The Nippon Foundation of Tokyo, Japan, is a private, non-profit grant-making organization. It was established in 1962 by Ryoichi Sasakawa, the late statesman and businessman
Their mission is social innovation.
Through this innovation they aim to achieve a society where all people support one another, reducing the burdens and challenges they face together.
Everyone has a role to play: citizens, corporations, nonprofit organizations, governments, and international bodies. By forging networks among these actors, The Nippon Foundation serves as a hub for the world’s wisdom, experience, and human resources, giving individuals the capacity to change society—the hope that they can make a difference.
Their goal is to give all of humanity the chance to participate in creating their future.
At The Nippon Foundation, they define Social Innovation as “Implementing ideas to create new frameworks and bring about change for a better society.” They believe that the widespread implementation of Social Innovation will achieve a truly sustainable society in which “all people support one another.”
Achieving a society in which all people support one another
The Nippon Foundation aims to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.” This requires new public-private sector and private-private sector frameworks that transcend the conventional perspectives of citizens, companies, NGOs, governments, and international organizations. They believe that implementing the concept of Social Innovation, with the involvement of individual donors, corporate CSR activities, and national and local governments, will lead to the realization of this society.
What can a Social Innovation hub achieve?
The Nippon Foundation acts as a Social Innovation hub, positioned at the center of new frameworks that link citizens, companies, NGOs, governments, and international organizations, to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.”
The Nippon Foundation has promoted sign language and supported teaching via sign language for many years, with the aim of enabling deaf persons to fully participate in society. Using the knowledge gained through these activities, they partnered with Tottori Prefecture to formulate a Sign Language Ordinance (passed in October 2013) that promotes the use of sign language in the prefecture. From this starting point, they will work with local governments across Japan to implement similar measures going forward.
Their Social Innovation has involved a partnership with the public sector (Tottori Prefecture) to create a new framework (the Ordinance) for supporting citizens (deaf and hard-of-hearing persons).
The Nippon Foundation has launched the ROCKET Project together with the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, to develop the talents and abilities of children with learning disabilities or who cannot adapt to conventional classroom instruction.
Their Social Innovation has involved working with a university to bring about changes in education that go beyond conventional classroom teaching.
Their ultimate aim is for this project to be incorporated in Japan’s educational curriculum.
The Nippon Foundation has worked to support foster parents for more than 40 years. Their projects also gauge awareness of special adoption programs through which adopted children and adoptive parents are treated the same as biological parents and children in their family registry, and seek to allow children to grow up in a loving household.
There are approximately 46,000 children in Japan today who are not able to live with their biological parents. Their Social Innovation involves building networks with local governments, NGOs, and other organizations to promote the use of special adoption programs, to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.”