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The pandemic this year reminded us more than ever that we live in ‘VUCA’, volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Many things that used to be taken for granted up until a year ago crumbled abruptly and globally. The pandemic struck many aspects of our societies such as public health, economy and social bonds, thereby uncovering the vulnerability of the modern society. Universities are no exception to this.

One nation by itself cannot tackle these global challenges, nor can these challenges be solved by a single discipline. Triple helix collaboration across academia, industry and government beyond all borders is imperative to achieve a sustainable new normal. That is precisely why, for Tsukuba Global Science Week 2020, we organized a symposium (entitled Creating a Post-Corona Society: Cities and Universities in Collaboration) so that academia and local government could discuss how to work together against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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