Akiko Murayama

 

Japan

AKIKO MURAYAMA

MANAGER, STRATEGY DIVISION

There were a couple of factors that contributed to my decision of being a volunteer for the Social Innovation Relay. First, as a mother of 1 and half year old boy, I wanted to make a contribution to an initiative that encourages the young generation to take up a challenge beyond their normal school lives. Second, I was interested in where current high school students are in terms of business knowledge and awareness for social issues. 

Having the education sector and business one work together, brings important opportunities for both sides, such as:

• By getting to hear the ideas from the others, we can learn that there are possibilities that each of us cannot come up with alone;

• This in turn encourages the people involved to widen the scope of their thoughts and enhance their fundamental thinking power;

• It offers opportunities to brush up their skills for communication and working with the others.

The society cannot develop without taking up new challenges and the people who work on them. Without new challenges, businesses and the society are destined to go down. Entrepreneurship is important across generations, and encouraging the youths to come up with new ideas and take up new challenges is especially an effective way to activate a business/organization.

When asked for an advice on the students’ business plan, the challenge for me was to help expand the scope of their thoughts and make the plan more specific, while carefully crafting my reply to become more of ‘tips’ for thoughts than the answer itself. It was a value opportunity for me as I got to work on my assignment in a different way from how I usually work on a daily basis.

The students’ awareness on social issue and their presentations skills including the materials they prepared were beyond my expectation. Learning that there are many young people who proactively take part in such programme gave me hope and confidence in the young generation.

I strongly recommend taking part in the programme as a volunteer. It offers a valuable opportunity to become a part of high school education, to brush up your mentoring skills and to have a positive, enjoyable volunteering experience.

 

 

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