Social Innovation Workshop in Ishinomaki

Social Innovation Workshop in Ishinomaki

Theme: From Destruction to Creation

Ishinomaki is one of the many places in Tohoku that are undergoing rapid transformation into innovative hubs that encourage new ideas through civic participation. Ishinomaki is the second largest city in Miyagi prefecture and used to play a vital role in transporting rice from Tohoku to Edo via the Kitakami River. However, like many other rural cities, population began declining rapidly over the past 20 years, and to make things worse, the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 took away more than 3000 lives and swept away large parts of the coastal areas.

After the disaster, Ishinomaki was one of the quickest to respond and recover, both in terms of infrastructure and social networks. Outsiders and locals worked together during the reconstruction and recovery processes. Along the way, new groups and organizations were formed to deal with how to make Ishinomaki into a place more than just a “disaster stricken area”. Many projects sprung up as a result, and some of them that are still ongoing, are becoming the leaders to transform Ishinomaki into a city with a new identity.


Places You Will Visit:

1. Ishinomaki 2.0: An organization that aims to rebrand Ishinomaki by working with people from diverse backgrounds, including architects, city planners, creative producers, web directors, university students and so on.

2. Ishinomaki Lab: Ishinomaki Laboratory is a furniture maker established in 2011, specializing in handmade products that are simple, yet functional and attractive. Ishinomaki Laboratory began as a community workshop for residents in the city of Ishinomaki, which was devastated by the tsunami triggered by the Great East Japan Earthquake five years ago.

3. ITNAV: ITNAV provides a place where the youth from the Ishinomaki, who will be the driving force of the next generation of Ishiomaki, learn web designs and software development.

4. Fisherman Japan: This is an initiative collaborated with Yahoo Japan to change the image of the “fishing industry” from something that is dirty and tough, to something that is cool and innovative. Learn more about how Fisherman Japan is trying to revolutionize fishing industries, not just in Japan but around the world.


Engage with the locals and learn about how actual social innovators are putting their ideas into reality, as well as the challenges that they face.

Put your brilliant ideas into practical action and change the society for the better!

Date: March 17 ~ 20, 2018

Venue: Ishinomaki city, Miyagi Prefecture (Ishinomaki is located about 3 hours of Shinkansen + train ride from Tokyo, or 6 hours of bus ride from Tokyo.)

Learn about:

  • How Ishinomaki recovered from the deadliest disaster in history to become an innovative city
  • How Ishinomaki is rebranding itself into a creative city
  • How locals make use of local resources to create new businesses
  • The new image and future of rural regions
  • The possibilities of innovation in rural regions
  • How you can bring these ideas back to your countries in the future

Participation is free! (This program is only for university or graduate school students.)

Please note that we will arrange the transportation and accommodation for you, but expenses will NOT be covered. Accommodation will be about 3000 yen per night, and transportation will cost about 15,000 yen ~ 25,000 yen, depending on whether you take the bus or Shinkansen.

The total amount of expenses is estimated to be about 30,000 yen ~ 50,000 yen (3 nights of accommodation, transportation, meals, and lots of learning experience)!

More details will be given to you after your registration.