Discussion Groups: Themes and Coordinators

Our discussion groups are Food, Environmental Education, Gender, Waste, and Energy. Here is some information about the discussion topics and the group leaders.

We should create a sustainable life to achieve a sustainable community. A steady income and dietary life are necessary conditions. However, there are some problems about having a sustainable life in both developed and developing countries. This session focuses on food problems in both developed and developing countries. We share the problems of each country and try to set out concrete steps to realize a sustainable life.

Food Discussion Group Leader: Yoshiaki Ushifusa, Associate Professor at the University of Kitakyushu

Yoshiaki Ushifusa was born in Osaka in 1971. In 2001, he left the Chuo University doctoral program in environmental economics. Since that time, he has been an associate professor at the University of Kitakyushu. His areas of interest include the economics of electric power and sustainable energy.
牛房 義明北九州市立大学 経済学部
1971年 大阪市生まれ。
2001年 中央大学大学院博士後期課程満期退学。
2001年 北九州市立大学講師を経て、現職。
Environmental Education
Education is a very important theme to realize sustainable society. It does not mean that we merely acquire knowledge. Not only specialized knowledge but also the wisdom tied to life directly is important. While it is necessary to learn from textbooks, it is more important to learn from practice.  What we learn is important, but it is more important how we learn. In this session, we focus on education for sustainability. What kind of ability do we need for sustainable society? How can we acquire it?

matsunaga_b2-minEnvironmental Education Group Leader: Hiromi Matsunaga, Associate Professor at the University of Kitakyushu

Mr. Matsunaga was born in 1969 in Saga prefecture. In 1998, he finished the doctoral program in economics at the University of Kitakyushu. Since that time, he has been working for his alma mater. He specializes in environmental business and social business, exploring the ways social and environmental concerns can co-exist with business matters.
松永 裕己氏北九州市立大学
1969年 佐賀県生まれ。
1998年 九州大学大学院経済学研究科博士後期課程単位取得退学。


This discussion session will discuss the relationship between sustainable environment and development and gender and women’s empowerment. In the session, participants will learn about the historical women’s environmental activity in Kitakyushu, “We want a blue sky” and some cases of integrating gender perspectives in the current environmental activities in Japan. The UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 will be introduced and the discussion about how to utilize it in our daily activities will be followed. This discussion session is held in collaboration with the project on Women and Gender in Environmental Activities in Japan supported by the Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency. We very much welcome those who are not familiar with gender and the environment to join us and explore a new topic.
ジェンダー分科会では、持続可能な環境と女性およびジェンダーの視点の関係を話し合います。まず、北九州市で50年以上前に行われた「青空がほしい」という女性による活動と、現在日本の環境への取組み事例を題材に、女性およびジェンダーの視点がどう生かされているかについて紹介し、続いて、2030年を目安にした国連の「持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)」について、女性およびジェンダーの視点がどう含まれているか、今後の活動にSDGsをどう生かすかについて話し合います。ニューヨークでの国連SDGsサミットに参加した人の報告もあります。この分科会は、独立行政法人環境再生保全機構 地球環境基金助成事業「日本における環境と女性・ジェンダーに関する事例集の作成とプラットフォーム構築」と協働で行われます。ジェンダーについての初心者歓迎です。

Group Leader: Yukiko Oda, the Kitakyushu Institute on Sustainability

Yukiko Oda
Researcher, Kitakyushu Institute on Sustainability (KIS)
Yukiko Oda has worked as a senior researcher for Kitakyushu Forum for Asian Women, professor at Japan Red Cross Kyushu International Nursing College, and Chief advisor for a project on human trafficking in Thailand for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) before she joined KIS in 2011. Now she leads and implements a project on Women and Gender in Environmental Activities in Japan supported by the Japan Fund for Global Environment of the Environmental Restoration and Conservation Agency. She served as an advisor for the Japanese Delegation to UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
織田 由紀子(おだ ゆきこ)
特定非営利活動法人 北九州サスティナビリティ研究所 研究員
(財)アジア女性交流・研究フォーラム主席研究員、日本赤十字九州国際看護大学教授、JICAのタイにおける人身取引プロジェクト専門家を経て、2011年7月より現職。現在、2014・2015年度 独立行政法人環境再生保全機構地球環境基金助成事業「日本における環境と女性・ジェンダーに関する事例集の作成とプラットフォーム構築」を実施している。2012年6月国連持続可能な開発会議(リオ+20)政府代表団顧問。


Solid Waste Management (SWM) is a major challenge confronting cities in both developed and developing countries due to rapid urbanisation, economic growth, changes in lifestyles and consumption patterns. This group will therefore discuss the current practice of collect and dispose (Throw-Away Society or Mottainai Society) and identify the importance of reducing the amount of waste we produce, reusing, recycling and composting whatever we can before disposing the rest in a more environmentally sound manner to achieve a Sustainable Society. Further, the group will identify how to ensure active participation of all stakeholders (both formal and informal) and building capacities at both individual and institutional levels.

Waste Group Leader: Premakumara Dickella Gamaralalage, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

kumaraDr. Premakumara is a development planner, specialising in environmental planning and sustainable urban development. He holds a PhD in Management Development from the Nihon Fukushi University in 2006. He has over twenty years’ experience in working with academic, government and non-governmental organisations as well as bilateral and international programmes. At the Kitakyushu Urban Centre, he focuses on participatory development and strategic planning in establishing sustainable cities, particularly on low carbon, resilient and resource circular societies in Asia and the Pacific Region.

アジアの都市における持続可能な都市開発を専門とする開発プランナー。2006 年日本福祉大学にて博士号(経営開発)取得。教育、政府機関、非政府機関、国際プログラム等様々な分野で20 年以上の経験を持つ。現在はIGES 北九州アーバンセンターのタスクマネージャーとして持続可能な都市開発に向けた参加型の開発戦略を中心に、アジア太平洋地域の低炭素社会、レジリエント都市、循環型社会構築に関連したプロジェクトを担当している。


How to choose renewable energies is an important issue in developed countries and even developing countries. In order to choose proper renewable energy, they have to have enough knowledge of all renewable energy. They also have to fully understand the specific local nature condition and supporting system around that. There are various training courses for energy engineers of developing countries in Kitakyushu. In this session, at first we discuss what is the most effective training for renewable energy selection. Then, we talk how to use the knowledge for implementation of renewable energy in each country.


Energy Group Leader: Meiji Sato, Nippon Steel and Sumikin Technology Co. Ltd.

satoMeiji Sato was born in Hokkaido in 1958, and graduated from the Tokyo Institute of Technology with a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. He also received a Master’s Degree from Ohio State University in Materials Science and Engineering. Since then, he has worked from Nippon Steel Corporation, and Kyushu Techno Research. He is now the Department Manager of the Environmental Solution Department for Nippon Steel and Sumikin Technology Company, and a consultant for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

  • 昭和58年東京工業大学大学院生産機械専攻修了、専門はトライボロジー(摩擦・摩耗・潤滑に関する工学)。
  • 引き続き、新日本製鐵㈱に入社し、八幡製鐵所の研究部門で鉄道用レールに関する研究。
  • 平成元-3年米国オハイオ州立大学大学院材料科学工学留学。
  • 平成5年条鋼工場に移動し、品質管理、製造、生産技術を担当。
  • 平成10年から東京本社に在勤し、国内外の技術営業。
  • 平成12年九州テクノリサーチ入社。環境問題に関連した調査・企画を担当。
  • 平成14年から環境ソリューショングループリーダー、エコタウン事務所長兼務。
  • 平成25年から会社の合併に伴い日鉄住金テクノロジー株式会社環境ソリューション室長。