【Solving Social Problem × Business】 Next Generation Social Innovator Training Program Call for participation!

Day:2024.03.11

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【Solving Social Problem × Business】Social Innovators Hub(SIH) Call for Participation! <Deadline extended>

The Social Innovators Hub (SIH) is a co-creation program that brings together talent from Japan and developing nations to address social challenges through business innovation.
Organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the program aims to nurture the “next generation of social innovators”.
Over a span of seven weeks, participants from various countries will collaborate to develop business ideas that effectively solve social issues. On the last day of the program, there will be a pitch session where participants present their ideas to potential investors.
Instruction led by top experts from Dream Incubator and Dentsu, pioneers in social issues, design, and business. Their expertise in the intersection of social issues, design, and business, along with advanced Japanese technologies, will equip participants with practical methodologies to bring their solutions for solving social issues to fruition.

Program Overview

Social Innovators Hub(SIH)is a co-creation type incubation program connecting Japan & developing countries to foster ‘next generation social innovators’ who through business aim to solve social issues in their respective countries.
Organizers, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are now inviting participants from Japan & partner countries.

Ideal candidate

  • You have a clear social issue you wish to solve & a hypothesis on how to solve it.
  • A passion for solving social issues in partner countries or their own country.
  • Clear sense of what it means to study on this program.

Key points of the program

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(1)Driven to solve social issues.

Participant is passionate about solving these issues/support problem identification & solutions.

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(2)Utilize “Japan's strengths” to solve issues in Partner Countries.

Introduce top tier Japanese university technology.

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(3)Project based practical programs

Globally renowned, replicable methodologies.

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(4)Teach practical business skills

Business planning, finance, impact assessment/methods by experienced lecturers.

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(5)Creating a place of emergence & diversity

Participants from 5 countries

Program Theme

This program will be based at Tohoku University and will focus on environmental issues (circular economy, carbon neutrality, nature positivity), as well as the disaster prevention sector. Participants from partner countries and Japan who are interested in social issues within these fields and are willing to take action to solve them will work together to co-create ideas for solutions.
With the cooperation of Japanese universities, research institutes, companies, and social entrepreneurs, participants will deepen their understanding of the social issues and then consider what kind of approach is appropriate.
SIH will provide a venue for matching participants with technologies possessed by Japan's top universities and companies to solve problems in partner countries by utilizing Japan's advanced technologies and problem-solving capabilities.Through this program, we anticipate evolving solutions to common issues in Japan and among the participating countries.

Lecturers・Mentors

The programs are led by experts from top Japanese universities and corporations, bringing their proficiency in social issues, design, and business (Participating companies/universities)

Apply for the first screening round

Contact to us

Program Details

      Lecture: 1.5 hours×two to four times a week
      Workshop: 4 hours×once a week
      Mentoring: 30 minutes×once a week
      Group work : Each team set its own meeting time (10 hours a week)
      Fieldwork: Around 2 times during the period

  • Implementation method:Hybrid of online & group training
  • Language:English

Lecture Schedule

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Cost

▼Participants reside in partner countries (Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru)

  • To be provided:
  • Travel Expenses
    ○Airfare
    ○Travel insurance
  • Accommodation
    ○Daily allowance
    ○Lodging
  • Training fees.
  • Participant costs:
  • Items not included in the above
    ○Domestic transportation to & from airport
    ○Passports, personal computers

▼Participants reside in Japan (Japanese/International students, etc

  • To be provided
  • Training fees
  • Participant costs
  • General living expenses
  • Lodging, Meals (during group training)
  • Transportation
  • Personal computers.

Application Requirements

  • Must reside in Indonesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Peru, or Japan.
  • Must be able to attend all days.
    Must be in Japan for the entirety of the program.
  • Language proficiency to carry out discussions in English with participants from other countries.
  • Able to obtain a valid passport by the deadline.
    During the primary screening stage please submit a PDF copy of your passport along with necessary documents & video. In the case you are unable to submit your passport copy during the primary screening stage, please submit it as soon as possible. However, in the case a passport copy has not been submitted by the end of June, will result in disqualification from the program.

Schedule for application & selection

  • Two step selection process.
  • Documents & Video Presentation
  • Personal Interview

Selection criteria is focused on participants passion to solve social issues rather than technical knowledge.

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Click here to apply for the first screening round.

Contact

For inquiries regarding this matter, please contact below.
Governance & peace building department planning & issues strategic planning division.
Contact to us

Thoughts on the establishment of SIH

Change your mind, Innovate the future

A social incubation program that connects the wisdom & ideas of partner countries & Japan.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has been providing international cooperation to partner countries for the past 70 years.
During this time, the world economy has grown significantly & people living standards have increased.
On the other hand, despite economic growth a large proportion of the world's population still suffer from various social problems like discrimination, poverty, lack of education & health care. The consumption of resources leads to the depletion of natural capital & the effects of climate change caused by industrial activities are a threat to people’s livelihoods. Therefore, we believe that we need a place for co-creation where people with a desire to learn, connect & make changes to create a better future for people is essential. From an innovative perspective, we hope to recapture values that cannot be “measured” through traditional methods. We are looking forward to receiving applications from people of diverse backgrounds with a passion to make a real difference in the world.

Why TOHOKU?

SIH will be held in Sendai city in Miyagi Prefecture, which is located in the Tohoku (northeastern) region of Japan . Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake there has been a growing spirit of social engagement & businesses creation. Consequently, Sendai City is ranked 2nd in Japan for business creation.
Although Sendai city is the largest city in the region, it is known as the ‘city of trees’ reflecting its iconic beauty & lush greenery.
The program will be held at Tohoku University, Sendai city.
Tohoku University is known as Japan's leader in start-up development and globalization , having been selected as the best university in the Times Higher Education ‘Japan University Rankings’ for four consecutive years. 
We will support all participants by providing a technical and educational environment.

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FAQ

What is the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)?
A centralized agency responsible for Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), including technical cooperation, loans, grant aid etc. to solve the problems faced by partner countries. Operating in more than 150 countries & regions, we work with domestic & international partners to solve international social challenges.

Required science & technology knowledge level?
During participation technology level will not be assessed however, the ability to understand technology-related explanations during the technology matching process is required.

Is starting a business after training required
The Program does not require students to become social entrepreneurs, but rather to become active in a wide range of fields, including the establishment of NPOs & entrepreneurship within companies (Intrapreneur) etc.

Who is responsible for screening participants
After accepting the application form, Screening will be conducted by Program hosts/implementers JICA, program operator Dream Incubator & Senior entrepreneurs commissioned by JICA.

How many people will participate in the program
To provide intensive support in small groups, we expect 10~20 participants.

  • Japanese: 5~10 people
  • Partner countries: 5~10 people

Is participation as a group allowed
As the program is designed to nurture individual “next-generation social innovators”. Group participation is not allowed.

Handling of personal Information & proposals

The purpose of collecting personal information in this form is to ensure the smooth implementation of the program & serve as a reference for JICA’s operations. Specifically, JICA will distribute information on events & activities under the program, information on JICA related projects, mail magazines & direct mail about activities of other organizations related to business support for the private sector. Depending on the nature of personal information collected it may also be shared with the relevant department within JICA. In addition, the information collected on this form will be shared with program organizer Dream Incubator, cooperating entrepreneurs & members of the selection committee.

Disclaimer

  • We will take every possible measure to ensure safety in the event of emergencies such as natural disasters however, we cannot compensate for any personal or financial losses incurred whilst participating on the program. We advise you take out personal insurance.
  • If you feel unwell, we will refer you to the relevant medical institutions, but any medical expenses incurred will be the participants responsibility.
  • Please note that due to unavoidable circumstances or to provide a better program we may change program content, mentors, instructors etc.
  • The information provided in this program must not be published or used commercially without the consent of the secretariat.