TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 Participants Present their Project Results
On December 3, 2023, the TOMODACHI Summer SoftBank Leadership Program 2.0 commencement was held in Sendai in Miyagi prefecture. Approximately 60 people, including 17 students（16 high school students, and 1 university student) from Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures who participated in the program, joined the event. The students presented what they learned during their 3 weeks abroad at UC Berkeley alongside how they applied their learnings to their projects after coming back to Japan.
The program aims to have participants gain leadership skills to encourage change in their region’s community. Participants studied at UC Berkeley in a custom designed program based on the Y-PLAN, which is a civic learning strategy developed by UC Berkeley’s Center for Cities + Schools (CC+S) for three weeks in July and August. With interactions with local entrepreneurs and students, the participants were able to envision an action plan relating to challenges in the Tohoku region.
Returning to Japan, the participants went forward with their local projects with the support of local mentors. Participants each presented their project’s content, planning, challenges they encountered during execution, how they overcame hardships, how they are planning to overcome their next steps, etc.
- I would like to lessen the disposal of crops that are grown with great care in my hometown, Fukushima. Through experiencing farming and agriculture, I would like to carry out a popup cafe where people can dine. (Ayaka Narawa)
- I would like to spread awareness of life-saving activities to connect the next generation to disaster prevention from the Great East Japan Earthquake. Combining my future dream of nurturing kids, I would like to spread storytelling paper plays and disaster prevention handbooks to the world of childcare. (Kao Iwatsuki)
- I want to create a space for young people to gather and hangout through music. (Kaede Sato)
After the presentations, the participants received feedback and encouraging words from Mr. Beau Miller, the U.S.Consulate General Sapporo Public Affairs Officer, and Mr. Hiroshi Sasaki, Director, INTILAQ Tohoku Innovation Center. Professor Deborah McKoy, the representative of the program course at UC Berkeley, presented each participant with their program completion certificate.
The event was closed with an address by Mr. Tsuyoshi Saito, General Manager, SoftBank Group Corp., Corporate Management, Sustainability Department, SoftBank Corp., Corporate Management, CSR Headquarters, CSR Planning Department.
After the program’s completion, it is expected that the participants continue their strive for community contribution and leadership within their respective regions.