Ryokei Sakai, Japan

Ryokei Sakai

Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Summer 2017

Ryokei’s Story

Originally from Gifu, Ryokei is currently operating a coffee catering business engaged with local people in Tokyo and Gifu.

Ryokei is concerned about population decline in rural areas. He was born in a small town in Gifu, and is proud of his hometown’s effort to protect and parent all children in the community. Ryokei noticed that his hometown seems to be losing energy, so as a sophomore, he established an organization aiming to revitalize the region. The organization held events for students of the community to gather and exchange ideas, as well as embark on “study tours” that brought students from rural areas to Tokyo in partnership with different companies.

Ryokei’s next plan is to revitalize rural areas by creating an online shop that combines a local community’s specialty with coffee. He believes that success in regional revitalization can be found if the system is created by the local people, and the profit goes to companies in the local areas. By doing this, he hopes that he can educate others about the sense of community he finds in his own hometown, as well as contribute to the local economy.

Through the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program, Ryokei is looking forward to acquiring the skills to be a successful social entrepreneur and expand his leadership knowledge. He is also excited to learn about how to utilize technology in his work.