“What a dilemma we face! Three short centuries of extraordinary human progress have been enabled by our releasing millions of years of ancient sunlight through burning fossil fuels. Unfortunately, this activity has been quietly undermining the very progress it helped to create, while fooling us into believing we could triumph over fundamental physical laws.
With a clear understanding that this development pathway is no longer available to us, humanity is united by the challenge of how to sustain human progress and create flourishing, equitable societies within the hard biophysical boundaries imposed by our home planet. Such global-scale challenges – and opportunities for international collaboration – have no historical precedent.
Given this context, I consider myself immensely privileged to be exploring potential solutions with people and institutions of vision, integrity and courage. Atsufumi and the Akira Foundation fall squarely in this category. I was honoured when Atsu invited me recently to participate in a colloquium on African Urbanisation at Sophia University, Tokyo. Akira Foundation was instrumental in constructing a high-quality event, facilitating a rich exchange of ideas between experts in Japan and the African continent. I am convinced that dialogues of this nature will be essential if we are to succeed in cracking the code for this next phase of human development.”