On February 11 2019, the WHO Kobe Centre, along with the Hyogo Prefectural Board of Education and Osaka University, organized the WKC forum “Think Global Agenda with High School Students” at the Kobe Fashion Mart Hall. About 500 students and teachers participated, mainly from high schools in Hyogo prefecture, and shared their views of how we can contribute to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
In the keynote speech entitled, “No one left behind, from MDGs to SDGs ”, Prof Eisei Kurimoto, Vice President of Osaka University explained the world trends changed in the duration of MDGs and future challenges in the duration of SDGs. He said, ” Is the concept of being left behind really correct? Sometimes it becomes a line of sight from the top. I have seen plenty of problems in Africa that arise between development and keeping of old-fashioned living. It is true that the United Nations is the main key player for the achievement of SDGs, but the UN is sometimes ineffective. It is important that all stakeholders move forward one by one in complex values and problems.”
In the following panel discussion, four high school students took the podium. First, Mr. So Fujiwara, a third-year student at Ono High School said, "I think to introduce PC based self-learning tools is one of the solution for the education in rural area in low income countries”. Mr Yuzuki Kume, a second-year student at Kawanishi Midoridai High School said, "To stop global warming, we need to consider how to reduce current existing CO2, for example, by using technology of artificial photosynthesis, in addition to consider how to prevent to produce more CO2.” Next, Mr Tatsuya Shimoyama, a second-year student at Takarazuka Kita High School year said, "We need to consider more on waste management system to shift from incineration to recycle. We can learn from good models in Sweden.”
Finally, Mr Yuya Murao, a second-year student at Toyooka High School, said, " As a one of the measure to revitalize the local economy, I propose to introduce a banknote that is decreasing in value, issued in the region, to improve the motivation of people who buy local products.”
In the following Q&A session, opinions and questions on the ideas of the panelists were raised, and active discussions were developed.
In the afternoon, 100 oral and poster sessions by the students from Hyogo, Osaka, Wakayama, Tokushima and Kochi prefecture were given.
At the closing, Dr Sarah Louise Barber, Director of WHO Centre for Health Development (WHO Kobe Centre) congratulated successful completion of WKC Forum and encouraged the students to be responsible for the next generation and to keep contribute to achieve SDGs.