Following the conclusion of the SDGs Dialogue Series on 23rd March, 2019, the UNU IAS-OUIK started the ‘SDGs Café’, a new series of seminars and educational meetings on the topic of SDGs, in April 2019. As the name states, learning and discussions are done in a loose atmosphere, where snacks and beverages are provided, in order to establish a relaxed environment of interaction between speakers and participants.
In the second SDGs Café event, efforts were made to provide easy access to information on the platforms of the recent local elections’ candidates, information which is often hard to understand if readily available at all. It is hoped that these efforts may lead to citizens gaining a better understanding of regional politics and increase their willingness to participate in the electoral process.
The challenge of providing equal access to information for everyone was also discussed at this event, with a particular focus on the role of technology and its accessibility to every citizen. The overall goal of these endeavors is to facilitate the collective process of ‘IMAGINING’ a sustainable city of Kanazawa for 2030. Different IT-based tools were presented which allow access to current national political and economical matters. In the event of a disaster, for instance, accessibility to technology is not merely desirable; it is indispensable, as casualties can be dramatically reduced with access to faster and better information flow. However, providing equal access to information through technology is a challenge in its own right, as some people (such as elderly or handicapped people) may not be equally capable of integrating these new means of information acquisition. Accessibility means not only the mere availability of information, but also the provision of explicit and understandable means to concretely access it.