Programme (Live-Stream)

Due to continued uncertainties surrounding the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, ACSS2020 will be held Online.

The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences (ACSS) is a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for either conference will allow participants to attend sessions in both.

This page provides details of featured presentations, the conference schedule and other programming. For more information about presenters, please visit the Speakers page.


Conference Outline

Monday, May 25, 2020Tuesday, May 26, 2020Wednesday, May 27, 2020

09:00–12:00: Plenary Session

12:00–13:15: Lunch Break

13:15–14:45: Plenary Session

14:45–15:00: Break

15:00–16:30: Plenary Session

09:00–10:30: Parallel Sessions

10:30–10:45: Break

10:45–12:15: Parallel Sessions

12:15–13:15: Lunch Break

13:15–14:45: Parallel Sessions

14:45–15:00: Break

15:00–16:30: Parallel Sessions

16:30–17:00: Break

17:00–18:00: Parallel Sessions

09:00–10:30: Parallel Sessions

10:30–10:45: Break

10:45–12:15: Parallel Sessions

12:15–13:15: Lunch Break

13:15–14:45: Parallel Sessions

14:45–15:00: Break

15:00–16:30: Parallel Sessions

16:30–17:00: Break

17:00–18:00: Closing Session

The draft version of the Conference Programme will be available online on May 07, 2020. All registered delegates will be notified of this publication by email.

The above schedule may be subject to change.


Featured Presentations

  • Embracing the Power of Difference as an Elementary Idea
    Embracing the Power of Difference as an Elementary Idea
    Keynote Presentation: Chris Dalton
  • Embracing Difference by Design: Virtues and Vices
    Embracing Difference by Design: Virtues and Vices
    Keynote Presentation: Bruce Brown
  • Numeratives in Japanese: How speakers perceive things when they count
    Numeratives in Japanese: How speakers perceive things when they count
    Featured Presentation: Asako Iida

Final Programme

The Conference Programme contains access information, session information and a detailed day-to-day presentation schedule. All registered delegates who attend The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences receive a printed copy of the Conference Programme at the Registration Desk on arrival. Only one copy of the Conference Programme is available per delegate, so please take good care of your copy.

The draft version of the Conference Programme will be available on May 07, 2020. The final Conference Programme will be available on May 15, 2020.


Previous Programming

View details of programming for past ACSS conferences via the links below.

Embracing the Power of Difference as an Elementary Idea
Keynote Presentation: Chris Dalton

This presentation is a response to the call of this conference to embrace difference.

Difference is more than simply a driver or inhibitor of creativity, it is the elementary source of all information. It defines us and is often how we define ourselves. In humans difference is embedded in the act of perception, yet we rarely stop to understand the nature of difference as an idea. This talk argues that difference is the basic building block of knowledge, but its properties are often overlooked, misunderstood or ignored.

Embracing Difference means understanding it, and this involves a shift in seeing. Social science, which here includes management learning and education, has struggled to reconcile varying perspectives between disciplines, between methodologies, and between individual researchers. “Difference” has generally become a synonym for “disagreement”. This will not do, as it does not address the complexity of issues we face or the multidisciplinary response required.

This presentation uses the context of post-experience management learning in a European Business School to illustrate some of the problems and pitfalls of difference, as well as the tremendous potential of an awareness of its true nature. It will propose three fundamental, universal properties of difference; zero-dimension, inter-connectivity and generativity. These form a conceptual framework for multidisciplinary researchers and practitioners to re-evaluate their perceptions and dialogue.

Read presenter biographies.

Embracing Difference by Design: Virtues and Vices
Keynote Presentation: Bruce Brown

The emergence of design as a professional discipline in the 1950’s heralded a new age of consumption and individualism. In response to the traumas of two world wars, design brought the promise of new utopias and a stable world. Being tied to industrial mass production the design of this Modernist utopia was built on “problem-solving”, “form follows function”, “less is more” and a conviction that the evils of society could, and should, be eradicated. This 20th century view of a virtuous world was shattered by 21st century communications technologies. Here the tools of centralised authorities were replaced by social networks with their decentralised cacophonies of voices and avalanches of information. But, if an old world order has receded then a new kind of order still needs designing to meet these contemporary conditions and prevent societies from slipping back into anarchy, mob rule or tribalism. Indeed, we seem to have liberated ourselves from the industrialised tyrannies of one-over-many to inhabit a new extreme in which the many are starting to dominate the few and information overload works like anaesthetic. We seem to have oscillated from one polarity, “problem, solving” to its antithesis, “wicked problems” – ones that cannot be solved due to the complexity of their conditions.

This, in itself, forces binary options to be adopted so that paralysis is avoided and decisions made. If the existence of such polarities is to be managed then the multifarious differences of a messy world must be embraced and structured for a new order to emerge. As the relentless march of industrialisation forced people to migrate from countryside to city so did the word “virtue” assume a new meaning. Setting itself against the vices of inner city existence (prostitution and crime) virtue became associated with chastity and innocence (as we still know it today). But, its original meaning was different – virtue being the soundness of judgment to find points of equilibrium between opposing vices (e.g. between excess or deficiency, heaven or hell, sex or love, rich or poor, fast or slow). In other words, to embrace (not neutralise) difference as a key to finding new ways of making the world in which we want to live. This is the virtue of design in meeting our challenge.

Read presenter biographies.

Numeratives in Japanese: How speakers perceive things when they count
Featured Presentation: Asako Iida

Japanese language has morphemes which only appear next to a numeral when a speaker counts things. They are called josuushi or “numeratives”. Typical examples are -ko, -mai, -hon, and -dai. They also categorise the referent of a noun terms of its animacy, shape, size, function, and properties.

It is estimated that there are more than 500 numeratives in modern Japanese. This presentation is going to analyze what kind of cognitive activities are working when a native speaker picks an appropriate numerative out of the vast list of morphemes. For example, -hiki is a numerative used when we count creatures in general, such as insects, fish, reptiles, small mammals and even bacteria. Bigger mammals, such as elephants, horses, and whales are preferred to be counted with -tou, while we have collected several examples which allow the use of -tou to count beetles, butterflies, and small mammals. It proves that speakers see some common features between elephants and beetles when they count.

Another example is -hon considered to be used in counting long objects such as pens, strings, trees and roads. It is interesting that this numerative is also used to count shapeless entities such as homeruns, rehearsals, phone calls, pieces of email correspondence, TV programs, and Judo’s techniques.

In conclusion, we will show the cognitive frameworks which are filtering the morphological application of numeratives in Japanese, and consider the cultural backgrounds affecting them.

Read presenter biographies.