleagues at the RIHN booth? As a young research institute, we need to make sure people know about all of the exciting work going on at RIHN, so Kazuhiko and Christoph spent some time spreading the word (when we weren’t busy hearing about the oceans of Titan or exploring the geological cookies on offer!). Christoph even got a chance to introduce FEAST in a short interview with RIHN professors Reiichiro Ishii and Mari Toyama at the small stage in the exhibition hall.
See you again at the JpGU 2018!
(The original post written partially in Japanese and English. Translated by Yuko K.)