KGU Alumna Selected as a Co-Chair for the Davos 2019 Summit

Public Relations Office        January 8, 2019

Akira Sakano

Akira Sakano

 Akira Sakano, graduate of the Kwansei Gakuin University School of Policy Studies and current chairwoman of the NPO Zero Waste Academy (Kamikatsu Town, Tokushima) was selected to be a co-chairperson at the upcoming World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos (Davos 2019). Top figures from the political and business establishment in every country come together at this event. Together with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela, six young leaders, including Sakano, will manage the meeting and move it forward.

 Sakano, who is from Nishinomiya, enrolled in the School of Policy Studies, and while she was learning about environmental policy, she became a member of AIESEC, an international student organization that works to solve social problems. In her senior year, she took a leave of absence to serve as the vice president of AIESEC’s Japan branch, and afterward, she served as the managing director of AIESEC’s branch in Mongolia. Upon graduating in 2012, she worked in the Philippines for two years at a Germany-based logistics company, and then moved to Kamikatsu Town in Tokushima, the hometown of one of her classmates from the School of Policy Studies. She was commissioned by the town to participate in planning the activities of an NPO for thoroughly sorting and reducing trash, and became the Chair of the Zero Waste Academy Board of Directors in November 2015. Since then, she has worked to expand the organization’s breadth of activities and help others understand its mission by giving the NPO exposure overseas through media relations efforts and talks at international conferences. Since 2012, Sakano has also belonged to the Osaka hub of the Global Shapers Community, a group for the under-33 leaders of the World Economic Forum, and conducted various projects such as workshops for high school students.

 Regarding her selection, Sakano said “It was unexpected, so I was surprised.” She aims to connect the economy with a recycling-oriented society, and aspire toward a new way that people should follow for production and consumption, using the “circular economy” as a keyword. “At this conference, we want to engage in exhaustive discussions so that people will not produce trash or waste resources, and move the world closer to a circular economy society,” she said.