Social Bridge between Japan and Global Village
A series of experiences to live in Lebanon, South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, the United States and Zambia, have broadened our horizons and appreciation of international opportunities and challenges to collaborate effectively. We do not claim we can change the world easily. But we also do not want to relinquish a small thing: “We cannot live without being for others.”
We believe education is the key to make a difference for future. With our global exposure, experience and education, we hope our activities will generate positive and measureable impacts on addressing social issues. We will help shape the minds and hearts of future generations by broadening their horizons and embracing the world.
We have been exposed to cultures outside of Japan. This experiential learning allowed us to identify serious unsolved issues that cripple entire regions. This situation exists in both underdeveloped and developed countries. Those issues are extremely complex. Nonetheless, our experiences have led us to conclude that positive differences can and are being made to eradicate these social problems through social entrepreneurship and innovation. As Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Dr. Muhammad Yunus, observed, “Social Business,” is our strong interest in developing our model.
Clearly, many noteworthy grassroots organizations exist in Japan that address local, social issues. Some extend beyond the geographical constraints and serve as a bridge between and among regions. It is nonetheless undeniable that the current efforts in Japan in these critical areas lack the necessary structure to sustain meaningful and coordinated efforts across nations, by interweaving a traditional charitable approach with a market-based solution, in any effectual or strategic way.
We observed three issues that have contributed to this predicament. First, a lower level of entrepreneurial activities provide for less overall opportunities for individuals to get involved and thereby “make it personal”. Second, even fewer opportunities exist for foreign students and migrants to get involved in Japanese communities, which is unfortunate. Finally, Japan currently lacks adequate experiential learning opportunities on many critical global issues.
Considering just these three, unaddressed issues, we have fashioned several social development programs and social enterprises to address the situation. The ongoing two social innovation scholarship programs play a vital role in illuminating and supporting value-driven action researchers who come from developing countries to study in Japan. Recently, we have forged partnership with the World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (THEWSIE), which was established in the United Nations in 2006, to foster an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem for the global community.
Most importantly, we have launched three social enterprises of education, MSME financing and clean energy which work collaboratively with governments, NGOs/NPOs, companies, and individuals to develop and invest in highly scalable businesses that address social, economic and environmental challenges seen in the market at the ‘Base of the Pyramid (BOP)’.
Our projects and solutions center on: social/economic issues, experiential learning, and foreign students (our 3 pillars.) These focuses are mutually inclusive and play integral parts in sustaining creative, collective and cooperative (3Cs) development in our global village.