Previously, I introduced the event called ‘Technologies Appropriate to Local Needs Will Save the World’ . It was held in July by the students’ initiatives of D-Lab at MIT and Kopernik, (in Japanese).
Their activities later developed into sending students to East Timor in order for them to see the place firsthand - to feel the situation, identify the issues, search for solutions, and craft plans for possible projects. The results of their observations and analyses were displayed and presented at GRIPS, my home institution, on October 22nd.
Participants commonly reacted with surprise to experiences in East Timor. Much of this reaction was reflected in their work. They described the proposed projects with strong emotion ? with a passionate drive to introduce solutions to the issues they observed.
To have a discussion about their plans was part of their objectives and was also included in this event. Together, with the participation of commentators and Professor Yonekura of Hitotsubashi University (Ref.1), an avid supporter of this sort of activity, triggered not only great excitement, but also materialized great learning opportunities to all who participated.
Like the lively discussion that took place at this conference, I advocate for analyzing ideas in a serious but positive manner. Where there is room for support or opinion do so cautiously. Give constructive criticism that encourages the students to further think about the problems and tasks at hand. Refrain from merely providing the solution, especially since you don’t know if different sorts of creative solutions will emerge from those students, youth, or young professionals. Provide support, but without too much meddling. And most importantly, never discourage the youth. If you do so, the only service you will provide is to chill their passion. Encourage youth by helping them see for themselves the world around them. Be silent but strong for them, and remember that our future lies in their hands.
As for the young individuals you gathered in the conference room to discuss East Timor, each and every one filled to the rim with passion for what they spoke about. We need this sort of energy to be felt more.