Tagged: October

Diary: 10/24/2012 Wed.

Following up with skipped lectures and working on homework due this week at the same time is really tough… Of course I had expected, but this week is terrible. Today was due of Social Determinants of Health module homework. This module really match my interests, but when I knew that each homework counts only one point of our grade, it so spoiled my passion… Anyway, I have to survive this week.


Diary: 10/23/2012 Tue.

Environmental Determinants of Health lecture today was about obesity. It was so surprising speed of increase of obesity rate in U.S. from the late 20th century to 21th (here you can see visuals). But I felt it is not ‘nothing to do with’ my country Japan. So far now we don’t have high obesity rate, but major causes of obesity are today’s changing behavior and lifestyles in developed countries, and we Japanese people also has risks to be obese. Gradually I’ve been more interested in obesity phenomenon and background causations. This matter is related to various areas such as food education, urban design and social marketing that promote healthy behavior and exercise etc.

今日の授業で肥満の話が出たのだけど、80年台後半から2010年にかけての肥満率の変遷がすごい。このページの下部でビジュアルになっているのを見ることができる。CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)の統計。しかし最近、日本にとっても他人ごとではないなぁと思うようになってきた。肥満の要因は生活習慣の変化によるところが大きい。車移動、パソコンでの座っての仕事、高カロリーの外食回数の増加…程度の差はあれ、都市部ではよく見られる生活習慣だから、日本人も気をつけないと… 肥満について関心が出てきたのは、それがもたらす健康被害のみならず、対策に必要な取り組みが、人間の生活環境に根ざしたものでなければならず、食育、都市デザイン、ソーシャル・マーケティングといった領域に架橋されるからだ。なかなか面白い領域だと思う。

Diary: 10/22/2012 Mon.

Long way back to New York from Pittsburgh. I finally got back to my room around 10am, and attend only one class afternoon. I was so exhausted. Submitted two papers of homework and took a rest. I need to catch up with the class I skipped last weekend and today’s morning…


Diary: 10/21/2012 Sun.

One Young World Summit 2012 Day 4

Today was the final day of the summit. Many of the contents were interesting, but I felt a little uncomfortableness with an explicit political direction of the organizers, selection bias of the guest speakers and delegates, and innocent mood. At the beginning of the session on the second 2, the organizers asked us a question about which Obama or Romney we prefer, and we had to choose one by a hand device. Then they said the result of the voting would be on the Sunday issue of Wall Street Journal. Having delegates voting to one candidate itself was political, bur it happens in such an event. But what was terrible, the female organizer pointed directly the face of Obama on the screen during the time we were clicking the botton! The result published today was, 87% for Obama and 13% for Romney. Ok, ok, the result itself was not surprising. Here is Pittsburgh where democrats are strong then republicans, and most of delegates coming to such an event may have liberal and progressive viewpoints. I’m neither a democrat nor republican, and not for Romney. But… when the female organizer loudly said “You are smart!” by showing the result with dominant votes for Obama, I felt it was totally inappropriate and unfair manner as the organizer. Ok, I can easily guess the organizers and event sponsors are for Obama, and I’m not so fool to be surprised to know the result of the voting. And of course I know it is impossible to completely eliminate a bias. Every people have a particular political preference and bias, including me. But at least we should be aware of our own bias and should make efforts to be as fair as possible. But, she explicitly showed her, or the summit’s own political direction and made tacit pressure to vote for Obama. How did those who voted for Romney feel when she said “You are smart!” (obviously this ‘you’ meant those who vote for Obama, not Romney). At many sessions, both organizers and speakers emphasized the ideal values such as ‘equality,’ ‘diversity’ or ‘respect.’ when they talk about ‘social’ issues such as education, health and poverty etc. But their innocent optimism seems to make them blind or unaware about their political tendency and making tacit pressure or mood for voting. That may have created a kind of dubiousness I felt during the summit.

司会を担当するオーガナイザーの二人が、2日目のセッション開始時に、オバマとロムニーどちらを支持するかという投票を僕たちにさせるということをした。スクリーンにオバマとロムニーの顔が映され、手持ちのデバイスで1か2のボタンを押すという形式だ。それ自体政治的なんだけど、まぁ許容範囲として。「うわぁ…」と思ったのは、女性の方のオーガナイザーが、僕らが投票ボタンを押している10秒ほどの時間に、スクリーンの下に駆け寄って、オバマの顔を指さしたのだ。暗にそちらへの投票を促すようなジェスチャーである。「それ、どうなの?」と思ってたら、この投票結果は日曜日(つまりこの日記が記している10月21日)のウォール・ストリート・ジャーナルに載るということだ。あぁなるほどな、と。で、今日午前のセッション開始前に、僕らにも結果が見せられた。オバマ87%のロムニー13%だったかな。まぁ、結果自体は驚くことではないよ。ここはピッツバーグで民主党優勢だし(ピッツバーグ単位でのdelegatesも参加していた)、こういう意識の高いサミットに集まるような若者は、そりゃオバマ支持派が多いだろう。しかしさぁ、オーガナイザーが明確に自身の政治的嗜好を壇上で示して、その方向へ露骨に誘導するってのはどうなの。開票結果がスクリーンに写った途端、前列の座席に座るdelegatesは無邪気に喝采を上げていて、それでもってその司会のオバサンが声高に”You are smart!”って言ったのね。おいおい、そりゃないだろ。ここでのSmartって明らかにオバマに票を入れた87%を対象にしていて、ロムニー支持の13%はsmartではないってニュアンスでしょ。それまでのセッションでさんざん「平等」とか「多様性」とか「尊敬」とかいう綺麗な言葉で、貧困問題やジェンダーマイノリティや障害者の問題を語っておきながら、最後にこれかよ、と。平等や多様性はどこへやら。僕もそこまで馬鹿ではないから、スポンサーや主催者の政治的趣向がこういうイベントに反映されることはままあることだって分かっているし、自分含め誰もがバイアスは持っていてそれを完全に取り除くことが出来ないということも分かっている。しかしさぁ、少なくとも自分の持っているバイアスに自覚的であるべきだし、なるべくフェアである努力はすべきでしょ。とりわけこういうイベントなら。表向きはアメリカの選挙や政治とは関係のないテーマのイベントなのだから、主催者が壇上に上がって喋る時の立ち振舞いや言動は最低限の公正さを備えてないとまずいでしょ。


休憩時間にオーガナイザーに意見しに行こうと走り寄ったのだけど、打ち合わせやらなんやらで忙しいのか早々に幕裏に入っていってしまって機会を逸した。’You are smart!’ってオバサンが叫んだ瞬間に手を上げてマイクに走り寄って異議申立て、ぐらいの判断と勇気とスピード感が必要だったかな。後の祭りだが。


Diary: 10/20/2012 Sat.

One Young World Summit 2012 Day 3

Today was the memorable day for me at the session about health. The theme of the health session was equal opportunity for people with disabilities. After the speakers’ presentations, I threw a question to the floor audience. I wrote about that as an essay here.

The evening was also precious time. Delegates had opportunities to visit local residents and had dinner with them. After the several sessions and breakout discussion, we got on a bus and went through the town, and arrived at on house. It was just like an typical image about traditional ages of American life. The house was much larger than the average ones in Japan, and the family welcomed us. After chatting for 30 to 40 minutes with wine and light meal, we sat on the same table. The housefather gave us a short greeting with a few jokes, thanked god for our meeting and then started dinner. I heard from the housemother that there are many international residents here in Pittsburgh, and restaurants of foreign cuisine. Today’s dinner also consisted of various countries’ food including Italian gnocchi, Spanish and Pittsburgh local cuisine (which I didin’t remember the name). It was delicious, and the talk was fun. After finishing the dinner, the housefather played the piano for us. One of the songs was one favorite “Piano man” by Billy Joel. It was so delightful time.

Here Pittsburgh is a beautiful city. Autumn air and trees gave me a peaceful time.



Diary: 10/19/2012 Fri.

One Young World Summit 2012 Day 2

From 7am to about 10pm, there are so many programs with little breaks. Most of the program was consisted of Speech of guests (so many big names) and delegates who introduced their recent actions (most of delegates speakers were involved in self-organized activities, social business or NPO activities). Today’s main topics were Education and Food revolution.

What was funny for me was, almost all of them organizers, guest speakers and delegate speakers mentioned about Facebook and Twitter like “You can take action by now and make the change through social media, Twitter and Facebook!” Well, interesting and good speeches they made, but the mood of the summit was a little odd. The contents were interesting, but they seemed to lack diverse and critical perspectives. It was my first impression, but soon I understood, this summit is a place for advocacy and performance, not for critical discussion. Here is the place for networking, feeling a sense of unity. OK, I don’t blame that. In fact, some of the speakers were so good at delivering their own messages to the mass. While I’m not a so good speaker or performer, it was a good lesson for me on that point.

When getting back the hotel at night, I heard from at the desk that my room had been changed. I moved to the new room, and shared with another delegate. He’s from Norway (now studying at York Univ. in UK though).

朝7時の朝食から、夜10時頃のホテル帰還まで、なんやかんや詰め詰めの一日。プログラムの大半は、guest speakersおよびdelegatesによるスピーチと、それに対する会場からの他のdelegatesによる質疑応答で過ぎていく。一人ひとりユニークな活動をしていて、それは良かったのだけど、ほぼ全員が何かにつけTwitterとFacebookの可能性だのを強調していて、「お、おぅ…」ってなった。それから、質疑応答といっても、ほとんど全て形を変えたスピーチのようなものだった。なんせdelegatesは総勢1,200名ぐらいいて、会場のわずか4,5本のマイクに殺到するもんだから、一人あたり1分で好きなこと主張して交代していくってな光景で、それら一つ一つを拾ってまたディスカッションを展開するという余裕も無かった。「あぁ、つまりこれはショー」なんだな、とほどなくして理解した。批判的・建設的な意見を交換し、議論を積み重ねていくための場ではなく、世界180カ国から集まった若者が自己を表現するハレの舞台なのだな、と。僕個人としてはもう少し違った雰囲気や内奥を予想・期待していたのだけど。チケット含めた諸々の連絡が何かの手違いでサミット2日前に届くというアレだったから、あまり全体像を理解出来ぬまま臨んだから少し拍子抜けしたが、まぁこれはこれで、文句は言うまい。にしてもみんなエネルギッシュだなぁ、と、呑気な日本人は感心しておりました。


Diary: 10/18/2012 Thu.

One Young World Summit 2012 Day 1

This is the first day of the summit, but for my mistake, I missed the early morning airplane from JFK to Pittsburgh… I left my room around 5am but failed to change the train at at the station near JFK. That made only 20 minutes delay but resulted in the closed check in.

By the way, there was a pigeon inside the JFK airport. Strange…

I had to take an evening plane and only arrived at Pittsburgh Airport 6:30pm. A service staff picked me and another delegate from Grenada, she also missed her plane and took us to the hotel to stay. She, the delegate of Grenada is the only one delegate from her country, and works as a high school teacher. During the drive to the hotel he explained us about Pittsburgh. Compared to NY, there are not so many train lines and they commonly move by cars. The city seemed very safe and in a quiet mood. Most of the shops has been already closed. Buildings of the town around he river and bridges were beautiful.

After checking in the hotel, I could join the opening party at the large bridge. I talked with 4 or 5 delegates and had a good time. Most of them whom I talked today are designers (one is from France, another one is from Taiwanese, and the other one is a country, I didin’t hear the name well though, in Africa). I talked about my project in Ishinomaki that collaborate with product a designer, and they looked feel interested in, thankfully. I do believe a power of design to solve social problems.

Anyway, the main programs of the summit will start tomorrow. I’m really looking forward.




Diary: 10/17/2012 Wed.

Tomorrow I will move to Pittsburgh and participate in “One Young World Summit 2012” as one of the Japanese delegation, from 10/18-10/22. http://oneyoungworldpittsburgh.com/default.aspx For some mistake of logistics, I’ve never received any guidance and announcement about details although I many times sent e-mail to the committee and that delay frustrated me so much these days…but anyway my status has been approved, and I can join the summit finally. It must be exciting!

My concern is, I have to work on homework that is due on Monday evening at the hotel of PIttsburgh at night… I finished the homework of Health and Behavior and Quantitative Foundation today, but I also have Environmental Determinant of Health module homework…

明日からピッツバーグのOne Young World Summit 2012に参加してくる。事務局側の不手際なのか、UK本部とのミスコミュニケーションか、Delegatesの中で僕だけなぜか連絡網から漏れてたっぽく、1ヶ月前から何度問い合わせても全然詳細を教えてもらえないという謎展開だったが、どうにか無事参加出来そう。ほんと、ここ数日バタバタヤキモキして大変だった。ダボス会議から派生した若手世代向けのサミットらしい。楽しんでくる。

Diary: 10/16/2012 Tue.

Attended a practicum orientation. The faculty gave us a list of the past students’ practicum, and I found there are so various options of organizations, areas and programs. As I want to choose field oriented practicum and work in a foreign country, I need to research about international organizations and programs. It must be exciting.

Had a second session of language tutor with my friend. This time I supported translating his resume from English to Japanese. Translation is not just a word-for-word translation, we need to edit sentence based on each language and country’s culture and context so that it sounds natural. It was not so easy, but very interesting training.