APRU Chief Executive, Prof Thomas Schneider, spoke at The World BOSAI Forum 2023 / International Disaster and Risk Conference 2023, held between March 10 to 12 in Sendai, Japan. The global event served as a valuable opportunity for APRU to underscore its commitment to disaster resilience and represent APRU and its constituents of 60 universities through dialogue among industry, government, and academia.
On the heels of the Bosai Forum, the APRU leadership team was also focused on visiting the six APRU member universities of Japan.
Visiting the senior leadership of Keio University, Waseda University, Nagoya University, Osaka University, Kyushu University, and Tohoku University, APRU leaders (APRU Chief Executive Thomas Schneider; APRU’s Chief Strategy Officer, Christina Schönleber; and APRU Senior Director Student & Network Programs, Adriana Rojas) discussed the wide range of innovative projects that influence globalization and the future cooperation within the APRU network. Universities’ recommendations included developing frameworks for sustainably bringing geographically diverse members together as a cornerstone of APRU’s network. Universities cited existing and successful APRU programs, such as Asia-Pacific Women in Leadership (APWiL), Multi-hazards, Global Health and University Museums, for being appropriate precursors for the new framework.
“We are extremely grateful to return to Hong Kong with this wealth of solid input and will use it as a basis for informing our strategic focus,” APRU Chief Executive Schneider said.
“APRU will continue to serve, more indispensably than ever before, as a platform of dialogue and a power of change across the Pacific. It is more than a super-connector – it is a super-translator, translating between different cultures and mentalities, and translating ideas into action,” he added. The World BOSAI Forum is the outcome of an agreement by the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) as part of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, which came against the backdrop of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. The Sendai Framework incorporates many disaster risk reduction (DRR) concepts promoted in Japan, such as the importance of investment in disaster reduction and the need to “Build Back Better” after a disaster event.
One of APRU’s key collaborative initiatives in the realm of DRR is the Multi-Hazards program, which Tohoku University hosts. In Sendai, APRU Chief Executive Schneider gave a panel lecture outlining the history of collaboration between Tohoku University’s International Research Institute of Disaster Science (IRIDeS) and APRU. The timing could not have been better, given that 2023 marks the Multi- Hazards Program’s 10th anniversary.
“The Association of Pacific Rim Universities is committed to addressing the new disaster risk-scape with its increasingly complex, overlapping, and cascading hazards, and data kindly provided by Elsevier indicate that 12% of global scholarship in disaster sciences is produced in APRU member universities,” Schneider said.
“With Tohoku University as its hub for the Multi-Hazards program, APRU has established a trans- Pacific network of experts, practitioners, and partner organizations that together will build a more resilient future for the Asia-Pacific,” he added.
Keio University (R to L) Vice President Akiyo Okuda, Vice President Motohiro Tsuchiya, President Kohei Itoh, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director)
Waseda University (L to R) Vice President Masahiko Gemma, Dean Kate Elwood, President Aiji Tanaka, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer)
Nagoya University (L to R) Prof Jiro Takai, Vice Presidential Advisor Hideji Kasuya (Vice Dean of Medical School), Chancellor’s Advisor and VP Norimi Mizutani, President Naoshi Sugiyama, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director)
Oasaka University (R to L) Dr Ariunaa Enkhtur ,(Specially Appointed Ass. Prof. Center for Global Engagement), Exec Director Mayumi Ishikawa, Prof Beverly A Yamamoto (Osaka University UNESCO Chair in Global Health and Education), Executive Vice President Genta Kawahara, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director)
Kyushu University (R to L) Exec. Director Satoshi Tsuzuki (International Affairs Office), Vice President Natalie Konomi, Exec Vice President Kenji Iwata, President Tatsuro Ishibashi, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer)
Tohoku University (L to R) Prof. Takako Izumi, Prof Fumihiko Imamura, Executive Vice President Toshiya Ueki, President Hideo Ohno, Dr. Thomas Schneider (APRU Chief Exec.), Ms Christina Schönleber (APRU Chief Strategy Officer), Ms Adriana Rojas (APRU Senior Director).
Find out a news article here published by Tohoku University.