In January 2010, Japan Society had the privilege of hosting Rosanne Haggerty, founder and President of Common Ground Community and a member of the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network, in Japan. She had a whirlwind of a trip and we were so delighted to have been able to facilitate a great number of programs and meetings while she was in Japan.
Rosanne re-visited the Kotobuki section of Yokohama to catch up with Innovators Network member, Tomohiko Okabe of Koto-Lab. Rosanne was impressed with how Okabe-san and his colleagues have been able to reach out to local property owners to transform excess rooms into lodging for the backpacker set. Where others see a neighborhood in dire need, Okabe-san saw a community asset–empty rooms–and turned it into an opportunity!
The following day, she spoke at a public forum, “Regional Development in Urban Cities – Cases from the U.S. and Japan,” in Tokyo with Okabe-san. Co-organized with Tokyo Foundation, 160 people attended the forum, many of whom are concerned about growing homelessness and poverty in Japan today. The Tokyo Foundation has posted a transcript of the program on their website, which can be found here: http://bit.ly/8ZRvyg.
In a more intimate setting, Rosanne had breakfast with about 20 young social and business entreprenuers at the ETIC offices. The focus of breakfast dialogue was changing society through entrepreneurship and how the “social” and “business” aspects of social entrepreneurship co-exist.
Rosanne was also invited to speak at Meiji University. Partnering with Professor Yasushi Aoyama, another member of the Innovators Network, Rosanne participated in a public forum at the university on “The Birth and Growth of Social Entrepreneurship in the U.S.” She later was a guest speaker for a seminar class at the Graduate School of Governance at Meiji University.
And for something completely different, Rosanne appeared on a popular Japanese TV program “The Most Useful School in the World.” The show aired February 27, and we hope to be able to post a link to the show soon, but alas, it will be in Japanese only.