I attended the 1st Ashoka Speaker Series, held at the Fukutake Hall of the University of Tokyo. In this event, Ms. Tri Mumpuni, Ashoka Fellow and Founder at IBEKA (People Centered Economic & Business Institute), gave a lecture on the role of the people centered approach to rural electrification in Indonesia. During the break, I exchanged a couple of views and opinions with Ms. Mumpuni in this regard. We, Akira Foundation, supported Ashoka Japan for its public relation.
I was invited to attend the “The Right to the City in a South African Context: National Roundtable”, held at the Belmont Square Conference Centre in Cape Town. This National Roundtable aimed to nurture the audience to realize the ongoing issues behind the right of the urban poor in South Africa, and to help cultivate a new, democratic way of planning and decision-making in improving the life of the poor. Thanks to the partnership with Isandla Institute, Community Organisation Resource Centre (CORC) and Informal Settlements Network (ISN), the event facilitated pragmatic and practical dialogues among the participants including government officials from different spheres, leaders from civil societies, and organizations for the urban poor.
The first off-site meeting of Akira Social Ventures (ASV) was held at Novotel World Trade Centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The founding members of ASV (including me) attended the meeting and discussed its strategic plans and subject matters for three consecutive days, from registration to microfinance projects, one of which focus primarily on helping people in the disaster-stricken areas of Japan rebuild and revive their economies and societies.
I was invited to the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Social Enterprise English Language School (SEELS) on Saturday, 30 July 2011, which was launched in partnership with Akira Foundation. Community leaders, practitioners, teachers, school managers and staff, and its advisory board members from both Philippines and Japan were invited to attend the ceremony at the site of the new class room at Hirai, Tokyo.
I was invited to join the African Centre for Cities (ACC) at the University of Cape Town (UCT; South Africa) as a Visiting Researcher from this October. This is a one-year non-tenure track appointment and part of my PhD studentship at the University of Tokyo. As a Research Affiliate of ACC, I am expected to get involved in a wide range of academic forums of ACC and to conduct research on various informal settings in African cities, working collaboratively with a diverse group of universities, research institutes, government sectors and NGOs from Japan and Africa.