Humanity now stands at the critical juncture in its history. Since mid-20th century when the Anthropocene, a geologic epoch for the human to dominate the global environment started, we have been putting huge pressure on the earth to transgress the Planetary Boundaries here and there. As its serious consequences, we witness more extreme climate events or zoonotic diseases like COVID-19 now. Unless we change the way of our life, the earth system that have been stable enough to nurture our civilization for the past 10,000 years is going to lose its balance for good and bring our society to the crisis.

We must find the way to secure the earth as the human’s common property (Global Commons), agree on it, and act for it. It means we have to transform fundamentally the socio-economic systems of energy, food, resource circulation, and urbanization that are significant for the earth system in order to secure the sustainable future for the human and the planet. In this effort, we can accelerate such transformations by utilizing the fast developing digital technologies and data (cyberspace) properly.

Based on such reality we perceive, the Center will develop the framework of Global Commons Stewardship as an globally shared intellectual property. It will be translated into the integrated scenario pathways to achieve sustainable development within the Planetary Boundaries by mid-century as well as the indices to guide policymakers and businesses.

The Center also promote transformation of key socio-economic systems in energy, food, resource circulation, and urbanization through the multi-stakeholder coalition involving variety of partners.

The University of Tokyo seeks to play a key role in catalyzing society transformation by mobilizing decision-makers across a broad spectrum—far beyond academia— in search for fundamental solutions to challenges to humanity. The center wishes to play an important part of it.

Nahoko Ishii,
Executive Vice President,
Director for Center for Global Commons,
University of Tokyo


Establishment of the Center for Global Commons (CGC)

The Center for Global Commons was established in August 2020 to realize then-President Makoto Gonokami’s vision that “universities should play a leading role in driving social change through collaborative creation with leaders in a wide range of fields that transcend the boundaries of academia in order to seek fundamental solutions to the challenges facing humanity. Nahoko Ishii, who had served as CEO and Chair of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for eight years immediately prior to its establishment, was appointed as the first Director with the mission of the Center to “build a new framework for stewarding the Global Commons for a sustainable future”.

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