Sunflower overlaying a nuclear explosion

Nuclear Politics Past Programs

2023 Program Overview

On June 8-12, 2023, 16 selected participants from 9 colleges and universities from California and beyond participated in the Nuclear Politics 2023 Program at Soka University of America. They had lectures and discussion-based seminars, with workshops and role-play simulation exercises, discussing nuclear risk reduction strategies and abolition agendas. The program was facilitated by SIGS staff and student assistants, working group fellows, and experts from the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

Our learning objectives were:

  • Critically analyze disarmament and non-proliferation through theoretical, legal, and historical perspectives
  • Identify current challenges and opportunities to realize a world free of nuclear weapons
  • Conceptualize and suggest the proper course of action at the local, regional, and global levels
  • Develop personal and leadership skills to work collaboratively toward the completion of a common project


Program Schedule and Content

  • Day 1: Program introduction; examining nuclear weapons facts and backgrounds; assessing humanitarian and philosophical underpinnings of nuclear disarmament and abolition.
  • Day 2: Historical experiences from the Cold War; emerging international architectures for nuclear disarmament and abolition.
  • Day 3: Civil society and global efforts for disarmament; exploring options of viable nuclear risk reduction strategies.
  • Day 4: Contemporary case studies, followed by a simulation exercise on nuclear disarmament negotiation.
  • Day 5: Final project working sessions and concluding ceremony.


After five days of the program workshops, the participants created their post-program action plans. They were given a tentative one-year time frame to implement their action plans and report back to our future programs.

Group 1: They developed a plan to create a digital publication, which informs the youth of the current issues related to nuclear weapons and encourages them to explore practical steps to build a nuclear-free world. The online publication is designed to provide a forum for discussions, artwork, and poetry on nuclear abolition, along with expert interviews to engage a wider audience with the issues.

Group 2: They decided to create an online resource hub for the youth who seek to remain constructively engaged in topics related to nuclear weapons. Designed to be accessible to people from all backgrounds, the hub would contain educational resources, advocacy tools to promote nuclear disarmament, and materials addressing mental health issues.

Individual plans: Several participants created their individual projects, such as developing a K-12 global citizenship education curriculum to teach nuclear abolition and creating a digital tool to simulate, for educational purposes, a 3D life after a hypothetical nuclear catastrophe.

Nuclear Politics 2023 Cohorts Reunion Meeting

On December 20th, SIGS held a reunion call to update each other about their progress and maintain the connections they built during the program. Many of the 2023 program cohorts stayed connected and joined the reunion meeting.

Zoom screenshot of Nuclear Politics 2023 Reunion
  • Chapman University
  • King’s College London
  • Santa Monica College
  • Truman State University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Denver
  • University of Southern California
  • Whittier College
  • Maya Ono
  • Josie Parkhouse
  • Koichi Sakakibara
  • Gabriel Boldizsár
  • Hiromi Ieda
  • Marina Taemi Inoue
  • Viki Lohk
  • Shinsaku Shiode
Students participate in the SIGS Nuclear Conference
SIGS Nuclear Politics 2023 Overview
A SIGS Summer Program participant stands at a podium and gives a speech
Program Participant Interviews