Each SIFJ Delegate is selected based on merit, impact, and motivation for accelerating change in Japan through the growth of domestic and global partnerships. Don't forget to check out the EVENTS PAGE for information about how to connect with these exceptional leaders.
One Life Japan and Warashibe Kitchen both focus on rebuilding strong lively communities in aging, rural Japan utilizing under-developed renewable resources, and presenting the beauty and positive aspects of rural life to young adults through workshops, outdoor adventure, and the hands-on cultivation of abandoned fields to grow organic rice and vegetables. Warashibe Kitchen, expanded from One Life Japan's "Food and Life" program, and is the center of research and development for field-to-table business models, finding new value-added uses for discarded/undervalued resources found in much of rural Japan. The end goal is to inspire younger generations both in the city and countryside, to reconnect with, learn from, and utilize traditional methods while providing them with viable livelihoods to enable them to live in endangered rural Japan villages.
Kyoko is the President of INTERBEING Co., a company based in Tokyo that specializes in custom-designing education programs. Kyoko is an intercultural education specialist with a decade of experience as an English teacher, interpreter, and translator between English and Japanese languages. INTERBEING Co. works with Japanese national maritime colleges in designing their international internship programs, as well as content-based English programs in Hawaii. She studied as an undergraduate in the United States, majoring in psychology and Asian studies, and holds a MA from the Graduate School of Intercultural Communications at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. Ms. Ikeda is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Rikkyo University. She was a fellow of the East-West Center’s Asia Pacific Leadership Program (APLP) in Honolulu, Hawaii between 2006-2007, and is currently working as APLP staff in the 2011-2012 program, coordinating Japan programs. Ms. Ikeda is based in Tokyo, but travels to Hawaii frequently for her business.
Ryo joined Katariba in 2003 to build a business strategy to expanding the organizations operations, making their services available to more young people. His efforts were fruitful. In 2010, with the expansion of Katariba’s business scale, Ryo assumed the role of Vice President overseeing division operations and development. Under Ryo, Katariba launched a new department in an effort to strengthen recovery efforts in Tohoku post 3/11. New programs include Hatachi Funds, Collabo-School, Kizuna High School. Hatachi Funds was established to continually support the emotional, spiritual, and educational needs for orphans until they reach 20 years old. Collabo-School is a new type of school program that teaches students about collaboration and innovation around a shared mission. And Finally, Kizuna High School is a camp program for 100 high school students in order to grow precious human resources that re-establish Tohoku over the next ten years.
ETIC is a non-profit organization focused on incubating start-up social entrepreneurs throughout Japan. Koumei’s primary role is to implement project evaluation and training, policy recommendation assistance, impact evaluation, and to understand the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs to other nonprofit and social ventures throughout Japan. Koumei was selected as a Global Shaper in the World Economy Forum in 2011.
ETIC is implementing a project, which is called "right-hand man detachment project" to support reconstruction in Tohoku, sending young people with proficient skills of creating new businesses to enhance speed and accuracy of creating new businesses to leaders who challenge creation of new businesses in Tohoku area. To date, ETIC has sent more than 60 young entrepreneurs who established over 30 projects.
Tetsuo gained a foundational understanding of how to harness business know-how to drive effective solutions to social issues through his work at Neoteny Venture Development Co., Ltd., a venture capitol consulting team. Since then, Tetsuo has worked as a consultant with numerous non-profits in Japan and other Asian countries. At Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC), a non-profit organization incubating start-up social entrepreneurs in Japan, Tetsuo led the incubation program for the regional replications of their entrepreneurship development model. After traveling all over Asia to learn about and lend his business development skills to local entrepreneurs, he published “Creativity of The Bottom: Innovations from the Developing Countries”, a series of case reports on Asia’s most innovative social entrepreneurs. English translation of the book is in progress.
Kodomo Bonsai (KOBON) is an organization that provides unique hands-on educational activities for children ages 4-18 to discover, understand, and contribute to community development. In 2007, after 2 years of examining the economic and social impacts of a regional shopping center and participating in a training program at ETIC, Makoto designed and led the large scale community development simulation event, “Mini Osaka 2007”. Children learned about economics and social services and how to build a city. More than 400 children participated in simulated town experience where each child was given a job, and through the simulation learned about money, job responsibilities and the architecture of society. The great success of the event led to KOBON. In addition to implementing career education classes to more than 10,000 students from elementary school to high school in Osaka, Makoto has shifted to focus to the reimagination of Tohoku. To help support reconstruction of devastated areas, Kodomo has launched a new program called the Tohoku-Kodomo-Machidukuri Summit. The Summit engages youth from devastated areas, encouraging them to imagine, create, and share their reconstruction dream plans with the greater community.