The 12th Annual JACAC Student Forum

Watch the winners’ team video presentation

16 March 2021

Due to restrictions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the 12th Japan Canada Academic Consortium Virtual Student Forum was held online February 13-19, 2021. This year's forum themed “Youth During and After the Pandemic: A Proposal for the New Normal” was hosted by the Prince Takamado Japan Centre, University of Alberta. The event itself has been very successful and offered a space for fruitful discussion and exchange of ideas between 23 students from Japan and Canada.

Prior to the conference, students watched pre-recorded lectures, which were available to view online a week before the forum:

  • Lecture 1: Dr. Cathryn van Kessel, UAlberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Title: “How Existential Threats Can Shape our Behavior (for Good and for Evil)”
  • Lecture 2: Lindsay Sorell, Writer, Editor, Artist, UAlberta, Edmonton, Alberta. Title: “Bush Talk: Connection, Body, and Ethics in Digital Learning”
  • Lecture 3: Scott Carlson, Senior Writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington, District of Columbia, United States. Title: “Hidden Intellectualism and The Skills of the Future”
  • Lecture 4: Lana Cuthbertson, the CEO and Founder of Areto Labs, Montreal, Quebec. Title: “Personal Reflections on Adapting to Change”
  • Lecture 5: Petros Kusmu, Management Consultant and Global Civil Government Specialist at Deloitte, Vancouver, British Columbia. Title: “Building a Just and Democratic Post-Pandemic Society: A Call to Action and Field Notes for Young Changemakers”
  • Lecture 6: Emily Riddle, Senior Advisor on Indigenous Relations, Edmonton Public Library, Edmonton, Alberta. Title: “Another Pandemic in Treaty 6: Libraries, Language Learning, and Loving Each Other”

The major conference program started with an Orientation, followed by the Q and A Session with the Speakers, which took place on 15 February 2021 via Zoom platform.

During the conference week, students were actively engaged in small-group online discussions, preparing their final presentations on a topic of how the coronavirus pandemic affected global higher education. At the forum’s final day, they gave their presentations, covering a wide range of topics based on this year’s theme.

Shafagh Razaghzadeh Shabestari (Queen’s University), Sophia Peou (University of Waterloo), Atsuki Tagawa (Ritsumeikan University) and Riko Katsuyama (Seinan Gakuin University) got the highest number of points from the judges for their insightful presentation: “Digital Resiliency and Communication: The Case for the New Normal in Higher Education.” Dylan Rose from the University of Prince Edward Island and Misaki Ono from the Hosei University have received the JACAC 2021 Leadership Awards for excellent leadership skills and ability to motivate the team to achieve remarkable results.

Watch the winners’ team video presentation: