BLUE WING -WINGS FOR CHANGE- 「Supporting the Changemakers of tomorrow in Japan To find hope in the generation of the future」

Ashoka Japan

Since opening its doors in 2011, Ashoka Japan and its founder Nana Watanabe have been investing in the endless possibilities of six Changemakers and the younger generation, gradually transforming Japanese society.

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STORY OF CHANGEMAKING

Ashoka’s solution to bring innovation to Japanese society.

imageI came to know of Ashoka around 2000. Finding solutions to social problems in Japan was always for the short term, and never got to the root cause of the problem. But Ashoka changes the system itself – it is much more effective. I wanted more people in Japan to know about Ashoka as we were facing many social issues at the time.

I first contacted Ashoka’s headquarters in Washington D.C. but it really didn’t get me anywhere. I realized I had to provide Ashoka with solid data on social issues in Japan, such as apathy among the youth and social withdrawal. They were quite surprised to know how Japanese society changed from its heyday in the 80’s. After continuing our talks with one another, Ashoka Japan opened its doors in 2011.

The six fellows and the Changemakers of the future.

imageSince its establishment in 2011, the impact to society from Ashoka Japan is still minimal. With the six fellows as their leaders, the seed of change is starting to sprout.

Our Ashoka Youth Venture Initiative has proven to be successful, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs. The initiative is an incubation lab for youths aged 12 to 20. They are aware of the contradictions within the society in which they live, and are driven to find solutions. We give them freedom to bring out their empathy, the perspective of self -reflection, the courage to take risks, and resilience in the face of failure.

In Japan, from our launch in 2012 through May of 2016, 69 teams have been formed, with three to five members per team, on track to reach 100 teams in 2017. Some of our alumni have translated their projects into startups after graduating from college. By nurturing young Changemakers, the groundwork is being paved for social transformation.

Our message: Ordinary people CAN change society.

imageTo maximize the growth of the seeds of change, structural change within corporations is crucial. We have started collaborating with Boehringer Ingelheim, the 4th largest pharmaceutical company in Germany. Starting in July, we will launch a corporate outreach program, educating the private sector about making change, arranging meetings between corporate sponsors and the Changemakers.

Education is also a crucial element. We do not see results right away. Most people, and Japanese society itself, believe that ordinary people cannot change society. At the Changemaker School, we help elementary, middle and high school students gain skills such as empathy and the ability to change and adapt. In four years, Ashoka has certified over 100 schools in 28 countries around the world. We are very eager to do the same in Japan.

Being small and humble is a virtue in Japan. But I want the students to go out into the world and step outside of Japan from the start. You have to start by thinking you can be the change the world needs - the way to make a big impact in society.

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PROFILE

Portrait of Ashoka Japan

Ashoka Japan

Opened as Ashoka's first East Asia Office in 2011 by founder/chairperson Nana Watanabe. Since then, six amazing Changemakers have been elected as Ashoka Fellows. The fellows receive support from the Ashoka community to magnify the impact of their activities. Ashoka also identifies and cultivates young Changemakers via the Youth Venture Initiative. The idea of "Everyone a Changemaker" is the motivation behind every Ashoka activity.

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ANA BLUE WING
2020.02.28
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Report of an Ashoka Fellow’s Visit to Japan   Last December, Ashoka Japan held their annual “Ashoka Japan Speaker Series” event which invites Ashoka Fellows from around the world to come to Japan to share their ideas and initiatives. Taking to the rostrum this time was Ashoka Fellow Hasina Kharbhih. She created the internationally acknowledged Impulse Model (former Meghalaya Model) - a comprehensive tracking system that successfully connects the state government, security agencies, lawyers, media, educational institutions, and citizen organizations to combat the cross-border trafficking and forced labor of children in not only her home country of India but also Nepal Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The model starts out by using the ‘three Ps’: Policing, Protection and Press to find Changemakers within society. Ashoka's website described her plan as "a single comprehensive strategic plan that enables government and citizen groups to jointly implement the 'six Ps': Partnerships, Prevention, Protection, Policing, Press and Prosecution with the 'six Rs': reporting, rescue, rehabilitation, repatriation, re-integration, re-compensation. By enabling people with different roles to communicate and share data more efficiently, these 12 pillars help create a Shared Leadership through which the different actors can solve the various complex issues surrounding this problem. https://www.ashoka.org/en/fellow/hasina-kharbhih *Shared leadership is a leadership style that broadly distributes leadership responsibility, such that people within a team and organization lead each other.   For more information about Ashoka Japan’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/32rJQ8w #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2020.03.01
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Systems Change   ANA BLUE WING supports Changemakers and their dreams to make this world better by subsidizing their airfares. Ashoka Japan is one of the Changemakers BLUE WING supports. “Systems Change” is a term Ashoka Japan uses to describe a fundamental approach to solving problems in society. They elect social entrepreneurs implementing such initiatives as Ashoka Fellows. The impact is fundamentally deep, "Ashoka Fellows tackle the root causes of an issue, as opposed to a surface level change which only addresses symptoms". Ashoka believes that "the most powerful force for good is a system changing idea in the hands of a formidable social entrepreneur". Ashoka’s selection process is anchored by five basic criteria against which all Fellow candidates are evaluated: 1. The knockout test: A New Idea Each idea is evaluated historically and against its contemporaries in the field, looking for innovation and real change potential. 2. Creativity Does this individual have a vision of how he or she can meet some human need better than it has been met before? 3. Entrepreneurial quality of the candidate This defines leaders who see opportunities for change and innovation and devote themselves entirely to making that change happen. 4. Social impact of the idea Ashoka is only interested in the ideas that it believes will change the field significantly and that will trigger nationwide or worldwide impact or, for smaller countries, broader regional change. 5. The Ethical fiber of the candidate Ashoka evaluates each candidate’s trustworthiness rigorously.   https://bit.ly/2Vns4li https://www.ana-bluewing.com/en/changemakers/ashoka_japan/ #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2020.03.02
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Celebrating Over 100 Cohorts of Youth Venturers November 23rd was the 39th Youth Venture Panel Screening in Tokyo which was a milestone having now a recognized total of 102 teams (approx. 400 teammates) since 2012. Three candidates between ages 15-17, presented their actions in front of a panel of four panelists: a businessperson, a journalist, an NPO CEO, and a former Ashoka Youth Venturer elected in 2016. Ashoka describes a Youth Venturer as a young person under 20 years old who possesses not only the ability to see a problem but also the courage to incubate a solutive idea.   For more information about Ashoka Japan’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2Pv0RcK #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.10.26
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Ashoka - Supporting Changemakers Striving to Devise Fundamental Solutions for Social Issues Ashoka is the world's largest global network of social entrepreneurs, which includes Changemakers trying to improve society around the world. On September 21, it held the Ashoka Innovation Talk as part of Social Innovation Week Shibuya 2019. One of the takeaways of this talk was Director of Ashoka Japan Nana Watanabe’s assertion that "Investment of human resources and funds in people who are devising initiatives linked to the fundamental solution of social issues multiplies the effect several times over." She added that the eyes of the world are on Japan’s innovation for its rapidly aging society. As the moderator on the day of the program, together with two social entrepreneurs involved in social welfare and preventative medicine, she brought the venue to life.   For more information about Ashoka Japan’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/2qr16Mf #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.10.27
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
Turning a Solution to Personal Challenges into a Solution for Society Masue Katayama is the founder of Shinko Fukushikai, a social welfare corporation that commenced childcare business in 1986 and opened nursing care facilities offering affordable and quality services in 1991. She is a pioneer who changed the mindset and values toward nursing care for the aged. Katayama took part in the Ashoka Innovation Talk being held as part of Social Innovation Week Shibuya 2019, in Tokyo, where she shared with the audience how setting up (then “unorthodox”) facilities to provide care services that didn’t already exist later evolved into a business model to satisfy greater social needs. She has just signed the partnership with Home Instead Senior Care, an American Company, to provide services not covered by long-term care insurance such as that which allows seniors to enjoy a quality of life in their own home. This service will start in 2020.   For more information about Ashoka Japan’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/32pVsb7 #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING
ANA BLUE WING
2019.10.25
ANA BLUE WINGさんの写真
The Next Challenge - Mobility Healthcare Takashi Kawazoe is the founder and CEO of Carepro, Inc. (http://carepro.co.jp/), the company behind the One-Coin Healthcare Checkup, a service enabling people to check their health in just 5 - 10 minutes, for just 500 yen. Kawazoe told the story behind the service’s inception at the Ashoka Innovation Talk as part of Social Innovation Week Shibuya 2019, in Tokyo. “More than 30 million people with restricted access to physical examinations is a business opportunity,” he noted, explaining that the medical industry is heavily regulated, so hard work and lobbying through the Ashoka Network had been key to obtaining guidelines from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. He is now developing mobility healthcare services for the roughly two million people with poor access to transportation. The target includes families with infants and toddlers, the disabled, and the aged with restricted mobility.   For more information about Ashoka Japan’s projects, please visit our website, click here. https://bit.ly/33HDAsw #ashokajapan #ANABLUEWING

CHANGEMAKER