1st International Conference on Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education

Uniting, Defining, and Advancing the Field: Perspectives, Practices and Possibilities

August 9-11, 2018
DePaul University / Chicago, Illinois (USA)

The DePaul University Institute for Daisaku Ikeda Studies in Education is pleased to host the 1st International Conference on Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education. As research and praxis in the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education has grown rapidly worldwide, an international forum is increasingly necessary for established and emerging scholars to gather, substantively discuss the current state of, and actively and collaboratively unite, characterize, define, and advance scholarship in, the field.

Concerned with such topics as value-creating pedagogy, value-creating education, human(istic) education, Soka Education, global citizenship education, communities studies, human geography, human rights and peace education, values and value creation, dialogue, creativity, sustainability, interdependence and creative coexistence, people movements, intersections of religion/Buddhism and education, deductive reasoning, language and literacies education, academic achievement, knowledge and wisdom, and profound student-teacher relationships for social self-actualization and a meaningful and contributive life, the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education coheres around historical, conceptual and empirical scholarship on the philosophies and practices of Japanese educators Daisaku Ikeda, Josei Toda, and Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, and the Soka/sōka, or “value-creating,” approaches they have enacted and inspired worldwide.

These philosophies and practices undergird the Soka kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, women’s college, and universities in seven countries across Asia and the Americas; inform non-Soka public and private schools and universities in various countries; and shape the practices and perspectives of thousands of educators and school leaders in diverse multicultural and multilingual contexts. Concomitantly, the past decade in particular has witnessed dazzling developments in the field of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education, including: the establishment of numerous university-affiliated research initiatives and institutes, courses and degree programs, and local symposia and conferences; the publication of award-winning books, chapters, journal articles and special issues, doctoral dissertations, and new translations; and juried presentations, panels, and pre-conference sessions at annual meetings of (inter)national professional organizations, such as the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Comparative and International Education Society (CIES), the American Educational Studies Association (AESA), and others.

This 1st international conference, then, seeks to acknowledge and dialogically unite the important scholarship and praxis happening in local contexts, often by junior faculty and doctoral candidates who are geographically dispersed and working individually and/or in linguistic isolation. It is envisioned as an opportunity to examine both the intrinsic and extrinsic dimensions of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education. By “intrinsic” we mean the historical and primary texts by Makiguchi, Toda, and Ikeda in Japanese and in the contexts in which they were written; by “extrinsic” we mean these texts and their ideas in translation and application in various contexts and disciplines. As the field emerges as a foundation for teacher preparation and practice, and as a means of ameliorating increasingly complex and intersecting crises at local and global levels, Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education must recognize and articulate its nuanced and comparative particularities and uniqueness and reckon with conceptual and terminological assumptions, generalizations, and gaps that predispose it to critiques of “being everything and thus nothing.” It must maintain fidelity to its intrinsic dimensions while exploring extrinsic possibilities that are relevant to current and future demands and needs in education and human becoming worldwide.

In short, this inaugural conference provides a space for international scholars and professionals involved in Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education to present their work and engage in dialogue with others in the field. The conference will feature invited keynote presentations by leading scholars as well as submitted individual paper and panel presentations. We seek scholarly submissions on theory, empirical research, and text-based praxis of Ikeda/Soka Studies in Education in various contexts. These may include, but are not limited to, the conference theme and the above-mentioned topics.



Basic Conference Information
Date: Aug. 9 – 11
Location: DePaul University, College of Education
2247 N. Halsted St.
Chicago, IL 60614
Note, the conference is at DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus, not the Loop Campus.
Registration (Free admission): Please register here
Conference Schedule available here

DePaul podiums are equipped with a PC; presenters with PowerPoint presentations should bring them on a USB drive.

Wi-Fi Access
We have prepared Wi-Fi access for you in the College of Education. The log-in information will be distributed on the first day of the forum.

Casual. It’s summer! Typical Chicago weather in August is in the high 70s to 80s Fahrenheit (25-30 Celsius), if not hotter. It may rain, so please bring an umbrella as you may walk to and from restaurants and to and from the train stations. Please bring comfortable walking shoes and perhaps a long-sleeve shirt/light sweater as the air conditioning will be on in the College of Education. Casual attire is also appropriate for all of the nearby restaurants, so please dress comfortably.

Public Transportation from Airports

  • From O’Hare International Airport: Take the CTA blue line to downtown Chicago and transfer to bus or red or purple line
  • From Midway International Airport: Take the CTA orange line to downtown Chicago and transfer to red line



CTA Unlimited Ride Pass Prices
1-Day: $10
3-Day: $20
7-Day: $28

Taxis, Uber, and Lyft are also available. A taxi from the airport to the College of Education, for example, is approximately fifteen miles and costs roughly $35 – $40 before tip. Ride share services are a little less.

Campus Map
The College of Education is one block south and three blocks east of the Fullerton Stop for the CTA Red, Brown, and Purple Lines.
Metered—but very limited—street parking is also available.

Campus Map

Hotels in the Area
There is no designated hotel for this conference, but below is a list of hotels in the area that are easily accessible by public transportation.

City Suites Chicago
933 West Belmont
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 404-3400
Chicago City Suites

Hotel Indigo
1244 N Dearborn Parkway​
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 787-4980​

Hotel Lincoln
1816 N Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 254-4700
Hotel Lincoln

Hotel Versey
644 West Diversey Parkway
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 687-1000
Hotel Versey​​​

The Majestic Hotel
528 W Brompton Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 404-3499
Majestic Hotel

The Willows Hotel
555 W Surf Street
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 528-8400
Willows Hotel

Lincoln Park Guest House
2319 N Halsted St
Chicago IL 60614
(312) 751-2202
Lincoln Park Guest House

Villa D’Citta Bed and Breakfast
2230 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614
Villa D’Citta

For a more complete list of hotels in the Chicago area please see the following list, many of which are close to Red and Brown train lines that run to Fullerton Station and, for DePaul students, offer a discount:


Restaurants Near Campus

Potbelly Sandwich Shop
2264 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Chipotle Mexican Grill
2256 N Orchard St
Chicago, IL 60614

Toast (American breakfast and lunch)
746 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Blue Door Farm Stand (Farm-to-table café)
2010 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

Athenian Room (Greek)
807 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Simply It (Vietnamese)
2269 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Noodles in the Pot (Thai)
2453 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant
2423 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Homeslice (Pizza)
938 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Jam ‘n Honey (American breakfast and lunch – cash only)
958 W Webster Ave
Chicago, IL 60614

Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba! (Spanish tapas)
2024 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60614

The Red Lion Pub (British-style pub)
2446 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614


You can download the call for proposals here

If you have any questions, please email