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Tokyo Forum 2023 Theme

Cultivating Humanity amid Social Divisions and Digital Transformation

The world has entered a period of division and discord. Human history has never been free of strife, but the lessons of many wars have led us to pursue stability by formulating rules and reducing conflict. However, the rule-based order that was established through human wisdom has gradually broken down, and insecurity and unpredictability have become serious problems for our world.

At the same time, new digital technologies, including data science and artificial intelligence, are impacting us both bodily and mentally, removing previous environmental and physical constraints and enabling a wider range of people to play active roles. But those technologies can also reinforce authoritarian surveillance and human bias. As the boundaries separating us from machines and technology become increasingly blurred, the question of what it means to be human needs to be revisited. In the midst of compound crises and opportunities on a global scale, contemporary society faces many challenges, including finding the wisdom to embrace an increasingly fragmented world; mechanisms for controlling and absorbing rapidly evolving new technologies; harmony between the natural environment and the market economy; and rule-making processes to restore stability to the international order.

With our society now confronting many challenges due to global fragmentation and the development of digital technologies, academic institutions must play a leading role in gathering wisdom for the future from both government and the private sector. This mission can be realized only through freer and more focused interactions among experts from many different fields. By bringing together the wisdom of science, technology, and the humanities and social sciences through dialogue among scholars of diverse specializations, this year’s Tokyo Forum will explore how humanity can respond to the global challenges of advancing technology and an uncertain international order.