At the eighth Introduction to NPO Activities Seminar 2021, held on October 20, we welcomed Madoka Tatsuno, CEO of the Global Incubation × Fostering Talents (GiFT) project.
GiFT’s mission is to connect the world through Global Citizenship, which it defines as the aspiration to make our world a better place. The project therefore focuses on education to cultivate that spirit.
Ms. Tatsuno began by introducing the necessary process for cultivating Global Citizenship, which comprises
(1) Knowing and accepting yourself
(2) Connecting with others with empathy
(3) Collaboration and Co-Creation; and
(4) Participate in the society for the future.
This is the process that GiFT always follows when realizing its short-term training projects in many countries around the world, including Laos, the Philippines, and Bhutan. GiFT also handles the pre- and post-training for the Tobitate! (Leap for Tomorrow) Study Abroad Initiative, a public-private effort supporting overseas study for high school students, and there too, time is apparently set aside for students to engage in self-dialogue and to share the results in line with the four steps in the GiFT process.
Rather than jumping straight into trying to solve big social problems or going abroad on some sort of mission, Ms. Tatsuno told us that it was important to begin by learning what would make us feel excited or uncomfortable. A lot of seminar participants spoke up in agreement with this approach.
Ms. Tatsuno engages with a lot of young people based on her belief that young people are not introverted but in fact have huge power. By creating spaces where young people can interact and move their thoughts into action, she continues to push them gently beyond their comfort zone where they don’t learn much into a much more learning-intensive “learning zone” and, sometimes, to the point where they can step beyond this into the “panic zone.”
The seminar was conducted in a very casual atmosphere. In the post-event questionnaire, positive feedbacks include, “there was a lot more to be gained than expected” and “it gave me a great opportunity to think about the future.” In addition, there were voices seeking practical advice looking ahead, which proves that the seminar was very thought-provoking in terms of the road ahead for participants.
(Rinka Yamashima, first-year student, Department of Psychology,
Faculty of Human Life and Environmental Sciences)