The DePaul University Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education held the 2nd International Conference on Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education on June 16-18, 2021. Themed “Toward 2030: The Significance of Value-Creating Pedagogy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” the virtual conference signaled the importance of the next decade in marking both the 100th anniversary of Tsunesaburo Makiguchi’s Sōka kyōikugaku taikei (The System of Value-Creating Pedagogy), and the date by which all UN Member States have agreed to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. More than 150 scholars, educators, and graduate students from multiple countries attended the conference. Presentations included research on the philosophies and practices of Makiguchi, Daisaku Ikeda, and Josei Toda, ranging from historical analyses of their original writings to conceptual and empirical examinations of their ideas in applied practice. Presentation themes ranged from Ikeda’s thought in action, arts and the poetic mind, and value-creating education to consideration of these relative to the SDGs, COVID-19, dialogue, human revolution, human education, global citizenship, and more. The full conference program is available here.

Nuñez giving the keynote speech

The conference also included a welcome plenary session commemorating the 25th anniversary of Ikeda’s 1996 address on education for global citizenship at Teachers’ College, Columbia University, as well as two invited keynotes. The first keynote, by Isabel Nuñez (Purdue University, Fort Wayne) was on spirituality and selfhood toward integrity as a teacher. The second, by Douglas Yacek (Dortmund University of Technology) and Gonzalo Obelleiro (DePaul University), examined intersections between Ikeda’s and Toda’s notion of “human revolution” and the field of transformative education. In the closing session, DePaul University College of Education Dean Paul Zionts shared his appreciation for the participants and excitement for the further advancement of the field of Ikeda/Soka studies in education. He also announced that preparations are currently underway to launch an online PhD in Value-Creating Education for Global Citizenship at DePaul.

Obelleiro in the keynote session
Yacek in the keynote session

The virtual format of the conference enabled overseas presenters and participants to be part of the ongoing exploration and development of research in Ikeda/Soka studies in education. Many students and alumni of DePaul’s degree and certificate programs in Value-Creating Education for Global Citizenship presented papers based on their work in the program, and many doctoral students from DePaul and other universities also delivered presentations on their engagements with Ikeda’s ideas in their lines of doctoral inquiry and research.

You can visit here to see the original conference call.