First Week Reflections – Keiho Sasamori
I’ve just finished the first 4 days of the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program in Seattle. I’m really glad to be here with 17 other participants, strongly supported by the kind iLEAP staff. Us participants are already in a good atmosphere to co-create our Change Projects for social changes with our own leadership skills.
I found that I’ve already started changing through this program.
In this program, we can have two focuses: first, getting and improving our leaderships through the seminars, discussions and our projects. We have groups of four or five members to share our progress and give each other feedback. Second, we are continually asking ourselves “who am I?” to think about what kind of leader each of us should be.
In the lectures, I learn important elements of leadership through discussions and different types of workshops. Before this program, I thought that leadership could only be learned through experiences, but now I know how systematic learning through the different sessionscan also prepare me. Not only that, but I must practice my leadership after the lectures, and expand and improve the leadership skills I had before. To do that, I need to look back at my past experiences and to understand myself deeper than ever. That’s why it is important for me to continue to ask myself who I am.
Through this program, I have also found weaknesses I’ve never noticed I had. Learning these weaknesses is possible here, because I don’t have any fears when I’m at iLEAP and participating in this program.
I am really amazed by other scholars because of their various interests and eagerness to learn from this program. At first, I thought it would take a long time to adjust to this environment, which is totally different from my usual one. However, I was inspired by my peers’ desire to know their passions. It made me to try everything that I can to think deeply about how to improve myself through the things I’m about to experience in Seattle.
For the next week, I will have more exciting chances that will accelerate my learning. We will get to see the mentors and advisors who will support us, not only in Seattle, but also after returning back to Japan. I’m really looking forward to connecting and interacting with them. I can’t wait to see myself after my stay in Seattle and find out how much I’ve changed.