The purpose of the curriculum is to provide students with the knowledge and skills they will need in order to solve complex social issues within an international business environment. The course contents are designed to build baseline knowledge in Social Entrepreneurship, Business Development, and Cross-Cultural Communication. The course goes beyond lecture style instructtion to include interactive exercises and advisory meetings with experts to foster skill building in areas such as Design Thinking, Team Building, and Project Management through the Study Tour .
Course Schedule & Curriculum Timeline
3 hour sessions are held twice a month (6 hours a month). Courses are held every other week and take place on weekends to avoid overlap with university classes or extracurriculars. Students will participate at the same time each session from multiple time zones:
Japan – Sundays, 8:00
Colombia – Saturday, 18:00
Argentina & Brazil* – Saturday, 20:00
*Brazil's time zone is listed based on Brasília, but varies depending on the state.
The following is a breakdown of course dates and their respective topics of discussion.
Class #5: September 4th - Introduction of Yamanashi & Market Research Orientation
Class #6: September 18th - Group Work on Market Research #1
Class #7: October 2nd - Group Work on Market Research #2
Class #8: October 16th - Group Work on Market Research #3
Class #9: October 30th - Group Work on Market Research #4
Class #10: November 13th - Finalizing the Market Research
Class #11: November 27th - Wrap-up Session & Study Tour Orientation
Students will be required to prepare certain deliverables in order ensure steady progress on their research and business proposals and receive sufficient feedback.
Research Proposal - September 18th
List of Questions Part I - September 30th
Business Proposal Rough Draft - October 14th
List of Questions Part II - October 28th
Business Proposal* & Final Pitch (practice version) - November 11th
*The Business Proposal is the foundational product of the program and the fruit of the research groups' efforts.
The Report & Proposal
Research on social issues and needs of local community to include (2-3 pages)
Data on Research & Development (statistics, simple revenue and expenses estimates, etc.) (1-2 pages)
Stakeholder Analysis (1 page)
Idea & Proposal (how to resolve the issue and how it translates to business) (3-5 pages)
The Presentation (The Final Pitch)
The above information will be transferred into presentation format and delivered in a polished a professional public setting
The 2022 Program Theme
Revitalization of Local Economy: Tourism & Sustainability
The 2022 SEED Program will focus on the social issue of revitalization of local economy. Given Japan's aging society, low birth rate, and other economic factors, many local manufacturers struggle to maintain business. This results in a loss of local culture and has negative consequences on the regional economy.
Participants will be split into 3 research groups to tackle the primary challenges facing Yamanashi regarding this theme. Participants will research the challenges faced by the industries described below and develop businesses proposals for how to mitigate the challenges through business solutions. Japan is the lens for which students will apply their research and proposals, but ideally their ideas will have the potential for application beyond Yamanashi as well.
Sake & Wine Production
Yamanashi is well-known within Japan for its high quality wines and sake. Participants will develop ways mitigate challenges, expand business opportunities, and display the exemplary quality of Yamanashi wines and sake to the world. The industry faces challenges including a labor shortage and heirs to inherit businesses, resulting in reduced capacity and shrinking of the local economy.
Yamanashi has an abundance of rare minerals and precious stones that has produced high quality gem production in the prefecture. Participants will take a deeper look at production and mining challenges, as well as ways to influence the culture of jewelry itself. The industry must overcome challenges such as rising prices, competition from other countries, and skillful imitations.
Yamanashi possesses a rich culinary history with foods and dishes unique to the prefecture. Participants will look to shape food culture domestically and abroad, transmit Yamanashi foods beyond its borders, and relieve overarching challenges. The food culture of Japan is exciting and diverse, but rural regions in particular face obstacles to overcoming access to and awareness of their local cuisines.
Gem Production & Culture
The 2022 Study Tour
The Study Tour is an intensive research and training opportunity for those with the passion to make measurable change and impact in their communities and the world. The travel portion of the program provides an opportunity for students to take the skills and knowledge they have acquired thus far and apply them in a hands on in environment. Participants will travel to Japan and conduct final consultations and field research with key experts, local producers, and community leaders prior to the presentation of their ideas. Participants will utilize this time in Japan to solidify their business proposals by visiting relevant production sites and gathering invaluable insight from the host community of their projects. The Study Tour lasts 12 days and ends with a ceremony in which participants will present their business proposals in a 'Final Pitch' before the local community and other key stakeholders.
Structure of the Study Tour
Costs of the Program
The costs of the program have been broken down into the costs borne by the Gorom Association and those to be covered by participants. Gorom Association will manage all costs associated with accommodations, travel within Japan, training and classes, as well as breakfast and lunch. The primary cost assumed by participants is airfare to and from Japan. In order to provide participants with more autonomy regarding their time and meals at the end of each program day, participants are also expected to cover their own dinner costs.
For a comprehensive breakdown of cost estimates click here.
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