Inauguration Speech by Jenn-Chaun CHERN at SSMS 2011, Sri Lanka
Prof. Jayawardane, President of IESL, Dr. Okamura, Prof. Nasu, Prof. Minasinghe, Prof. Kusayanagi, and honored guests: It is my great pleasure to attend IESL-SSMS Joint Symposium on SMS today. I am honored to take on the position as the new president of the Society for Social Management Systems (SSMS). I want to begin by expressing my profound appreciation to the steering committee for bestow this great honor upon me.
From the knowledge development and formation of the Research Center for Social Management Systems at Kochi University of Technology in 2004 to the establishment of SSMS in 2006, we have made a considerable amount of progress in the development of this field of knowledge to meet the new era and the need of new social structure. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the great leadership of former president, Dr. Patricia Galloway, Secretariat General, Prof. Nasu, and his team members for their great job.
The development of a nation’s social management system is always tied closely to the country’s political system and economic, and the development may be evolutionary. There are differences between social management systems in undeveloped, developing, and developed countries. The stages of most developing countries are often stimulated by leaders with engineering backgrounds, while those with a social science background often become leaders once the nation’s economy has matured. Leaders of different disciplines may have varying impacts on their countries and societies. This is why the SSMS should aim to consolidate international experience, cross-field studies and practical discussions to develop new engineering and scientific fields that provide the methodology for creating the social management systems.
The operation of government administrations often possesses certain inertia. In addition, theory development must undergo the process of organizational changes, alternations and amendments to laws, and practical applications. This is why we must work hard towards the direction of strengthening the participations from industry, government, and academia while seeking out practical applications and confirmations.
The next subject I would like to touch on is how the Social management Systems (SMS) that we are developing must aim for sustainable development as the ultimate goal. The development of appropriate Social Management Systems has become the foundation of nations pursuing sustainable development. As climate change has impacted our living environment while causing more frequent natural disasters, we must implement measures to conserve energy, reduce carbon emissions, and adjust the way we manage our industries, environment, and public infrastructures if we wish to achieve sustainable development that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The consideration of various social changes has also altered the thought process involved in engineering fields. The thought process has gone from human based thinking in the early stage and developed into eco-engineering (green building) and now sustainable engineering (energy saving & carbon reduction). Thus, we must also aim to take sustainable development of economic development, social development and environmental protection into consideration while developing SMS.
In addition, we must develop a SMS with high degree of disaster prevention consciousness in order to achieve sustainability. In 2010, the UN has warned that climate change could trigger “mega disasters.” Last year is the worst year ever for natural disasters. This year, more mega disasters have taken place, which have resulted in compound disasters, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, nuclear disaster, floods, chemical disasters, mudslides, etc. An effective SMS should be able to respond to the capacity required for disaster prevention, rescue, and reconstruction in the face of mega disasters. In 2004, the Indian Ocean Tsunami has led to great damage to Sri Lanka. Just these few months, we see serious flood damages in USA, Japan, Thailand, China, and etc. Taiwan’s experiences indicate that disaster response and reconstruction capabilities should be a vital consideration when public evaluates government execution. An effective SMS should be able to consolidate the disaster prevention and rescue capabilities of government, NGO, and corporate organizations. At the same time, it should focus on the principle that “Disaster prevention is more important than disaster relief. Avoidance of disaster is better than prevention of disaster,” managing a disaster is like fighting enemies. “When it comes to fighting enemies (disasters), we must anticipate the most, prepare for the worst, dispose in advance, deploy troops beforehand, and ensure readiness for rescue operations,” and always being prepared for any situation which may arise in the face of natural disasters. This is the most pressing challenges that each and every country faces. A SMS with disaster management capabilities should be developed to improve disaster prevention, rescue, and reconstruction operations.
Lastly, I will aim to continue the SMS’ past efforts and work towards encouraging participations from professional in the related fields, promoting international cooperation, and expanding the society’s international recognition. During development of the broad SSMS fields, this can also unite the power of many to make breakthrough development in key fields while also realizing the goal for the formation of the SSMS: promoting advancements in research investigation, information exchange and education regarding technology to improve social management system for the better life of human being and earth, more individuals are also encouraged and heartily welcomed to participate and contribute towards SSMS development.
Thanks and good health to you.