I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you to the ISC67 Family! On behalf of the committee members, I would like to thank everybody for applying and becoming a part of ISC67. I am so delighted to finally see each and every one of you here today after months of being in contact with you all remotely. It is my pleasure and honor to be able to witness inspiring students from all over the world, each with unique backgrounds and experiences, gather for the first time at our conference today.
You might be familiar with this information already, but let me briefly explain to you again what ISC is. International Student Conference is a student conference held annually since 1954, where students from around the world are invited to Japan each year for two weeks to discuss solutions to global issues and engage in cultural exchange activities.
However, as most of you would have been aware already by this point, the theme for this year is "New Normal: Unity without Boundaries". The ongoing pandemic has profoundly changed the way we live. As this goes by, we will all need to adapt to our “New Normal” which is a life-long change occurring on a global scale. Against this backdrop, the committee members at ISC67 wish to turn this crisis into an opportunity by connecting like-minded youths across the world through the ISC experience. Although we had initially planned our conference to be in person, we had to move our activities online this year since your health and safety are important, not only to yourselves but also to your loved ones. Nevertheless, we aspire to create a platform for youths worldwide to discuss and take action for our future together, even during a difficult time such as today. This year, we have expanded what would have been packed during the two weeks at the Main Conference into a span of three months. With this unique setting, I hope that you will have more time to deepen friendship and mutual understanding with fellow ISC67 members, more so than in regular years. We understand that this could be a challenge for all of us, but I hope that our gathering this year will be able to kindle new initiatives and generate new ideas for society and the world. I would like to deeply thank everybody for your kind understanding and cooperation with our tough decisions made this year. We will come up with other plans in the future where we can gather in person, so please look forward to our future activities as well.
Before we officially begin, please allow me to recall to you what ISC's grand mission is. Our movement's mission is to achieve four things: discussion, action, resolution, and exchange. Firstly, for discussion, we gather to exchange our ideas about various global issues. This year, we have five table topics presented by five table chiefs; all related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As you exchange views with your fellow table members, I hope that you can deepen your knowledge and expertise on your topic while remaining curious, critical, and creative throughout the process. Secondly, we plan to take our discussions into action by presenting the discussion outcome to the general public with the hope to contribute meaningfully to the world. This year, we open possibilities for tables to present the final outcome, either in the form of a policy proposal, business plan, or a research paper, to offer a concrete and innovative solution to your topic. Thirdly, we also hope for our discussions and actions to resolve some of the world’s most difficult challenges as we raise the voices of young people worldwide. Fourth and lastly, we hope for our participants to exchange their cultures and their unique experiences through our activities. Considering that we come from a diversity of backgrounds, there is so much that we can learn from each other.
I hope ISC67 will be a valuable opportunity for all of us to exchange ideas and think deeply about what we can do as youths who shape the future of the world. Let us cherish this opportunity, to discuss, learn, and enjoy our time together. I hope that, even after the conference is over, you will continue to carry on the ISC spirit and pass on the torch of inspiration to the future generations of the world. Once again, thank you so much for becoming a part of this big family. Let us make ISC67 an experience of a lifetime together. At the same time, with the end of my welcoming speech, I would like to formally announce the beginning of ISC67’s Advance Conference as well as the Main Conference.
Thank you so much, and welcome everybody once again!