TEDxTokyo yz 3.0

TEDxTokyo yz 3.0

TEDxTokyo yz is an off-shoot of TEDxTokyo. It began with a conference on June 19th, 2010, and has since grown into a community of entrepreneurial and innovative young doers in the Tokyo area who are dedicated to making a positive impact on society and taking concrete steps towards a sustainable future. In addition to following the spirit of TED’s “Ideas worth spreading”, the team are motivating and enabling talented young people to make a difference as they are just starting their journey. They do this through sharing connections, information, forums, workshops and other inspiring events.

Whilst overlapping with some areas of the the TEDxTokyo community, “yz” has developed a flavor of its own. Although there are no strict rules regarding the age of team members, “yz” participants tend to be younger and are at earlier stages of their journey in life. Accordingly, “yz” events and community are governed more freely and with less exclusivity.

TEDxTokyo yz is continuing to grow organically through every event held, both with regular follow-on events and on-line activity. Find out more about the TEDxTokyo yz team here.


TEDxTokyo yz 3.0: de-mosaic-ing

Event Report

Thanks for all who attended the TEDxTokyo yz event on February 2nd. The event ran smoothly with the help of all the volunteers, supporters, and most importantly the speakers who dedicated their time to share their stories. We’d also like to thank the TEDx community members from Tokyo, Kyoto, Tohoku, Kyushu and Taipei. We hope you all had a great time, and took home some new ideas with you.

In numbers, we had a total of 82 curated participants, 11 supporters, and 10 speakers who present at the event.

Here’s a quick recap of the day for those who couldn’t attend.

We kicked off the event with a performance by Ms. Fujima, who wooed the crowds with her charming version of Fujima-styled dance. We then met Kurihara-san and learned about his endless adventures in experimental designs for improving human interaction. Kurihara was named as a winner of the 2012 Ig Nobel prize – an award sponsored by the Annals of Improbable Research magazine for weird and humorous scientific discoveries.

Kensei joined us as the last speaker for the morning session and invited us to think deeply about the benefits of “misconception” and “misunderstanding”. When he grew up, he was always under the impression that everyone wanted to be the best of something in the world and thus developed a skill of his own. His success was met with a sudden loss of direction, as he realized that none of his friends shared the same passion, and merely thought that Kensei was out of his mind.

In the afternoon, we met Aya, a successful entrepreneur who created her own brand of neckties, “Aya Ohzeki”. Her product was introduced as a Japanese team official uniform and was exhibited at Master Tailors 2011. Rie Yamazaki then came on stage and told us how she acquired a comprehensive knowledge of social sciences, humanities, and fine arts from the “Lab-Atelier” program that she attended. Chiharu finished off the afternoon session by educating the audience in building a better, sustainable lifestyle that is eco-friendly. Her video of “slaughter workshops” provided rich educational material for both adults and childrens, giving everyone pause to ponder on human impact upon the environment.

During the intermission, OBSNVSR gave us an intense adrenaline surge as he rolled around the audience with an LED-lit waveboard while playing funky, electronic music. Then, Tomita followed up the performance with an art collection of transparent specimens that he has created over the years. Each of the carcasses were carefully preserved and transformed into glowing artworks displayed in front of the crowd.

The last two speakers each told a personal story of theirs and ended the night on a touching note. Hashimoto’s film “Know, and change” is one of the many efforts she put in to inspire people to take actions by being more informed of what’s happening around the world. Finally, Endo explained his mission to build orthopedic devices for developing countries. The audience was moved by a video of a little girl regaining the ability to walk by wearing a robotic right leg that Endo had built.

TEDxTokyo yz 3.0 finished with great success, but none of it would have started had it not been for the leadership of the founder, Naho Iguchi. yz 3.0 was extra special because it was the last event that she will be participating in. At the end of the event, we brought her on stage and congratulated her on the success that she’s built.


In closing, we’ve asked Naho to say a few words on how the yz story began:

I started TEDxTokyo yz from a simple curiosity of experimenting with a new type of organization, and creating a new theory around it. I am delighted to see this three-year-old project being loved by the team members. They seem to feel it as one of their nests to rest on. We share honest feelings, sometimes bitter and sour. We never get bored of exchanging ideas and challenging our creativity. We tease and support each other. I am so touched that the members automatically and positively think of how to sustain the team and grow together when I, the founder, have decided to step down. This is a strong evidence that the team has successfully developed a sense of membership, ownership, and leadership for TEDxTokyo yz. These elements spur people around the team and help form a healthy, lively community.

Naho also laid down some key learnings she’d like to share for future leaders taking up the torch.

I believe that the key of designing a community from scratch is to make a solid core team who cares. Solidity and cohesiveness of the team comes from love and trust. The founders and leaders must open up themselves first to offer psychological safety that enables team members to feel grounded. Another key is not to be afraid of people coming in and passing by. Everybody has own life, work, family, likes, dislikes, and values. Some stay a long time. Some exit immediately. Some join, leave, and come back. Others quit the core team yet remain in the area to assist the team. A capacity to accommodate these differences, diversities, and changes is needed to make the community resilient. The community should be organic like our cells evolve at every moment.

We are constantly amazed that an independent event like this could happen so naturally through people who are truly passionate in making a positive impact on society. Slowly but surely, we become more observant of our surroundings and become more aware on the power of our contributions, and in doing so we are motivating and enabling more talented young people to make a difference.

Thanks again,
The TEDxTokyo yz team