SIGMA Alliance Annual Meeting Held at Hitotsubashi University

On May 12, 2023, the Societal Impact & Global Management Alliance (SIGMA), a global alliance of nine social science universities, held an annual presidential meeting at Sano Shoin Hall of Hitotsubashi University. From Hitotsubashi University, President Satoshi Nakano, Vice President Atsushi Yamada (in charge of international affairs), and Assistant Vice President Maiko Ichihara (in charge of international affairs) attended the conference.

SIGMA is a global university alliance founded in 2015. Nine universities participate in the alliance, which all have strengths and are internationally acclaimed in research and education in the management and business areas. Each university aspires to become an institution that can impact society and seeks research and educational exchanges and partnerships with each other through SIGMA.

The Presidents’ Conference was attended offline or online by 13 senior officials of the member universities with titles including Presidents, Provosts, etc. In the morning session, the members reported their activities in the past year, with Ichihara serving as moderator. They shared insights from the report on students’ well-being jointly compiled by the SIGMA member universities and discussed the usage of the report. They also discussed the performance results and challenges of SIGMA’s online active learning courses (two courses on SDGs and digital transformation (DX)).

Vice President Yamada reported the status of SIGMA’s first Research Symposium, also held at Hitotsubashi University around the same time as the Presidents’ Conference and participated offline or online by 43 researchers. The members discussed how to impact society through such symposiums.

In the afternoon session, the members discussed the future of SIGMA, with Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, the President of SIGMA and Rector of Vienna University of Economics and Business, as the facilitator. They agreed on several new projects, including creating networking opportunities between Ph.D.-level researchers and sharing insights on common issues such as faculty performance assessment to compile a report.

Mealtime also became a valuable opportunity to deepen acquaintance between participants of the Presidents’ Conference. The welcome dinner on the night before the conference was held at the Josuikaikan Hall. There, President Nakano explained the strong bond between Hitotsubashi University and Josuikai, its alumni association, and Kanda-Hitotsubashi, the origin where the university name came from. The President Conference was held in beautiful weather, a perfect opportunity for President Nakano to explain the attractiveness of the Kunitachi campus rich in greenery.

In 2025, SIGMA will mark its tenth anniversary. With the President Conference and the Research Symposium as momenta, Hitotsubashi University will further promote partnerships with SIGMA member universities and aim to create social impact and improve international presence.

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