Chopsticks & Towels
posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 12:39 PM
Last week Thursday, I attended a Social Innovation Seminar in the heart of Tokyo, which was hosted by Social Innovation Japan.
For 25 pounds, I at least expected a free drink to quench my first after such a long journey, coming in from Chiba (the neighbouring prefecture) - but my luck was out unfortunately. Nevertheless, it was a good opportunity to learn some Japanese while listening, and to see what some social entrepreneurs are doing in the land of the rising sun.
Listening is what I did more than anything. The seminar started with a five-point phase for consideration with regards to business enterprise, which wasn't expanded upon, nor opened up for discussion and the sharing of ideas. The next 45 minutes that followed was just 'a listen to what I am saying' session.
It was clear with all the suites and ties, that everybody here was running a business of some sort and wanted to grasp a fine idea of how to be social innovators, whilst at the same time doing good for the environment and local communities.
Though, looking at their faces for the first hour I truly wondered whether everybody there actually cared about the environment or just simply they realised that becoming an eco-friendly business enterprise will help them save money in the long-run. Afterall, social entrepreneur/enterprise is something very new here in Japan. Or maybe, living in Japan for a year is turning me into a pessimist. Shame on me!!!
There were two main speakers talking about how their company had been making high quality products (chopsticks and towels respectively) using natural organic materials, which is of course best for the customer. And also, their process of making their products are done in an environmentally friendly manner. Kudos, well done lads!
It's great that businesses in Japan are carefully considering the environment while making high quality products for the family. Slowly, small businesses are making the necessary changes to ensure for a better quality of living and life.
But to be honest, I didn't have to pay 25 pounds just to hear two old guys telling me about their business while seating down. Not that inspiring to be honest! People were allowed to ask questions, but the question and answer was only one way - so not very interactive or interesting at all.
The hightlight of the evening had to be gazing out and over the brightly-lit Tokyo city at night from the 49f of the Mori Tower. Spectacular view indeed. After the seminar was finished I sat down to be interviewed by the seminar organiser. She had many questions in relation to i-genius and my role with i-genius, and it's fair to say that she is very interested i-genius.
Meet amazing people! Because everybody here on i-genius is amazing!