Kamenori Earth Youth Summit 2011 started at United College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong on August 20th. The theme of this year’s conference is “Survival of Humankind.” 28 university students from 7 countries/regions in Asia (China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Thailand) were invited to attend the conference.
Reported by Rie ENDO(Senior, Kyoto University, the organizing committee member of KEYS)
Day 1: August 20th, Saturday
The participants arrived at Hong Kong International Airport from the various destinations in Asia. After all the participants arrived on campus of United College, they enjoyed the first dinner together, followed by the fun ice breaking games.
Day 2: August 21st, Sunday
After the orientation, the participants had dim sum for lunch. In the afternoon, the opening ceremony was held. Two keynote addresses were given on the topics related to the theme of the conference, “Survival of Humankind.” The first address was given by Professor Sir James A. Mirrlees, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences, with the title of “Eliminating Poverty”, and the second address was given by Dr. Yozo Yokota, President of the Center for Human Rights Affairs on “Are Human Rights Universal?” Responding to the addresses with warm enthusiasms, the student participants asked a number of stimulating questions in the Q&A session. During the dinner, the participants performed songs, dances and skits representing their countries.
Day 3: August 22nd, Monday
In the morning, the participants presented the current situations and problems of their respective countries/regions on four topics of Business/Economics, Education, Environment and Politics/Society. In the afternoon, they separated into these four topic-groups, and started the group research at last! After enjoying the campus tour and dinner, the group research was resumed. The participants discussed and decided the research questions for the final presentations.
Day 4: August 23rd, Tuesday
The participants, gathering by their own research groups, had a consultation with the advisory professors on their respective topics. The topics of the four research groups are: Business & Economics - Income gap, Education - Inequality of higher education, Environment - Nuclear energy/ radiation and safety, and Politics & Society - Democracy and the people's participation. All of these four topics are related to the theme of this year's conference, "Survival of Humankind."
In the afternoon, the participants visited the Hong Kong Island. They enjoyed shopping in the local market of Stanley for souvenirs and had dinner in the historical building which had been used as the command center of the Japanese Military Police in Hong Kong during World War II. After dinner, they had a great night view of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak.
Day 5: August24th, Wednesday
The fifth morning started with a visit to the Hoi Ha Wan Marine Life Centre of the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong. The participants learned the problems of the sea around Hong Kong through a lecture and games. After the indoor learning, they went into a boat to observe the corals and the marine environment near the Centre.
In the afternoon, Hon Lee Cheuk-yan, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, gave us a speech. He emphasized the importance of the minimum wage policies in Hong Kong which he has been involved in, and the further issues regarding labor conditions. Then the participants listened to one more speech by Prof. Wilson Wai Ho Wong, an associate professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He explained economic and social problems behind the economic affluences of Hong Kong.
While the participants had a free evening, many of them were busy preparing for the final presentation until late into the night.
Day 6: August 25th, Thursday
To prepare for the final presentation on the following day, the participants continued their respective researches and made abstract and slides for presentations. This is followed by a rehearsal using the large projection screen in the afternoon. In the evening, the participants resumed the group work to complete their research by improving the points raised in the afternoon rehearsal.
Day 7: August 26th, Friday
In the morning, the participants had the last advising session with the respective advisory professors for the final amendments of their presentations. In the afternoon, the Students’ Conference was held where the participants took the stage to present the excellent outcome from their hard work. This students’ conference had been featured on the main newspaper in Hong Kong, South China Morning Post. We welcomed the honorable guests including Mr. Yuji Kumamaru, Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong, and Professor Fung Kwok- Pui, Head of United College at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. The founder of Kamenori Foundation, Dr. Alex K. Yasumoto also joined in to listen to the students’ presentations.
In the closing ceremony after the students’ conference, the comments were given by the four research advisory professors and the participants received the certificate for completing the program of KEYS 2011.
The farewell dinner followed in the evening. The Consul-General Kumamaru and Professor Fung gave some farewell remarks to the participants. Many participants expressed their gratitude towards the advisory professors, Professor Mito, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and the Kamenori Foundation for the wonderful learning experience at KEYS 2011. They also vowed to further cultivate friendships and stronger ties with the KEYS participants, and continue the spirit of learning which has been strengthened at KEYS.
Day 8: August 27th, Saturday
In the last morning of KEYS 2011, the participants filled in the comment sheet for this program to reflect their thoughts on the eight days spent in Hong Kong. The participants headed to the airport together in a bus and returned to their home countries. It was a tearful farewell for the participants to part with new found friends who they had bonded so closely. But more importantly, the participants went home with their heads held high for their achievements in KEYS.