Showing posts from 2008

Run for the Cure 2008

October is Breast cancer awareness month.

On Saturday Oct 18 - I joined the 5k run as part of the Run For the Cure Foundation.

Here is am with Kaori And Purdey - two people I know from TUJ.

For those of you with a bit of cash you can still help by joining the PINK BALL on Friday, October 31st 2008

Start:6:30 pmCost:¥35,000 /seat, ¥350,000 /table
Please call to reserve a mask ¥2,500 each
03 3466-4798Place:The Westin Tokyo, Galaxy BallroomAddress:1-4-1 Mita, Meguro-ku

It should be a great party with excellent prizes!

New site!

I have just put together a new site with information on all my projects and nonprofit NGO related work.
This blogspot page will be phased out.

So many Fall 2008 events!

There are so many interesting events in Tokyo this fall - be sure to join a few of them.
one fun one this week:

Barack the Vote!Thursday September 18, 2008 from 19:00pm till very, very late
Enjoy Excellent Live Music & DJs All Evening.
Venue: Super Deluxe, Nishi Azabu
Advance tickets: ¥3500; ¥4000 at the door
Details and RSVP by email

Come join us, because time is short and we need to make a change!

Get info on other events:

NetTokyo 2008 Charity Networking Event

Saturday, July 19, 2008 2:00 - 6:00Venue: Rolling Stone Café, Azabu Juban 4000 yen in advance; 5000 yen at the door Map: Buy tickets at

Photos from June 14 SKYLINES party

A few photos have now been are posted on our sites

PSC pages:

but you can see the whole lot taken by our wonderful photographer Martine Cotton here.

Here is one of my favs

1968 and 2008 – 40 years after the year of activism

40 years ago this spring and summer – youth all around the world stood up and protested in a way that surprised many people in power. Students in Paris New York and all across Latin America, Europe and Asia.

For today I want to write about the Columbia University protests.

The protest linked many different groups and movements
Started with the plans for a new gym => separate entrances for locals and students
Which meant that a very white school in a mostly Black neighborhood meant segregation.

Issues related to Columbia finances and relationship to classified military research were at the heart of the fire but the gym was the catalyst. (Currently Columbia does not do such secret research directly but, according to students, it outsources and invests in this type of research.)

Consider the atomosphere: middle of the Vietnam war, the assasination of MLK was only 3 or 4 weeks prior,
people could not vote until 21 yo but knew that they would likely have to go to Viet Nam upon graduation.


June 14 party information


OXFAM Japan international volunteers

Oxfam youth
The OXFAM Japan international volunteers did a presentation last night that was excellent. Their energy and positive-ness was infectious.

They did a good overview of Oxfam and the trailwalker event in May.
It was great to see such a diverse and energized group interested in doing something to change the poverty in the world.

why collaborate?

Doing a party with many different groups has been a good learing experience.

Why not just spend the time doing my own party?
One of the goals is collaboration – getting groups to work together.
I could do a sarajean party but I have no interest in doing that. I was to get groups together to work together for some community groups in need.

Why are you doing this?
I have no good answer
This has been in mind for a while – I just do not have the confidence to start it.
I love parties

What do you get?
The groups being able to meet the needs of their target populations better
New friends new networks new members new doors open
Satisfaction if we succeed

Earth Day and Earth day party

Join theEarth Day events in Yoyogi Party all day all weekend!
When its done join the Parties 4 Peace event Sunday April 20th, 4 - 11 pm =>
a Vegetarian and organic foods BBQ and International DJs,
Parties 4 Peace supports BEE - Bicycle for Everyone`s Earth, 1000 yen entry

There’s no organizing without a community

I keep doing this workshop once a year to prove to my self that understand the concepts and convey what it is to others in a way so that they may utilize them.

This was the most difficult one I ever did and it will be the last one I do at Temple.

Why tough? Only 3 people and 2 people who just wanted to study English. And that was 10-5pm.

I have done this one other time this was but this was not an interactive group nor was it an imaginative trio.

Maybe creating a new workshop on social mobilization. Or maybe I just need to join a class my self!

Find out about the real training program at the Midwest Academy.

Amnesty International Japan photo exhibit

Saturday April 12, to Friday April 25, 2008.
11:30am to 11:30 pm
Amnesty International (AI) will be holding a two-week photo exhibition and series of public events
- to celebrate 60 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, and the launch of a new campaigning group in Tokyo, AITEN.

Location: Ben's Café in Takadanobaba, Tokyo.
1-29-21 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku. 03-3202-2445
Map at

For details of the evening schedule, see our website at

PSC will be holding our monthly networking event there on Friday April 25.
Hope to see you there.

A Gap in understanding?

Why is corporate outreach so hard? I am asked this a lot – most will blame the nonprofit ngo staff for meting lousy at pr and marketing. I do not deny the lack of people with skill and experience in this area however there is a certain level of condescension.

Then there is just a lack of understanding in general that this is a profession. This is a career not a hobby. But that applies not just to people in the nonprofit NGO sector but also consultants – who do you work for? That question is only hard to answer because there is an expectation that if you do not work for a large and famous org then you are pursuing a hobby.

Let me share a personal story. I went to a CSR event in March where I met many people from many companies. Among the people I met was a person from a certain well-known American apparel company who contacted me shortly after the event. I was asked to meet.

I was asked about coming to my office but since we do not have a meeting space and I share with 5 groups I thought …

Jan Egeland on Democracy Now!

Last night i heard former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the former UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Jan Egeland speak on Democracy Now!
He has worked with the world’s neediest and in conflict zones including Darfur, Colombia, Gaza, Lebanon, Uganda, the Congo and Iraq.

Egeland's memoir, A Billion Lives: An Eyewitness Report from the Frontlines of Humanity, is a must read for any one interested and/or working in the social change field.

Have a Listen:

Get info in Japanese

Civil society groups in opposition to the G8

G8 action network

Focus on the Global South just finished its international preparatory meeting March 7-11, 2008 - here in Japan. The FGS has issued a CALL TO ACTION AGAINST THE G8.
based on thier recent meeting they will present ways groups from aroudn the world can get invovled in their campaign, which fouses on :
"Resisting Free Trade, Militarism and Fighting for Real Solutions to Climate Change"

I came across an article about leftists in Japan and the alternate summit. although there are some leftist groups in the call to action against the G8, the NGO forum (which is made up of groups like Kiko net and OXFAM) is hardly leftist. i am not sure who got this info together but opposition to the government does not make one a leftist or rightist. Sorry to burst X's bubble but it's true. Have a look at this:

Japan G proposes G-8, TICAD tie-up on aid to Africa

info i have not seen covered in international news:

If the J government leads the way in funding Africa focused development - i think many in Civil society would not only be surprized but encouraged to do more.

Info for NGOs interested in the alternative summit

The G8 NGO Summit website now has information for NGOs looking for information on the schedule. location and events.

The NGO Forum will be collaborating with Hokkaido People’s Forum on G8 Summit aka Hokkaido People’s Forum. They will respond together to Toyako G8 Summit from the NGO standpoint. The Alternative summit will take place July 5-8.

Toyako - where the actual G8 will take place - will be difficult to access to Toyako so the NGO Forum will take place in Sapporo and Rusutsu. The media center will also be located in Rusutsu

You can get more details here:

The NPO, Table For Two

Here is info on an interesting new org - Table For Two:
TABLE FOR TWO INTERNATIONAL NPO works to reduce hunger, trim waistlines

FEW Career Strategies seminar

Last weekend i took part in Foreign Executive Women's Career Strategies seminar and it was really uplifting. I was concered that I was neither an executive nor a trailing spouse and that in the past the FEW meetings i attended were dominated by the two groups. There so many consultants, and entrepreneurs taking part in this all day seminar - I felt like I met many new people with whom i could share ideas and concerns.

I often feel like because the nonprofit sector is not well understood that my work is necessary but then other days i feel like we may be wasting our time in Japan.

Joining gave me many ideas about how to be more effective in my work - not really new ideas but more of the kick in the backside.

You can purchase the career guide which has many intersting articles and useful tips:
Had a meeting today at a European Bank about thier CSR strategy.

I thought they had an effective but simple strategy that could be applied by companies of any size:

1. environmental guidelines - paper use, electricity use targets
2. funding projects - specific issue areas, could include staff volunteering
3. volunteer programs - organized volunteering with groups that the staff want to join for a lenght of time.
4. matching funds for particular projects hat staff are interested in running or taking repsonsibility for
5. emergency response to disasters - i am still pushing that companies take time to develop relationships with groups so that when disasters stricke they can act immediately and give to a group they know.
6. event support - fundraising events by an array of orgs.
7. compliance and awareness raising

FUN+raising party update

We are currently looking for people and organizations to join the Coordinating Team for the JUNE 14 party. We have been approaching a number of professional associations, alumni groups, and clubs to join the Team. We are
looking for people to help with
getting sponsors
getting drink and prize donations
and coordinating ticket reservation.

We have a number of people from different countries already involved in different ways. At the our next meeting will be on Wednesday March 19, we will confirm who will take on which responsibilities.

Anyone interested in being part of the Team should try to join us then.

We are also looking for companies interested in community engagement. Potential sponsors can get more information about the party and nonprofits we are supporting just after the March 19 meeting.

Please drop us a line if you are interested in getting more info!

Give some clothes away

Often over the last couple of years sometimes many have
asked how to and where to donate goods, used clothes, etc.

This week, Tokyo Union Church in Shibuya is taking donations for their
massive flea market. Visit Lauren's site or see the sheet below:

FUN+raising party update

FUN+Raising 2008
Subtitle English ÅHÅHÅH
Subtitle Japanese チャリティ・パーティ

DATE: Sat June 14 June 2008
TIME: 3:00-7:30pm
LOCATION: Shinsei Bank HQ, Tokyo (20th floor)
Ticket price 6000yen (ticket purchase deadline: June 6)

Networking with entertainment, jazz theme
Nonprofits have booths and will give short presentations at 4:00pm and 6:30pm

Mission Statement:
The mission of FUN+Raising is to expand the professional networking
community of Tokyo, to fundraise for selected Japan-based nonprofit
organizations, and to provide a public platform for local nonprofit
organizations to showcase their work to an audience of socially
conscious individuals.

Event Goals:
1. Social and Professional Networking:
FUN+Raising seeks to expand our community of socially conscious
individuals by bringing together local professional networking groups
under one charitable event.

2. Fundraising Focus:
FUN+Raising seeks to fundraise for a selected number of local
Japan-based no…

NetImpact CSR event Feb 27

I attended this event a few days ago that addressed a wide array of issues under the umbrella of CSR:

1. community engagement and capacity building
2 principles and vision orientation
3. good governance
4. accountability
5. philanthropy
6. corporate branding and valuing
7. the core issues of environment, diversity and human rights

I have so many notes - i will post some of the key points and links later.

I think this is worth posting because the event discussion was way ahead of the curve compared to many of the other CSR events i have attended which focused mostly on funding issues.

JFAP training pix

Japan Foundation for AIDS Prevention

2008 Japan Foundation for AIDs Prevention NGO training

On Sat Feb 23, I took part in the JFAP national meeting of NGOs, social workers, and those who provides support services for people with HIV/AIDS.

On Friday afternoon, I met the nonprofit NGO staff taking part in the training. It was good to have some time to just meet each other since people came from all over the country.

Friday night, I joined the welcome reception long enough to meet a few people. It made me feel a bit better about doing the Sat workshop and I think it helped them feel more comfortable for discussion on Sat.

On Saturday - for the second time - I did a workshop overviewing NGO mgt.

I learned a lot as always and I am glad i did it despite the stress I have before doing the workshop. It was not the theme - it was the fact that it was 3 hours in Japanese.

I can talk to anyone on a one-to-one basis but the workshop in Japanese was very scary.

How to set up the group work - how to introduce. How to just get people motivated to consider new ideas and skills.

Still the most …

Feb 22 Networking Lunch

Great group of people at this month's networking luncheon. 14 reps from 10 orgs got together to share ideas and information.

Not so many great pix - mostly of people eating - but it was good to chat about projects and events with all these people usually too busy to meet up.

Only draw back => not enough time to talk to everyone. need to follow up for mroe specific meetings.

WELL retreat - Talk on volunteering in Japan

On February 16 , i was lucky to join the WELL (Women Educators and Language Learners) annual retreat
at the National Women's Education Center in Saitama (

It was great to meet a new group of people interested in doing good in thier communities.
I will post photos later but for now here are some of the on line reosurces we used in the workshop.

My workshop was called Volunteer in Japan? Yes you can?

Japanese online resources:
Japan NPO Center


Yahoo! Volunteer
NGO/NPO Walker

NPO Linkletter
NGO Network Japan

English online resources
The Foreign Executive Women’s (FEW) Volunteering Directory

Japan NGO Center for International Cooperation, JANIC

Global primary 2008

We had a great first ever global primary here for Democrats Abroad

We were on CNN international, Japanese TV and in the Asahi news paper:

other news coverage:

i jogged to the polling place and arrived in my hiphopadidas jogging suit ... i did not expect that much media. they did not figure so few people would speak Japanese! i can not believe that so many people recognised me!

on Wednesday morning DAJ arranged brunch for us to watch the results to come in together. it was fun and we got to meet new people. will attach some photos later.

FUN+raising party in the summer

this summer i hope to be part of a large networking event that will also raise funds for organziations chosen through an impartial selection process.

i am working with some really great people from groups like Net Impact. Net Tokyo has been running an event like this for several years but this would be the first time the main goal is fundraising and the orgs would have to apply to become a beneficiary.

We will have a 説明会 info session on Feb 29 explaining the application and selection process.
criteria for selection:
Complete applicationJapan based organziation Meeting the needs of vulnerable populations in JapanOne project application per organization* 3-6 groups will be selected - all from different fields.

Write to after feb 15 - if your group is interested.

G8 NGO and Government meeting

Tuesday Feb 28 6:30-8:30 pm This will be a joint meeting between people and organizations involved in government engagement, advocacy and strategy developement for the G8 summit.
Fee 500 yen
Location Map and directions:
Send your name and contact information by e-mail to or by FAX to 03-3406-5064
limited to300 people only.
I expect more ceremony than meaning.

what might be more interesting is the Model G8 Youth Summit 2008 in Japan
being held in March. Details can be found at

TICAD May 2008 -lots of NGOs involved

This May NGOs are expected to take on a crucial role in the TICAD IV -
the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

the Africa-Asia NGO network has blog with some info in English about thier priorities and what issues they hope to tackle.

the TNnet (TICAD IV・NGO ネットワーク - TICAD 4 NGO network) also has info on thier work but this is in Japanese only.

So if you do a bit of searching you will also find it info about the Africa 2008 campaign

Find out more:
What is TICAD?
TICAD Civil Society Forum
TICAD Exchange
Africa-Asia Business Forum

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

the more i include these in my workshops and talks - the more i realise how little people know and/or are aware of the whole thing. So here is some info:

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
* time-bound, quantified targets to be achieved by 2015

* 8 goals with #1 as the base
* 18 targets
* 48 technical indicatorsAnnual and biannual national reports based on official data, definitions, methodologies

* First global campaign against poverty including all sectors - bring together the responsibilities of developing countries with those of developed countries

* The Eighth Goal focuses on collaboration

* The Millennium Project recommends that private sector firms and organizations should contribute actively to policy design, transparency initiatives and, where appropriate, public-private partnerships.

Developing country governments =>
* craft and implement the MDG-based poverty reduction strategies in transparent and inclusive processes
* work closely with civil society organizations (CSOs), the d…

G8NGO Forum

More and more information is starting to appear on the NGO Forum website in E as well as Japanese. Platforms and reports from each group (poverty and development, human rights, and environment) are now posted in both langauges was well info on meetings and upcoming events.

Stay abreast of what is going on by visiting their site: G8NGO Forum

G8 updates

Some info from the upcoming G8 in Japan: The Japanese government updated their website: looks like the main themes of G8 summit will be as follows:Environment and Climate ChangePromote discussions at the UN process to create an effective framework beyond 2012Following the 'Cool Earth 50' proposed by Japan, G8 agreed that they will consider seriously the decisions made by the European Union, Canada and Japan which include at least a halving of global emissions by 2050 at the G8 Heiligendamm Summit in 2007.Japan attaches importance to the following three principles in establishing an effective framework beyond 2012: Participation of all major emitters including developing countriesFlexibility and diversityCompatibility between environmental protection and economic growth by utilizing energy conservation and other technologiesAhead of the G8 Summit, meetings such as the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Act…

From migrants to immigrants in Japan

there have been several articles in a number local papers these days trying to address the issue of the decline in population, immigration reform and the possibility of increased immigration in Japan.
Seems like this has been one of those areas where no has wanted to connect the dots until now when we know how few young Japanese people there are and there is no going back. Finally nonJapanese might be included in future plans of the country.

have a look at these:

Shaping the future as an immigrant nation

Japanese tax base dropping ?

I recently got an email about what I meant when I recently wrote that the Japanese tax base is declining. We have more and more people livening longer and longer. At the same time we still have a declining birth rate. Therefore, there will be fewer workers paying more taxes to support more people.

This is a critical year for Japanese ODA because from now on end many expect it to go down due to the increased local needs (in particular health care and social services for elders.) If Japanese aid is drastically reduced this will of course affect Japanese NGOS working in international development projects but it will also affect the visibility and power of Japan overseas.

You can even go on to the OECD webpage for reports on the fiscal impacts of the population imbalance in Japan. Some of the measures they write about are still not in place but some of the studies do show the need for a stronger civil society.

An area i will avoid going into but certainly part of this issue of decline is sex…

World Social Forum and the world economic forum

World economic forum is going on in Davos
items of concern/interest :
infectious disease?
collaboration ?
climate change?

Citizens all over the world are responding with local events.

The eighth World Social Forum in 2008 won't be organized at a particular place, but globally, which means by thousands of autonomous local organization.
website fior info
Japan events site:

Here is the schedule of Tokyo workshops and discussions:

World social form - day of global action on Jan 26
"The World Social Forum is not an organisation,not a united front platform, but "…an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and inter-linking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neo- liberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a …

It's a big year in Japan for civil society organizations:

This Jan. => Japan takes over the G8 chair J tax revenue starts droppingNonprofit NGOs need to keep government focusHalfway point of MDGsICCPR review
May => TICAD meeting in YokohamaJuly => G8 in Hokkaido, G8 NGO forum Indigenous People’s Forum in Hokkaido
Expect to read more hear about what is going on!

Some things to work on in 2008

1. G8 NGO forum - need native English and Japanese writers for notes. reports, translation and possibly event preparation. I am not sure what my role will be may be coordinating a team of volunteers.

2. One Vote 08 campaign - the white band group in the US is working to press US candidates to support spending for poverty alleviation instead of war.

3. A big fundraising networking party on June 7:
I am coordinating a group of people for the development of a large (400-500 people) party next summer to support local organizations and hook them up with supporters. All are joining on a volunteer basis and planning in earnest starts at our Jan 25 meeting. We are looking for people for all committees - pr/outreach, sponsorship, financial mgt., logistics, food and drinks. Sorry - no website yet. we are looking for someone to do that too.

4. Monthly networking nights - see the TCN. Next ones will be 1/21, 2/17, 3/17 => I am looking for non…

Happy New Year!