Next Innovators Tokyo (NIT) is an alumni group for those who participated in VIA’s ESI and DSI programs. They recently teamed up with the Japan Alumni Committee (JAC) to hold an alumni reunion event in Tokyo.
-What motivated you to run this event?
This event was organized by Next Innovators Tokyo & JAC as a reunion event. NIT aims at contributing to our global society by increasing and connecting social innovators in Japan. At the event, our goal was to connect not only the participants of social innovation programs, but also other participants such as ALC alumni.
-How do you wish to build the VIA alumni community in Japan?
First of all, we are not satisfied with the current situation of alumni in Japan. Our relationship tends to be limited because we don’t have any opportunities for gathering together. That’s why we held this alumni event. However, this event didn’t seem to be enough for bringing more opportunities to participants. In order to make our events more effective, we need better content, more advertising, and we need to include the perspective of our alumni connections. Taking advantage of this reflection, we are going to keep planning workshops and events periodically, which will attract alumni members in Japan. Through NIT’s events, alumni members are expected to keep in close contact and be better involved in solving social problems.
-What did you enjoy the most about running this event?
It was our first time holding the event in cooperation with other groups. Fortunately, members of JAC were so helpful that we could prepare well, especially for our workshop on “Design Thinking”. We really enjoyed planning this event from the beginning to the end. Without the support of JAC, this event could not have been successful. So, thank you very much, JAC!
-Which VIA programs were represented by alumni?
There were representatives from four VIA programs at the event: ESI, DSI, GLE and ALC. They really enjoyed talking with old friends and other participants. In the “Design Thinking” workshop, ESI, DSI, and GLE participants were excited because they could look back on their memories of their VIA programs. However, ALC participants sometimes had difficulties in asking questions and brainstorming, which was a good experience for them.
A note to the participants of our reunion event: Thank you for joining our event! We hope to meet you again. Also, please tell NIT if you have some ideas for connecting alumni or motivations for holding reunion events again. We’ll appreciate your opinions, and we’ll be happy to support and plan with you!
To learn more about NIT, visit their Facebook page.