Environment and Energy Conference in Obama
Student Planning Committee
The Environment and Energy Conference is centered on students’ active participation and leadership. In preparation for the event in July, midway through May, a planning committee consisting of eight second-year student volunteers was formed: five from the science course, two from the international course, and one from the marine science course. Not only were they in charge of planning and organizing the main event, they also organized three pre-conference forums to help participating students engage actively in the discussions. In addition to meeting every day at lunch and after school, they also sought advice from the lecturers after the pre-conference forums, especially concerning discussion methods.
In June, in part on the advice of guest lecturer Mr. Tetsuo Sawada and in part to prepare for the transition to next year, it was decided that first years should also participate in the planning committee, and so three new first year members from the academic course were added.
Furthermore, the committee arranged an opportunity for the students who would speak on stage as part of the panel discussion to engage in a mini-debate on the conference topic of “The Kansai Area in 20 Years.” Thanks to such opportunities, students were able to smoothly communicate and share ideas with students from other schools.
Furthermore, as the planning committee continued their discussions, drawing from the experience of the previous two conferences, they began to focus on how to encourage discussion between students on the floor and students and lecturers on the stage. Thanks to the planning committee’s proposal, a plan was instituted to collect sticky notes from the students on the floor on which they had written their ideas and display them on stage for the lecturers’ consideration. Thanks to this plan, participants were able to engage in a discussion so heated that it greatly exceeded the planned discussion time. Their hours of planning resulted in the pre-conference forums and a plan of action for the conference itself. Seeing the high level of enthusiasm on the day of the event gave the planning committee renewed confidence in their efforts.