Summer Innovation College 2019 in Tono

Tono Summer Innovation College 2019-a.001.jpeg

Join us this summer in Tono, Iwate Prefecture together with 14 university students, 36 local high school students and 4 professional mentors, all for one goal: to innovate and create a new future of rural Japan in the 21st century!

Summer Innovation College is established and organized by “Create the Future in Tono College” (powered by Fuji Xerox) since 2012. Every year, we welcome university students to Tono- a beautiful city in the mountains of rural Iwate prefecture, to work with local high school students to discover social problems that lead to the declining of the region, and then carry out fieldwork and brainstorming workshops in order to come up with ideas and solutions to tackle the conundrum. International students became a key component of this project since 2018 with the support of BOUNDLESS (Sosei Partners).

This year, we are looking for four international students who fulfill the following requirements to join us in this exciting journey delving into the future of rural Japan.

A group of international students and working professionals visit Tono in the summer of 2017 as part of a Sosei Partners program.

A group of international students and working professionals visit Tono in the summer of 2017 as part of a Sosei Partners program.


  • Able to convey your ideas in Japanese (The entire program will be conducted in Japanese, and you will be expected to communicate in Japanese with high school and university students.)

  • Interested in working with local high school and university students.

  • Interested in education, community development and regional revitalization.

  • Age: Preferably younger than 25 years old.

  • Preferably non Japanese (since we already have a group of Japanese university students), unless you have some international background or experiences.

  • Able to attend group meetings on 30 July (afternoon) and 31 July (morning) in Tokyo.

  • There will be other meetings apart from the two above mentioned dates. Please try your best to attend and participate in all meetings. The two meetings on 30 and 31 July are mandatory.

  • Preferably living in Tokyo (or near Tokyo) since you are required to attend meetings in Tokyo.

We are specifically looking for people with the following two skill sets:

  • Experience in programming and able to teach simple programming (such as Scratch or Raspberry Pi) to high schools students


  • Experience in videography and able to teach video taking and editing to high school students.


In this year’s program, we will be splitting into two groups- a) Science & Technology and b) Art & Music.

For the Science & Technology group, students will move around in groups to discover and do fieldwork in Tono, in order to identify social problems in the city, particularly issues related to well-being, elderly and people with disabilities. You are then required to create solutions using programming or by creating a video to convey your ideas about the identified issue. You will then present it on the last day to the local residents of Tono.

For the Art & Music group, students will spend one day to create an art piece or music piece to express the beauties of Tono. There will not be international participants in this group.

*Please note that your task is NOT to use your skills to create an app or take videos, but rather to teach high school students and work with them to create the required output.

Regarding Expenses:

You will be paid ¥60,000 (assuming you stay for the entire period and attend the two required meetings) after the program. ¥60,000 should be sufficient to cover all your expenses if you come from Tokyo.

Therefore, you are required to pay for the following first, before the reimbursement after the program.

  • Transportation to Tono and back home (You are strongly encouraged to extend your stay to explore Tohoku region!)

  • Lodging and meal expenses: ¥22,040

You will be staying at this accommodation facility run by Tono Mirai Zukuri College, together with other participants.

Flow of Selection Process:

Application Period: May 18 ~ 31, 2019

Interview: June 1 ~ 3, 2019

Results: June 4, 2019

First Gathering: June 8, 2019 (tentative)

Group Meetings: 30 July (afternoon) and 31 July 2019 (morning)

Summer Program: 7 ~ 11 August 2019

Tentative Schedule of Summer Program:

Day 1: Fieldwork

Day 2: Fieldwork

Day 3: Creation Day

Day 4: Presentation