SteLA, K-RIP and Grameen Change Maker Program


Last week, I had very enjoyable three unique encounters, SteLA, K-RIP and Grameen Change Maker Program

STeLA stands for Science Technology Leadership Association which began two years ago by and for the graduate students between University of Tokyo and MIT  (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). This is its third annual meeting and was held in Tokyo with participation of about 90 students from Japan and USA, and, in addition, students from China and France. They spent about 10days in Tokyo and I was invited to give a speech and sit on the jury panel of their contest. It was such a fun and joy to see collaboration by science, technology and engineering graduate students for global agenda focusing on the benefits and risks of such technologies as nuclear, biotechnology. I fully endorse and enjoy such initiatives by the young leaders-to-be of the global age.

In Nagasaki, I participated K-RIP meeting in Nagasaki University and delivered a keynote speech (this site is in Japanese). Chair of the program  is one of leading business leaders of Kyushu, Yutaka Aso, a brother of Prime Minister Aso, who lost two days earlier the Lower House Election in a major way to the Democratic Party of Japan.  But we spent a great day with many college students and graduate students. I enjoyed speaking and discussing various issues of innovation emphasizing potential distinction of Kyushu in the flattening global world. I enjoyed the day very much engaging and discussing with students on their potentials. In the evening, Mr Aso and senior members of the program shared a pleasant dinner.

Yunusu1 Yunusu3

Photos; Professor Yunus and Japanese college students to Bangladesh

Upon my return to Tokyo, I had a visit to my office by Daisuke Miyoshi (this site is in Japanese), a leader of Grameen Change Maker Program, (Ref.1) and two students who participated this program. They just returned to Japan after three weeks in Bangladesh. Two students are college freshmen and this was their first travel abroad, for the first time they held and saw their own passport. It may be quite unique for young Japanese in these days. They truly enjoyed their experiences, such as no bath tab but instead bathing in the river, diarrhea, and many fun and learning of the differences, heterogeneity, diversity, reality of poverty. One of my former students and a medical doctor from Bangladesh, Dr Jamil, was very helpful for sickness. Before leaving Bangladesh, they could meet Professor Yunus 、(Ref.1) of Grameen Bank who spent almost three hours with these young boys and girls from Japan.

This one week was quite gratifying and enjoyable to associate myself with many young Japanese seeking and looking for their each future possibilities.