Message from the Director

Noboru Sekino, Director of the Division of Regional Innovation and Management

Connect and Unite

In academic year 2017, Iwate University started its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences as a new master's program. This graduate school is characterized by its cultivation of open-minded human resources that transcend the border between humanities and sciences, in addition to traditional deepening of specialized knowledge. Of the four divisions that comprise the graduate school, the Division of Regional Innovation and Management covers a wide range of fields in humanities and sciences. It is ideal for cultivating open-minded human resources that transcend the border between humanities and sciences. Although the language used may be a little stiff, I would like to quote the purpose of establishing this division, as defined in Clause 2 of the Division of Regional Innovation and Management Regulations.

"The Division of Regional Innovation and Management aims to cultivate advanced professionals and researchers who can develop the achievements of reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake, contribute to the creation of a sustainable local community and transmit those results to the world, and who have the advanced specialized knowledge/skills and comprehensive perspective required to promote locally-based industry, achieve a safe and secure society, and ensure the physical and mental health of local residents."

Students that enter this division will take a program that matches their specialty, with either a Graduate Course in Regional Industry, Graduate Course in Regional and Community Design, or Graduate Course in Human Health Sciences. The program will enable those students to deepen their existing specialized knowledge. Students will also learn peripheral knowledge and ways of thinking that enable them to utilize their specialized knowledge via common course subjects and common graduate school subjects, while also cultivating a wide perspective and the ability to look at the big picture. On the other hand, the policies, technologies, and processes for overcoming regional challenges have things in common with places all over the world, while also having unique properties. The time has come to promote international exchange that adopts successful examples from overseas in Japan and transmits successful examples in Japan to the world, rather than simply adopting countermeasures for regional challenges in local areas only. The concept of "Think globally, act locally" will begin in earnest. This division requires all students to learn about global communication in order to contribute to this concept.

In conclusion, I have a request for all students. If you enter this division, please continue to think about what is required for regional innovation. Also think about what you can do to build a sustainable local community. With the widening gap between urban and rural areas, we need to create fulfilling rural lifestyles. Rural areas have a rich natural environment, traditional culture, craftsmanship techniques, and agriculture, forest, and fishery resources. We need to think about how we can utilize these material or immaterial resources. In contemporary society, various fields are interconnected in a complex manner, and unilateral techniques and ways of thinking are not enough to succeed. Although the rapid development of SNSs has led to a society where it is easy to connect with each other, regional innovation requires us to understand and share a variety of values and ways of thinking, so that we can unite different fields. If you join this division, please deepen your specialized knowledge while also cultivating a comprehensive perspective that enables you to move one step ahead to unite with people rather than simply connecting with them. I have high hopes that you will be able to utilize your knowledge when you graduate in your local community and both inside and outside Japan.