Midori Kurokawa is a member of the Tokyo ICU OpenSTORM group which rocked the house in the Amnesty Challenge where her Take Action on Google concept was amongst our winners. She's a third year liberal arts student and recently started a project – the ICU hub – which seeks to bridge the gap between overseas and local students on campus by encouraging inter-cultural exchange.
What first drew you to get involved in OpenIDEO?
When I advertised for students interested in the ICU Hub, Anne Riechert [OpenIDEO's summer intern, currently studying at ICU] contacted me about joining OpenIDEO. I’d heard about IDEO and OpenIDEO before but I didn’t know it was inclusive of non-design students like me. With Anne's encouragement I was able to take the first steps to explore this platform and I feel so lucky that I was given the opportunity to be involved in such an exciting online community!
And how's the ride been so far?
I feel very fortunate to have had extraordinary experiences in the course of just one challenge. Anne’s facilitation of the ICU OpenSTORM workshop was so engaging and the participants were highly enthusiastic about social innovation. We had a very dense and absorbing 2 hour session, immediately drawing me into the OpenIDEO world. The way OpenIDEO works alongside our live brainstorming process taught me constructive tools and attitudes for idea generation and collboration. Participants in the workshop came from very different backgrounds – culturally and academically – which I found to be an enriching learning experience. It also provided fresh inspirations for our ICU Hub project. I am amazed with the dedication and talent of all the people involved in OpenIDEO and what amazing things come out of their shared passion for social innovation.
So, tell us about how your winning concept developed over the course of the Amnesty Challenge:
The idea I uploaded was a combination of a number of ideas from our OpenSTORM, which were merged to become the Take Action on Google concept. We were excited to be selected for evaluation and this led us to seek a 1-hour meeting with Google Tokyo. There we were told about the latest open source technologies which helped us refine our initial concept into something more feasible. From there we worked in teams to update and focus the concept. During the Refinement phase we also got comments from others on OpenIDEO which we took into account to culminate in the final concept.
What are your hopes and dreams for your future role as a social innovator?
Actually I had not considered myself to be a social innovator before but through my involvement with OpenIDEO and the ICU Hub project I’ve become much more eager to consider how I can participate in this field. I’ve always been interested in exploring the different ways art can contribute positively to society and next year I plan to study Art Therapy so that I can start to apply it to social challenges across all ages. I also think that there could be many lessons for Japan from the OpenIDEO approach – so I hope to continue to participate and reflect on how I can become an active and responsible social innovator for Japan in the future.
Cheers Midori. We hope to enjoy more of your collaborative action going forward!