In the summer of 2018 the Ritsumeikan Academy announced its vision for 2030 with the slogan, “Challenge Your Mind, Change Our Future.” The vision publicly declared our determination that everybody involved with the Ritsumeikan Academy, from university students and school pupils to faculty, staff, and alumni, should think about the nature of society from their different perspectives and take on challenges boldly and freely with the aim of bringing peace to societies worldwide, precisely because we are living in an age when the future is difficult to forecast. Guided by this new vision, we will pursue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a means of working toward solving worldwide problems.
The SDGs set out issues we need to tackle to make our societies sustainable, including issues related to the environment, poverty, conflict, education, and food. As the international community strives to create a sustainable future, it looks to institutes of education and research such as Ritsumeikan to take on the challenge of addressing these myriad issues. It is notable that the SDG ideals perfectly embody the ideal expressed in the Ritsumeikan Charter: Ritsumeikan, as an institute of education and research, pledges to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development in Japan and throughout the world.
Ritsumeikan has long been proactive in tackling the diverse issues affecting human societies. Ritsumeikan now reframes these past initiatives in terms of the SDGs—which are regarded as worldwide problems—and supports previously disparate efforts systematically as an institution. The approach is, arguably, unique to Ritsumeikan: university students, school pupils, faculty, and staff take on challenges voluntarily and proactively, and we as an educational institution support their efforts, regarding such efforts as contributions to achieving the SDGs.
In addition to working toward the SDGs, Ritsumeikan will also forge links with local communities in Japan, and with other countries, to make a positive contribution to solving the social issues facing Japan as a leading industrialized nation. As society changes, I want us to constantly interrogate what Ritsumeikan’s role is and what contribution we can make, and do all in our power to become a globally recognized educational institution.
The Ritsumeikan Trust