Nurturing Japan’s Next Generation of Social Innovators


Yuto Nishizuka, an undergraduate at Waseda University, is a strong advocate of providing quality and accessible education for all. Originally from Yamagata Prefecture, Yuto felt that the education he received in his hometown was not sufficient to encourage students to explore their full potential.

Together with some of his classmates, he set up SYP Yamagata, a student organization that provides career counselling for students from Yamagata. SYP Yamagata regularly invites university graduates to share their experiences, showing Yamagata students the world of possibilities that await them outside of their hometown.

Hoping to do more to support youth education in Japan, Yuto joined the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership Program (SIL). Following a five-week experiential training camp in Seattle, Yuto was also part of a YouthSpark Live event that saw 36 graduates from different SIL cohorts come together.

At the one-day event, the aspiring social innovators took part in workshops, panel discussions and presentations. They shared their experiences in pursuing social impact and explored new ways of leveraging technology to create positive change in their communities.

Using what he has learnt through the camp and the YouthSpark event, Yuto hopes to build a strong network and community of passionate individuals, to make a greater difference. Watch the video below find out more about how the YouthSpark Live event inspired Yuto and the other program graduates to take bigger, bolder steps towards achieving their goals:

Find out more about the TOMODACHI-Microsoft iLEAP Social Innovation and Leadership program here.

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