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RSA Japan Fellows’ Network: Exploring Community x Company engagement in rural Japan

Fellowship news

  • Behaviour change
  • Communities
  • Global

All over the world, the lure of convenience and anonymity has been filling cities and emptying villages for years. And yet our sophisticated urban lifestyle can be brought to its knees by one unforeseen virus.

For generations, villages everywhere have kept going thanks to interwoven ways of thinking, being and doing. Can we activate the best aspects of those "resilience values" for all?

This was the underlying theme of “Wow the World in Regional Japan”, an online event that explored new possibilities for "Community x Company" engagement in the Japanese countryside. Co-hosted in Tokyo by the RSA Japan Fellows’ Network (RSA-JFN) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ), the event was held on Tuesday, 8 June 2021.

Following opening remarks by Christian Schmitz of RSA-JFN and Sarah Backley of BCCJ, the event was led by Adam Fulford, CEO of Fulford Enterprises, Ltd. and non-executive chair of RSA-JFN.

Walk the ethical walk

Ageing and depopulation have been sweeping through the Japanese countryside with devastating consequences. Now the same trends are becoming increasingly evident in other countries.

For a company, engagement with a Japanese village would facilitate understanding of the true challenge of "onboarding" and "retention". The engagement would, in fact, be an opportunity to time-travel to the future.

For a Japanese village, a brighter future might include active engagement in a global network of small communities.

Adam already knows that local people want children to think that Osemachi (rural community in the Northeast of the country) is a great place to live. In what ways might companies and communities engage for the success of, say, a kids' farmers market?

Adam encouraged participants to explore elements of traditional countryside life in order to facilitate genuine progress towards satisfying Environmental, Social, and Governance commitments, as well as Sustainable Development Goals.

Adam Fulford would like hear from other people who are moving in the same direction, and can be contacted via this form. You can also find him on MyRSA and sign up to his newsletter.

The post-event article, video and slides are available on the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan (BCCJ) website.