December 08, 2009

 2 new locations established!

It's been decided that we will launch Pangaea in January at the Kyoto International School, Kyoto. Starting in mid-January. We will be holding events once a week, until now we've not had 4 events in one month, but if this goes well we are thinking perhaps of afterwards trying after school activities at other schools. Furthermore, at the end of January we are launching a 2nd base in Malaysia at Bario. Bario is a place in the unexplored highlands in Sarawak, Borneo. It said on the T.V. that it has been recently discovered that 1500 orangutans live near there. However, since the 1st location in Malaysia, Unimas, started the project 10 years ago, it seems that they have been able to connect to the internet. It's certainly thanks to Unimas thinking being involved with Pangaea is a really great thing, that this Bario project has been carried out.

I'm scared of taking a bath with a bucket and hearing bugs scrabble about. Although there are a lot of people at NPOs that like those kind of things, I'm actually scared of insects. As I was born and raised in places like Osaka with neon lights in the centre making even night-time bright, I'm equally bad at the pitch dark as I am with bugs. Taking lots of mosquito coils and insect repellent so far I've been to Kenya and Cambodia. As this time local people will be managing things after the launch and introductions, we will be doing remote support via VisualScenario, which we've used up till now, and a multilingual community site using a language grid to enable us to understand situations, (somehow, Ishida-sensei tried really hard and talked to Google, and the number of languages available dramatically increased, there is even Malay now. Awesome!). If this goes well, we will be bringing this to show at Unesco Headquarters in the summer. Staring at my hands, working here, up till now has been 5 years. Well, got to fly!

Posted by: yumi | 8. General | Permalink

December 02, 2009

 December 2009 Newsletter: Yumi's Monthly Note

Hello, everyone!

We would be in end-of-year rush when you get this letter. In November, it was demanding but fruitful time for me. We conducted the webcam activity between Seoul and Kyoto and I gave a presentation at Beppu-wan conference on agricultural support utilizing Youth Mediated Communication Model (YMC Model) for developing countries, gave a lecture at the reunion event of UCLA. Then I participated activity in Tokyo as a facilitator.

At the Webcam activity between Seoul and Kyoto, the focus was on resolving the issue of lighting to enable recognizing each child's face more clearly. We run several rehearsals to find out what's the best. Finally, the table lamp in my home was found the most suitable for clear view of children's face via Webcam! Lighting issue is difficult and troublesome since it can be too hot or too bright for children. Besides this, we were careful for waiting positions of children during Webcam. We applied the good example of the Malaysia arrangement and it made Kyoto's situation better.

This time, we had the game called 'Nazoren' a word association game, utilizing Toolbox (Language Grid)which applies a language communication infrastructure. In the end of the activity, children were very excited to exchange so many questions beyond language difference using Toolbox. According to Sophia, our Korean facilitator leader, the mental distance between children in Seoul and Kyoto were observed to get shortened. Before starting the activity, there was a youth in Korea having not so positive impression towards Japanese. However, as Japanese teammates made effort to answer the difficult questions correctly in the word association game, a child was surprised for it and the impression towards Japanese had been changing positively.

Mizy center in Korea is actively and voluntarily engaging in developing the second activity location in Korea to deploy more Pangaea locations. We've already shared the same mission. Although they have a lot to do other than Pangaea, their motivation towards achieving mission makes them keen. At the reunion event of UCLA, Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, the president of the alumni group, told us 'let's get started to do what we can do.' For Pangaea, we will open two new locations in January.

By the way, I talked about my mom in the last month and actually she had the emergency surgery after the incident in Guam. Fortunately, now she recovered and came to see what was going on in the Pangaea activity for the first time. She said 'I finally understood what you were doing' and I thought I strongly need to improve my explanation skill since I've already, of course, told her what I've been doing! Well, is there anyone who hasn't seen the activity? Then I recommend you to visit the webcam activity between Mie and Malaysia held in 6th February 2010 as the first time of your visit. Please do contact our office if you are interested!

Now, I introduce Mr. Taisei Tanaka, CEO of Geisha Tokyo Entertainment Inc, as a Pangaea Ring writer for this month. He has been supporting Pangaea from it's foundation as a corporate member.

See you next month!


Posted by: kumakinoko | 3. Newsletter | Permalink

 December 2009 Newsletter: Pangaea ring - Mr. Taisei Tanaka

Now, I introduce Mr. Taisei Tanaka, CEO of Geisha Tokyo Entertainment Inc, as a Pangaea Ring writer for this month. He has been supporting Pangaea from it's foundation as a corporate member.

Dear Pangaeans,

How are you? My name is Taisei Tanaka.

Currently, I run a business enterprise called Geisha Tokyo Entertainment Inc. We develop and distribute to the public entertaining events that use technology.

My encounter with Pangaea goes back to when I had a reunion with Toshi, the Vice President of Pangaea.

Toshi and I went to the same university and we have been friends since then. We even planned setting up a company together while in college. After we graduated though, I drifted apart from keeping in touch with him because I got so busy trying to get used to the new environment that I was put in. One day, Toshi e-mailed me and we had dinner together. Toshi seemed to be doing great and his sparkling smile was just the same as before. After catching up and talking about the old school days for a while, Toshi all of a sudden asked me this question out of the blue. (Toshi is like that, all the time)
'So, Taisei, are you for the World Peace?' Well, I was not as mischievous as answering 'no' to this question. After answering 'yes' to Toshi, the only choice I had was to become a Pangaean.

Toshi, then, passionately shared with me the concept of Pangaea and told me about their activities and invited me for one of the Pangaea workshops which was coming up on the same weekend. So, I went out to check it out. I was expecting to see the workshop being held at a cool and fancy looking office (or a studio) because after all, Toshi was such an 'intellectual elite' and Pangaea had partner institutions and companies that were international and quite well known. Surprisingly enough though, the workshop was being held at an ordinary public junior high school and it looked truly their own making.

To be frank, sometimes I cannot but feel something cheesy about "NPOs" and "activities for the world peace." However, I was deeply touched by meeting with the Pangaea staffers who were working so hard to make what they were doing count for the good cause. Most of all, junior high school students who were participating with the workshop seemed having a great time. On that day, Toshi introduced me to Yumi, the president of Pangaea, and I started getting involved with Pangaea by attending the Pangaea hosted events from time to time.

The more deeply I get involved with Pangaea, the more deeply I am impressed by Pangaeas activities. Here are three examples of why I find Pangaea so amazing.

No. 1
Pangaea has a sublime and distinguished concept of its own. I do believe in its concept that the children will not have to have conflicts or wars against each other when they become adults if they are friends since their childhood no matter which ethnic group they belong to.

No. 2
Pangaea is not about arguing for the ideology of peace only. I believe Pangaea is well supported by its technology developed based on its concept, as well as the strategy.

No. 3
It is truly amazing to see Yumi, Toshi and all the Pangaea staff who are working literally "day and night" toward their sublime goal of World Peace. The Term "World Peace" may sometimes sound abstract, but the Pangaea staffers work and efforts are concrete and down to earth.

I have been leading a very hectic life running a small venture capital myself and I am afraid I have not been able to be involved with Pangaea as much as I wish at the moment. I am, however, hoping to continue to take part in Pangaea activities and be able to make contribution to Pangaea, no matter how small it may be, by doing what I can do at my end.

Those of you who are 'for' the World Peace, let us work together hand in hand for Pangaea!

Taisei Tanaka
President and CEO
Geisha Tokyo Entertainment Inc.

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