12 September 2012
Manila, Philippine | Tohoku, Japan

Mr. Cesar Santoyo, President of SEELS, which Akira Foundation funded and has supported as its first social enterprise, won two national honorable awards, one in the Philippines and the other in Japan.

Recognized for his great work in helping Filipino migrants in Japan, especially in east coast of Japan hit by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, Mr. Santoyo was awarded 2012 Gawad Geny Lopez Global Bayaning Pilipino Awards in July along with 6 other winners from all over the world. The Gawad Geny Lopez Global Bayaning Pilipino Award is the prestigious national award that celebrates outstanding Filipinos and their distinguished works.[1]

Furthermore, Mr. Santoyo and SEELS have been selected for the 1st Michinoku Entrepreneurship program in July, which is funded through the Social Incubator Fund that the Cabinet Office, government of Japan, has launched, and is led by Entrepreneurial Training for Innovative Communities (ETIC.), a non-profit organization. ETIC. commits its work to train young leaders whose entrepreneurship and initiatives will turn out to be catalysts to promote social change and impact.[2] Along with 2,500,000 JPY grant given to each program member, the Michinoku Entrepreneurship program is designed to train young entrepreneurs, help them through discussion with more experienced mentors, and develop a constructive network among them; so that their paths and ventures toward successful social entrepreneurs will lead to recovery of disaster-struck areas in east coast Japan.

Mr. Santoyo will keep working collaboratively with those members under the financial and non-financial supports of ETIC. in this program until the end of March 2013.

3 September 2012
Tokyo, Japan

The digital materials of “Urbanization in Africa and Emergence of New Global Issues” held at Sophia University as its 100th Anniversary Project on August 9 in cooperation with Akira Foundation can be reused for teaching, learning and research through Sophia University Open Course Ware (OCW). Videos on the conference are also available on university’s website for the public.

The OCW is the program that aims “at giving back to society free lessons that are integrated in Sophia University education system and research activities” as part of their social responsibilities and contributions. [1]

[1] Sophia University Open Course Ware, available at http://www.erp.sophia.ac.jp.e.dc.hp.transer.com/Projects/ocw/about/about.html
1 September 2012
Tokyo, Japan

“Urbanization in Africa and the Emergence of New Global Issues” was held as Sophia University 100th Anniversary Project on August 9 in cooperation with Akira Foundation.

In the conference, Dr. Edgar Pieterse, renowned scholar in African Urbanization and Professor and Director of African Centre for Cities (ACC) at University of Cape Town, discussed many complex issues that emerged in Africa as keynote speech, and Atsufumi Yokoi, Co-founder and President of Akira Foundation, facilitated panel discussion among Dr. Edgar Pieterse, Dr. Gary Kendall, Deputy Director of University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership: CPSL, Mr. Motoki Takahashi, Professor of Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies, Kobe University, and other prominent scholars.

The conference has been featured on The Asahi Shimbun Digital.

7 May 2012
New York, USA

The press release on partnering with THEWSIE came out in New York via MMD Newswire.

The objective of THEWSIE is to unite innovators, entrepreneurs, and policy makers to promote action and solutions that would facilitate economic collaboration, cultural leadership, and relevant innovations in lifestyle, health, energy, cities, communication, technology, and education. The World Summit was launched in 2006 at the United Nations under the support of three UN agencies, and is held in partnership with several multinationals.

Sam Hamdan, CEO of tranzishen, and the Chairman & Chief Architect of The World Summit on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, said “Meaningful collaborations will continue to transform enterprises to become the innovation beings driving deeper economic and social bridges among nations. Our partnership with AFJ underscores our relentless commitment to showcase Japanese innovations and to support the most innovative forces and emerging enterprises worldwide”

“We are honored to partner with THEWSIE on this very important effort,” said Hirofumi & Atsufumi Yokoi, Co-Founders & Presidents of AFJ. “We have been addressing the needs of marginalized and underserved people and drawn attention away from Japanese inward-looking silos to the issues which remain unsolved and seen across borders. In such a way, THEWSIE will help the Japanese community aware of them and build a people-centered relationship with innovators and entrepreneurs, especially coming from the third world.”

1 January 2012
Tokyo, Japan

Ms. Yu (Joy) Chu, recipient of 1stAkira- Keio SFC Social Innovation Scholarship, is featured in Keio’s quarterly magazine, “Juku.”
In the cover story of ‘Learning,’ or ‘Manabi’ (in Japanese), she mentions that she has been inspired by her parents, especially her mother and grandmother, both of whom are Japanophiles. She has been to several sites of Japan with her families and kept learning Japanese, along with English, since she was little in Taiwan and New Zealand, where she was born. Those learning experiences in Japan resulted in her making up her mind to come for study in Japan as an international student of the Global Information and Communication Technology and Governance Academic (GIGA) Program at Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus (SFC).

Her favorite classes that she takes at the GIGA program are “Exploring Environment and Information Studies” and “Exploring Policy Management”. She enjoys those classes which encourage students to identify issues underneath and find their creative solutions through constructive discussion and knowledge sharing among people involved. She is hoping that given that SFC allows students to take a variety of classes across disciplines, she would be able to gain a further understanding in environmental issues, which has been in her interest, by taking classes of economics and mathematics, combined with that of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). She wants to engage in environmental consulting services after graduation.
Next to her story, AXIS scholarship program, which represents a joint force between SFC and AFJ, is also briefly quoted and explained. The scholarship is awarded to a most exemplary, outstanding international student, who is already accepted to the GIGA program, on the basis of various measures of achievement.
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