Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas

by World In You
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas
Social Entrepreneurs of Japan's Disaster-Hit Areas

Project Report | Sep 11, 2023
Bridging Practice and Research: Insights from the

By Mio Yamamoto | Co-Founder and Executive Director

Dear Our Supporters,

Over the past two years, World in You's Board Fellowship Program (BFP) has been on a remarkable journey of learning and achievement. The BFP was designed and built based on our experiences and findings in the many Learning Journey programs and other work in Tohoku. Working with social entrepreneurs and professionals from diverse sectors has made us realize the need for more effective and diverse boards and leadership teams in mission-driven organizations in Japan. 

In June and July, the BFP program had the privilege of presenting its findings and experiences at two nonprofit conferences in Japan and the United States. In partnership with Associate Professor Ayako Okada from Tohoku University and Professor Yu Ishida from Kwansei Gakuin University, the program made significant contributions to the discourse on nonprofit governance.

We gave presentations at the Japan NPO Conference and the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Asia Conference, with titles "Governance that Fosters Emergence: The Value and Potential of Engaging Talent from Diverse Sectors" and "The Impact of Outside Board of Directors on Nonprofit Governance: Exploration through Quasi-Board Meetings" respectively.

By sharing our findings, we aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Bridging the Gap: The field of nonprofit organization governance still has a limited research presence in Japan. We aimed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
  • Beyond Conventional Governance: With increasing interest in governance within the nonprofit sector, we sought to shift the focus of governance from its narrow definition, such as monitoring and supervision, to broader governance that could inherently accelerate a nonprofit's social mission.
  • Providing Practical Insights: We sought to provide practical guidance to individuals responsible for running and governing nonprofit organizations, addressing questions like who should serve on the board, how to engage them effectively, and how to conduct board meetings.
  • Cross-Sector Collaboration: We also aimed to demonstrate how individuals from various sectors, including business leaders, can add value to nonprofit governance.


One of the highlights of the presentation was the changes observed in the BFP's participating nonprofits and business leaders as follows:

<Changes in the participating nonprofits>

  1. Enhanced Communication: BFP requires multiple team members' participation from a nonprofit organization, rather than only one leader. The program catalyzed improved communication WITHIN the team. The quasi-board meetings in BFP became spaces to share and articulate team members' perspectives on the organization's goals and challenges. Through the preparation and reflection process, differences in perceptions became visible, leading to productive discussions.

  2. A Safe Space for Leadership: The quasi-board meetings provided nonprofit leaders with a unique platform to express their thoughts and concerns openly without necessarily making final decisions. It became a space where they could reveal themselves and gain new perspectives and information through interactions with external board members.

<Changes in the business leaders who participated as quasi-external board members>

  1. Closer Alignment with Social Issues: The quasi-external board members felt a closer connection to social issues and the nonprofit sector. They deepened their understanding of the real challenges of nonprofit organizations, which is often difficult to observe from outsiders' viewpoint.

  2. Commitment to Contribution: The engagement model of simulated board meetings required individuals to commit their expertise and experience actively. This experience made many think more concretely about how they could contribute to nonprofit organizations beyond just this program. Some have already begun taking steps to engage with nonprofit organizations actively, including becoming an actual board member of a participating nonprofit.

The two professors will continue to evaluate the program's impact during the BFP's third year, further advancing the integration of practice and research. Their dedication ensures that the program's learnings will continue to benefit society at large.

We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all participants and supporters.

 

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Organization Information

World In You

Location: Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo-to - Japan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Mio Yamamoto
Bunkyo-ku , Tokyo-to Japan
$20,091 raised of $40,000 goal
 
240 donations
$19,909 to go
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