公立大学法人首都大学東京

Public University Corporation Tokyo Metropolitan University Special Lecture by Dr. Lynda Gratton

Public University Corporation Tokyo Metropolitan University provides learning opportunities for those who want to learn throughout lifetime.  Specially for the elderly, TMU organizes two places of learning known as “TMU Premium College” (at TMU) and “AIIT Senior Start-Up Program” (at Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology) .  Both are part of “The 100-Year University (so called Hyakusai-Daigaku) Project” whose goal is to achieve a lifelong active city.

We invited Dr. Lynda Gratton, Professor at London Business School, to give a special lecture for this project.  In her worldwide bestselling book, The 100-Year Life, she suggests that we have to continuously reskill to live a 100-year life.

The event was a great success with more than 300 attendees selected in a random raffle drawing from a number of entries received in advance.  A brief  summary of Dr. Gratton’s lecture follows.

Program

Date/Time: 4 December, 2019 15:30-17:00
Venue: Marunouchi MY PLAZA Hall, Tokyo
Lecture Title: The Way of Learning and Working in 100-Year Life
Hosted by: Public University Corporation Tokyo Metropolitan University in cooperation with Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company

  1. Opening Speech by Ms Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo
  2. Speech by Dr. Haruo Shimada, Chairperson,Public University Corporation Tokyo Metropolitan University
  3. Speech by Mr. Nobuya Suzuki, Chairman of the Board and Representative Executive Officer, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company
  4. Lecture by Dr. Lynda Gratton, Professor, London Business School
  5. Presentation about TMU’s “Hyakusai-Daigaku”

Opening Speech by Ms Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo

In her opening speech, Ms Yuriko Koike, Governor of Tokyo, mentioned “60’s or 70’s are not the ages of but the ages of . Based on the idea that the place for learning is very important, people in their 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s are learning enthusiastically under the slogan of with the students of younger generation at TMU’s . The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has been making and will make efforts to improve the environment for the elderly to challenge and support their learnings.”

She also mentioned “Japanese word is very good word as it implies and it also has a positive thought on aging. In the long-term strategies which are now being in drawing up process, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government has selected choju as an important vision/keyword and would like the world to recognize it as a universal term. The secret of leading a long healthy life is to reskill throughout life”.

Speech by Dr. Haruo Shimada, Chairperson of Public University Corporation Tokyo Metropolitan University

Dr. Shimada explained about “TMU Premium Collage” recently established by TMU in its role as a Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s think-tank. TMU Premium Collage is part of “Hyakusai Daigaku” project that provides people with opportunities to learn through lifetime. Japan is the most aging society among the world’s developed countries, and there are many challenging issues which TMU attempts to address as the one and only higher education institution founded by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

In reference to Dr. Gratton’s book, The 100-Year Life, Dr. Shimada pointed out that although the burden that an aging population places on society may be increasing, but it could be transformed into social benefits if we change the way we respond to it. He expressed his hope that this lecture has given the audience with an opportunity to revisit what they could do to transform the burden into benefits.

Speech by Mr. Suzuki, Chairman of the Board of Meiji Yasuda Life

Mr. Suzuki mentioned about the background of Meiji Yasuda Life’s cooperation to the lecture and introduced “Kenkatsu (health promotion) Project” that Meiji Yasuda Life has started in April 2019.

Summary of the Lecture by Dr. Gratton

The Way of Learning and Working in 100-Year Life

Introduction

“The 100-Year Life” idea starts we are all, all over the world at a point of an extraordinary transition point. Japan is the most aging society and one of the leading countries in the world in terms of robotics that’s going to transform all of our live. Governor Koike is the first ever woman to take the roll as Governor of Tokyo, and she and many other women are changing Japan and the world.

The reason I’m here in Japan is because you loved my book “The 100-Year Life”, and it’s because Japan is the most aging country in the world.

I’m going to talk about what I mentioned in “The 100-Year Life” and what Japan is exploring and we’ve been thinking.

What The World Expects From Japan

 Every country in the world is going through a demographic transition and that demographic transition has two parts; the first is how long you live and the second is how many children your family has. These are very related when it comes to looking at the average age of a population.

Japan is the first country to go right through the demographic transition because you in Japan both lived longer lives and you had fewer children. Every country in the world is moving towards that, but you did it first and that’s why people are looking at Japan and what happened in Japan, Tokyo and in this marvelous university.

The 3-Stage Life

When people thought that they were going to die at 65, the 3-stage life worked very well for them because you simply had full-time education, full-time work and full-time retirement. So all of our institutional frameworks were built around the 3-stage life.

Human ingenuity has created these wonderful technologies that allow us to live longer but human ingenuity has not yet created the social institutions that support that.

The social institutions have to change. We will be looking around the world for social pioneers, for institutions like this that have decided to change, to individuals who have decided to change, to corporations that have decided to change and together they will change the world.

The Importance of Good Health

If you looked at my telomeres in my DNA sample, you might find that actually my physical age could be older or younger than my actual age. When you look at a 5-year-old, they all look the same and may be by 15 they all look the same. By the age of 60, you have friends who seem very old at 60 and you have friends who seem very young at 60. This is a very important point.

Only 25% of the way that we age is dependent on our DNA, and 75% of our aging process depends on the choices we make across our lives. What I mean by that is we can control the way we age, and so how to live (how to age) is important.

In the 100-year life, people’s interests to healthy life for long life have been increasing. Part of the reason Japan lives long is in general Japanese are healthy people. Japanese are not obese. Japanese are not fat and this is a huge problem, in the rest of the world. And if Japan could export anything to the world, it’s about how to stay healthy.

People around the world are interested in how Japanese live so long.

The Importance of Learning Throughout Life

Because of AI or robots, our jobs are changing but I’m not saying all of us are going to lose our jobs. Historically, technology creates as many jobs as it destroys. The advanced technology created great impacts to our jobs, we need to think which task the machines can handle and which one the human can do. There’re 2 things left that humans do very well.

One is about their social skills, empathy, emotional intelligence, listening.

The other one is about cognitive skills; critical thinking, imagining the future, being creative.

In order to keep these two, you need to have a healthy brain and to embrace more flexible ways of working. Lifelong learning is going to be a key for it.

As such, it is very important that TMU set up “Hyakusai Daigaku” where people can learn through lifetime.

People all over the world have to ask ourselves how to spend your life as you want, how to keep learning through lifetime, how to stay healthy and happy.

The Importance of Intangible Assets

In a 3-stage life, time was full-time education, full-time work, full-time retirement, so education was about learning, work was about making money and retirement was about having fun.

In a longer life, intangible assets begin to really become crucial. Trying to stay healthy, trying to keep learning, trying to keep working, and trying to keep putting your time into your relationship. These make effects on your 100-year life to make happy one.

We have so many choices available to us and the world is looking at Japan to see how you make those choices.