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Seminar “Transforming the supply chain through collaboration between companies and NGOs”


On Friday, November 22, 2019, our organization and the international NGO Solidaridad Network co-hosted a seminar on "Transforming supply chains through collaboration between companies and NGOs" at Bellesalle Shinjuku Grand Conference Center. .


This seminar will be held as part of the preparatory activities for the establishment of the Japanese branch of the Solidaridad Network (founded in 1969), an international NGO headquartered in the Netherlands. The purpose of the event was to broadly exchange opinions on issues related to promoting collaboration between companies and civil society (NGOs, NPOs), which is becoming increasingly important in achieving the SDGs.


The main speakers were Mr. Yeron Douglas, President of Solidaridad Network, and Mr. Shatadol Chattopadhyay, President of Solidaridad Asia.


Mr. Ieron Douglas presented the history of Solidaridad's 50 years of activities, its achievements, and his expectations for Japan. Among them, Mr. Ieron cited the philosophy of ``sampo yoshi'' of Omi merchants, noting that the philosophy that leads to today's fair trade has existed in Japan since the 17th century. He points out that the concept of the Olympics also reflects the idea of ``sampo yoshi.'' The role that Japan is expected to play includes innovative technologies in areas such as water, energy, soil management, and forest management, innovative food systems, and shareholders with ownership based on ``Sampo Yoshi.'' Participants asked questions about Solidaridad's results, such as how they measure impact, and the answer was that Solidaridad's professional staff, who are active around the world, use more than 50 indicators to measure impact. there was.


Mr. Chatador introduced Solidaridad Asia's activities and results, as well as examples of collaboration with global companies such as Coca-Cola and Lipton. Among them, a survey on ``How do companies view NGOs?'' and ``How do NGOs view companies?'' revealed that companies are looking to NGOs to improve their image of their company's credibility and reputation, while NGOs are The results were shared that they expect funds from companies. In fact, Mr. Chatador also shared an anecdote about how when he visited a Japanese company, the first thing he talked about was money. He commented that the wrong image that companies have about NGOs also exists in Japan, and that mutual understanding will not be easy and will take time.


In the panel discussion that followed, we welcomed four panelists: Mr. Nakao from Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Mr. Tomino, former executive director of BHN Telecom and JANIC, Mr. Oikawa from ACE, and Mr. Kawaguchi from Daiwa Institute of Research. We had a discussion on the theme of ``and challenges''. In particular, the current situation that has created a corporate vs. NGO structure, as described by Mr. Chatador, was viewed as a problem that hinders collaboration between companies and NGOs. NGOs have developed the impression that they only rely on companies for funding, or that they only attack companies, and there was a discussion about whether it was necessary to improve the social status of NGOs.


Participants said, ``I was able to understand that Solidaridad is actually working on collaboration with companies,'' and ``Looking at Solidaridad's case study, we moved from looking at specific issues to a more comprehensive approach.'' We received comments such as ``It made me think about how I should step up to the next level,'' and ``I was inspired by the current lack of cooperation and how to cover it.'' We at Jizoken would like to continue to play a role in connecting companies and NGOs through seminars and consultations with the cooperation of everyone.


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