Hokkaido session report


2019 EDGE-NEXT Common Infrastructure Business Entrepreneurship Development Program Leading the Construction of Resilient Society
Reflect the reconstruction process, Think the future resilience
-Kobe, Tohoku, and Hokkaido Sessions Report-
Hokkaido session report

November 2-4, 2019
11/2 Fieldwork at Atsuma Town / Abira Town
11/3 Workshop at Otaru University of Commerce Satellite Office
11/4 Idea Presentation at Hokkaido University Conference Hall
Content: Refer to the guidebook and leaflet


EDGE-NEXT (MEXT Next Generation Entrepreneur Development Program, hereinafter referred to as “EN Business”) started from 2017, has expanded the existing entrepreneurship education achievements and tasks, developed human resources that challenge the new business. Participants in the program make it a goal to lead innovation and transform the industrial structure. A university consortium of 5 groups nationwide has been formed to promote this project. The EARTH on EDGE Consortium consists Tohoku University as main school, Hokkaido University/Otarushoka University, Kyoto University/Kobe University/Miyagi University. MEXT’s EDGE Consortium Common Infrastructure Project is a project that aims to improve the entrepreneur training program in Japan beyond the university consortium of the EN project. In 2019, Tohoku University was designated as the coordinator by the MEXT to conduct the program (“Entrepreneurship Development Program Leading the Construction of Resilient Society”) development and implementation.

The development of program “Future resilience that reflect the reconstruction process of the entrepreneurial spirit development program leading the construction of a resilient society” started in November 2018, and as an experimental proof of education program, a program was conducted in three months by EN from September 2019, and 20 undergraduate/graduate students from 11 universities participated.

The Hokkaido session was held in Hokkaido following the Kobe session in September and the Tohoku session in October. Since the Tohoku session was canceled due to the approach of Typhoon No. 19, an online lecture was offered on October 14th as an alternative. The local fieldwork will be held in December after the Hokkaido session.

1. Fieldwork in the Eastern Iburi Earthquake: Saturday, November 2nd

One of the features of this program is the fieldwork in disaster-stricken areas. In the Kobe session, fieldwork was conducted at the “Disaster Reduction and Human Renovation Institution”. The interview of narrator club that has disaster experience,
earthquake simulation experience, and the training of collecting and analyzing the information from a huge amount of materials for program solving had been conducted. In the Hokkaido session, Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, Great East Japan Earthquake and Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake, that were entirely different natural disasters in scales and characteristics, had been tested. The field works in Atsuma Town and Abira Town were incorporated as educational content having a comprehensive perspective. Participants were working on improving the skills of “taking approach of self-help / mutual assistance / public assistance” and “combining the value of disaster prevention / mitigation with economic value” among the four skills (the other two skills are “understating of social systems” and “prediction of extreme situation change”), planning the business model and output.
Participants incorporated the knowledge, thoughts and methods that had learned after Kobe session, and applied to the specific business idea. Facing such difficult task, there was no absence. Every participant arrived at Chitose Airport, the start point of Hokkaido session, and the training camp, which was quite different with ordinary lectures, started. Immediately, we moved to Atsuma Town and Abira Town for interview.

The purpose of the site visits and interviews in Atsuma Town and Abira Town is to confirm the fact of recovery / reconstruction process, and the scale and characteristics of the Eastern Iburi Earthquake, and create business model to lead disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction based on the actual situation. For that purpose, it is necessary to recognize the functions of the local government and the private sector. With the guidance of Mr. Fumi Miyahisa, chief of the Industrial Economy Division, Economic Affairs Bureau, Atsuma Town, students saw the actual situation of sediment-related disasters in Atsuma Town, understood the difference with disasters in other areas was not only in the scale, but also in the social systems, backgrounds and damages on the industrial structure. It is suggested by the case study in Atsuma Town that “public assistance” varies depending on the scale and type of disaster and where it occurs. It helps participants to understand deeply the perspective of ” self-help / mutual assistance / public assistance “.

Next, we interviewed Mr. Miya in the meeting room of Atsuma Town Hall. As a staff of the local government, Mr. Miya explained how he was involved in the reconstruction, obstacles in the progress of reconstruction, and what is necessary for the creation of a new industry, with examples such as local venture schools. The story was based on his own experience, so it was very easily understood and helped students to understand the limits of ” self-help / mutual assistance / public assistance ” and how to overcome.

Then, we visited Abira Town, and the facility “Entrance”, which was the reconstruction volunteer center and would open soon. Mr. Kenji Hayashi, the deputy director of the center, gave a lecture about the motivation for reconstruction and the goal for Abira Town. Through the interview with Mr. Hayashi, we were able to know what would happen in the process from restoration to reconstruction and how to respond to it. It offered valuable insight for the organization (NPO or profit-oriented organization) that is responsible for the restoration and reconstruction after the disaster, procedures for planning business, and how to face the market. According to the survey from the students, many of them learnt the confrontation between the large proportion of public help (government’s involvement) at Astuma town and the activity at Abira town where fields in private sectors were increasing.
Students did not stop putting questions to Mr. Miya and Mr. Hayashi until the facilitator informed the time. In the dorm at Sapporo, almost all students were working hard till the morning with facilitators to brush up the individual business plan.

2. Group work for building business to realize a resilient society: Sunday, November 3

At the satellite office of Otaru University of Commerce, we were preparing to present business ideas. On the day, we held the lecture to understand each concept of “self-help / mutual assistance/public assistance” and their limitations, which was the content of the canceled Tohoku session, also to make students to think of getting the management resources for business model planning from “self-help / mutual assistance/public assistance”. In this lecture, we reviewed what we had learned in Kobe and Tohoku sessions, and compared with what we noticed from the fieldwork in Atsuma and Abira. Next, as the core of business, the skill “combining the value of disaster prevention / mitigation with economic value” was explained with the frame worksheet. Here, we reconfirmed that the business was worked out in the process of “expansion and contraction”, and also learned the resilience vision drawn and the business ideas to realize the vision. In addition, in parallel with the preparation for the presentation of each business model, we also had lectures and work on the rules of presentation, presentation materials making, and key points in the presentation.

At the final stage of this program, the working team created a “worksheet” offered it to the students from the Kobe session, and encouraged students to apply in their presentation. If students could determine the basic logic, fill in the worksheet with details, and then draw out in the slide format of the presentation, they were able to design “disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction driven business model.” Actually, students did not know whether they could made it possible with these tools until they tried. There were 20 participants in total, including two who could not participate in the Kobe/Tohoku sessions.

To be highly motivated, students were presenting to each other, and by repeating the feedbacks, they were getting advices from the faculty members in the relevant specialized area. The business ideas were transferred into presentation. When they prepared their presentation, facilitators raised the level of each business plan, while encouraged students who were tired of thinking to have an ice-break to continue the work. Till the day before last day, students and faculty members worked all through the night, and nobody dropped out.

3. Report on the presentation of leading a resilient society: November 4 (Monday)

Students from 11 universities learned skills for leading a resilient society at the Kobe session in September and the Tohoku session in October, and through the visits to Atsuma Town and Abira Town in Hokkaido and workshop “Draw business with high resilience to realize of a resilient society”, students had chance to refine the idea, present the business idea that seek the balance of the economic efficiency and the value of disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction.

Prior to the presentation, following people Takuya Saito, Director of Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Takamasa Yajima, Administrator of Tohoku University, Tsuyoshi Setoguchi, Director of Engineering, Hokkaido University) gave speeches, and then followed the introduction of sponsor companies (Nexco Maintenance Co., Ltd., IHI Infrastructure System Co. Ltd., Tamagawa Gumi Co., Ltd.), cooperating organizations (Hokkaido Research Organization), sponsors / organizations / local governments (Center for Natural Hazards Research in Hokkaido University, Abira Town Reconstruction Volunteer Center, Atsuma Town, Abira Town). Kiyoshi Iuchi in Abira Reconstruction Volunteers Center / Hayakita Kodomoen gave a keynote, “Neither seek nor shun the fight -Move Forward-“. Students, faculty members, and the members from above organizations held an idea presentation in the brunch buffet.

(1) Program before the presentation

Keynote speech “Neither seek nor shun the fight -Move Forward-“

Kiyoshi Iuchi
The organizer wanted to offer a chance to help students to reflect the original intention for the reconstruction through the keynote speech at the final stage of this program. Mr. Inuchi talked about public morality in the resilience of disasters in Japan. What kind of person is the person who took action? According to Mr. Inuchi, the efforts on the front line of Abira Town reconstruction were made transcending the boundaries of local governments and the private sector, students learned what happened at the site of restoration and reconstruction of Abira Town and deepened the understanding of the ongoing difficulties, the future of children and the town, and the businesses. According to the student questionnaire, they learned “the importance and the motivation of action”.

Brunch buffet

From 11:10 to 12:20, all participants, including students, faculty members, sponsor organizations, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and JST officials, enjoyed the opportunity to interact with each other at a stand-up brunch buffet. Students presented ideas by pitch and got feedbacks from commentators, mayor of Abira, president of Tamagawa, Nexco Maintenance Kanto, and IHI Infrastructure Systems, and reflected feedbacks in the brash-up at last.
As organizer, faculty members of Tohoku University wanted to make use of this opportunity to inform more people about the contents, features, and possibilities of the program. Through the brunch buffet, even if the difference existed among educational institutions, local governments, companies, and the Ministry of Education, it showed new possibility to build further cooperative relationships, expand networks, and improve program while sharing the common goal to develop entrepreneurs.

(2) Idea presentation

The idea presentation was divided into two parts. 20 participants who joined the “Entrepreneurship Development Program that Drives the Construction of the Resilient Society-Future Resilience -Kobe, Tohoku, and Hokkaido-” made presentation. The presenters were given 5 minutes for presentations and 2 minutes for questions answering. They made presentations to show the results during three months in front of 6 commentators from university, public administration, and people from cooperating companies, universities, local government officials, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology / JST officials, and other students.

We explained to commentators about the differences between this presentation and common business competitions, and asked them to value the presentation based on the four skills required of entrepreneurs who will lead the construction of a resilient society ((1) understanding of social systems, (2) prediction of extreme changes in the situation. , ③ Understanding of self-help / mutual assistance / public assistance approach and resource procurement, ④combing disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction value and economic value) .

The following 20 plans are the business ideas that will drive disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction. (in no particular order)

Ayaya Iki (Nagoya Institute of Technology) “Increase the ocal resilience”
Naoto Inagaki (Waseda Univ.) “Local buffer”
Keisuke Utsu (Tohoku Univ.) “Support for university students to engage in volunteer activities”
Haruka Mishima (Kobe Univ.) “Emergency bag using model of house delivery drug”
Akane Teshima (Miyagi Univ.) “Enjoyable Yamamoto Town”
Kiyoshi Onodera (Hokkaido Univ.) “Let’s make (repair) everyone’s Do Road -road condition reporting system that works in normal times / emergencies-“
Yuki Koroku (Kobe Univ.) “Disaster Prevention Cafe”
Keita Shioman (Kobe Univ.) “Mutual aid between company and region”
Takafumi Shimizu (Hokkaido Univ.) “HitchHiter assistant driver’s seat help service ~Fun Drive App~”
Yudai Nishi (Kobe Univ.) “Hazard Game.”
Hiroto Tsuchiya (Shizuoka Univ.) “Let’s live freely ~complementing deliberative democracy~”
Maki Ohno (Nagoya Institute of Technology) “Protecting foreign tourists from the tsunami”
Rika Nakayama (Miyagi Univ.) “Collective house for one person”
Atsushi Tanaka (Kyushu Univ.) “Project Pri -Resilient victims.”
Ryota Minami (Kobe Univ.) “A new bank for solving the problem of financial arrangements in the times of a disaster”
Ryosuke Hino (Kyoto Univ.) “1.5th Place to stay”
Takafumi Mochizuki (Hokkaido Univ.) “Making CMS game into the reality”
Kotoko Watanuki (Miyagi Univ.) “Disaster utopia for pets and human”
Yoshimitsu Sawaoka (Kobe Univ.) “Spinning of threads for the future”


The reviewers of this presentation are as follows (titles omitted).
Shuichiro Oikawa (Mayor of Abira), Yuichi Tamagawa (Tamakawa Gumi Co., Ltd.), Hifumi Miyahisa (Atsuma Town Industrial Economy Division), Kiyoshi Inuchi (Hayakita Kodomoen Director / Abira Town Reconstruction Volunteer Center), Senhiko Nakata (Professor, Miyagi University), Tetsuo Kitani (Professor, Kyoto University, general reviewer)
Comments for all presentations: Professor Tetsuo Kitani Summary

I have the experience of walking home after the Kobe earthquake. Unlike regular business contests, this disaster-themed program was aware of “reconstruction and resilience.” I wondered what kind of plan would be made on this premise , but we found needs that were not noticed usually. For example, emergency bags, the needs of pet, measures for economy-class syndrome, motivate the sense of participation by remote way, etc. With the theme “reconstruction / resilience,” it may be easier to come up with ideas. There is also a growing trend to emphasize the contribution to society. Technology is advanced enough to contribute wherever you are, regardless of location. More futuristic ideas were born than the ordinary business competitions.

There are five points in the presentation.
Firstly, I hope you to work actually because there is a difference between the conception and the reality. Also, I want you to improve the accuracy when doing the work. Secondly, we got words from the company, “we would like to provide place, and cooperate as much as we can for the success of this program”. Thirdly, I want to quote the opinion from the public administration, “We only heard these ideas for disaster, but the students were thinking of applying in normal times as well. We hope these ideas could be connected with useful daily service. If that happens, it will be easier for the public administration to cooperate.” Fourthly, we got opinion from the educational institution, “Resilience is an important concept today, and educational institutions from elementary school to university should be involved. From the point view of educational institution, it is biased towards the reasonability of educational content. It should be corrected.”,

Finally, it is not difficult to find problems and the solution proposals. At the presentation today such as “repair of road”, we could see many projects cooperated by public and private sectors. Even problem and the solution proposals are found, but it will be hard to truly solve if we can not work as coordinator to connect each sector. This time, there are many intermediary supportive ideas, and we can find the new possibilities.

I heard the answer about resilience from you all, that is, adversity. I think resilience means resisting, suppressing the damage, and transforming it to the strengthen connected with chance in reverse. Today, I met you all who are have passion. I really hope everyone of you can continue to challenge.

At the end of the program, Takuya Saito, chief of MEXT(Science Technology・ Academic Policy Bureau, Region Support Division) gave the comments as follows.
I came to the presentation with expectation, knowing this program centered on universities in the disaster area. Risks such as large-scale eruptions, large typhoons, major earthquakes, Nankai Trough were assumed. Over a long history, Japanese have survived disasters as mentioned above. It is very important for young people to think about it. But how to prepare and make happiness in normal times? It is quite difficult to make an independent business related to disaster prevention. After the disaster, the government make a supplementary budget and companies also fund. However, it is difficult to get money before the disaster. Let ‘s think about the use of tax and find out how to incorporate it.

National policies are not suddenly decided, but are proposed by linking with resources based on the field experience. In the result, the country will not take action unless the people on the front lines of the field move forward. Someone said there was no support from the university, but I want to encourage you to consult with the faculty in University since they have the resources. The Ministry of Education also support you. Even small voices can make big difference when they are collected. I want you to brainstorm and send messages with people from different universities. Young people make great changes in any age. The Ministry of Education, university, companies, and public administrations are all ready to give support.

Measurement of educational effect

This program utilized three evaluation designs, including (1) a satisfactory survey on the contents and management, (2) a survey on the proficiency level of the four skills, and (3) a survey on the ideal way and progress of problem solving. At (1), we measured the validity of the content provided by the program, time allocation, amount of information, expression method, facilitator’s approach, etc., and knew the problems in program management and the advantages and disadvantages that the students had gained. This data will be reflected in the next program, which makes real-time improvement of the program possible. Through (2), the proficiency level of each student was measured quantitively with the evaluation indictors in the rubric to determine educational effects. Each indicator in the rubric had 5 levels. Through (3), we measured qualitatively the level and speed of the business planning from the beginning to final presentation. The facilitator assisted the student who needed support to raise the level of the business plan. In addition, the evaluation results of (1), (2) and (3) will be reflected in the next stage of program development.
In the ever-changing world situation and in the local community that are facing the complex disasters, human resources who can respond to emergencies are expected, and it is a need to develop the relative educational programs. There is an urgent need to develop programs across different universities and cover multiple disciplines. The programs should be prompted not only in university education, but also in local governments, businesses communities.

Focusing on “human resources development leading disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction”, we are developing the educational curriculum, which can be implemented in real time, while forming network in wide areas. We believe our program meets the needs of the times

Future Development

This resilience development program has been successfully completed with 3-part series. In this program, because the Tohoku session was canceled, it was not possible to take time for the phase of divergence and convergence of the part, but according to survey from students, the educational purpose has been achieved. This is reflected in the presentation of 20 ideas that did not appear in prior business contests and entrepreneurship education programs.
We verified the result, and will make a plan of educational program for next year. This project is expected to expand domestically in the second year, and then renew overseas in the third year.

Research Outcome

  • Poster presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Innovation Education Society
  • Presentation at the 20th National Convention of the Japan Evaluation Society (planned)

“Development and evaluation design of entrepreneur training programs that lead disaster prevention / mitigation / reconstruction”