APRU Carbon Neutral Society- Action Month

A carbon neutral society to fight climate change? Yes, definitely! And how?



The “Carbon Neutral Society – Action Month” webinar series will highlight a range of research initiatives undertaken by APRU Universities with the common goal of preserving the global environment and achieving a sustainable society. It will focus on the “realization of a decarbonized society” as a means of combating climate change and establishing a sustainable society by bringing together a diverse group of experts and researchers from a variety of research fields to facilitate the exchange of ideas, discussion of potential cross-disciplinary approaches, and collaborative development of solutions.

About the Webinar Series
Climate change is a critical global issue that affects both societies and industries, as the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021 recently reaffirmed. It is crucial to take concrete steps toward a carbon-neutral society and to implement solutions that promote both sustainability and economic development. Increasing resource efficiency, reducing environmental impact, increasing disaster resilience, and decarbonizing society are just some of today’s challenges. To address these issues effectively and without jeopardizing people’s well-being, we need to draw on the expertise of researchers from a variety of disciplines in order to build an efficient and sustainable society.

Three primary objectives
  1. To bring together people from diverse fields who are committed to combating climate change and achieving a carbon neutral society.
  2. To highlight various approaches for achieving a carbon neutral society that stem from various Japanese and international initiatives.
  3. To continue building an international network with an emphasis on a carbon neutral society. In fact, this webinar series serves as a pilot for a longer-term program devoted to various aspects of global environmental preservation and the realization of a sustainable, decarbonized society. We are interested in learning how early career researchers and others with varying degrees of knowledge about environmental preservation (engineers and scientists, economics, social scientists, policymakers, community members, and educators, to name a few) can collaborate and share knowledge to help in the fight against climate change.


Kyushu University

Agenda & Topics

Five-Week Webinar Series from May 13 to June 10 at 10:00 am (Japan time)

Duration: 120 minutes

All APRU members and experts who are interested in participating in this dialogue are invited.

Join experts and researchers from various disciplines from across the Pacific Rim to exchange ideas, discuss potential cross-disciplinary approaches and develop solutions – together.

Download the program here.

Webinar Topics & Activities

The sessions will include an introductory lecture, a number of keynote lectures and Q&A sessions with renowned experts, panel discussions, and interactive online activities. Each panel will feature a moderated discussion among diverse experts with an opportunity for audience questions.

All sessions aim to provide potential cross-disciplinary approaches and develop solutions to realize a carbon neutral society and combat climate change.

Participants can generate new collaborative ideas for the next phase of their research collaborations through online activities such as moderated breakout room discussions, poster sessions, and networking via virtual meeting tools.

Special Activities for Early Career Researchers (ECRs)

<Week 1 & 4 – Online Networking>

  • Online networking sessions will take place via virtual meeting tools.

<Week 2 & 3 – Poster Sessions>

  • Poster sessions will take place on Week 2 and Week 3 using ZOOM breakout rooms.
  • All webinar attendees will be encouraged to examine the posters and talk with the presenters.
  • Topic: How can your research contribute to the realization of a Carbon Neutral Society? Presenters are encouraged to draw on their own expertise to develop a solution to the challenge.
  • View all the posters here.

<Week 5 – Wrap-up Discussion>

  • A Webinar Series Wrap-up Discussion will take place using Zoom breakout rooms.
  • We will summarize and reflect on the discussions and what we have learned and gained over the five weeks, as well as discuss the possibility of a long-term program for ECRs and other researchers that will continue to provide a platform for discussing potential cross-disciplinary approaches while expanding professional networks.
Prof. Toshiyuki Kono
Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice President of Kyushu University & Honorary President of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

Prof. KONO served as the 8th president of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an advisory body of UNESCO, between 2017 and 2020. He has been active in UNESCO and other international organizations as an independent expert as well, for instance, he was invited as the keynote speaker at the Conference to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen and Illegally Exported Cultural Objects on October 8th, 2020.


Prof. KONO holds Titular Membership of the International Academy of Comparative Law and served as the Chairman of the Committee for Intellectual Property and Private International Law at the International Law Association as well as the President of the International Academy of Commercial and Consumer Law. He is the editor of Perspectives in Law, Business and Innovation, book series indexed in SCOPUS and published by Springer. In 2019, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany awarded him, as one of the two scholars in the world, the Reimar Lüst Prize for International Scholarly and Cultural Exchanges.

Christina Schönleber
Senior Director, Policy and Research Programs

Christina Schönleber, Senior Director, Policy and Research Programs at the Association of Pacific Rim Universities has extensive expertise in translating research to impact. She holds responsibilities for developing and growing APRU’s strategic policy impact to address pressing regional challenges through the association’s key program areas working closely with leading scientists and policy makers in the Asia Pacific. Christina joined APRU from the innovation and enterprise leadership of the Royal College of Art and the University of Kent. As Head of Knowledge Exchange at the RCA in London, she set up and implementing the college’s strategic capabilities in applying latest knowledge and expertise to solve societal, environmental an economic issues. She led the development and submission of the RCA’s first major Innovate UK application gaining funding for multi stakeholder/ multi year collaboration on driverless vehicles and set up new strategic partnerships with major international corporations such as Huawei and Tata Consultancy Services. At the University of Kent, Christina led the university’s strategic enterprise development in key areas of science and social science. In this role, she set up the university’s first student start up and enterprise schemes, forged new cross disciplinary research collaborations with key partners in the security and information sectors and developed lasting strategic partnerships with government and industry. Following this she worked as a business development consultant in Hong Kong, developing Sino-German business links.

(Week 1) Shigeru Aoyagi
Director, UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok

After serving as Director of the Education Department at the Asia/Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO (ACCU), he joined UNESCO in 2002 as Chief of the Literacy and Non-formal Education Section in Paris. He led the Section to contribute to preparing and launching global literacy initiatives such as the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012) and UNESCO’s Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE).

In 2007, he was transferred to Afghanistan as a UNESCO representative. With the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, he established the foundation of literacy education for hundreds of thousands of people, mainly women, with the Ministry of Education of Afghanistan (“Enhancement of Literacy in Afghanistan: ELA”). This project was later described as the largest literacy education project in the history of UNESCO.

In 2012, he was posted as a representative to UNESCO New Delhi Office, where he contributed to promote SDGs especially in the SDG4 through such sub-regional cooperation as building consensus on the framework for the implementation of SDG 4 (Education Goal among the Sustainable Development Goals) at the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Ministerial Conference on Education.

He has been in his current position since May 2018 and working with 46 UNESCO Member States in Asia and the Pacific on education, science, culture, and information and communication programmes to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the regional and national levels.

(Week 1) Shunsuke Managi
Distinguished Professor, Urban Institute & Department of Civil Engineering, Kyushu University

Shunsuke Managi is the Distinguished Professor & Director of Urban Institute at the Kyushu University, Japan. He is a director for Inclusive Wealth Report (IWR), a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a coordinating lead author for the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a coordinating lead author UNESCO International Science and Evidence based Education Assessment, an editor of “Economics of Disasters and Climate Change”, “Environmental Economics and Policy Studies”, and is the author of “Technology, Natural Resources and Economic Growth: Improving the Environment for a Greener Future” and editor of “The Routledge Handbook of Environmental Economics in Asia”. He is the co-chair the Scientific Committee of the 2018 World Congress of Environmental and Resource Economists. He was the recipient of a JSPS Prize and council member of The Science Council of Japan.



(Week 2) Stephen Matthew Lyth
Associate Professor, International Research Center for Hydrogen Energy, Kyushu University

Stephen Matthew Lyth is an Associate Professor at Kyushu University in Japan, where he works on synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials for hydrogen related technologies. Originally from the UK, he studied Physics at Durham University and Electronic Engineering at the University of Surrey. In 2008 he moved to Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan, as a postdoc in a national NEDO hydrogen energy project, which is where he first began working on electrocatalysts for fuel cells. He transferred to Kyushu University as a faculty member in 2011, and currently has affiliations in the International Research Center for Hydrogen Energy; the Next-Generation Fuel Cell Research Center (NEXT-FC); the Department of Automotive Science; and the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research (I2CNER), as well as being a Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield in the UK. He recently received the prestigious NICE-STEP Researcher Award from MEXT, for “significant contribution to science and technology”.




(Week 2) Gregory Trencher
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

Gregory Trencher is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University. He obtained a PhD in Sustainability Science from the University of Tokyo and previously held posts at Clark University (USA) and Tohoku University (Japan). His research specializes in 1) policies and processes that drive or hamper the transition to sustainable energy and mobility systems as well as cities, 2) the phase-out of environmentally unsustainable substances, technologies and processes, 3) decarbonization strategies in fossil fuel-centric industries. He serves as an editor for the journal Energy Research & Social Science as well as Frontiers in Sustainable Cities. He has published more than 35 publications in leading journals like PLOS One, Energy Policy, Energy Research and Social Science, Global Environmental Change, and Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.



(Week 2) Muhammad Aziz
Associate Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

Dr. Muhammad Aziz is currently an Associate Professor at Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo, Japan. He worked previously as an associate professor (2015-2019) and assistant professor (2011-2015) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, researcher at Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo (2009-2011), and a mechanical designer at Seiko Epson Corp. (2008-2009).


He received B. Eng., M. Eng., and D. Eng. degrees from Kyushu University, Japan, in 2004, 2006 and 2008, respectively, in the field of mechanical engineering. His general research areas are advanced clean energy systems. His research interests include energy conversion, renewable energy utilization, energy modeling, advanced combustion, electric vehicle, battery, and hydrogen production, storage/transportation, and utilization.



(Week 3) Shigenori Fujikawa
Professor, International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research, Kyushu University

Dr. Shigenori Fujikawa is distinguished Professor of the International Institute for Carbon-Neutral Energy Research and Director of the Research Center for Negative Emissions Technologies at Kyushu University.


He received his Ph.D. degree from Kyushu University (1999). He did his postdoctoral research at Yale University as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow and RIKEN as a special postdoctoral researcher. He has led his independent research group at RIKEN from 2004 to 2012 before he joined the Kyushu University faculty in 2012. He was promoted to professor in 2021 and was immediately recognized as a Distinguished Professor. His current research interests include study of nanofabrication and development of nanomaterials for sustainability applications and he is currently focusing on CO2 capture by nanomembranes. Currently, he is a program manager of the Moonshot research and development program and is leading the research project of “Development of Global CO2 Recycling Technology towards ‘Beyond-Zero’ Emission”.


Fujikawa Laboratory: https://i2cner.kyushu-u.ac.jp/~fujikawa/en/
Research Center for Negative Emissions Technologies: https://k-nets.kyushu-u.ac.jp/en/
Moonshot Project: https://mozes.jp/en/

(Week 3) Brendan F.D. Barrett
Specially Appointed Professor, Center for Global Initiatives, Osaka University

Urban planner by training and fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), Brendan Barrett‘s core expertise covers ethical cities, urban sustainability and climate change. Born and educated in the United Kingdom, he has worked on the environmental assessment of major development projects most notably with Ove Arup & Partners, and as an international civil servant with the United Nations Environment Programme and United Nations University in Japan. Throughout his career he has occupied teaching/research roles at universities in the UK, Japan and Australia. He is lead educator of two FutureLearn Massive Open Online Courses on ethical cities produced in 2016 and 2021, and co-author of the 2020 book on the same topic calling for a new approach to urbanism that aligns three goals – good governance, poverty elimination and rapid decarbonization of the economy. Complementing his academic career, he has received numerous awards for his documentary filmmaking and for his work communicating complex scientific issues with the founding of the Our World online magazine.



(Week 3) Makena Coffman
Director for the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience and Professor of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii at Manoa 

Makena Coffman is the Director for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Institute for Sustainability and Resilience. She is a Professor of Urban and Regional Planning and teaches a graduate seminar in climate change across the Asia/Pacific Region. Her research interest is climate change policy, including greenhouse gas mitigation, alternative transportation strategies, and climate adaptation. She is a Research Fellow with the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, holds a B.A. in International Relations from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She currently serves on the City and County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission. 


(Week 4) Scott Valentine
Professor, Regenerative Planning and Circular Economy, Institute of Asian and Oceanian Studies, Kyushu University

Dr Scott Valentine is an internationally reputed author, Professor of Regenerative Planning and Circular Economy at Kyushu University in Japan and Senior Circular Economy Advisor at KPMG Australia. He represents Standards Australia on international development of an ISO standard for the Circular Economy and is the Chair of the Australian Circular Economy Hub’s advisory committee. With over 30 years of diverse international business experience, Prof. Valentine provides strategic project advice related to circular economy work within the firm and provides expert support for projects around the circular economy. He has led major research projects in Denmark and Holland around the circular economy with an emphasis on corporate strategy and public policy design and implementation. He is also an advisor to the Hume City Economic development team and has provided advice, training and guidance to government officials in over 20 nations around the world.

(Week 4) Usha Iyer-Raniga
Professor, Sustainable Built Environment, RMIT University

Usha is Professor, Sustainable Built Environment, RMIT University and Co-lead of the UN One Planet Network’s Sustainable Buildings and Construction Programme. She has ~30 years experience across academia and research, industry and government.


Usha has extensive experience in providing grounded solutions for sustainability using applied research as the means. Her current role with the UN One Planet Network is on delivering the UN 2030 agenda, arising from SDG 12. Her work focuses on accelerating sustainability in the built environment through networked policy and programmes.


Usha has been invited as key note speaker and invited speaker at national and international conferences, seminars and workshops. Her teaching portfolio extends to Asian countries. She has provided expertise to APEC at an international level and to Austrade nationally, as also state and local governments. She is reviewer and scientific committee member for national and international referred journals and refereed conferences.


She is on the editorial board for refereed journals and has worked on Special Issues. Usha has served and is currently serving on the Boards of various not for profit organisations and has also served as panel judge for a number of local and international awards such as the Premiers Sustainability Award in Victoria and the International Green Gown Awards.


Website: https://www.rmit.edu.au/staff/profile?id=usha.iyer-raniga
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/usha-iyer-raniga-1b817b16/

(Week 4) Masaru Yarime
Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Masaru YARIME is Associate Professor at the Division of Public Policy in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He also has appointments as Honorary Reader at the Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy (STEaPP) in University College London, Visiting Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public Policy (GraSPP) in the University of Tokyo, and Visiting Scholar at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute. He has been awarded Abe Fellowship 2014 by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) of the United States.


His research interests center around science, technology, and innovation policy for energy, environment, and sustainability. For the past years he has been engaged in research and educational activities from interdisciplinary perspectives, with an intention to understand the complex interface between engineering and social sciences and the dynamic interactions between technology and institutions in creating sustainability innovation. He is particularly interested in exploring the structure, functions, and evolution of innovation systems involving stakeholders in various sectors, with a focus on smart cities. He has many experiences of cooperation and collaboration with academia, industry, government, and civil society in Asia, Europe, and North America.


He has contributed to many international initiatives, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Finance Initiative on Environmental Risk Integration in Sovereign Credit Analysis, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Technical Working Group on GHG Risk Management, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Working Group III (Mitigation of Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report, and the Expert Group on Policy Support Tools and Methodologies of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Currently he is serving on the editorial board of international journals, including Sustainability Science, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, and Frontiers in Energy Research – Energy Systems and Policy.
He received B.Eng. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tokyo, M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and Ph.D. in Economics and Policy Studies of Innovation and Technological Change from Maastricht University in the Netherlands. His previous positions include Senior Research Fellow at the National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and Associate Professor at the School of Energy and Environment in the City University of Hong Kong. He had visiting professorships at Groupe de Recherche en Économie Théorique et Appliquée (GREThA) of the University of Bordeaux IV in France and the Department of Science and Technology Studies of the University of Malaya in Malaysia.



(Week 5) Johan Lauwereyns (Moderator)
Professor, Vice-President for International Affairs, Faculty of Arts and Science, Kyushu University

Johan (“Jan”) Lauwereyns (1969) obtained a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science at the University of Leuven in Belgium in 1998. He conducted research on the cognitive and neural mechanisms of decision-making at Juntendo University in Japan, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In 2010 he shifted to Kyushu University, where he became a Full Professor (tenured) in 2013. Recently, in addition to his research on decision science, Lauwereyns particularly focuses on promoting decision science for policymaking with respect to public health and wellbeing. He has published widely, including academic papers in journals such as Nature and Neuron. He is the author of the monographs The Anatomy of Bias and Brain and the Gaze, both published with The MIT Press. In 2020, he was appointed Vice-President for International Affairs in the new leadership at Kyushu University.



(Week 5) Puntita Tanwattana
Professional Researcher, Environmental Research Institute, Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Puntita Tanwattana is a professional researcher/ steering committee of Environmental Research Institute and a lecturer/ steering committee of Risk and Disaster Management Program, Chulalongkorn University. Her background is urban environmental planning. She graduated from Graduate School of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. Her research direction is Participatory Planning, Disaster and Climate Resilience, Community-Based Disaster Risk Management, Urban/Community Resilience, Urban Environmental Management and Gaming Simulation. She has collaborative research with Japan, Italy, Korea and UK. She teaches interdisciplinary courses (urban environment, climate change and disaster topic) at undergraduate and graduate level. She is also an advisor for Thai and foreign graduate students on urban/ community environment and disaster study. Recently, she is a project leader on research program of Carbon Neutral Tourism, BCG in Action, etc.



(Week 5) Yanto Chandra
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Yanto Chandra is an Associate Professor at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University‘s Department of Applied Social Sciences. Chandra’s research focuses on explaining the drivers, processes, and outcomes of entrepreneurial action in various contexts – social, ecological, artificial, and virtual – and their policy applications. One of his research projects examines the potential of blockchain as social innovation in tackling social-environmental problem, in particular, how it enables peer-to-peer solar energy trading among citizens. His research has been published in various Financial Times 50 journals and leading policy journals. He serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Venturing Insights, Business Ethics, Environment and Responsibility, and Blockchain. Previously, he was a faculty member in Amsterdam and Leeds, and prior to that he worked in the banking and Big4 accounting firm.



(Week 5) Adrian Kuah
Director, Future Office, National University of Singapore

Dr Adrian W J Kuah is the Founding Director of the Futures Office at the National University of Singapore (NUS). NUS Futures Office was set up to (re-)imagine the long-term futures of higher education and to provide alternative assessments of emerging trends to the NUS leadership. Prior to his current position, he worked in a range of jobs in the public service, the private sector, and academia. His stints in the civil service include the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Centre for Strategic Futures (in the Prime Minister’s Office). As an academic, he was previously an assistant professor at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies as well as a Senior Research Fellow at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.


His professional interests include public policy (especially education policy), complexity science, and futures thinking. He is married, with three sons.

(Week 5) Patchanita Thamyongkit
Professor at Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Assistant to the President for R&I, Chulalongkorn University

Professor Dr. Patchanita Thamyongkit received B.Sc. in Chemistry with 1st class honor from Chulalongkorn University in 1998 and Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.) in Organic Chemistry from Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany in 2002, as a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholar. After 3 years of postdoctoral research at North Carolina State University in USA, Dr. Patchanita has become a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University since 2005. Dr. Patchanita’s group continuously focuses mainly on material design for solar-driven energy conversion and optoelectronic applications, including solar cells, (photo)electrocatalysts, carbon dioxide conversion and energy storage systems. Moreover, great effort has been put to extensive development of organic-based energy conversion and storage flow systems for practical scalable clean energy production.


Continuous effort leads Dr. Patchanita to several prestigious awards, among which are Marie Curie International Incoming Research Fellowship (2009‐2010), the ICTP prize from The Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (2013), L’Oreal “For Women in Science” fellowship (2014), Wiley-CST Award for Contribution to Green Chemistry (2016), and PTIT Awards 2019-2020 from Petroleum Institute of Thailand. Furthermore, Dr. Patchanita was featured in Nature Magazine in an article “The Minority”, interviewed in Nature Index 2016 “Rising Stars”, and has been invited by many international organizations to give scientific talks, and speeches to enhance the role of women in science and alternative energy technology. Currently, Dr. Patchanita serves Chulalongkorn University as Assistant to the President for Research Affairs and Interim Director of Chulalongkorn University Intellectual Property Institute.

(Week 5) Ye-Her Wu
Executive Director, SCALE-Global, School of Continuing and Life Long Education, National University of Singapore

Ye-Her Wu is the founding head of SCALE-Global, which develops multi-disciplinary programmes, and explores the role of the university in lifelong education at National University of Singapore.


She has extensive experience working at the intersection of business and government; facilitating conversations and creating value for both sides. Previously, she led the executive education and alumni relations portfolios at NUS’s School of Public Policy. Before that, she was at a social enterprise, where she was responsible for public policy advocacy, and evolving early stage ideas into future-growth initiatives. She has served in strategy and policy appointments in government, and worked in areas such as business process re-engineering, job redesign and change management, while a consultant at a Big Four advisory firm.


Ye-Her graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management with an MBA, which she attended under a Fulbright scholarship. She holds an MSc in Criminology from LSE, and a BSc in Sociology from the University of Bristol.




Prof. Masahiko Gemma
Professor and Vice President for International Affairs, Waseda University

Professor Masahiko Gemma received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1989. Worked at International Development Center of Japan (IDCJ) as an economist for 1989-1991. Joined the faculty of Waseda University in 1993 after serving as a faculty member at Yokohama City University for 1991-1993.


Has been serving as Director of the Institute of Japan-US Studies at Waseda University since 2008. For 2016-2018 served as Director of Organization for Regional and Inter-regional Studies (ORIS) and for 2018-2021 was President of U.S. Japan Research Institute (USJI) in Washington, D.C. Has been APAIE director and Vice President for International Affairs at Waseda University since 2018. Current research interests comprise issues on global food and environmental problems.

(All Sessions) Natalie Konomi (Emcee)
Professor, Global Strategies Office, Kyushu University

Natalie Konomi is a Professor and Coordinator at the Global Strategies Office at Kyushu University. Natalie previously worked at the International Education Support Center for Engineering at Kyushu University. She obtained her master’s degree in Economics and Business Administration at Augsburg University, Germany. After working for Japan Airlines, she received a MEXT scholarship to study at Nagoya University (Japan), where she earned her doctorate degree.

Natalie was Vice Director of the Nagoya University Center for Business Litigation and the Nagoya University European Center. Prior to joining Kyushu University, she served as Director of the International Center and Advisor to the President for International Affairs at Kitami Institute of Technology (Hokkaido).

Her research interests include organizational management, strategic alliances and intercultural communication. Natalie has long advocated for the internationalization of Japanese universities and local communities. Her work in a JICA-funded health project between Kitami city (Japan) and Ulaanbaatar city (Mongolia) earned her the Hokkaido Social Contribution Award.


Global Strategies of International Affairs Division at Kyushu University

Program Schedule
May 13th
Day 1
May 20th
Day 2
May 27th
Day 3
June 2nd
Day 4
June 10th
Day 5
10 am (Japan time)

Introductory Lecture

The Carbon Neutral Society – Action Month Webinar will begin with a keynote lecture and interactive panel discussion featuring globally recognized researchers and experts debating “Sustainable Development Goals and the Inclusive Wealth Index”, posing questions and laying the groundwork for online activities and panel discussions that will take place throughout the webinar.

10 am (Japan time)

Alternative Energies

One strategy for achieving carbon neutrality and reducing emissions is to offset emissions from one sector with emissions reductions in another. This can be accomplished through investments in low-carbon technologies such as alternative energy sources, renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and others. This session will provide an overview of alternative energy research, discuss alternative energy sources such as hydrogen and biomass, and address the importance of alternative energy and how its use contributes to a carbon-neutral society.

10 am (Japan time)

Low Carbon Negative Emission

Global warming and climate change require net zero emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide. However, merely reducing CO2 emissions will not achieve carbon neutrality. Carbon neutrality is achieved by balancing carbon emissions and absorption from the atmosphere. There are numerous methods to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere, which then must be stored. This session will discuss various technologies including negative emission technologies to achieve a “carbon-neutral society”, and eventually a “beyond-zero society” in which the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is permanently reduced. We will examine the role of carbon capture and sequestration, as well as other key technologies, in global energy transitions.

10 am (Japan time)

Circular Economy

Most climate action debates have concentrated on decarbonizing production systems and increasing energy efficiency. While important, these efforts fall short of addressing emissions that are deeply embedded in the materials and products flowing through the economy. Circular economy addresses these hidden emissions, helping to achieve carbon neutrality targets. In this session, we will discuss the benefits of developing a circular economy on a local and global scale as well as initiatives aimed at identifying new sources of energy and protecting carbon sinks. We will elaborate on how to engage stakeholders across value chains to generate innovations that support a resilient and low-carbon economy. The session will emphasize the critical role of circular economies in fighting climate change and achieving a carbon-neutral society.

10 am (Japan time)

Social Innovation

Social innovation is the process of creating and implementing effective solutions to complex social and environmental problems in order to advance social progress. Often, solutions require active collaboration among stakeholders in government, business, and the nonprofit sector. In this session, we will invite panelists from a variety of fields to share their perspectives on the importance of social innovation, with an emphasis on education and governance, and to discuss effective approaches for moving toward a carbon-neutral society. The panel discussion will cover a variety of social impact topics, including education, next generation learning, governance and responsible leadership.