This year’s INU Student Seminar and Master’s Summer School for Global Citizenship and Peace examined democracy and its health in the globalised world. The program saw student and staff from INU member universities attend. 68 students joined the student seminar, with student allocated to 10 country group).

The 9 day program was held for highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students from INU member institutions who are interested in learning about global citizenship and peace. Each year an innovative topic is selected that is focused on the global issues that have impact locally. This year the theme was ‘The Health of Democracy’ and focused on the increasing disillusionment with politics and political parties. The seminar put the spotlight on the growth of illiberal politics and the radical right.  Alterative views were discussed by looking at other forms of participation in political processes such as social movements, grass root organisations, and role of social media.

The program also explored critically different types of actions pursued by the UN and by other international organisation for the promotion and consolidation of democracy around the world. The activities culminate in a United Nations (UN) General Assembly role-play.

For the first time the 2019 program also welcomed a new event to the program, the Global Citizenship Symposium, which included discussion and Q&A from Panelists Keiko Ogura, Dr. Kenneth Rutherford (co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize), Steven Lloyd Leeper (Executive director of Peace Culture Village & Former Director of Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation), Arthur Binard (Poet specialising in Japanese poetry) and was facilitated by Dr. Fuyuko Takita.

Photo from the Global Citizenship Symposium.

When asked about Prof. Kenneth Rutherford’s Keynote Lecture students responded saying it was “Brilliant!!! “Inspiring!” and  “A great motivation”. Following the success of this year’s program the following two themes were agreed: 2020 – Nuclear proliferation & 2021 – Digital futures.