I have been committed to creating an ecosystem of social innovation in Japan and systemic change of the society since 2000. In 2000 I launched the Social Venture Center as part of ETIC, a nonprofit organization, in Tokyo, and started the “STYLE: Social Venture Competition”, the Japan’s first plan competition for young social entrepreneurs. This competition not only led young people to start up social ventures but also encouraged many business leaders and entrepreneurs to be involved in a new movement.
Since then, I have been engaged for 1) leadership development in the field of social entrepreneurship and social innovation, 2) creating marketplace for social innovation, and 3) designing collective impact.
For leadership development, I launched the Japan’s first university courses on social innovators in Shonan Fujisawa Campus at Keio University in 2005, at undergraduate and graduate level, composed by classes in theory and practice. Currently SFC is well known as the most active ecosystem of the birthplace of social entrepreneurs. Students are assigned to start up own “My Project” based on their own authentic motivation, and aim for systemic change aligning with themselves, projects, and system. There have been more than 1000 projects emerged, and also the program has been replicated to other universities and local areas.
I also founded Social Venture Partners Tokyo in 2003, Japan’s first venture philanthropy fund. It became a formal affiliate of SVP Network, a Seattle based organization, in 2007 as the first affiliate outside of North America, and currently the second largest group of partners in whole network. SVP Tokyo has invested in more than 30 social enterprises and innovative nonprofits through financing and capacity building by each partner’s individual pro bono work.