TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentor Retreat in Oita and Sato,Oita City Mayor,joined to encourag the Mentors
On July 7, and 8, 2018, seven regional mentors representing their respective regions across Japan gathered for a two-day training session in Oita City and Beppu City in Oita Prefecture. The Regional Mentors are young professionals, all alumni of various TOMODACHI Programs, who are mentoring and supporting rising stars within their communities and regions as part of the TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework.
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Mentor Retreat included opportunities for the mentors to reflect on their Regional Welcome Events that took place across Japan during the months of May and June; to gain insights and knowledge to effectively support their Regional Leaders; and to further develop deeper relationships based on trust and peer-to-peer support networks.
Day One was held at the JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Oita in Oita City, kicking off with each mentor reflecting on their Welcome Events, sharing good practices as mentors, and celebrating the success of their first regional events. In addition, World In Tohoku Mio Yamamoto gave a short presentation on the differences between mentoring and coaching and other supporting roles, and each mentor shared their strengths, challenges, and “learning edges” as a mentor and came away with next steps on what each person would improve on in the coming months.
In the evening, two speakers joined the group to share their experiences. Julie Nootbaar, Professor from Oita Prefectural College of Arts and Culture, spoke about cross-cultural communication and educations programs of the college to foster global mindsets in the regional local communities. Kiichiro Sato, Mayor of Oita City, spoke about his cross-border experience as a former diplomat and a JETRO Officer, as well as the vision for Oita City in the years to come. The mayor also spoke of US-Japan relations and highlighted the Japanese-American experience. Both talks were inspirational perspectives on the importance of nurturing local community/economy/society in connection with globalizing Japan.
Day Two was held at the New Tsuruta Hotel in Beppu. Koichiro Tsuruta, Executive Director of Hatto Onpaku, gave a talk about regional tourism and local community development and offered many insights to the Regional Mentors towards creating a more vibrant and sustainable local community.
The TOMODACHI Alumni Regional Framework for alumni engagement is a multi-part leadership program, serving regional leaders and mentors from seven regions in Japan, all of whom are TOMODACHI Alumni. The training programs – including the Orientation in March, this Leadership Training in June, and the Regional Mentor Retreat in July – are facilitated by Worl In Tohoku (WIT).
The TOMODACHI Alumni Leadership Program is supported by The Prudential Foundation.