July 2006 Pangaea Newsletter


- Monthly General Report - June, 2006
- Yumi, Chief Executive Director's monthly note
- Toshi, Chief Technical Director's monthly note
- Activity Report

General Report: June 2006

June.1 Press Conference held in Vienna for the commencement of Pangaea Activity in Vienna.

The city of Vienna sponsored a press conference on the Pangaea Activity, celebrating the completion of the PangaeaNet. Not only the press staff but also the educators of the city participated in the press conference. The children demonstrated how to play on the PangaeaNet and joyfully answered to the questions raised by the press staff at the interview.

June.6 Workshop for the facilitators held in Nairobi

A facilitator workshop was held at Rusinga School, our overseas branch in Nairobi, in order to introduce the Pangaea Activities using the PangaeaNet. It was revealed then, that the IT network environment in Kenya had yet to be developed, although its IT evolution has been quite remarkable. Our supporters on site have been offering their hands to improve the situation.

June.9 and 30 Pangaea Activity for the New Year re-start at Ogikubo-kita Children's House

The Pangaea Activity for the New Year has re-started at Ogikubo-Kita Children's House, who has been participating in our activities since last year. The Activity is open to the children over grade 3 and will be held in the afternoon of every second Fridays and fourth Fridays of the month. We had the total of 15 participants in June. All the children were excited in cheers to see the PangaeaNet for the first time.

June.10 "Office get-together with the volunteers" held in Kyoto

Total of 12 of us, including the volunteers who have been giving their hands since the kick off of Kyoto R&D center, as well as the Pangaea core staff, gathered together for an office get-together. There was a presentation on the Vienna/Nairobi business trip and the self-introduction of the participants at the get-together, resulting the scheduled 4 hours passing by just like one blink.

June.17 Unveiling of PangaeaNet at the Pangaea activity held at Yoyogi Elementary school

Preceding the re-start of the Pangaea Activities for the New Year in Shibuya, an event to unveil the PangaeaNet was held for the Pangaean Children. It was the very first time for them to see the complete PangaeaNet. The children were full of joyous surprise to see the PangaeaNet further evolved compared with that at the simultaneous activity last March. Get ready for more and more fun!

June.25 Participated the 1st Creators' Meeting in Kyoto

Our Chief Technical Director, Toshiyuki Takasaki gave a speech at the 1st Creators' Meeting "how to design the world and our daily life" sponsored by "Enzin(http://www.enzin.net/)" at Kyoto University Machiya campus. The participants include "NPO Pangaea", "Global Corridor(http://www.globalcorridor.net/)", "Kururin" and "Rakusai(http://rakusai.org/)", who are mainly Kyoto-based group of people involved in the creative field of work such as designing and programming and so forth. It turned out to be a desirable opportunity for us to get to know each other as well as to search for the possibility of future collaboration. The circle of Pangaea is growing bigger and bigger with more volunteers, some newly joined at this Creators' Meeting.

Yumi's Monthly Note

The city of Vienna hosted a press conference for us to announce the start of Pangaea Activity on June 1st. The participants include the press staff, educators of the city as well as the children who had been using the PangaeaNet for two days prior to the conference, who demonstrated how to use the PangaeaNet. When interviewed, the children excitedly answered to the press staff how much they had been enjoying themselves playing on the PangaeaNet.

The Activity at Vienna The city of Vienna, the memorable first branch ever, that the PangaeaNet has been implemented had already had the Pangaea Activities as many as 15 times. The branch is set up at a youth center, a so-to-speak "children's house" in Japanese. Some 40 children are currently registered as Pangaeans. Surprisingly enough, 27 different languages are spoken by the children at this youth center, which has made the PangaeaNet all the more special for them. Many children came to us holding the PangaeaNet map in their hands and eagerly asked us so many questions trying to communicate with us.

The Activity at Vienna We flew to Nairobi leaving Vienna. We held a workshop for the Pangaea Activity using the PangaeaNet in Nairobi as well. This is the start of long awaited "Pangaea Activity in 4 different countries". The Pangaea activities in both Suginami and Shibuya wards in Tokyo are going on. We will hold a workshop for the facilitators in Tokyo and Kyoto in July. Upon gathering all the know-how from the workshop, we are planning to start the Certified Pangaea Facilitator Program in September. The purpose of setting up this official accreditation standard is to enable the volunteers to learn the know-how of Pangaea facilitation, which would hopefully motivate the volunteers even more to participate in the Pangaea Activities, as well as to raise the degree of their self-satisfaction from participating in the Pangaea. The number of volunteers both in Tokyo and Kyoto is increasing. Although the number of countries where we have branches is yet limited to four at the moment, we believe that our activity has become more and more clear and easier to understand for everyone. We are now hoping to enhance our effort for fund raising starting July, We believe, with our clear-cut activity information, it is the best timing for the enterprises, business bodies to make social contribution by giving us your support to create the bond between the children in the world. We are ready to give our presentation at any time. Please feel free to contact us at our admin office.

Yumiko Mori

Toshi's monthly Note

In the beginning of June, I left Vienna and flew to Nairobi with the new Pangaea packages. Kenya, located on the south hemisphere, was in the middle of fall and was very comfortable. The last time I visited there was in February so only 4months have passed since then. There have been many changes, though. I was surprised to see that the street lamps and the traffic lights had been newly set up, the highway was better-paved and the cell phone model on the billboard that I had seen before has been changed into a new one already.

I visited Rusinga School where we held the Pangaea Activity and introduced the PangaeaNet this time. The IT improvement in Nairobi is apparent but still, there was a technical problem with the Internet connection speed. At Rusinga School, the Internet is connected through satellite using a parabola antenna installed on the wall. Because of its cost as well as the limited of connection speed and the physical distance, it took us some time to access to a PangaeaNet server in Japan, keeping us wait for quite a long time to see the Pangaea contents.

Photo at Nairobi This is however, where the Pangaea peace engineering R&D team shows its real ability. I have a friend from my MIT Media Laboratory days whose name is Ouko. Ouko now teaches at a university here in Kenya, directing his own business at the same time. I immediately contacted with him and got our hands on trying to set up a dedicated server that was connected with high-speed and stable line. Daniel, a Pangaea technical staff in Vienna suggested if we could try pre-loading the required data on PC to keep us from having to wait for a long time and that he would love join us in developing that part! Mr. Terasaki in Tokyo gave me a piece of specific technical advice to solve all these problems. I believe this is truly the Pangaean spirit. With the limited human, infrastructural and economic resources, we may find it difficult to create things that are perfect now, but we will continue to make our best effort to make things better, taking a step by step no matter how small each step may be. I am currently hoping to create an on-line peace engineering community in order to widen our circle and to carry on our spirit. I am now examining the possible linguistic problems and how to operate the community.

Toshiyuki Takasaki

Activity Report

Following Vienna's activity held in the end of May, we started the activity using the PangaeaNet in Tokyo in June. The first activity was held in Shibuya ward. We began by reporting the children that the PangaeaNet has completed with their support. At Mr. Takasaki's demonstration of the PangaeaNet, we have heard many gasps rose by the children in surprise, "PangaeaNet has progressed so much since the last time I saw it in March!"

The Activity at Shibuya, Tokyo In the PC room, the children were earnestly checking their mails and sending Picton mails to their favorite friends. The children at an analog table were also very excited. They seemed to be inspired by seeing the houses drawn by the children around the globe. Some tried re-drawing their house and room again, some spent their time thinking of their 3 favorite things to be listed on their profile while others designed their own Invitation Cards. The elementary and the middle school students, as well as the facilitators all enjoyed the activity.

Our activity in Ogikubo ward is now set on weekday afternoons and we had the very first activity for this year with mainly the "Pangaea beginners". We therefore began by explaining what the Pangaea was, at the same time, it was our first opportunity, too, to include the introduction of Pangaea in its whole picture including the PangaeaNet. What I cared the most was to make our presentation attractive and clear for the children to understand.

Interestingly enough, each branch has its own color. The children in Shibuya are cheerful and easy-going, the ones in Ogikubo are joyful and energetic. It seems that the different characters of the locality and the space, be it a school or a children's house are directly reflected on the color of each group of children. Being off-site, I often have the scenes from the activities flash through my mind. What each child said crosses my mind. I wish Pangaea Activity would offer an unforgettable memory for each and every one of the participants. I believe it is a shared wish among all the facilitators at the activity.

Now that the activity menu has been compiled in the manual, the operation of the activities has become so much smoother. The facilitator workshops are held regularly, as well as the Q&A site where we can share our questions and concerns will be available shortly.

Pangaea keeps evolving itself so that we could bring you a lot more fun participating in the activity. Stay with us!

Mariko Yamazaki