Social Innovation Forum: Japan 2013

Looking forward to the iLEAP Social Innovation Forum, Japan 2013

iLEAP’s annual 10-day Social Innovation Forum Japan (SIFJ) kicks off this week almost two years after the 3/11/11 tsunami devastatingly altered the communities and hearts of those living in northern Japan. Recalling that day, as an American with few personal ties to Japan, most of my information and understanding about the disaster and its consequences came from online stories and interviews. This put me in a position of feeling overwhelmed but unable to truly relate or reach out to those affected by the aftermath. That day, as on other days, my desire to learn and reach out wasn’t fulfilled by a simple monetary donation to a relief organization. I wanted something more.

That is where iLEAP comes in. It puts people on equal footing. iLEAP isn’t about “saving” those in a “disadvantaged situation,” it’s about uniting and inspiring action from citizens who have hope for a better future for both their local community and for the greater global one.

Serving as a conduit between social change leaders and citizens wishing to learn more about the world and our collective roles as leaders, iLEAP offers an innovative answer to my “something more”. This something more manifests itself through two primary iLEAP programs: the International Fellowship & the Social Innovation Forum: Japan.

Both programs bring action-minded people from multiple disciplines (and continents) into a shared forum so that they may focus on a common goal and learn about leadership in a unique and reciprocal manner. Last year’s International Fellows came from a variety of backgrounds including sustainable agriculture, women’s health, youth leadership, and micro-lending. This year’s 8 SIFJ delegates also reflect similar diversity.

The 2012 International Fellowship program ran September-November and brought in 15 participants. Although on the IF is on break until the fall, iLEAP is currently hosting the 2013 SIFJ which kicked off this week. If you’d like to learn more about iLEAP’s work and meet the 8 visiting delegates, please join us February 8th at the Wing Luke Museum, at 6:30pm.

For more information on the SIFJ delegates, the International Fellowship participants and their respective work, please check out the video and program site, linked below!

Of interest, NYT article written day after the quake:

Fackler, M. (2011, March 12). Powerful Quake and Tsunami Devastate Northern Japan. New York Times. Retrieved from

iLEAP intern

iLEAP intern