The future is imminent! As the extreme climate conditions become the new norm of planet Earth and the COVID-19 outbreak in the beginning of 2020 ravaging across the world, our interconnectedness has never been more accentuated since the industrial revolution and social capitalism took the center stage a century ago. For the survival of future generations, the human species must search for the collective approaches to coexist with Mother Nature and to create a sustainable ecosystem. In order to explore new paths for the future, there is an urgent need to reflect on the crisis that challenges sustainability, including fragmented social systems, rapidly aging population and urbanization, natural disasters, market crises, digital gaps, income inequality, resource exhaustion, and the shrinking biodiversity.
Facing such challenges, universities should shoulder the responsibilities and act as incubators of knowledge-sharing for the co-creation of a sustainable future, enabling citizens to proactively tackle environmental and social changes, and to deduce enduring solutions amidst all the uncertainty, complexity, and risks. It is also a university’s task to develop education models based on the concept of “learning society” that connects global trends with local knowledge and integrates traditional education systems with unconventional methods inspired by different entities.
To achieve this goal, National Taiwan University (hereinafter referred to as NTU) kick-started the Future NTU project in the beginning of 2019 with the support of President Dr. Chung-Ming Kuan. The project is led by NTU D-School which initiated a series of small-scale dialogue sessions and workshops piloting with faculty and students across various disciplines to brainstorm. These workshops were further expanded to involve more participating stakeholders including students, faculty members, staff, alumni, parents, and industry partners who care about education in Taiwan and NTU’s future. Through hundreds of events, thousands of participants have reflected on NTU’s core values as a university, proposing innovative solutions to shape the future of NTU as it marches towards its centennial anniversary in 2028.