On June 25, the TOMODACHI Boeing Entrepreneurship Seminar held its final presentation online. During the eight months from October 2022 to June 2023, eight teams each made efforts to come up with solutions for various social issues. Will Shaffer (President of Boeing Japan), Cydney Gardner-Brown (U.S. Embassy in Tokyo) and USJC President and CEO Suzanne Basalla attended the event.
Five members from five teams were selected to participate in the U.S. study tour based on a comprehensive evaluation of the following: their commitment to the program, their contribution to the program as a whole, whether the proposed project is likely to be supported by the community, and whether they are likely to continue working as a team. These members included: Sunwoo Park from the team “BEYOND,” Tokiwa Yasuda from “ACEROLA!,” Haruka Souma from “Tasuki-ai,” Shotaro Abe from “Kama-Classic” and Ami Odate from “CO2;-O.” In addition to presenting the team projects, a debriefing of the overall program was held and individual evaluation results were shared.
The Local Treasure Hunters team said, “We are planning to be involved in the management of local festivals and learn how to manage them in order to realize our own projects. Now that we are confirmed to hold the first event, we would like to create prototypes that even children can enjoy.”
“When we first met, we were very shy to each other and only spoke in a formal manner for a while,” said the Satoko team. “After we started speaking more casually, the distance became closer, and from there we were able to exchange opinions.”
On July 9, the spin-off event “Higashi-no-kai” was held in Tokyo. A total of 19 participants joined, including 16 participants living in the Kanto, Chubu and Tohoku areas (Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi, Yamanashi, Fukushima), and 3 participants living in Kyoto and Ehime. Hisashi Kiguchi (KHO Co., Ltd. / Keio University SFC Research Institute) offered a lecture on the basic knowledge and techniques of photography. The group took photos based on the theme of “What I Really Like” during their fieldwork, and shared their photos with the group.
Participants also renewed their focus on branding, which is an important stage in their projects and something they had studied prior to the final session. They once again learned the importance of verbalizing the team’s values, and making clear connections with society to solidify their world views.
Makoto Suzuki said, “I am very grateful to everyone for creating an environment where I can face both myself and the social issues directly. Thank you.”