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Public Invited to Free Livestreamed Lectures by Latest Kyoto Prize Laureates, March 24-25 (PDT)

Global award winners to discuss science, technology, arts; seven San Diego / Tijuana students to receive major scholarships

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Inamori Foundation and the Kyoto Symposium Organization today announced a detailed schedule for the 20th annual Kyoto Prize Symposium, featuring unique educational events with two university co-hosts – University of California San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University.


Dr. Irwin Jacobs, co-founder of QUALCOMM, this year assumes the role of honorary chairman emeritus of the Symposium, which begins with private media interviews with the latest Kyoto Prize laureate hosts by appointment (for details call 858-576-2674).

A virtual benefit gala and opening ceremony honoring the laureates will occur March 23, PDT-6:30pm (prelude at PDT-6:00pm), presided by Gala Chair Mr. Kazuo Koshi, Executive Chairman of MUFG Americas Holdings and its U.S. subsidiary, MUFG Union Bank. The evening will culminate in the presentation of the 2021-2022 Kyoto Prize scholarships, valued at up to US$10,000 or MXN100,000 each, to seven outstanding high school seniors from the San Diego/Baja region. No admission fee will be charged to view the livestream; please register HERE ( in advance. Anyone interested in supporting the event with a voluntary tax-deductible contribution can become a sponsor by calling (858) 733-0323.

Free Public Lectures with Latest Kyoto Prize Laureates

The Kyoto Prize Symposium’s March 24-25 lectures are also free and open to the public. Reservations are required — please register HERE ( for lecture events:

  • Wednesday, March 24, 2021, PDT-3:30-5:00pm

    Mrs. Ariane Mnouchkine, latest Kyoto Prize laureate in “Arts & Philosophy”

University of California San Diego will virtually host world-renowned stage director Mrs. Ariane Mnouchkine. This unique occasion is the third time in the past 50 years for her to share her personal life experience and performative work with a U.S. audience. Mrs. Mnouchkine joins the program from Paris. The event will be moderated jointly by Professor of Theatre Allan Havis, UC San Diego; and Robert Marx, President of the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation in New York. Marx previously served as director of the National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Program in Washington, DC. Their conversation with Mnouchkine will highlight previously unpublished insights into the iconic artist’s career. No admission fee; please register before March 24 at to get log-in instructions well before the event.

Mnouchkine is founder and director of the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris. Since 1964, she has produced masterpieces with historical and political themes referring to traditional performances of both the East and the West. She started her theater in a transformed factory outside of Paris, where it embodies the ideal of “public theater.” Theatre du Soleil often uses physicality, inspired by Japanese Noh, Kabuki and Bunraku, Indian Kathakali and Western works, including Shakespeare. Mnouchkine has been innovating theatrical expressions through her collaborative creations based on the methodology of her unique theatrical organization, which eschews hierarchical order. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oxford and Roma Tre University, and was awarded the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2007 by the Venice Biennale, as well as the 2019 Kyoto Prize.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021, PDT-2:00-3:30pm

    Dr. Ching W. Tang, latest Kyoto Prize laureate in “Advanced Technology”

University of California San Diego will virtually host Dr. Ching Tang, a chemist and revolutionary innovator in the field of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Tang is a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Professor Emeritus at University of Rochester. His achievements include studying light emission processes in electrically-driven organic materials and inventing a new device structure in which two carefully-selected materials are stacked, allowing for high efficiency light emission at low drive voltages. This pioneering work has led to the practical development of OLED technology and its widespread application in displays, smartphones, televisions and lighting. Dr. Tang is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He has received dozens of awards and honors, including the Wolf Prize in Chemistry and the IEEE Noble Award for Emerging Technologies. In 2018, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and in 2019, he received the Kyoto Prize. No admission fee; please register before March 25 at

to get log-in instructions well before the event.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021 PDT-4:00-5:30pm

    Dr. James E. Gunn, latest Kyoto Prize Laureate in “Basic Sciences”

University of California San Diego will virtually host Dr. James E. Gunn, a world-leading astrophysicist. Gunn serves as Professor Emeritus of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University. His achievements include leading the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) from its inception in 2000. SDSS has produced a three-dimensional digital cosmic map encompassing a vast portion of the observable universe. Dr. Gunn played a vital leading role in the project, including conception, planning, instrument development and data analysis, and contributed to the elucidation of the evolution of galaxies across cosmic time. He has also published many pioneering astrophysical theories, contributing significantly to our understanding of the universe. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Gunn has received many awards and honors, including the Crafoord Prize in Astronomy, Gruber Prize in Cosmology, and National Medal of Science, as well as the 2019 Kyoto Prize. No admission fee; please register before March 25 at to get log-in instructions well before the event.

“It is always an honor and a pleasure to welcome world-leading thinkers to San Diego,” said Ray McKewon, chair of the Kyoto Symposium Organization. “We are delighted to host these Kyoto Prize laureates, and to introduce this year’s Kyoto Prize scholarship recipients, whose high school achievements already foretell great promise for the next generation.”

The Kyoto Prize

The Kyoto Prize is presented each year by Japan’s non-profit Inamori Foundation to individuals and groups worldwide who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to the betterment of society, in “Advanced Technology,” “Basic Sciences,” and “Arts and Philosophy.” The prize consists of academic honors, a gold medal, and a cash gift of 100 million yen (more than $900,000) per category, making it Japan’s highest private award for global achievement.

The Inamori Foundation

The non-profit Inamori Foundation was established in Kyoto, Japan, in 1984 by Dr. Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera Corp. and KDDI Corp., and honorary adviser to Japan Airlines. Inamori created the Kyoto Prize in reflection of his belief that people have no higher calling than to strive for the greater good of humankind and society, and that the future of humanity can be assured only when there is a balance between scientific progress and spiritual depth.

The Kyoto Symposium Organization

The Kyoto Symposium Organization is a San Diego-based 501(c)3 non-profit established to support the Kyoto Prize Symposium and Kyoto Scholarship programs with the Inamori Foundation and co-hosts, University of California San Diego and Point Loma Nazarene University. Since 2004, the Symposium has generated more than $3.5 million for scholarships, fellowships and other educational opportunities in the San Diego/Baja region.


Jay Scovie, North American Liaison, the Inamori Foundation

858-576-2674 or

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