BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Program in Europe 2014
～Learning Global Leadership in France and Germany～
In the summer of 2014, BEYOND Tomorrow conducted the BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Program in Europe 2014. The program was undertaken as part of the BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Global Program 2014, which also included the programs in the U.S. and Asia. Students from Tohoku, overcoming the adversities of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and aspiring to become global leaders, travelled to France and Germany and learnt about Europe’s history and diversity. Participants also visited Airbus to see and learn firsthand about how a dynamic business actually works. This week long experience in Europe enabled the students to deepen their understanding of global businesses, and broadened their perspective with respect to their own careers.
July 12 (Sat) to July 13 (Sun) Pre-orientation
July 27 (Sun) to August 2 (Sat) Program in Europe
To search for ideas that would assist in Tohoku’s recovery by learning about how Europe’s diversity of culture is made use of in the business world. To act as Tohoku ambassadors by communicating their experience of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and Tohoku as it is today to the people of Europe.
Ten high school students and university students who were living in Iwate, Miyagi, or Fukushima prefectures at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and who, overcoming the adversities of the disaster, have the will to become active leaders in the world. Participants were selected through an application process.
Miu lost her mother, younger sister, and grandparents to the tsunami. After traveling to America during the summer of last year, she no longer felt the same sense of negativity and lack of motivation that had troubled her before. Now, she is interested in addressing problems facing developing nations, and she hopes in the future to establish an organization to help struggling women and children trying to overcome inequality. She believes it is important for her to participate in this program to broaden her worldview. Someday, she would like to go back to help with the revitalization of Yamada. While she was at the BEYOND Tomorrow program, she delivered a speech about her experiences in front of Akie Abe, First Lady of Japan, and other world leaders.
Minori’s home was destroyed by the tsunami. Since then she has had to live in a refuge center and at a relative’s home. Even with three years having passed since the disaster, Minori was pained to see how the process of shifting people to higher ground has progressed so slowly, and how children no longer have any place to play, and she would like to communicate this current situation in Tohoku to the world. Minori would like to ensure that the lessons of the disaster are not forgotten, and would also like to help move society towards a new era of medical response during a disaster. To help achieve this goal, she hopes to become a nurse involved in emergency care and medical assistance for disaster victims.
Chihiro lost her grandfather during the disaster. Also, more than half of her school ended up underwater. While she is sad over the loss of many things important to her, she feels it is more important for her to express her thanks to her grandfather and to the people who have provided support for the Tohoku region since the disaster, and also enlighten people to the current state of affairs in Tohoku. Having experienced what it is like for a school to have to rebuild from nothing, Chihiro hopes in the future to become a teacher at her current high school to convey to students the importance of what she has learned to the next generation.
Mahiro recognizes that there is a mountain’s worth of challenges in the aftermath of the disaster, but believes that young people can accelerate the revitalization of Tohoku, and after going through this training, Mahiro would like to work on conveying this to people overseas. He has been very encouraged by the people he has met through BEYOND Tomorrow programs he has participated in up to this point, and realized that the ability to create relationships of mutual trust is one of the most important qualities a leader can possess. He hopes this experience in a foreign country will give him a new perspective and help him grow as a person even more than the previous programs. Mahiro’ uncle has also been working as an engineer who assists with the inspection of the A380 model. He hopes to learn to the fullest from Airbus which concentrates the wisdom of the world.
During the Europe program, Yuka would like to raise awareness of issues including the low birth rate and aging of the population, which the media has had difficulty conveying. During her 2013 trip to South Lake, Texas in America, she met the city’s mayor, who said, “You can’t just wait for someone else to do something. It’s important to take that first step yourself.” She felt inspired by these words, and decided to start actively participating in various events. In the future, she wants to help bridge the gap between Japan and other countries, and take on global issues. She is especially interested in global education.
With three years having passed since the disaster, Tomohiro hopes to learn how to overcome different ways of thinking separating the administration, inland areas, and coastal areas. Tomohiro began studying agriculture hoping to address not only domestic problems in Japan, but also problems of providing aid to poorer countries. In the future, he hopes to find a job where he can help the local agricultural community, and would like to find a unique way to help the Tohoku region. He participated in a short study abroad program in English during the summer of 2013. From now on he hopes to meet a wide variety of people and will keep moving forward with his foreign language study.
Shun lost his mother and home in the tsunami. To this day he cannot forget that sadness and pain, but at one point he decided, “I won’t dwell on what I don’t have; I’ll look towards what I do,” and was able to take his first step forward. He believes that it is precisely because he has endured painful experiences that he can help with the revitalization of Tohoku. Shun visited America through the 2013 BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Global Program, and gave a speech on his experiences during the disaster in English. In the future, he hopes to become a civil servant and become involved with the local administration so that he can put all his energy into the revitalization of Tohoku.
Having experienced the disaster, Ko believes the key to preventing other people from going through a similar experience is to make sure that the voices of those who experienced an unprecedented disaster are heard. Because of this, Ko would like to make it his mission to ensure that these people have the opportunity to do so. Just as he had valuable chances to improve his knowledge of these subjects through BEYOND Tomorrow, Ko hopes to make these opportunities available for the next generation. He is helping with the planning and management of a program designed to introduce Boston students to the Tohoku area, and is also employing his skills in visual media. He participated for a second consecutive year in the 2013 BEYOND Tomorrow Summer Global Education Program. He was also responsible for the film documentation of last year’s program.
Hayoung Paik (MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES,LTD. Special Scholarship Recipient)
Hayoung experienced the disaster in her beloved hometown of Fukushima, but fortunately did not have any major damages or losses. Realizing that she was one of the luckiest people, Hayoung immediately began to wonder what she can do for others who were not as fortunate as her. Post-disaster, she visited Korea, where she grew up until age 6, and she was struck by the way the nuclear disaster was perceived in her home country. This is where she first discovered how information can be miscommunicated, and how different people’s values can be in different places. Hayoung participated as a team leader for high school students during the 2013 Tohoku Future Leaders Summit. Using this experience as a starting point, she has been proactively organizing ways to create platforms for high school students to communicate their opinions widely. In the future, she hopes to serve as a bridge between Japan and Korea, improving their relations, and in particular focusing on increasing educational opportunities for women and children worldwide.
After losing her father and her home in the disaster, Minori was in the depths of despair. But motivated by the desire to raise awareness of the disaster to as many people as possible, she used her experience of being president of the photography club and widely distributed photographs of the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake through media outlets. As a victim of the disaster, Minori wants to communicate to the world the “here and now” of the Tohoku region — she hopes to make an impression in people’s hearts of what it means to be living. She has also worked as a BEYOND Tomorrow intern since February 2014. Minori continues to support BEYOND Tomorrow from the background.
Location: Kashiwagidaira Lake Resort
July 12 (Sat)
|Morning||Meet up Orientation|
BarbequeBEYOND Tomorrow Night
July 13 (Sun)
Breakfast, Nature Walk
Before the program in Europe, the students participated in a one-night, two-day pre-orientation. During the orientation, students considered again the significance of their visit to Europe, as people from Tohoku, and what kinds of things they hoped to learn through the experience in Europe, as well as what they, as Tohoku ambassadors, wanted to communicate to people in Europe. The students formed groups through discussion, and at the end they gave presentations in English.
Program in Europe
Europe Summer Program Schedule
|July 26 (Sat)||Tokyo||The night before departure|
|July 27 (Sun)||Tokyo Paris||Fly to Paris
After arriving in Paris, travel to the hotel by courtesy bus
(Evening) Dinner and explore the city on foot (Montmarte)
(Stay overnight in Paris)
|July 28 (Mon)||Paris||
(Morning) OECD visit and formal visit to the Embassy of Japan in France
|July 29 (Tues)||Paris Toulouse||(Morning) Tour of the Palace of Versailles
(Afternoon) Fly to Toulouse
After arriving in Toulouse, travel to the hotel by courtesy bus
(Evening)Explore the city on foot and dinner
(Stay overnight in Toulouse)
|July 30 (Wed)||Toulouse||Company visit and cultural exchange program
(Stay overnight in Toulouse)
|July 31 (Thurs)||Hamburg||(Morning) Travel to Toulouse Airport by courtesy bus
Fly to Hamburg (via Paris)
After arriving in Hamburg, travel to the hotel by courtesy bus
(Evening)Explore Hamburg on foot and dinner
(Stay overnight in Hamburg)
|August 1 (Fri)||Hamburg||Company visit and cultural exchange program
Travel to Hamburg Airport by courtesy bus
Fly back to Japan
|August 2 (Sat)||Tokyo||Arrive in Japan
(The night after arriving back in Japan)
|August 3 (Sun)||Tokyo||End of activities|
In Europe the students toured Paris, Toulouse, and Hamburg, had discussion sessions with people active in Europe, and visited Airbus, which was built through a joint effort of European countries. In Paris, participants had a formal visit to the Embassy of Japan in France, and the OECD, and in Toulouse and Hamburg students experienced presentations and factory tours through the business program with Airbus. Through these activities the students were able to learn just how much diversity contributes to business growth in Europe, and to get some ideas for Tohoku’s recovery.
While in Europe, the students visited Paris, Toulouse, and Hamburg, had discussion sessions with people active in Europe, and participated in a corporate program where they visited Airbus, which was built through a joint effort of European countries.
Talk to leaders active in Paris
In Paris, the students made a formal visit to the Embassy of Japan in France, and gave presentations about Tohoku as it is now, after the earthquake and tsunami, in front of diplomats active at the forefront of Japan-France relations. In addition, they visited the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and from the Japanese people who worked there they learned of the difficulties and rewards involved in working for an organization made up of people from a wide range of countries.
Exploring Paris on foot
Visit to the head office of Airbus, a global leader in the aircraft business.
In Toulouse, the students visited the Airbus head office. At Airbus, which attracts technology and minds of the highest level from all over the world, students learned how diversity contributes to business development and the future of the aircraft industry, and were able to get ideas for Tohoku’s recovery. Students were also able to communicate the current state of Tohoku to leaders active at Airbus.
Presentation on the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami at Airbus
Tour of an Airbus aircraft
Interacting with Airbus Head Office employees
Exploring Toulouse on foot
Talks with the young leaders at Airbus who will carry the company into the future
In Hamburg, Germany, the students were able to visit an Airbus factory and a training facility educating the next generation of engineers. They had the opportunity to interact with the young people who have gathered from all around the world to devote themselves to their work at Airbus, at the highest levels of the aircraft business, and to give a presentation about the current situation in Tohoku. In addition, the students were able to present a final proposal for how to use the diversity they learned about at Airbus in Toulouse to aid Tohoku’s recovery.
Briefing at Airbus
Presentation by an Airbus employee