On Sunday, June 2, we led a public narrative workshop with 30 doctoral students enrolled in the Global Health Leadership Program at Tokyo University led by Kenji Shibuya and Mariko Gakiya. About 1/2 of these students are Japanese and half from a diversity of countries including Jordan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and elsewhere, largely in the developing world. Along the lines of what we’ve been seeing in the domain of public health generally, there is growing recognition of the fact that fulfilling the mission of healing requires drawing on the tools of leadership, organizing, and action that we’ve been developing. The next day, Monday, consisted of a series of media interviews on organizing, public narrative, etc. followed by a public symposium hosted by the University built around a conversation with two community leaders on the role of organizing and civil society in Japan. And, finally, on Tuesday evening, our former student, Kanoko Kamata and her team organized a public community meeting, a kind of kick off to their efforts to develop organizing practice in that country in a way that hasn’t happened before. The workshop was coordinated by Huang Hui, who had also coordinated the Beijing workshop last years, with Kanoko (who has been apprenticing as an organizer in New York in the year since graduating from the Kennedy School mid career program) and a team of coaches recruited by Mariko, including Tomo Hamakawa, who took the public narrative class at HKS 5 years ago. The workshop was terrific: Hui did a great job training her team, Kanoko did a great job at her public meeting, and everyone is pretty excited by the potential. The plan now is for a 2.5 day full organizing workshop in Tokyo in December, which will include both students and community people, even as we work with Kenji and Mariko to figure out how to build organizer training into their health leadership program in an ongoing way.
From left to right: Hui ‘Helen’ Huang, Sayako Kanamori, Kanoko Kamata, Tomohiro Hamakawa, Mariko Gakiya, Marshall Ganz, Naoko Jinjo, Amina Sugi and Miho Shimizu.