Science, Technology & Arts in Global Leadership: Keio-UCSB Exchange Program

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Ten undergraduate students (ranging from 1st year to 4th year) and three faculty members of the Faculty of Science and Technology visited the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) from Sept 25th to 29th, 2023. They participated in an exchange program with nine students (including both undergraduate and graduate students) and five faculty members of UCSB on the theme of “Science, Technology & Arts in Global Leadership.”

The purpose of the exchange program was to discuss two related questions through group work. The first question was, what does global leadership mean in today’s global world in which technology is intricately intertwined with the economy and politics of various regions? The second question was, what role do science, technology, and art play in solving various global issues? The program also provided the Keio students and faculty members with opportunity to experience DE&I efforts abroad.

The program was initially planned by two faculty members from the Faculty of Science and Technology and UCSB, who became partners in the 2022-2023 Pacific Rim University Association Women in Leadership (APWiL) mentoring program. They wanted to create an opportunity for students and faculty of both universities to jointly discuss the relationship between global leadership, DEI, and STEAM (science, technology, arts, and math).

The exchange program was preceded by an online ice-breaking session on Zoom a month earlier. Thus, at the welcome dinner held outdoors on campus on the first evening, everyone was already well-acquainted.

In the group project, participants were divided into five groups (each consisting of two UCSB students and two Keio students). They selected one global or social issue relevant to their generation and discussed how global leadership, as well as science, technology, and art, are involved in solving these issues. The results were presented in group presentations on the final afternoon.

Additionally, there were special lectures by two UCSB faculty members on gerontology and the relationship between music and mathematics, science, and technology, a tour of the interactive research facility Allosphere on campus, and evening social activities for students. Moreover, the Keio students voluntarily gave a group presentation about campus life at Keio University, which was well-received by the UCSB participants.

Participants commented that the program felt very fulfilling even though it was only for three days. The Keio students shared impressions such as “I was moved by the passion, high motivation, and kindness of UCSB students”; and “I was able to find like-minded friends overseas”. Regarding DE&I, they appreciated the exposure to diverse values and viewpoints from international students and students of various nationalities at UCSB and commented that they were able to gain perspectives from different cultures on issues like aging population in Japan. Regarding global leadership, they commented that they realized that listening to others’ opinions and sharing how they felt about the opinions is the first step in global communication.

Plans are underway to hold the program again in the 2024 academic year.

Contact regarding to this article

Kyoko Ohara, Department of Foreign Languages and Liberal Arts, Faculty of Science and Technology, Keio University