Meet the Spring 2018 Social Innovation Team!

This coming spring we have an amazing team of social innovation coordinators. Learn more about these energetic innovators who are excited to inspire the next generation of changemakers in the US and Asia!


Exploring Social Innovation – 2018 February Coordinators


Meihan (Lucy) Lin

Lucy is a past-participant of ESI spring program in 2016. Now she is running a startup in Bangalore, India, meanwhile, she also tries to fill the gap between Indian startups and Chinese Venture capital and Strategic partners. In the past 3 years, she has joined and led several times as volunteer teaching and summer camps in less developed areas. she wishes to brighten up children’s lives through education. And her dream is to open a charity foundation to help, encourage and support younger generation through the social innovation to help the lovely world become a better place.

Mami Shimokawa

Mami is studying economics at Keio University in Japan, but currently, she has started her year as an exchange student at UC Berkeley from August! She is passionate about studying not only economics, but also about entrepreneurship and social innovations. Studying abroad has been her dream for a long time, and she had wanted to come back and study at UCB ever since she visited UC Berkeley during ESI 2016! During the program, she was inspired a lot by people whom she met, especially by the coordinators, and she feels that the inspirations she got from ESI have changed her life. Therefore, she is willing to give back to VIA community, and this time, as a coordinator, she is going to devote all of her experiences and knowledge to make ESI Spring 2018 so awesome that all the participants can get meaningful takeaways for their future from the program.

Yufan (Amy) Wei

Yufan, who also goes by Amy, is a senior student majoring in Journalism and Comprehensive Communication. She is very fascinated with storytelling and non-fiction writing. Traveling and sleeping are her favorite activities, so far she has been to Japan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Romania and France (sometimes as a volunteer). She would love to share her stories with everyone one day. Her ESI experience last February helped her clarify her life goals, so she wants to pass this kind of spirit and leadership on to the next generation.

Echo Xi

Echo just graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai, and is now a semester scholar in Watson University based in Boulder, Colorado. She is passionate about education innovation and creating spaces for the young generation to realize their full potential through entrepreneurship. Echo has been to 15 countries on 5 continents for culture exchange and academic research and is still exploring more. She volunteered in Morocco as an English teacher 2 years ago; created curriculum on Augmented Reality programming and worked for a Digital Media Academy summer tech camp as a TA at Stanford this summer. Now Echo is working on building connections between organizations in US and China that share the same mission on entrepreneurship and education innovation.


Design-Thinking for Social Innovation – 2018 Coordinators


Kevin Chappelle
Stanford Student Host
Hi everyone! My name is Kevin and I’m a senior studying Product Design with a minor in Japanese Studies. I’m so excited to lead this ASB trip — not only because it fits squarely into my academic studies, but I think it will also provide a unique and nuanced application of both design thinking and an understanding of Japanese culture. I’m interested in a variety of art/design fields — graphic as well as conceptual. Last summer I worked as an art gallery design intern, where I was tasked with revamping the visual branding and the patron experience of the gallery. Before that, I worked as a designer for a stationery company in Tokyo, which was a very enlightening experience for me. It showed me how important it is to collaborate between different ways of thinking, and I hope that the course will be a learning experience for everyone (myself included)!

Kana Sanai
Kana participated in the DSI program in spring 2017. This was a time full of meaning and enhanced her abilities in cross-cultural communication. It also had an impact on her ideas for the future. From this experience she gained appreciation for the VIA family and became eager for opportunities to further engage in this wonderful community. She is part of the faculty of Economics at Kyoto University, but now she is an exchange student in Montreal at McGill University for eight months. Her choice to major in economics is due to her belief that simulating the private sector is key for the future of development. She has a love for travel and thrives off of meeting new people and experiencing different cultures. She hopes to be a supportive coordinator by building strong relationships between VIA staff and participants to make sure everyone has a fantastic experience.

Devangi Yadav
Devangi is currently pursuing her Bachelors’ in Electronic Engineering at Osaka University, under the MEXT Scholarship. Her main interests lie in Technology used for improvement of quality of life, which lead into her interest in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Participating in various extracurricular activities promoting international exchange drives her passion for learning more about the world around us. This passion for learning translates to various fields, International Law, she is currently the member of her University’s International Negotiation Contest (INC) team, Economics, pursuing a Micro-Masters’ in Development and Economic Policy, and Arts, she has multiple experiences as a published Children’s book illustrator. She recently joined VIA’s ESI program in August 2017, which was a turning point in her world-view, encouraging her to engage rather than observe society. Ready to discuss on any and all issues, she hopes her term as coordinator helps all participants to have a great learning experience in San Francisco & Stanford.