EJEA International Conference 2022

Innovation and Action for Managing Urgent Future Local and Global Issues and Domains in Japan and Europe

November 24th – 25th, 2022 (ONLINE)

The European Japan Experts Association (EJEA) offers a platform for knowledge and expertise to deepen the understanding of European and Japanese perspectives as well as to establish and expand networks among different stakeholders from both regions.

Against this background, this conference would like to address the current discussion and research on megatrends, which require innovative and necessary solutions and actions as regards local as well as global perspectives on managing urgent future issues and domains.

Profound changes are laying ahead of us in Europe as well as in Japan!

The conference will be held online on Nov. 24th (Thu) and 25th (Fri) 2022, 09:00-14:00 CET / 17:00 – 22:00 JST. It is free of charge and will be held in English.

If you have any general questions regarding the conference, do not hesitate to contact us: ejea-conf-2022-info@fit.fraunhofer.de


© Jason Goodman on Unsplash

The European Japan Experts Association (EJEA) was established in 1995 and launched an annual conference series in 2018 with the first one convened in Stockholm (Sweden), followed by a conference 2019 in Graz (Austria). Due to the pandemic the commemoration of EJEA’s 25th anniversary in 2020 the conference was postponed to 2021, it was hosted by Kagawa University and took place in Japan and online. This conference was mainly sponsored by Toshiba International Foundation.

The conference title “Human-centered Sustainability and Innovation for an AI-assisted Future” opened the floor for presentations and discussions from a broad range of perspectives and aspects. Once again it was found that Europe and Japan share a lot in common but will also have to face different challenges in the future - on a local as well as on a global level.

Therefore, megatrends for 2030 will be the guiding principles for the coming conference in 2022 and some of their keywords are: “demographics”, “rise of the individual”, “enabling technology”, “economic interconnectedness”, “economic power shift”, “climate change” and “energy crisis”, “urbanization”, “global cooperation and peace” etc. These trends will have a significant impact not only on governments, but also on economy, education, research, as well as on societies and citizens all over the world!

Megatrends are very significant, especially in times of current changes. They affect all levels of society and thus influence companies, institutions, and individuals. They are not only a core element of research but also the basis for decisions in business, politics and on a personal level.

Aim of the conference

The organizers of the EJEA Conference 2022 would like to address the current discussion and research on megatrends, which require innovative and necessary solutions and actions as regards local as well as global perspectives on managing urgent future issues and domains. Profound changes are laying ahead of us in Europe as well as in Japan!

More specifically, the focus of this conference will be contributions and practical experiences such as:

  • New work patterns and company structures, inter-company networks, localization of production, limited moveability, new patterns for local and global supply chains, higher adaptability to dynamic challenges - also regarding political contexts
  • Universities: new education structures, new students’ goals and ambitions, new teaching and learning skills and methods in higher education and research (e.g. mega spaces, action learning, co-creation), new competition in attracting international students, developing needs to serve industry and society
  • How to foster and initiate civil initiatives (e.g. citizens’ participation) and foster higher and new social skills and competences
  • How to harmonize contradictory mind-sets within different generations (young and old) and creating conflict-free tools and concepts.
  • Finding new patterns and behavior in energy consumption and production
  • Identifying and stimulating necessary behavioral changes and actions (SDGs, Green Deal, Society 5.0) at all levels and domains
  • Cultural, economic, social, and mental resilience when having to live in a digitalized world
  • Changes in political and social security structures due to the new digital dimensions
  • AI driven computational and mathematical models: models mimicking neurological processes in the brain (e.g. deep learning) and ethical models realizing support for people’s decision-makingl

How to integrate and combine these issues in a holistic, multi-level dimension?

The conference is considering global and cross-cultural contexts, with an explicit focus on human-created harmony and wellbeing, human security, and social peace. Moreover, the conference is providing a platform to promote the international understanding of Japanese culture and society.

To achieve these goals, and to update the Japanese-European relationship to strengthen exchange and collaboration between the two regions the priorities of the conference focus on:

  1. to provide a forum for research purposes
  2. to provide a forum for educational purposes
  3. to provide a forum for economic purposes
  4. to provide a forum for innovative purposes
  5. to provide a forum for technological purposes
  6. to involve especially young generation for implementing the above-mentioned scientific and educational measures in Japan as well as in Europe.

Thus, the conference includes

  • speakers who are generalists and those who are specialists from Japan and Europe
  • topics with an interdisciplinary focus such as Green Sustainable Societies and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • intercultural as well as local and global content
  • experts and novices from different generations with the emphasis of innovation, education, and networking
  • especially prioritizing the key aspects of human wellbeing, human security, and social peace in combination with innovative and actionable solutions.

The final goal of the conference is to develop integrated views and common European-Japanese recommendations which have the potential to avoid digital risks like division of society, socially incompatible developments, disintegration, leaving behind the elderly, social conflicts etc. and to support digital chances to reach aims like equality and fairness of participation, balance of chances and opportunities, cooperation as well as competition, human wellbeing, social peace and to develop the societal and digital transformation in a peaceful spirit based on high technology.

Target Groups

Experts and citizens, decision makers and opinion leaders from related organizations, companies, universities, research institutes as well as public administration and governments from Japan and Europe are target groups. By this, a platform of knowledge and expertise will be created.

Day 1, Thursday November 24, 2022


Europe Time Japan Time What Who




Prof. Dr. Dietrich Albert (EJEA)

Prof. Dr. Fredrik Heintz (Linköping University)

Dr. Toshiyasu Ichioka (RIKEN)

Dr. René Reiners (Fraunhofer FIT)

Sabine Ganter-Richter (EJEA)

09:20 17:20

Technical Instructions

Lena Köppen (Fraunhofer FIT)
09:30 17:30

Keynote 1: The Role of Japan in the Post-Corona Era to Combat Global Challenges

Prof. Dr. Harriet Wallberg, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)
09:50 17:50

Keynote 2: AI and Society -ELSI About Autonomous Avatars

Prof. Dr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, RIKEN AIP (Japan)
10:10 18:10

Keynote 3: Combining Bird Eye View and Grass Root View for Earth Observation

Prof. Dr. Andreas Dengel, German Research Center for AI, DFKI (Germany)
10:30 18:30


10:50 18:50

Parallel Workshops:

  1. Sociability in Human-Robot Interactions (RIKEN)
  2. Kickstart a Circular Business (Fraunhofer FIT)
  3. Creating a Sustainable Future (EJEA)
12:50 20:50

Lessons Learned from Workshops Day 1

13:20 21:20

End of Day 1


Day 2, Friday November 25, 2022


Europe Time Japan Time What Who



Keynote 4: Megatrends – Merging Green and Secure Digital Transformation

Dr. Irene Ek, GOOGLE Cloud Nordics (Sweden)

09:20 17:20

Keynote 5: What We Learned from Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Initiatives

Prof. Dr. Masaaki Tokuda, Kagawa University (Japan)
09:40 17:40

Keynote 6: The Role of Cybersecurity in the Smart Society

Prof. Dr. Simin Nadjm-Tehrani, Linköping University (Sweden)
10:00 18:00

Keynote 7: Society 5.0 / Needs / Humability

Prof. Dr. Britta Essing, Fraunhofer FIT (Germany)
10:20 18:20


10:40 18:40

Parallel Workshops:

  1. Service Design (Fraunhofer FIT)
  2. Multidisciplinary Approaches toward SDGs Related to Environmental Humanities (KAGAWA University)
  3. Cognitive Robotics (Linköping University)
  4. European and Japanese Approaches for Addressing Future Challenges of SMEs (Shinshu University)
12:40 20:40

Lessons Learned from Workshops Day 2

13:10 21:10


Sabine Ganter-Richter, EJEA
13:20 21:20

End of Day 2 and Conference


Combining Bird Eye View and Grass Root View for Earth Observation

Prof. Dr. Andreas Dengel (Germany)

Executive Director DFKI Kaiserslautern & Head of Research Department Smart Data & Knowledge Services; Professor at Department of Computer Science and Intelligent Systems at Osaka Metropolitan University

This talk will address the multiple opportunities presented by the use of AI approaches to combine the analysis of satellite imagery and data collected on the ground. In particular, three exemplary areas, namely disaster management, air pollution monitoring, and agricultural yield management, will be discussed to demonstrate the added value of both data sources.

For the first domain, I will show how multimedia data from real-time social media monitoring and spectral data from Earth observation can be tied together to provide deep insight and foresight into disasters. In the second case, I will explain how mapping human settlements in combination with Sentinel 5 data can reveal the impact of air pollution. In the third case, I will discuss some insights into monitoring agricultural processes using sensor data from agricultural machinery. In doing so, I will highlight the potential to combine the relevant findings with approaches to classifying land cover and land use using remote sensing.

Megatrends – Merging Green and Secure Digital Transformation

Dr. Irene Ek (Sweden)

Director-General at Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis; Manager Government Affairs & Public Policy, Google Cloud Nordics

During this keynote I will guide you through some important policy documents such as the Swedish and Finnish Nato application and the New Swedish Government Declaration.I will also give you insight into selected parts of the forthcoming regulatory landscape that will regulate digital transformation across Europe. I would also like to share some share empirical evidence from discussions we have with firms regarding their digital transformation journey covering the following areas: 

Understanding and using data: We help customers as they would like to become smarter and make better decisions with a unified data platform. We also help customers reduce complexity and combine unstructured and structured data — wherever it resides — to quickly and easily produce valuable insights.

Establishing an open foundation for growth: Our users get a flexible, secure and open platform that evolves with their organization. Our commitment to multicloud, hybrid cloud, and open source offers organizations the freedom of choice, allowing their developers to build faster and more intuitively.

Creating a collaborative environment: In today’s hybrid work environment we provide the tools users need to transform how people connect, create, and collaborate.

Securing systems and users: As every company rethinks its security posture, we help customers protect their data using the same infrastructure and security services that Google uses for its own operations.

Building a cleaner, more sustainable future: We have been carbon neutral since 2007, and we are working toward being entirely on carbon-free energy by 2030. Today, the workloads we run are matched with 100% renewable energy. We help customers decarbonize their applications and infrastructure with technologies like Carbon Footprint and Active Assist.

Society 5.0 / Needs / Humability

Prof. Dr. Britta Essing (Germany)

Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Head of Human-Centered Engineering & Design

The term Society 5.0 is associated with a smart and sustainable society. Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) or Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR / VR) are examples of technologies that could shape our future world of work and leisure.

Unlike a few years ago, technologies today have matured to such an extent that utopias and dystopias of societal technologization could become reality. Of course, the designers of a Society 5.0 intend to improve the world we live in and enhance the quality of our lives. Nevertheless, we must take care that this noble intention becomes reality. This talk aims to emphasize the importance of human-centered approaches in designing a smart society.

Using a Metaverse vision as an example, it will be shown that existing human factors approaches, such as Usability or User experience (UX), are not sufficient to make social contexts with AR / VR human-friendly. Consequently, in this talk the idea of a new research discipline - for which the concept Humability is introduced here for the first time - will be presented. The overarching research question in the field of Humability should be how virtual and augmented worlds and the social spaces within must be designed so that they are harmless or even beneficial to a person's mental health.

First design-oriented research questions for designing metaverses are raised based on major psychological sub-disciplines. The high social relevance of these questions highlights the urgency of establishing Humability as an interdisciplinary applied science.

AI and Society-ELSI About Autonomous Avatars

Dr. Hiroshi Nakagawa (Japan)

RIKEN AIP, Center for Advanced Intelligence Project AI Utilization in Society and Legal System

The relation between AI and society has become the critical issue to use AI technologies in the various applications that we human being use to survive in our society. The AI systems being used as an interface of natural persons and information sphere which forces us to think about its ELSI problems. Among these, avatars which start to get focused in the future meta-verse environments even in today’s internet circumstances.

In this talk, we focus on ELSI of avatars especially, autonomous avatars because when one natural person use many avatars on behalf of him/her to enhance his/her informational capacity, avatars need to be autonomous. If we utilize these autonomous avatars on behalf of us, other entities including natural persons or even avatars need to trust our avatars. The main topics of this talk are how to make trust between avatars and other entities, what kinds of problem we have to think about to keep trust relations, and how to cope with them.

The Role of Cybersecurity in the Smart Society

Prof. Dr. Simin Nadjm-Tehrani (Sweden)

Director of Real-time Systems Laboratory, Department of Computer and Information Science, Linköping University

There is a widespread expectation that digital solutions and in particular the use of AI and machine learning (ML) will be part of the smart societies of the future. In this talk I pose the question whether the reliance on massive deployment of connectivity, software, and ML needs to be coupled with advancing methods for assuring their cybersecurity and safety. In that case, I exemplify a couple of challenges in addressing these issues in autonomous and smart solutions of today. I then go on to give examples, based on current research, where barriers need to be removed to further the ability to reason about the systems we are building, both from the security and safety perspectives.

Cybersecurity and privacy need to be integrated into the systems that build the backbone of the societal needs, namely the critical infrastructures on which all services and products will depend. Prevention of hazards and threats to security/privacy while developing a system is ultimately the best means of reducing future failures. However, what we have learnt from digitalisation so far tells us that we need to anticipate that the complex distributed cyber-physical systems we are building will exhibit behaviours affected by faults, overloads, and attacks. This mindset will encourage also creating methods for detecting deviations from intended “good states” during operation. This will be exemplified by methods for detection as well as prevention of faults and intrusions taken from recent research with my students.

What We Learned from Industry-Academia-Government Collaboration Initiatives

Prof. Dr. Masaaki Tokuda (Japan)

Former Vice-President for International Affairs; Professor of Department of Pharmaco-Informatics, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University

Kagawa University (KU) established in 1949 is a middle size national university which is located in Shikoku Island of Japan. KU has had a pivotal role to cooperate with local government and local industries to promote regional strength and solve various weaknesses of the society. Many Industry-Academia-Government collaboration initiatives have been proposed and accomplished both domestically and internationally in the 21st century.

One of them is the tele-medicine project which aims to improve uneven distribution of medical resources in Kagawa Prefecture. There are many depopulated areas in the mountainous zone and islands in Kagawa and residents of those areas have limited supplies and opportunities of various medical and health services. I introduce our project to reduce risks of pregnant women who live in rural areas of Kagawa and its successful international implementation in various developing countries.

I also introduce the novel graduate school named “Graduate School of Science for Creative Emergence” established in 2021. This graduate school is featured by multi-disciplinary curriculum such as art, design and technology, policy of the sustainable development with diversity and inclusiveness, innovation through Industry-Government-Academia collaboration and recurrent and re-skilling education.

The Role of Japan in the Post-Corona Era to Combat Global Challenges

Prof. Dr. Harriet Wallberg (Sweden)

Former President of Karolinska Institute; Professor of Physiology; Member of the Science and Technology in Society Forum Kyoto (STS)

The world is facing challenges that affect us all. These include for example the pandemic and its aftermath, the issue of food security and above all the overarching Climate change. Collaboration, not just competition, must motivate progress of science and technology, but also in cultural exchange. Japan and Sweden have for a long time benefited from cooperation in many fields such as politics, business, and science and technology. The pandemic led to an unexpected halt in the personal exchanges between the two countries. Slowly, restrictions are lifted. Students and scientists can again travel and start long duration stays in Japan respectively Sweden. Impression from a recent visit of the Sweden Japan Foundation to Japan will be presented, such as:

  • How can exchanges with Japanese companies, universities and NGOs expand after the pandemic and be promoted?
  • What are the important trends in Japan, and how can we reestablish contacts and search for opportunities for future exchanges?

The Sweden-Japan Foundation was established in 1971. It organizes seminars, and lectures, and conducts a scholarship program primarily for visits longer than three months in Japan. The focus is on economics, science and technology.

Day 1, Thursday November 24, 2022

1. Sociability in Human-Robot Interactions

Organized by RIKEN, Dr. Toshiyasu Ichioka, Director, RIKEN Europe Office


  1. Opening Remarks
    Makiko Naka, Executive Director, RIKEN, Japan
  2. Socially Engaging Robots and HRI ‘third-parties’: Lessons Learned from Real-life Use of Social Robots in Retail and Geriatrics
    Martin Chevallier, CEMS-EHESS, France
  3. Cyber-Physical Systems for Psychological Support and Social Rehabilitation Inspired by Brain Research
    Maya Dimitrova, Institute of Robotics, Bulgarian Academy of Science, Bulgaria
  4. Study of an Autonomous Robot Living Together with Humans in Daily Environments
    Takashi Minato, RIKEN, Interactive Robot Research Team, Guardian Robot Project, Japan
  5. Dialogue-Based System with Photo and Storytelling for Older Adults: Toward Daily Cognitive Training at Home
    Seiki Tokunaga, RIKEN, Japan
  6. Brain-Inspired Artificial Intelligence to Apply Industrial Robotics Toward Human-Centered Society
    Hiroaki Wagatsuma, Kyushu Institute of Technology, Japan


2. Kickstart a Circular Business – Sharing Experiences on an Online Tool for 2hr-Workshop-Concept for Learning Circular Economy

Organized by Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Constanze Ritzmann and Lena Brüch


3. Creating a Sustainable Future

Organized by European Japan Experts Association (EJEA), Prof. Dr. Anders Törnvall, EJEA Executive Member


  1. How Artificial Intelligence Reconceptualises Information Literacy: Ways to a Sustainable Creative Society
    Michal Cerny, Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic
  2. Exploring a Potential of Digital Role-Playing for Development of Social and Cultural Values
    Kristýna Kalmárová, Masaryk University in Brno, Department of Information and Library Studies, Czech Republic
  3. Monitoring User State Detection for the Future of Mobility
    Lorenz Granrath, Sebastian Schnieder, Jarek Krajewski, Institute of Experimental Psychophysiology, Düsseldorf, Germany
  4. Insights on Sustainability-oriented Change in Mobility Stimulated by Civic IoT Applications
    Andrea Hamm, Weizenbaum-Institute, Germany and Yuya Shibuya, University of Tokyo, Japan
  5. Learning from Tokyo's Extended Home Architectures: An Urban Configuration to Decouple High Livability from High Residential Space in European Cities?
    Florian Liedtke, Institute for Sustainable urbanism, TU Braunschweig, Germany

Day 2, Friday November 25, 2022

4. Service Design

Organized by Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Anika Martin and Wanda Gaertner


5. Multidisciplinary Approaches toward SDGs Related to Environmental Humanities

Organized by KAGAWA University, Prof. Dr. Toru Terao and Prof. Dr. Kenji Wada


  1. Impact of Climate Change on Haol (Seasonal Lake) in Northeastern Bangladesh and Adaptation Measure
    Toru Terao, Kagawa University
  2. In-Polder Water Management: A Transformational Measures for Adapting to Climate Change in Coastal Bangladesh
    Robin K. Biswas, Bangladesh Water Development Board
  3. River Runoff Simulation Using Past Precipitation Data and Its Issues: A Study on the Yura River in northern Kyoto Prefecture
    Masahide ISHIZUKA, Kagawa University
  4. Green Infrastructure for Flood and Bank Erosion Vulnerability Areas in Improving Society Resilience
    Subashisa Dutta, Indian Institute of Technology
  5. "Challenges of The Environmental Victims of The World's Largest Rohingya Refugee Camps of Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh & SDG Based Sustainable Geological Engineering Solutions for the Refugees & Local Communities"
    Hossain, A.T.M.S, Jahangirnagar University
  6. Reviving water resilient communities: An approach towards achieving SDGs in Meghalaya
    H. J. Syiemlieh, North Eastern Hill University
  7. Environmental Cleanup activities at Seto Inland Sea
    Lrong Lim, Kagawa University
  8. Chiang Mai University, Innovation, and Action for Sustainable Development
    Pornchai Wisuttisak, Chiang Mai University
  9. Depopulation, Aging and Sustainable Tourism in Shikoku Region, Japan
    Naoyuki Hara, Kagawa University
  10. Environmental Education with Technology Enhanced Learning: Constructing a Spherical Video based Virtual Reality Teaching
    Chao Yang Cheng, National Chiayi University
  11. Being vs. Doing, Changed vs. Change: Initial Thinking toward Humanity Innovation and Social Practice
    Sy-Chyi Wang, National Chiayi University


6. Cognitive Robotics

Organized by Linköping University, Prof. Dr. Fredrik Heintz


  1. The Paths towards Robust and Adaptive AI
    Danilo Vargas, Kyushu University, Japan
  2. TBD
    Mattias Tiger, Linköping University, Sweden


7. European and Japanese Approaches for Addressing Future Challenges of SMEs

Organized by Shinshu University, Prof. Dr. Kiyoshi Tanaka, and Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT, Dr. Anja Linnemann


  1. German and European Competence Centers Guiding Through the Digital Transformation
    Anja Linnemann, Fraunhofer FIT, Germany
  2. Shinshu IT Valley Initiative Project Co-Creation Network and its Activity Policy
    Kiyoshi Tanaka, Shinshu University, Nagano Prefecture Japan

Submission Guidelines

Please send your submission (in English) by email to ejea-conf-2022-submission@fit.fraunhofer.de and use the following template:

Template: Submissions for EJEA 2022

We kindly ask you to include the following information:

  • Given name, family name, title, affiliation, URL, email address, phone number
  • Abstract (1 page is suitable)
  • CV (optional)

Please indicate asap whether you want to organize a workshop by informing the organizers asap with the workshop title. The abstract for the workshop may be submitted at a later date. Also, please indicate whether you want to contribute by an oral contribution, a workshop, a poster, a demonstration, or a self-presentation of smart city or of a smart company. We also ask you to declare that the submitted information may be published on the conference’s website.

The deadline for submissions is November 13th, 2022.

Results will be notified within two weeks after submission deadline. Activities still in progress can be presented and discussed.


You can download the extended version of the call for paper here:

Call for Paper EJEA 2022

We welcome abstract submissions for the following categories:

© Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

1. Oral Contributions

We ask for oral contributions, that should be no longer than 10 minutes and presented during parallel workshops (see 2. below).

2. Workshops

We welcome your offers to organize and co-chair (Europe and/or Japan) a workshop in the scope of the conference. Each workshop organizer and co-chair is also involved in reviewing submissions of oral contributions in his/her field. Please note that organizing a workshop must be performed by the workshop-applicant. The workshop organizers are supposed to also take individual submissions for oral contributions (see 1) into consideration.

If you want to organize a workshop please let us know as soon as possible!

Following workshop are currently under discussions:

  • Prediction of Unexpected, Seldom Positive and Negative Events / Impacts (Dietrich Albert et al.)
  • Methods to Stimulate Behavioral Change in Different Cultures / Cultural Contexts
  • Support / Assistance for Elderly People by Robots / AI in Japan and Europe (RIKEN)
  • EIJS Policy Brief: Human Resource Development Initiatives in Large Japanese Companies (Marie Söderberg et al., tbc)
  • How can networking activities intensify current and future European-Japanese initiatives and innovations?
  • DeepMind research; relation between brain, AI, and consciousness

3. Posters

Posters focusing on human-centered sustainability and innovation for an AI-assisted future are very welcome, also from a more specific perspective. Submissions are not limited to established academics; we also encourage students and representatives from the industry to submit their posters!

4. Demonstrations

Demonstrations (online) from industry and research institutions dealing with innovative systems (robots, AI-software etc.) are very welcome.

5. Self-Presentation of Smart Cities

Online self-presentations of smart cities are very welcome.

6. Self-Presentation of Smart Companies

Online self-presentations of smart companies are very welcome.

The EJEA Conference 2022 is jointly organized by

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