Iceland Week

Norden at Tokyo Tech Project

Tokyo Institute of Technology's Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology was founded in 1996 with the goal of establishing harmony between human societies on the one hand and science and technology on the other through the creation of an effective interface linking the two. Since 2009 the graduate school has also become actively involved with the Nordic countries in an effort to deepen collaborative research with them through a five-year project called Norden at Tokyo Tech.

The Nordic countries share the common value of "realizing a high quality of life" and have established human-centered communities with a focus on education, welfare and environmental conservation. There is much to learn from the Nordic countries in terms of "realizing a high quality of life." Naturally the Nordic model cannot be directly applied to Japan in cookie-cutter fashion considering the differences in population size, governance and culture. However, the project moves beyond these obvious differences and seeks to find ways to adopt that which can be applied to Japan, such as the creation of a spiritually meaningful lifestyle and an environment where the elderly feel supported and have peace of mind. Additionally human-centered applications of technologies are introduced to Japan by Nordic countries and Tokyo Tech introduces its own renowned engineering technologies to them in a mutually benefiting cooperative relationship that enhances ties between Japan and the Nordic countries.

As part of Norden at Tokyo Tech, one Nordic country is showcased each year in a week-long series of academic and popular lectures, symposia, exhibitions and hands-on events. Participants have a variety of opportunities to learn about the culture and society of that year's country. In 2009 Tokyo Tech featured Finland and in 2010, Denmark; Sweden was introduced in 2011 and Norway in 2012. As noted above, in this fifth and final year of the Norden at Tokyo Tech project, Iceland will be featured. Tokyo Tech students, faculty members, and administrative and technical staff are welcome. The event is open to the public and it is hoped that all who are interested in the Nordic countries and their culture will visit this year's Iceland Week.

Welcome to the Warm Country of Ice

Written in Chinese characters, Iceland reads "country of ice" in Japanese, which sounds really cold. However, in fact, Iceland has the warmest winter of all the Nordic countries and is as warm as Hokkaido, a northern island of Japan. Thanks to the warmth of the Gulf Stream, the mean minimum temperature in winter is only minus 5 degrees Celsius. In addition, the whole of Iceland is located in the Aurora Zone and the beauty of the Northern Lights can be observed even in towns and cities with streetlights.

It is a little-known fact that Iceland had the first woman president in the world. The country boasts some of the highest rates of social advancement for women anywhere in the world.

Iceland is also rich in renewable energy sources and is 100 percent energy self-sufficient. About 73 percent of Iceland's energy comes from hydraulic power and about 27 percent comes from geothermal power according to statistics in 2011 from the National Energy Authority, Iceland. Although Japan is also rich in geothermal heat, it does not utilize this source of energy to the extent that Iceland does.

Iceland offers much to learn with its population of 320,000 and abundant nature. Moreover, it is a country rarely introduced in Japan. Why not discover Iceland at Tokyo Tech?

Iceland Week
A Week of Viewing, Listening, Feeling and Learning about Iceland

Tokyo Tech will introduce the unknown fascinations of Iceland for one week beginning on November 11. During this period, Icelandic goods and works of art constructed by Tokyo Tech students with toy bricks will be displayed. Seating capacity for each event is 280 and reservations will be taken from Tuesday, November 5. Please join us in this rare opportunity to learn about and enjoy Iceland.


West Bldg. 9 at Ookayama Campus
Multi-Purpose Digital Hall, Collaboration Room and Media Hall (Lobby)


Day 1:
Monday, November 11
2 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Opening remarks (English)
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
"What is Iceland like?" by Icelandair (Japanese)
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
"Home of Scandinavian myth - Iceland" by Professor Nobuyoshi Mori, Department of Nordic Studies, School of Letters, Tokai University (Japanese)
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Special lecture "Living in a laboratory – what happens when you leave 300,000 people on an island?" by Andri Snaer Magnason, writer (English)
Day 2:
Tuesday, November 12
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Collaborative event with Shimizukubo Elementary School, Ota-ku with Professor Emeritus Sachio Ehara, Kyushu University, Representative of the Institute for Geothermal Information (Japanese)
3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
"Geothermal energy and its use" by Professor Emeritus Sachio Ehara, Kyushu University, Representative of the Institute for Geothermal Information (Japanese)
5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Panel discussion "Learn from Nordic countries"
Moderator: Professor Junichi Iijima, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Graduate School of Decision Science and Technology, Tokyo Tech (Japanese)
Day 3:
Wednesday, November 13
10 a.m. – noon
Collaborative event with Shimizukubo Elementary School, Ota-ku with Andri Snaer Magnason, writer (English)
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
"Entrepreneurship in Iceland " by Arnar Jensson, CEO of COOORI (English)
Day 4:
Thursday, November 14
5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
"Me & Icelandic Music" by Arni Kristjansson
Day 5:
Friday, November 15
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
"Iceland and geothermal energy" by Akira Ikegami, journalist and professor, Center for Liberal Arts (Japanese)
3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
"Hot music in a cool country: 2013 latest music scene" by Yuka Ogura, music critic (Japanese)
6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
DJ stage "Hey, Iceland!" by DJ Arni Kristjansson

Iceland Week Office
Email icelandweek@dst.titech.ac.jp


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Published: November 2013


Public Relations Division, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Email pr@jim.titech.ac.jp