Feb 20, 2020

A few months ago, when I was in Italy when participating in the SCACR19 conference which was held in Bari, I received an email from KURA office at Kyoto University, suggesting me to apply as a presenter and panelist for a tri-lateral conference between Japan, Germany and France in Tokyo. I applied for the participation and eventually, I was invited to the conference and we arrived in Tokyo the day before the conference. I had a meeting with my collaborators and then, headed to the hotel where the participants in the conference were gathered. A few hours later, we were out for dinner with the conference organizers from the embassy of France and the German Centre for Research and Innovation Tokyo (DWIH Tokyo). From the Japanese side, there were speakers from Tohoku electric power, and I for dinner, and we had a fruitful talk on the role of renewable energies in Japan, and especially ocean renewable energies.

The next day (Oct 24th), we gathered in the lobby to depart for the conference at the German Culture Center in Tokyo. We did not need any more icebreakers as most of us had met the previous night for the dinner and hence, the atmosphere was very friendly. We sat on our designated seats and in the front row were sitting the ambassadors of France and Germany.

The talks started and I could learn a lot about the different aspects of using AI. One of the chairpersons was also a former Hakubi researcher and I was glad to get to know her activities. One of the most interesting talks for me that I still remember was from Prof. Wolfgang Ketter about (R)evolutions in Mobility: A CASE for Using AI and Smart Markets to Create Sustainable Cities and he used the nice graphical presentation to simulate such an idea for the future of Köln, which can be watched HereBased on that, I learned that being able to simulate and present any idea or horizon with clear examples that audiences can empathize with, is very important.

The side issue that caught my attention was serving the lunch as sustainable catering, in which almost no food was wasted and of course, the majority of food being vegetarian that made us -vegetarians- feel not being a minority anymore.

              photo credit: Organizers

Finally, we finished the conference, successfully with more than 150 participants from both public and academia, and even continued discussion during the dinner.

For me, participating in this conference from Japan side was a great experience and made me even more interested in talking to the public audiences. I think most people in academia can agree that talks for the public are much more difficult than for the experts from the same background. Because when presenting for the public, we need to explain the whole background and make anything as simple as possible to be able to be connected with the audiences who might be from different backgrounds and we can't use the specialized terminology. In addition, talking to scientists from various disciplines who were gathered there under the same topic of AI for SDGs made me think about the possibility of interdisciplinary research and considering other aspects that I previously have not noticed.

I am very glad that KURA office at Kyoto University published the report of this event and even my after-story, which can be read HERE. I was also surprised for being appeared in their annual review of 2019 which they kindly sent me the hard copies, too.


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