Kosei Kaneko, Japan

Kosei Kaneko

Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Summer 2017

Kosei’s Story

Originally from Aichi, Kosei is majoring in Social Science at Waseda University.

Kosei is concerned that most young Japanese people are not interested in social issues and that research shows that those who are aware of social issues, do not believe that they can take action to help. Kosei finds that Japan as a nation, still lacks a global view. Since he was little, he has been told “having a narrow and low view closes your possibilities.”

Kosei would like to increase both the number of young Japanese people exposed to other cultures and value systems and he would also like to increase the number of young people who feel empowered to take action and change society. In order to achieve his goal, Kosei is building a study-abroad project called India Summer School where he will introduce participants to social workers dealing with serious social issues in India and expose participants to role models, options for action and successful experiences.

Kosei is very eager to start projects in various locations (including online), to gain back Japanese young people’s self-confidence, and increase the number of young people who tackle social issues. He wants to be a leader in education in Japanese society with its declining birth rate and aging society.

Kosei looks forward to visiting the United States for the first time, where he will be again exposed to a new culture and where he hopes to work on his leadership capacity. He also considers the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program to be very similar in concept to the program he hopes to create and hopes to learn more.

Britt Yamamoto

Britt Yamamoto

Some years ago Britt came upon the Raymond Williams quote that, "to be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." Along these lines, iLEAP was created as a radical ideal, a welcome home amidst all the social and ecological ill that surrounds us, firm in the belief that what the world needs now are more inspired and renewed social leaders who have the capacity to change the world. Oh, and to laugh a little....no, a lot, along the way.

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