August 25, 2007

 Pangaea Activity Was Back After 2-Month Break

kyoto20070825.jpg We had Pangaea Activity in Kyoto today. It had been 2 months since we held last one. Due to typhoon, we had to call off our activities a month ago. I was wondering if children could manage to join our activities because today is last Saturday of summer break. I was also anxious about their last minute situation, in which they might be having trouble with their leftover homework. In spite of my concerns, all kids vigorously showed up with suntans!
We recently added the function, so-called “portfolio”, into PangaeaNet. This function enables children to store all their works, just like albums, and easily share their own works any time with friends, who are allowed to stop in/out other virtual rooms through internet. Kids were working hard to design the cover page.

I hope the portfolio will be able to motivate children to feel a greater sense of interpersonal connection. Without contribution from Kadoppe, who is a technical volunteer in Kyoto, we couldn’t bring out the portfolio. We always appreciate Kadoppe’s support!! Creating the Pangaea Playing Cards in Kyoto has come to finish. I can’t wait to introduce our samples in our next activity.

I have another posting: L-chan, who has been participated in our activities since we started our program in Kyoto, is going abroad to study from this September. Since she was enrolled in high school in last April, she has been working with us more like a staff member, rather than a participant. She creates good atmosphere for all of us. We miss her, but at the same time we are looking forward to seeing her again when she comes back a year later. We took some pictures as our commemoration. I’ve sensed deep emotion as I realized growth and maturity in every kid, which I hadn’t seen a year before. I have been moved.

Posted by: kumakinoko | 1. Activity Report | Permalink

August 23, 2007

 Announcement: Toshiba Corporation “Financial Support Program for Employee Volunteer Activities (at the third)” awarded Pangaea!!!

That program, running by Toshiba Corporation, aims to support for volunteer activities at NPOs, in which Toshiba employees have been volunteering. Because of contribution from Mr. Yas, who is working with Pangaea as a technical volunteer, we have been informed that we receive the financial support from Toshiba Corporation. Mr. Yas started his volunteer work at Pangaea since we were founded. We truly thank to him!!!

Posted by: kumakinoko | 7. R&D | Permalink

August 20, 2007

 Worldwide Trip Kicking Off on This Thursday

My last visit to UNESCO HQ offered me the opportunity to tour one of Communication Multi-Media Centers, running by UNESCO/Kenya, in Kisumu, located in Western Kenya and on the shores of Lake Victoria. During my stay in Kenya, I suppose to take a look at the center in order to start our project. I am wondering if we can set out our activities there early next year. In Nairobi, I will take part in an activity.
After that, I will fly into London with some arrangements. I couldn’t set my schedule to meet up some people last time I was there, so that we are organizing our meetings for realization at this time. I met very interesting people in my last stay, and we are scheduling a time to see each other again. I realized that many organizations in UK are more likely to support activities of NPOs and fund with incredibly high amounts of money (Japan’s is one digit off). We have supporters both in London and Kent who are implementing activities to promote our project. We plan on carrying out our fundraising together.
From London, I will leave to Vienna, Austria. In Vienna, meetings are supposed to be held to discuss our project, Webcam Activities, simultaneously interconnecting three locations in coming November. And then, I will head into Amsterdam to share our project plans with some organizations. We have been under the impression that Amsterdam is a good place to launch our Europe office. After the meetings, I need to return to UNESCO HQ in Paris for my presentation, reporting my scrutiny tour to Kenya.

My worldwide trip continues: I will take off to Boston from Europe. I haven’t been to Boston for a while and it’s been over two years since I visited Media Lab. As part of my travel itineraries, I decided to stop over the Media Lab to show how our project has been done. It’s strange to say, right after I made up my mind going back to US, emails from a professor and former business director at the Media Lab came in to ask how I am doing. I hadn’t let anyone know about my trip to US, so I emailed back to tell them, “I am coming!!”
It seems like staff members of the Media Lab are preparing for my presentation. They are very light-hearted and always compellingly ask me to do something together. They are organizing the party to celebrate their project accomplishment, held next year and sponsored by Prince of Monaco. I have already been invited to the party because it’ll surely help Pangaea in building social networks. As far as I remember, they have been working on interesting projects. I set Soul as the final destination of this trip. I will attend some activities with new staffs there, and then fly back to Japan on September 24. Mmmm … That’s a very lengthy trip. I probably spend 1/3 of my time in this trip on sitting in transportations.

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink

August 08, 2007

 Aug 2007 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello Everyone!

I started to write this on KLM plane from Rome to London Via Amsterdam. The plane is full, and I am in those middle seat between these two large men! Very tight seating indeed. But the air condition feels good as Rome was so hot. Hotel had a problem with airconditioning, and I heard on TV news that Hungary is so hot this summer that many are losing their lives. Earthwarming seems to get worse very quickly these days. Place like Dubai where people are somewhat accustomed to hot weather know how to deal with it better than most of us. When it happens to those who are not used to this, people don't know quite what to do. Getting short tempered, and easy to forget things, just having to endure something gets much harder.

Visiting Europe provided me necessary information I needed to how to expand our operation into Europe. Many projects around Africa are started in various segments. Pangaea will visit Kenya again at the end of August again. We will visit one of Community Multimedia Center operated by UNESCO. I have visited UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and met many people and presented Pangaea where people expressed the excitement of our project. They are keen to see how we can work with this center and if it proves to be good, which I am very confident that it will be, things will start to happen. Also I have visited Rome and found that there are groups who are starting similar community centers many in South Africa, but also already have operations in Palestine, Sierra Leone, Addis. They are very interested to run Pangaea there also. So the exciting time will come to us very soon.

I am at hotel room in London now. Visited three museums, two in Scotland, one in London. I have about 5, 6 presentations a day, thanks to Greg who is in this edition of newsletter. Doing this many presentation alone, and some people come to London to see me traveling quite a long distance, I must be fresh each time of presentations. after 10 hours of such presentations and discussion in one day, I can sleep like a baby. I had lunch yesterday with two facilitator volunteers who one was helping us in Tokyo, and another was from Kyoto. They both live in London. UK currency is so high that they live quite simple life, no expensive restaurants. We had Chinese lunch, it was not expensive, but it has been three weeks since I had any Asian Food. They also enjoyed it very much.

This month Pangaea Ring is Greg Childs who is our European Advisor. I got to know Greg from my involvement with MIT Media Lab, and our friend introduced us as BBC was involved at Toy Symphony Project which CSK/Sega at that time sponsored, and collaborated with BBC. It is amazing how these networks live on and bring new connections.

We will be in Kenya in August, then again in Europe at the beginning to September to mid September. See you all again soon.


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 Aug 2007 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr. Greg Childs

Pangaea in the UK - a dream becoming reality

My abiding first impressions of Pangaea is of peaceful evenings in unfeasibly quiet restaurants in Tokyo passionately discussing with Yumi Mori the scope and aims of her inspiring idea. I remember the tingle at the back of my neck as she described how the concept was born out of the ashes of 911.

Four years on - four very busy years for Pangaea and for me - I thought it was time to take some steps here in the UK to create another base for the international project. Pangaea is not widely known in Britain. There are just a few of us "old hands" who were in at the start and want to see it thrive. Now, after a few months of calls and mails to various institutions and container-loads of information passing between Kyoto and Ealing (a London suburb where my home and office are situated) I have begun to establish a series of potential connections which could result in a UK base for workshops and even some funding, with luck.

But we don't need luck - we just need Yumiko's passion and focus - and that's coming over at the end of July to wow those reserved British and get them on the Pangaea bandwagon too. We have a series of meetings planned with some key organisations who are already showing strong interest in being involved.

I have every confidence that we shall soon see a British base for Pangaea - another link in the bonds between our kids across the world.

Greg Childs
European Pangaea Advisor

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

August 06, 2007

 Great Visits to Europe

Just returned from fruitful trip to Europe, and I am back in Japan where it is quite humid and hot.. Except for London, it was very hot especially in Italy. After walking about an hour to visit for the presentation, I got a sun tan. In Paris, I visited UNESCO HQ and met many wonderful people who expressed the strong interests to our project. Our direction to seek a way to come to appreciations of cultural diversities very much is in the same direction with UNESCO, and therefore, they understand our project instantly. We will visit Kenya UNESCO at the end of this month, and visit one of Community Multimedia Center. There was another organization I have met who has similar concepts community centers in Addis, Sierra Leone, Palestine, India and now planning more in South Africa. They were also very interested and we will seek funds together to start Pangaea in their centers. I was very thankful with those who had been so nice to wait for us and making this all happen. Especially Greg who is in London, booked me with many appointments and also giving me advices. Then Marion who is very busy with her own project helped me to meet with UNESCO, and Simon who always very understanding to our project since we told him about Pangaea as he was heading Media Lab Europe in Dublin. I will see them again very soon in September to really now start pushing to open more locations. Well, I'd better go to sleep as it is 4 AM and I have a terrible jet lag.... Good night.

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink