July 30, 2007

 On the road to Chilly London from Scorching Rome

I am blogging this in a very cramped hotel room in Chilly London. I’m annoyed with this situation: the room is too undersized to unfold my suitcase. In Rome, I was engaged in meetings with the Glocal Forum throughout the day. Internet access is not available at a hotel I stayed. Today is Sunday. I had Chinese lunch with Issa and Aya. I hadn’t had Chinese food for two weeks. Issa is a facilitator at Pangaea Kyoto office. He lives in London and has been offered a job. Aya works for Pangaea Tokyo office as a facilitator. She is an international student in the field of international education at London University and struggling with a master’s thesis at this moment. I hope she will be able to help with Pangaea in the Europe-Africa region, as she graduates. That’s just my wishful thinking. I am very pleased to know that there are ‘Pangaeans’ around the world. I plan on leaving the hotel at 7:30 AM tomorrow and heading into a town, 2 hrs away from London by train.

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink

July 19, 2007

 Visiting UNESCO

IMG_2095.jpg I am now in Paris. I visited UNESCO Headquarters and handed out Pangaea Packages at 4 divisions. We received great feedback on our conduct in delivering our multicultural themes, as well as our products. As the result, our plan, calling on the Community Multimedia Center in Kenya and meeting the new advisor arrived this month, can be turned into reality around the end of August. I hope I have the opportunity to meet and talk with the committee members of UNESCO/ JAPAN in order to develop our project originated in Japan with global collaboration.

UNESCO has many fields regarding ICT. I talked with people from Peace-Making Section and also Intercultural Dialogue Section at UNESCO. Although there is a big difference in our organizational scope, we could reach mutual understanding easily because of our multicultural vision. Well, I have a lot of challenges ahead. Hang in there!!!

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink

July 09, 2007

 To Europe

I am going to leave for Europe in mid-July. It’s been about half a year, since BBC UK and Pangaea started our correspondence. Pangaean, launched the CBBC channel under the control of BBC and now kicks off channels for children in various places, has been backing up our project aiming to develop in England and other European countries.
Additionally, I’ve recently kept in touch with a person every week, who used to be a project manager for UNESCO and works throughout Europe. She has been supporting our project to succeed.
During my stay in Paris, I’m supposed to visit UNESCO Headquarters and give away our Pangaea Packages, which are getting available to everyone, to promote our project.

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink

July 08, 2007

 Jul 2007 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello Everyone!

June was the month for me to stay in Japan and it was my first time of this year not to go overseas. Toshi visited Seoul for Webcam Activity between Kyoto and Seoul. For this webcam, I didn't go there even for the rehearsal, and we challenged to manage using Webcam for the staff meeting. Take, Masayan, and Mayo worked very hard to prepare all materials for the activity with big help from Kyoto volunteers. Toshi carried them to Seoul, and with these materials sitting by sides, we had very successful Webcam meeting. It was great fun to hold Webcam meeting with 3 Seoul staffs and 4 Kyoto staffs.
We were awarded Microsoft NPO funds in Japan to create contents and standardize Webcam Activity this month despite that only 3 % of applicants of funds were awarded.

European activity now increased its level. With UK, we have been keeping in touch regularly every week to discuss new Pangaea location in UK. Also with Kenya, we exchange emails every 3-4 days.

Tokyo, Mie, Kyoto, Vienna, Seoul, and Nairobi, all locations now are moving forward surely. Mie put a notice to add 10 new participants, and there were 28 applicants! We hope to expand quickly so that many children can enjoy Pangaea in many different parts of the world. If you are reading this newsletter, and know a good location, please contact me. It is not free, as we need funds to make manuals, contents, readers, facilitator trainings and travel costs. But the price has gone down substantially in last 3 years.
I look forward to hearing from you.

The writer of Pangaea Ring this month is Prof. Toru Ishida of Kyoto University, Langrid Project Leader. Pangaea is currently using tools in communication with Vienna and Seoul, and our routine reports are much smoother as Vienna can use their native German, and Seoul uses Korean. Prof. Ishida has been great advisor for Pangaea in our R & D.
Please check out Langrid Project Website for more info.

His project started after 9.11 as we had.
He will be a longlasting partner for Pangaea.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Jul 2007 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr. Toru Ishida, Professor, Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University

Time flies and it has already been 3 years since I got associated with NPO Pangaea. I first met Takasaki-san, the Vice President of NPO Pangaea. His proposal was selected as one of the "Exploratory Software Projects" of IPA (Information-technology Promotion Agency, Japan) in which I was a project manager. I found the theme of his proposal "to realize the communication through pictograms" interesting, however, what caught more of my attention was Takasaki-san himself, who was full of vitality. I had the chance to meet with Mori-san, the President of NPO Pangaea, and gradually, I started paying attention to the activity of NPO Pangaea itself, which gave its birth due to the 9.11.

9.11 has been a trigger for my own research on inter-cultural collaboration as well. We have worked on the machine-translation project collaborating with the universities in Asia in 2002. I was also offered to plan a new project by NICT (National Institute of Information and Communications Technology) at the time when I first met Takasaki-san and Mori-san. The project I was asked to start was also something related to overcoming barriers of the languages and the cultures. I do believe my encounter with NPO Pangaea has been the inspiration for the Language Grid Project supported by the collaboration of industry-government-academia-society.

NPO Pangaea has been the first user of the Language Grid Project. We have offered the NPO Pangaea the multi-lingual chat tool developed jointly by Wakayama University and NICT, and we have been receiving much feedback from NPO Pangaea for the tool. NPO Pangaea, Kyoto University and us, we collaborate on the research on Pictograms. We can see the fruitful partnership between the academic researchers and NPO. I hear that several members of the Language Grid are participating in the Pangaea Activity held in places as Kyoto and Mie prefecture as volunteers. The Pangaea activity must be attractive not only for the children but also for the university students and the young researchers. It is true that NPO Pangaea and we do have different role and expertise in the society; however, I sincerely hope to cooperate with each other in order to carry forward the activities for us all to overcome the barriers of the languages and the cultures.

Toru Ishida
Professor, Department of Social Informatics, Kyoto University /
Project Leader, Language Grid Project

Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter , 4. Pangaea Ring | Permalink