3rd Networking Conference Held for the Supporting Youths of Diverse Roots and an Inclusive Society Initiative

February 9, 2021

JCIE held the third Networking Conference as a part of the Supporting Youths of Diverse Roots and an Inclusive Society (SYDRIS) initiative, which is providing grants to organizations that offer innovative approaches to ensure that young people with foreign roots can thrive in Japan. In addition to SYDRIS’ stakeholders there were approximately 50 participants, including representatives from the Sumitomo Corporation, which is supporting SYRDIS through its 100SEED campaign.

The theme of the third conference was “Income Generation of Internal and External Resources,” with participants discussing how to secure the diverse and stable funding channels needed to support young people of foreign roots in Japan.

In the first half of the discussion, Daichi Konuma (CEO of Crossfields, a nonprofit organization) was invited to speak on financing strategies for civil society organizations working to address social issues. Hoping to connect “working people” and “society,” Mr. Konuma told participants the story of founding Crossfields, outlining the trials and errors of creating an income generation model for his organization over the past decade as well as adapting to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Konuma emphasized the importance of strategic planning as well as securing a stable financing model in order to create organizational values that suit the organization, its stakeholders, and its target groups/regions and improve organizational perception.

In the second half of the discussion, the SYDRIS Network Conference members took time to consider concrete strategies and approaches to financing, including the challenges of establishing a more stable foundation for one’s organization. In addition to this, the Sumitomo Corporation’s participants joined a group discussion on relevant issues, focusing on three themes: “income generation through the utilization of local and community resources,” “income generation through career formation and human resource development of organization affiliates,” and “income generation and education support combined with public relations.” 

In this group discussion, it was agreed that although it is essential to establish a mechanism to earn profits in order to strengthen the foundations of organizations, it is important to expand cooperation and funding from the perspective of solving business and social problems, as the profit model of seeking compensation for support and services from children and their families is inherently challenging. Furthermore, in order to develop a mechanism to realize the potential of youth of foreign roots, it was agreed that it is important for Japanese society to understand the challenges these young people face, their need for support, and their growth potential. It was suggested that there is a need for efforts to educate people on this front, as well as a need for more effective information dissemination tactics to improve social awareness. In addition to this, JCIE suggested that networking with diverse stakeholders, including companies, ministries, and educators, as well as organizations in the field of supporting youth of foreign roots, is important in considering current challenges and future strategies. JCIE received approval on the proposal to move forward with this at SYDRIS’ next networking conference.

Lastly, each organization reported on their recent activities and outlined newly released content and events, and it was decided that the information sharing and cooperation fostered in the Networking Conference should continue into the future.

To learn more about this conference (in Japanese), please click here