Holistic Learning Experience based on
Classroom Study and Hands-on Experience

Program Details

Overall Structure of the IATSS Forum Program

About the IATSS Forum Program

The IATSS Forum’s program consists of “Basic Lecture and Workshop”, “Seminar”, “Field Study”, and “Group Study/Research”. At the beginning of the program, participants take part in a one-night 2-day participatory learning session for self and mutual understanding and building a team which will be the foundation of a safe and secure learning environment for everyone. Participants also take a Basic Lecture and Workshop on leadership which will help them to have the general understanding and goal setting ability to enhance leadership capacity during the 7-week course.
In the mid program, in Seminar in various fields, participants develop flexible mindset and multilateral approach using knowledge in and outside of their own specialized fields.
In Field Study, participants are exposed to real cases of Sustainable Development in Japan by site-visits. On site, they can directly learn from each stakeholder to gain the essence of sustainable and resilient society where there is a harmony with nature, as well as gain ideas for further development of a country.

In the final stage, participants proceed with Group Study/Research. Conceptualizing leaning points from program contents, each group discuss feasible solutions for sustainable development of Asia. In the process of Group Study/Research, participants work in the same group which has diversity in terms of nationality, specialized fields and occupations and are required to produce one outcome as a team. This process enhances participants’ leadership capacities including interpersonal and communication skills.

Participants are expected to execute ideas and awareness from the program after returning home to their community, organization and which we believe they will grow further as a leader especially on in influential power and ability to execute an idea.

Basic Lectures and Workshops

In order to cultivate leadership capacity and create a learning environment where participants feel secure to repeat the cycle of the awareness of their own leadership styles, setting goals, exercising them in a diversified environment and reflecting on this as well as taking in the perspectives of others is important. To build such a training foundation, participants go through a team building training session to deepen self and mutual understanding. Participants also take a basic lecture on leadership to understand various leadership styles, and goal setting based on self-evaluation of their own leadership styles, as well as workshops to enhance the necessary skills for team based activities such as facilitation skills, and thinking methods.


IATSS Forum Seminars covers cover different fields including social studies, international relationships, politics, economics and culture. Topics in each seminar are in line with the current situation and the needs of targeted countries. With these up to date topics, on lectures and country presentations (given by fellow participants) allow the participants to are able to gain exposure to actual cases of in Japan, Asia and the world. This allows participants can to obtain ideas for countermeasures to the current issues that their countries are facing. Based on a conflicting point of view demonstrated in the lecture, participants discuss priority issues in Asia from various perspectives in the group discussion in order to develop a flexible mindset and take multilateral approach.


The IATSS Forum values site-visits where participants can gain awareness and absorb a deeper learning experience with stimulation of the senses by interacting with the people, the culture and the history of the site.

Field study is the case study of “Sustainable Development” theme study. Participants firstly take an introductory seminar and gain general understanding of the United Nation’s SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals, and other international frameworks and then learn some of the actual cases of “Sustainable Development” in Japan.

The underpinning section shows how Japan has responded to the man-made and natural disasters which were harmful to sustainable development, and has learned how to build a society with resilience and in harmony with nature. The latter half shows the Japanese way of development with safety and security, and how stakeholders have taken initiatives not only tackling challenges, but also creating innovative solutions twisting the challenging situations into opportunities to grow and develop.

Field study also gives participants exposure to practitioners who play a leading role in various fields with their own philosophies, visions and actions from the past to present that help generate awareness for fostering their own leadership style.


In the Group Study/Research, each group makes proposals for research and solutions to on the theme “Sustainable Development” by utilizing all the learning elements gained from seminars and field studies in the program, while practicing "Thinking and Learning Together," the motto of the IATSS Forum.

Group Study/Research features studies on a single theme from various viewpoints with other members of the same group which has diversity in terms of nationality, specialized fields, and occupations during the program period. Participants are expected to not only gain tangible results from research findings through Group Study/Research, but also enhance their own leadership capacities through the process.

Cultural Understanding

IATSS Forum participants will have opportunities to interact with local residents in Suzuka City, the location of the IATSS Forum and neighboring cities. The exchange activities include the introduction of Japanese culture, homestay, and cultural exchange events. These interactions are valuable opportunities for participants to understand an essence of the Japanese way of thinking, approaches, besides seminar and field study programs.