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Hiroko Akiyama is a widely recognized gerontologist and an expert on issues of global aging. She is currently a visiting professor at the Institute of Gerontology and Institute for Future Initiatives at the University of Tokyo. Professor Akiyama has conducted several cross-national surveys and is known for a long-running research on the elderly in Japan—tracking the aging patterns of approximately 6,000 Japanese elderly over 35 years. She also initiated social experiment projects that pioneer re-designing communities to meet the needs of a highly aged society. Her recent work includes the Kamakura Living Lab, a platform for open innovation to address challenges faced by citizens by a method of co-creation among users, industry, governments and academia. The Lab was started in 2017 in the seaside city of Kamakura with a rapidly aging society.

Professor Akiyama started the Institute of Gerontology at University of Tokyo in 2006. She was the vice president of the Science Council of Japan. She received her Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Illinois and served as a fellow at the US National Institute on Aging and as a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research.