Where: Tokyo, Japan
When: We met at December’s Green Drinks Tokyo meeting, which happens on the second Thursday of every month. Green Drinks Tokyo was first started in September 2006.
Who: Nao Suzuki founded Greenz, non profit organization, and now works alongside 6 other staff.
What: There are monthly Green Drinks events – the team facilitates a monthly meet up between people trying to ‘change the world’. It has brought the global initiative to Japan, Green Drinks, which creates a platform for regular meet ups between people involved in environmental sustainability. There is a video of the meet-up I went to here: http://youtu.be/HYpm_XQCBzw (it is in Japanese so the first 10-20 seconds will give you a feel!)
They also run a web magazine called greenz.jp (Greenz Global) which is all about introducing ‘good ideas’ that enhance lives and create positive change.
Most recently, they have been creating a ‘green school Tokyo’ to help people take action in their own lives, whether by making their own off-the-grid solar power generator, learning and practicing urban permaculture, or learning how to start local/small businesses.
Why: The missions of both Greenz Japan and Greenz Global are to ‘create a movement from a sustainable, creative and thriving society’. It is based on the concept that every good idea somebody has helps to positively motivate people and in turn create strength to move society into a positive direction.
Impacts/successes: Since Green Drinks Tokyo started, there are now 60+ locations around Japan where Green Drinks happen, helping to bring people together who are creating positive change. Nao himself has helped to launch a couple of other movements linked to environmentalism in Japan such as Mottainai (linked to Wangari Mathai’s drive to conserve the environment).
Further info: http://greenz.jp (Japanese Only), http://greenzglobal.jp (English)
Personal reflections: It is fantastic to see this platform in Japan creating positive change, and it seems like it has helped to foster lots more initiatives to get going, thanks to people meeting each other, receiving encouragement and support.