Sachiko Ishihara

PhD student at Department of Social and Economic Geography

+4618-471 7393
Visiting address:
Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10

Postal address:
Box 513
751 20 UPPSALA

Short presentation

My PhD project examines sustainable rural development in Japan. Specifically, looking at people who moved from the cities to the countryside, I want to understand: why did they move there? What does a 'good life' and a 'good region' mean for them? How are they experiencing the rural? And how are they in relation to and compare with people that have been living there longer? Furthermore, I aim to discuss the regional planning and development policies from these perspectives.

Keywords: education for sustainable development sustainable development futures studies participatory processes japan rural development feminist writing feminist geography

Also available at

My courses


In addition to my activities at the department, I am an active Affiliated Member at the interdisciplinary sustainability research forum run by PhD students, CEMUS (Centre for Environment and Development Studies) PhD Research Forum. Apart from running student-led PhD courses and skills workshops, we organize bi-monthly seminars to meet and discuss with PhD students from different departments and get feedback to our research from wide perspectives.

During 2015-2018, I worked at a unique student-led education centre, CEMUS (Centre for Environment and Development Studies). Among other responsibilities, I was a Course Coordinator for the undergraduate course 'Global Challenges and Sustainable Futures.' Using many participatory and experiential learning methods, I contributed in developing the use of futures thinking methods such as backcasting as a pedagogical exercise to discuss sustainable future visions and pathways.

I hope to continue working with designing and facilitating participatory processes in teaching/learning, research and beyond.


Other previous work and responsibilities:


Other Ongoing Research Projects:

Failure for whom? Exploration of what is failure in student sustainability projects and its values (Working title)

Student sustainability projects in Higher Education Institutions are important pedagogical tools while also having potential to contributing to the university's sustainability and environmental work. However, much of existing research about sustainability in Higher Education focuses on positive cases and best practices. This situation raises questions such as, what is understood as 'success' and 'failure' in these student sustainability projects, and how are they framed and talked about? What is the value of 'failure' and how can educators and students deal with it better? This project is an exploration of these questions looking at the sustainability education programmes at Lund University (LUMES) and Uppsala University (CEMUS) as cases.

Co-researchers: Rebecca Laycock (Keele University), Isabel Baudish (Uppsala University), et. al

Your Future is not Enough - A critical look at ‘envisioning’ and ‘backcasting’ in Education for Sustainable Development (Working Title)

Calling on the role of imagination and framing of sustainable futures, this pedagogical project reflects and analyzes a pedagogical activity and assignment run in the undergraduate and interdisciplinary course 'Global Challenges and Sustainable Futures'. In the assignment 'Back to the futures we want', students are asked to imagine different future scenarios for a region or city of their choice, critically reflect on their initial visions, and redevelop their ideas about their sustainable and desirable futures visions. Through evaluating the methods, we aim to contributing to knowledge and practice of using ‘futures thinking’ methods such as ‘envisioning’ and ‘backcasting’ in Education for Sustainable Development.

Co-researchers: Laila Mendy and homas Schallhart (Uppsala University)


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