12 KIP members participated in US Study Project 2018 for 20 days from February 23th, and returned to Japan on March 14th! In this study project, we visited West Coast, East Coast, and Hawaii in America, and conducted discussions in 5 universities as well as interviews at 13 companies. This time we set a theme of "Convenience vs.. Unintended Side Effects," and did discussions about two sub topics, "side effects for the environment by disposable products" and "side effects for communication skills by development of IT."
Itinerary was as follows. 2/23～2/26: Princeton Discussion at Princeton University 2/27～3/2: Philadelphia Discussion at Swarthmore Collet & University of Pennsylvania Company Visits (Subaru of America, Inc., Tokio Marine North America, Inc.) 3/3～3/7: San Francisco Discussion at Stanford Company Visits (Salesforce.com, Inc., Toyota Research Institute, Inc., Facebook, Silicon Valley Japan Platform, Japan Society of Northern California) 3/7～3/12: Honolulu Discussion at Hawaii University at Manoa Company Visits (Mayor of Honolulu,The Kahala Hotel & Resort, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii Coffe Company, Pacific Fleet)
For the theme of IT, we did discussion at Princeton, U Penn, Stanford, and Hawaii University, and for the theme of the environmental issues, we did at Swarthmore College and Hawaii University. Through discussion of IT, we found out how important it is to do face to face communication, and how unconscious we were of its importance in the shade of technology development. Other than that, we could gain a point of view like dialogue with AI, importance of humor and networking that we hadn't recognized in Japan. Through discussion of the environmental issues, we discussed "Coexistence of Convenience and Green Actions" with students of high awareness for the environment, who actually carry out somewhat actions in their daily lives. Through this experience we noticed how we acted little, how necessary and feasible it is to take actual actions on protecting environment.
We visited companies in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, and Honolulu. Through visiting various types of companies regardless of Japanese or local ones, we got really inspired to hear their story at office, and it was a good chance to think about our career and what it's like to work in America. In relation to our research, we also heard about communication skill necessary at workplace. In addition some companies have installed reusable energy positively or placed a department for sustainability, and we got impressed to know about that.
This project was an opportunity to rethink about what is sustainability. In particular, visiting Swarthmore College and Hawaii University we witnessed students in America proactively carrying out activities for the environment, and it came to our mind our how important it is to actually practice activities and make movements. As a Japanese student, doing what we can do leads to improving systems and plans for sustainability.
Thanks to this project, we got a precious opportunity to look back on our university life, and make use for the future. What we learned under the theme of "Convenience vs. Unintended Side Effects" gave us a feeling that we got a wisdom for living in the world getting more and more convenient.
Beginning with Ms. Packard, we express our appreciation to all who shared time and cooperated for us.