Speakers

The Asian Conference on the Social Sciences (ACSS) is a multidisciplinary conference held concurrently with The Asian Conference on Sustainability, Energy & the Environment (ACSEE). Keynote, Featured and Spotlight Speakers will provide a variety of perspectives from different academic and professional backgrounds. Registration for any one of these conferences permits attendance in all three within the event.

This page provides information about presenters. For details of presentations and other programming, please visit the Programme page.


  • Osamu Arakaki
    Osamu Arakaki
    International Christian University, Japan
  • Eddie Bruce-Jones
    Eddie Bruce-Jones
    Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London, UK
  • Kotaro Katsuki
    Kotaro Katsuki
    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
  • Kathryn M. Lavender
    Kathryn M. Lavender
    National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)
  • James W. McNally
    James W. McNally
    University of Michigan, USA & NACDA Program on Aging
  • Toshi Nakamura
    Toshi Nakamura
    Co-Founder & CEO, Kopernik
  • Lowell Sheppard
    Lowell Sheppard
    HOPE International Development Agency, Japan

Previous Speakers

View details of speakers at past ACSS conferences via the links below.

Osamu Arakaki
International Christian University, Japan

Biography

Osamu Arakaki is a professor at International Christian University (ICU), Japan, and an expert of international law and international relations. He received a PhD in Law from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, an MA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, Canada, and an MA in Law from Meiji Gakuin University, Japan. Before he began serving at ICU, he was a visiting fellow at Harvard Law School, USA, visiting associate professor at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and professor at Hiroshima City University, Japan. His main works include Refugee Law and Practice in Japan (Ashgate, 2008), “Non-state actors and UNHCR’s supervisory role in international relations,” in James C Simeon (ed.), The UNHCR and the Supervision of International Refugee Law (Cambridge University Press, 2013) and Statelessness Conventions and Japanese Laws: Convergence and Divergence (UNHCR Representation in Japan, 2015).

Keynote Presentation (2019) | What Role Should Japanese Universities Play in the Refugee Crisis?
Eddie Bruce-Jones
Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London, UK

Biography

Eddie Bruce-Jones (DPhil, Berlin; LLM, KCL; JD, Columbia; MA, Berlin; AB, Harvard) is Deputy Dean and Reader (Associate Professor) in Law & Anthropology at Birkbeck College School of Law, University of London, where he teaches and researches in the areas of human rights, European law, legal theory, equality law and legal anthropology. He is author of Race in the Shadow of Law: State Violence in Contemporary Europe (Routledge, 2016), and co-author of the forthcoming Anti-Discrimination Law: Texts, Cases and Materials, 3rd Edition (with Aileen McColgan, Hart, 2019). His scholarly writing can be found in the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, Race & Class and the UCLA Journal of International Law and Foreign Affairs. He is currently writing his second book tentatively titled Kaala Paani: Law, Imagination and Colonial Indenture, for which he was a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt, Germany. He is a member of the New York Bar and an Associate Academic Fellow of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Law, the Board of Trustees of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group and the Board of Directors of the Institute of Race Relations (London) and the advisory board of the Centre for Intersectional Justice (Berlin).

Keynote Presentation (2019) | South Asian Indenture to Jamaica: Between Law, Literature and Social Science
Kotaro Katsuki
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Biography

Kotaro Katsuki is the Director of the Global Issues Cooperation Division of the International Cooperation Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, where he is responsible for the overall coordination of implementing the Japanese Government’s activities related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) both domestically and internationally.

Mr Katsuki joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1994. Before commencing his current position, he held various appointments including First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in the United States, Counsellor at the Embassy of Japan in the People’s Republic of China and Director of Southeast Asia Economic Partnership Division.

He holds a BA in Law from the University of Tokyo and an MA in Regional Studies East Asia from Harvard University. He has lectured at various universities including, for four-and-a-half years, as a part time lecturer at the Faculty of Law at Chuo University.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Independence and Interdependence: Preliminary Thoughts from the Viewpoint of Japan’s Experience on SDGs implementation
Kathryn M. Lavender
National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA)

Biography

Kathryn joined the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA) team in November 2017 as project manager. She is involved with day to day operations including data deposits, restricted-use data agreements, data user requests, as well as long-term planning of NACDA activities in the research community.

Before transitioning to NACDA, Kathryn Lavender came to ICPSR from UofM Dearborn as a co-op student, and accepted a full-time position after graduating with her degree in economics. She has been involved in many areas of ICPSR, from curating data across different projects and supervising curation staff to event planning with the summer internship program. As of this April, Kathryn has been an official ICPSR staff member for 10 years.

Featured Workshop Presentation (2019) | Locating Data for Research: Data Collections and Resources for Thesis Writing, Teaching, and Grant Development for the Social Sciences and the Environment

Previous Presentations

Featured Workshop Presentation (2018) | Locating Data for Research

This presentation was co-sponsored by IAFOR and The University of Michigan

James W. McNally
University of Michigan, USA & NACDA Program on Aging

Biography

Dr James W. McNally is the Director of the NACDA Program on Aging, a data archive containing over 1,500 studies related to health and the aging lifecourse. He currently does methodological research on the improvement and enhancement of secondary research data and has been cited as an expert authority on data imputation. Dr McNally has directed the NACDA Program on Aging since 1998 and has seen the archive significantly increase its holdings with a growing collection of seminal studies on the aging lifecourse, health, retirement and international aspects of aging. He has spent much of his career addressing methodological issues with a specific focus on specialized application of incomplete or deficient data and the enhancement of secondary data for research applications. Dr McNally has also worked extensively on issues related to international aging and changing perspectives on the role of family support in the later stages of the aging lifecourse.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Defining and Measuring Resilience in an Aging World
Featured Workshop Presentation (2019) | Locating Data for Research: Data Collections and Resources for Thesis Writing, Teaching, and Grant Development for the Social Sciences and the Environment

Previous Presentations

Featured Panel Presentation (2018) | Health Across the Lifecourse
Featured Workshop Presentation (2018) | Locating Data for Research
Featured Presentation (2017) | Methodologies for the Collection of Comparative Community Level Public Health Data: Obtaining Powerful and Statistically Meaningful Findings for Small Populations
Featured Panel Presentation (2017) | Easts Meets West – Healthy, Active and Beautiful Aging in Asia
Toshi Nakamura
Co-Founder & CEO, Kopernik

Biography

Toshi, together with his wife Ewa Wojkowska, co-founded Kopernik in 2010 with a vision to make international development more effective. Before starting Kopernik, Toshi dealt with governance reform, peace building processes, monitoring and evaluation, and post-disaster reconstruction at the United Nations (UN) in Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, the United States and Switzerland.

Prior to joining the UN, Toshi was a management consultant for McKinsey and Company in Tokyo. He holds an LLB from Kyoto University and MSc Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and is a Guest Professor at Osaka University's Center for the Study of Co*Design, Osaka University. Toshi was selected as a World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leader in 2012, and was a member of the WEF Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Development 2014-2016.

Keynote Presentation (2019) | Independence and Interdependence – Perspectives from a Development Practitioner Based in Indonesia
Lowell Sheppard
HOPE International Development Agency, Japan

Biography

Lowell Sheppard is an author, speaker, social entrepreneur, former minister, fellow of the Royal Geographic Society, husband, father, long-distance cyclist, and aspiring sailor. Lowell has spent his entire adult life working with established non-government organisations (also known as non-profit societies) and in several NGO start-ups. As Founder of HOPE International Development Agency Japan and Asia Pacific twenty years ago, Lowell has seen the growth of HOPE to be in the top 2% of charitable organisations in Japan with the coveted “nintei” certified tax-deductible status.

Lowell has served for the last twenty years as an informal advisor to companies and boards in the area of ethical decision making and thought leadership with a focus on community legacy. He has dedicated much of his life to social and environmental improvement projects.

While continuing as Asia Pacific Director for HOPE International Development Agency, in 2020 Lowell is launching an Education Initiative called Navigate22, with a focus on Thought Leadership in the area of Ethics, and Sustainable Goal Setting. Pacific Solo is a 5-year initiative within Navgate22.

Over the coming years, Lowell will prepare himself for the biggest challenge of his life: a solo journey across the North Pacific by the time he’s reached 70 years of age. Sailing from Tokyo to Vancouver, Lowell will navigate through the Pacific garbage patch to mourn the human impact on our planet and contemplate the beauty and resiliency of our world.

The project accompanies Navigate22, an ethics consulting company founded by Lowell in 2019. Pacific Solo will serve as a motif for exploration, sustainability, goal setting, and achievement.

Featured Presentation (2019) | Independence and Interdependence – A Personal Perspective