We held the first YY contest 2017 workshop in a seminar room at Softbank Corp. Shiodome campus in Tokyo, and 19 teams and 15 mentors participated from across Japan.
The workshop opened with the lecture ‘Introduction to Yunus Social Business’ by professor Masaharu Okada, an executive director of SBRC, Kyushu University. During the lecture, prof. Okada talked about his encounter with Yunus Social Business, Dr. Mohammad Yunus’s initiatives including Grameen bank, and United Nation’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), a guideline adopted in 2015 to address social issues that was drafted by Dr. Yunus and others. He emphasized that there is an economic imbalance where the top 8 billionaires have the same assets as the lowest 3.6 billion people combined. His lecture was concluded with his message quoting Dr. Yunus’s wisdom, ‘We have a lot of science fiction. We should write social fiction. Use our imagination and make it happen.’ stated in the Davos Forum in 2013.
Mr. Junichiro Kakuma, a representative director of general incorporated association GrowAsPeople(GAP) followed prof. Okada and spoke about his real experience working on an initiative to prevent women working in the sex entertainment industry from being left out from society and to support them in shifting their careers. He started after he interviewed owners of sex clubs and knew about news of a negligent mother working for this industry. During his workshop, he used a sheet of paper with a watch without hands to imagine what your clients are doing at any specific time. He finished his workshop by saying whether you can picture a specific client’s life or not is an important key for your business to succeed.
Ms. Miho Kobayashi of Avergence Inc. was the last lecturer today. During her workshop ‘Build a Business Model vol.1′, the teams worked on the Business Model Canvas (BMC) with the mentors. The BMC is a strategic business management tool to visually understand a business structure and its elements’ relations with each other by classifying 9 basic building blocks describing things such as what kind of values, to whom, and how you get revenues. Ms. Kobayashi’s lecture overlapped with Mr. Kakuma’s to teach it is important to focus on issues related to social problems and assess what state people in need are in, to choose the deepest needs worth addressing from many needs, and to identify what your clients really seek by researching, while resisting the temptation to sell products or offer services.