Vision

To help transition Japan to a peace promoting post-carbon country while enjoying every step of the process.
僕のビジョンは、祖国日本で、平和文化を育みポストカーボン(Post-Carbon) 社会を促進してゆく事です。
化石燃料や原子力に頼らず、他国の資源を取らない、
自給自足な国へのトランジションを実現させてゆきたいです。

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Allegheny Mountain School and my brother

My dad just sent me a video of Allegheny Mountain School where my brother is doing a fellowship. Sounds like a cool program and its amazing that the fellows are fully funded! Wow. Imagine getting paid to learn permaculture.....sounds like Cuba.




My brother started a local hot sauce business as part of the fellowship. Here is a quote that I love from his first blog post:
If I, Ian Sawyer, with no capital, with no business experience, with less than 6 months of living here,with very little time(I'm a farmer not an entrepreneur...), can start a business, SO CAN YOU!!
His blog (only 4 posts total): http://mountainfeverventures.blogspot.sg



Official website for the Allegheny Mountain School
http://alleghenymountainschool.org 

Yeah, lets fund more youth to become the producers of the future. Super important!!! Without them, we gotz no future.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Super mega Tokyo life update!!! Highlights of 2014

4/15 NEWS UPDATE: we were planning to move to the US but had a major setback so looks like we will be in Japan for at least another year. What a shocker! Everything has its purpose....

Hi Everyone
Apologies for the sporadic updates. I’ve been focusing a lot of energy on various projects and haven’t spent much time organizing my thoughts and writing. But I have lots of exciting new things to share so here we go!


BIG NEWS 1!!!  Moving to the West Coast of the US around May 27th. 
After two and a half years activating Tokyo, I am now ready to return to the West Coast to further my growth and reconnect with nature and social change inspiration. The initial reason for moving is the Nonviolent Communication Leadership Program I enrolled in this year. It is a year long program with intensive retreats in January, June, and November. The May 27th date is to arrive early for the June retreat (more on that later). Another big reason for moving is that my new partner is struggling with the cold winters, highly common “sugi”  (cryptomaria) pollen fever, and the oppressive business culture in Japan. 

While I’ve come to enjoy Tokyo for all the interesting people and exciting movements, I’ve noticed how little I exercise now, engage with nature, and “stop” (my TEDx talk on the topic was primarily directed toward me). As Satish Kumar said, we are not human doings, but human beings. Right now, I’m more of a human doing. Its time for me to deeply reflect on life again, and practice “being peace” (Thich Naht Hanh).

At the moment, we're planning to WWOOF with my good friends at the Freys Biodynamic Vineyard in Redwood Valley. Then I'll head to the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead in Orcas Island to meet with my Bullocks family and do a revolutionary permaculture tour for Japanese. At some point, we’re looking for a place to settle somewhere in the warmer part of the West Coast or Hawaii. Searching for a community to practice healing, permaculture, NVC, mindful living, and social change on a local and global scale. Southern Japan might be an option too, as well as other places, but right now the US is our main candidate.



BIG NEWS 2!!!  A beautiful book on Sustainable Living and Permaculture was published including my articles!
Sustainability [R]evolution was recently published and I just got my copies. It was a global community project and I had the opportunity to contribute articles and pictures on the Bullocks Permaculture Homestead, City Repair in Portland, Maa Bueng Ecofarm in Thailand, chinampa agriculture, and natural farming in Japan. Its a really beautiful book with tons of info so check it out! 



BIG NEWS 3!!! Three (and more) books in the making!!!
BOOK 1: As a parting gift, I am making my own book on urban permaculture. I’ve had several wonderful past workshop participants join to create a team for this book making project. It will be the first book on urban permaculture in Japan. I’ve never made a book so it will be an interesting experiment. We also want to hold the spirit of gift economy and so besides the designer (very time-consuming work), many of us are doing it “just for the love of it” (Mark Boyle)!

BOOK 2: One of the writers wanted to write a book about me so we are talking about making a book just about my life and the many paths that I have been skipping along. This will probably be published by a publisher and the Urban Permaculture book will most likely be self/crowd-published. More on that to come.

BOOK 3: The other book is targeting university students to provide an alternative path to the still-so-common but dying “Japanese dream” (big corporate salaryman). I’m writing an article in the book on the Education for Sustainable Living Program that I was a part of at the University of California Santa Cruz. Changed my life!!!

Education for Sustainable Living Program (UCSC):
http://eslp.enviroslug.org
Two other book ideas are floating. One is on creative social change for Japanese activists, and the other is a talk session with the founder of the Sloth Club (central driver of the “Slow” movement in Japan).


BIG NEWS 4!!! Climate Activism and Youth Empowerment



POWER SHIFT: I’ve been getting more and more involved in the climate activism. After going to Global Power Shift in Istanbul last year (during the democracy protests), I decided to start up a Power Shift movement in Japan. Shifting power from the handful of old men who make most policy decisions toward a more balanced intergenerational and gender equal power structure. Additionally, shifting energy production from nuclear and fossil fuels toward renewable energies. I decided to promote a campaign to transform Japanese universities to 100% renewable energy. My home-university UC Santa Cruz did it in 2007. So, I’m persuading Japanese friends (and anyone that is willing to listen) that it is possible and that we are going to do it. And it looks like some people are starting to believe me. Get ready for some 100% renewable energy powered Japanese universities. What a very exciting adventure to embark on!

And Global Power Shift: http://globalpowershift.org



THE FUTURE: After setting up Power Shift Japan, two lovely ladies from England visited me looking for a radical Japanese activist who might be able to start a climate movement with a very different approach. The movement is called The Future and is supported by Lush (as my friend called it, “the smelly soap company”). I’ve had little interest in corporations (besides getting pissed off about corporate corruption and human rights abuses), but Lush has been a refreshing encounter. They have funded activists to work on animal rights, climate change, and gay rights issues. So I am now trying to get The Future going in Japan as well as Power Shift Japan. 


I’ve come to realize how rare and important radical bilingual youth who are passionate about social change are in Tokyo! Especially with an afro! 


OTHER HIGHLIGHTS
Permaculture Convergence Japan
With the help of some permy (permaculture enthusiasts) friends I was able to make my dream Permaculture Convergence Japan a reality. There have been convergences in Japan but the non-Japanese practitioners I most respect, who are not Japanese, don’t attend them. So I decided to bring together my favorite permy friends to talk about how to start a permaculture revolution in Japan. Dion and Phil are the two I most respect, since they are examples of “living permaculture.” Cecilia is another inspired one but she moved back to Australia, and Byron’s up-and-coming permaculture empire in Fujino is definitely worth keeping tabs on. Ken was unfortunately couldn’t attend but he is doing some fascinating projects.

Check out the permaculture in Japan orientation guide for more info: 
http://livingpermaculture.blogspot.jp/2013/09/permaculture-in-japan-sites-to-see.html

Thich Naht Hanh Tour Japan! 
Thich Naht Hanh (Thay) is a human that I admire. He is perhaps that closest person to what I imagine an “enlightened” person is.  He’s come to Japan once before, but his second visit was abruptly cancelled due to the chaos of the March 11 earthquake and nuclear crisis. Well, next year, Thay is scheduled to visit Japan!!! This is no small undertaking, but a handful of us really want to make this a reality. You could say, we have a crisis of “happiness” in Japan. 

This May, Thay’s monastic disciples will visit Japan, and I will be one of the translators for the retreat and for the youth themed day. For Wake Up! (the youth themed day), we will do a meditation flash mob in Harajuku (youth fashion district of Tokyo). Then continue on to a nearby park to do walking meditation and sleeping meditation. The day will end at a permaculture inspired straw bale temple.


My TEDx talk on “Stopping”: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn6FUwzzo_0

*lately I’ve been running around and not stopping. So, I’m going to stop right now and take some breaths. You can join me too:)

That feels better. I love breathing.

Workshops
Doing tons of them all over Japan! Permaculture, compassionate communication (NVC), zen, youth empowerment, the usual. I love it! And while its all donation based with no suggested amount, I’m able to mostly support myself! My experiment with gift economy. And in Tokyo!

The workshops are all listed on Tokyo Urban Permaculture:
http://tokyourbanpermaculture.blogspot.jp

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Leadership Program
Wow! So, one of the NVC practitioners that I most respect, Ken (co-translated Marshal’s book into Japanese), really encouraged me to join the NVC Leadership Program organized by Bay Area NVC. It is a year long program with a total of 3 retreats in January, June, and November. Quite a serious commitment, especially if you live in Japan and have to fly across the pacific 3 times! But, NVC has done miracles for my life and activism, and I trust Ken. He even offered to fundraise on behalf of me and now the NVC community in Japan, as well as Bay Area NVC has covered the majority of the costs. Wow. What a precious gift! 

NVC Leadership Program website: http://lp.learnnvc.com/overview.html

I’ll say more about NVC and the Leadership Program in the near future, but for now, lets just say that in the last 3 months I have been yet again, transformed. The level of consciousness, dedication, and love in this program is profoundly inspiring. I am just so grateful for Marshall (the founder), NVC, practitioners, Jane (my empathy buddy who encouraged and supported me to attend the International Intensive Training) and Ken + NVC Japan. Gift economy......love economy.

I’m sure there is more I can say, now its time to get back to social change in Japan..I mean stopping:)

Oh yeah, I'm also helping to prepare Lynn Twist's transform Japan tour. I'm hopefully going to bring in some NVC consciousness into the Leadership themed day. Lynn is a philanthropist that co-founded the Pachamama Alliance, and recently wrote a book called the Soul of Money. 

http://www.lynnetwist.com/about-lynne-twist/

Ok, now I got to let go of writing for real!

May we live in a way that inspires love in all.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Book: Sustainability [R]evolution 世界のパーマカルチャー本が出版された!

日本語は下だよ〜

Last year, I contributed a few articles to a book project titled Sustainability [R]evolution. It has now been published and is quite a beautiful book showcasing permaculture sites from around the world. Articles I wrote are Bullocks Permaculture Homestead (with Scott), City Repair (with Adelaide), Maa Bueng Eco-Farm, Chinampas, and natural farming.

Below is the message from the editors

-------------------------------------------------------------
It’s been a long and winding, nearly 8 year journey, but the Sustainable [R]evolution book is now in print—all 352 pages with 60 sites profiled!   It looks gorgeous, thanks to the high-quality recycled matte paper the press used to showcase Erika Rand’s incredible layout design, and includes thousands of color photos of inspiring sites all around the globe.  We are also very honored to have had environmentalist Paul Hawken write the book’s compelling foreword, and to have included work by luminaries such as David Holmgren (co-founder of the permaculture concept), Starhawk, and Dr.Vandana Shiva. We hope you'll be inspired and that it can become the outreach piece we’ve dreamed it could be, drawing new permaculture revolutionaries to join the movement.

Sustainable [R]evolution is officially available at bookstores everywhere as of February 25. Getting books straight from our organization at CultureofPermaculture.org is the best for us.  Another good way to get the book is to put in an order at a local independent bookstore, which tend to get extra copies to sell if a customer requests one. Stores can order wholesale from Random House. If you are connected with or have suggestions for a store you think should sell the book, let us know. For international shipping Amazon offers the cheapest option.  And the eBook will be available on March 25.

Also, even if you don't order from them, please consider going to Amazon and rating the book, as well as giving a customer review. 
This helps a lot!

We are so grateful for your support, community... stay tuned for details about our launch party and other events.

¡Viva La Evolución! 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm heading back to the West Coast in June and will probably do another Japanese tour of the Pacific NorthWest permaculture scene. I'm also looking for a nice community to settle in and contribute but for relationship reasons it needs to be warm.

See you soon!


去年、Sustainability [R]evolutionっていう本の
ことをネットでたまたま見つけた。


世界中のパーマカルチャーの実践例を
まとめた一般の人向けの本プロジェクト。
見た目が魅力的で、内容も分かりやすく、
パーマカルチャーの多様性を盛り込んだ作品。
さらに、世界中のパーマカルチャー活動家や
ライターに呼びかけてみんなで作る形の本。

僕も参加して、関西にある赤め塾と川口さんの
自然農の記事から、ブロックス、シティリペア、
タイ王国のエコファームやチナンパ農法の記事を
書くことになった。英語の方がまだ書けるんだよね。

世界中のパーマカルチャー農場からエコビレッジから
都会型のパーマカルチャーがのっていて、
共生社会を実験的に実践している
ガイドブックみたいな感じがする。
日本のパーマカルチャーセンタージャパンや
Fujio Eco-Parkものっているよ。

詳細は:
本をクリックすると内容も見れるよ。
アメリカにいる人はAmazonではなくindependent bookstoresで買うのがおすすめ。

英語版が出たばかりだから和訳はいつになるか分からないけど、
和訳も出してほしいよね!

複数買いたい場合は、僕を通すと多分20%引きになるので
情報をまとめてくれれば取り寄せられると思う。

僕も引き続きアーバンパーマカルチャーの本をみんなとがんばりまーす。

共生革命家


本からのサンプル


パーマカルチャーのお花
各分野が花びらになっていて、
中心が倫理と原則となっている。

花びらは:
  • 大地と自然、
  • 土地へのアクセスとコミュニティ統治、
  • ファイナンスと経済、
  • 健康と精神的充足、
  • 教育と文化、
  • 道具とテクノロジー、
  • 建築物




世界のパーマカルチャー拠点マップ(実践場)



マテの栽培をしているアマゾンの先住民族を支えるビジネス


砂漠のパーマカルチャー【アースシップ】

Greenz.jp article on Power Shift Japan

 It’s an unofficial translation, View original article: http://greenz.jp/2014/02/08/power-shift-japan/
Engaging with climate change and energy issues.Power Shift Japan is youth for social change.
Original interview and article by Eri KimuraTranslation by Kai Sawyer and Jhang Ling
Engaging with climate change and energy issues.  
“I want to change our society. I want to make our world a better place. But, how do I do that?” Thoughts like these are in the minds of many people.
Often times, the actions of one individual or one organization are not enough to make big changes. However, if we gather together, our power will increase.
With this hope in mind, Power Shift began its work in America with the aim to raise the voices of the youth to solve the massive issue of global climate change back in 2007.
 Gathering students from different corners of the US to Washington every two years, Power Shift provides the stage for attendees with common goals to discuss the methods or policies that may make alternative energy more widespread. Active students share best practices that will likely lead to more effective actions.
 Following the US, other countries such as Canada and Australia have conducted their own “Power Shifts”. Power Shift is now spreading across the globe. Now Japan will for the first time host “Power Shift Japan” on February 22nd and 23rd.
 This may be the first time that youth are organizing an event for social change that is part of a global movement in Japan. The two day program includes sessions to reflect on why we take action and  how to engage with society which will lead to tangible next steps.
PSJ shouting













Day 1
  • Defining Moment
A session to share thoughts and feelings on climate change and energy issues with participants from all over Japan.
  • Campaign Workshop
A campaigner from an international NGO will teach how to effectively engage with society.
  • Activism Building
Examining challenges and opportunities associated to social change in Japan by understanding history.
  • Power of Youth
Presenting examples of youth activism from around the world
 Day 2
  • Campaign Planning
Participants will develop campaigns based on what they learned the previous day
  • Campaign Market
Established youth groups, NGOs, and community groups are invited to share relevant campaigns
  • Declaration
Presentations from each group about actions they will take after the Power Shift Japan event
  • Action
All participants will take part in an action
Not only will NPO/NGOs be present, the youth representative to COP (UN climate change conference), Liangyi Chang, will be attending from Taiwan. He will talk about what world youth are doing, and share a little about his activism around nuclear power and climate change in Taiwan.
We held an interview with Kai Sawyer, the lead-organizer for the internationally recognized Power Shift Japan.

s_IMG_3604
Caption: Kai Sawyer has parents from the US and Japan
 Kai has visited eco-villages and transition towns around the world and holds workshops through his project “Tokyo Urban Permaculture” in order to propagate concepts and skills for sustainable living and farming.
 Kai’s first encounter with Power Shift was last June, when he was invited by a friend to attend the Global Power Shift convergence held in Istanbul, Turkey.
“Global Power Shift was a thrilling five-day event that brought together 500 young activists from more than 130 countries. There were attendees who were involved in movements such as, the Egyptian Revolution, Occupy Wall Street, and Kurdish protests against Saddam Hussein…… People came from different movements, but we all united for our concern about the state of our global environment.
 The message that Global Power Shift had for the attendees was to initiate their own Power Shifts, so after getting back to Japan, I outreached for collaborators and made preparations.”
 Kai talks about how we can become hopeful about social change from attending events like these, but that is not enough to transform society.

“It is quite common that these events end at the end of the day, but what is necessary is to take one step further and take action. As Power Shift we are focusing on taking action through “campaigns”. This includes identifying specific goals, planning action steps, and fulfilling them. Even if it takes time to achieve the goals, and even if things don’t go as planned, I believe what is important is to take action.”

Caption: In Sydney, Power Shift staged a flash mob as part of their campaign.
One of Kai’s first goals is to “transform Japanese universities to be powered by 100% green energy”. In fact, the university that Kai had attended, University of California Santa Cruz, had implemented 100% renewable energy through student activism!

Each citizen can make change
“I wasn’t always interested in social issues.” University was Kai’s entry point into activism.
“I was sucked into the anti-war movement against the invasion into Iraq. We were a small group of several dozen students, but we were able to drive military recruiters off campus every year and shutdown the university along with supportive professors and community members on the day of the invasion. We had such an impact that the national media and Federal Government started to take notice.
Even then we didn’t give into fear because we all felt, ‘something is seriously wrong here.’ Seeing all these activists, I started to believe that there is nothing cooler and needed than social activism”
nowar
It is not only those in powerful positions, but ordinary citizens can make change. Especially in the West, people are conscious of a history where social movements have transformed society, and Kai began to believe that as well as he became an activist.
 “Ultimately we weren’t able to stop the war, but there is a major difference in consciousness between not acting and taking action. As our country prepared for war, I felt strange that our university classes continued as if nothing had changed. I couldn’t focus. That’s when students who felt similarly started their own class that addressed social problems that were relevant to us now.
 We ran the program ourselves, even funded it, and invited speakers like Satish Kumar and Vandana Shiva. Having activist guest lecturers from around the world was really exciting.
 But, just listening to a talk isn’t going to make change. That’s where the idea of Action Research Teams came in. These groups focused on a specific issue, came up with a solution, then implemented it. One of these groups helped our campus switch to 100% green energy.
  Through this educational program that changed the university from within, and off-campus activism, students are able to engage with society as active change makers rather than passive consumers. With a passion to spread a similar movement in Japan, Kai started his work in Tokyo at the beginning of 2012.

I want to change the activism in Japan
“Many people believe you cannot change the status quo, but what is critical is to learn that we can indeed change how things are.”
“What prevents change is our thinking. ‘Things don’t change even if I vote’, ‘the economy won’t change’, ‘we can’t make change’ are all popular beliefs. It’s not easy to change this way of thinking, but we need to change our thinking in order to create a sustainable world.”
A survey of Japanese youth shows that 70% of youth believe their actions will not make a difference in society.
“A handful of older men make almost all major decisions that affect our country.  But as the ones who will be inheriting that world, I want the youth to be empowered to create their own future. “
Japanese have a very limited awareness of citizens making social change but the fact is that it was citizen movements that enabled women to vote and for workers to have rights they have today. There are lots of other examples.
When we say “activism”, most people immediately think of Anpo-Tousou and Daigaku Tousou,* but if you really look at history, you’ll realize that citizens have created the world we live in today, and you will develop the consciousness that we will continue to create our society.
*Mass protests in the 60s and 70s that turned violent with opposing Leftist factions killing members of the other group’s members.
9242168179_a97ed7a23e
Caption: At Power Shift, they also made art.
 “Activists in Japan, including myself, receive a lot of criticism. But because I love the passion of activists and and fun of activism, I’ve been able to joyfully continue for over 10 years. I think if we don’t integrate more art and music, creativity and fun, while also being effective, activism in Japan won’t last.
That’s why through Power Shift Japan, I have connected the young activists and groups that I’ve met so far, and other overseas groups, all with an aim to build a strong horizontal network around the globe.
 “I’m an activism nerd,” Kai continues. 
“As I started to meet students involved with the anti-war movement, nuclear abolition, human rights of LGBT, low-income populations, to racism, I thought ‘this is all important!’ And my interest in a wide variety of social problems started to grow.
Right now, the issues that I am most interested in are the de-nuclearisation and climate change. In terms of nuclear power, while people have differing opinions, the level of awareness has greatly increased. But, with climate change, very few people seem to genuinely care. I want to bridge the anti-nuclear movement with climate justice movement.”

Creating a world where everyone is cared for
“Activism is not my hobby or my job, it is my path in life” says Kai. He continues with his desire, “I want to create a world where all people have equal rights and live peacefully.”
“Even though we know the problems we face, our environment continues to deteriorate and national debt continues to rise. The burden on future generations keeps growing, and they have no choice but to inherit it. It’s a hard future to stay hopeful in, and that is why for the future generations, I want to change this reality. Through Power Shift Japan, I hope we can take a big step in the right direction.”
Climate change and energy issues seem like problems that are too big to solve, and many of us might shy away from them. Why not take this opportunity to join Power Shift Japan, to learn and think of solutions, then start to take action?

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Power Shift Japan パワーシフトジャパンの記事 Greenz.jpより

日本語は下だよ〜

This is an article about Power Shift Japan that I am organizing. Probably the biggest event I have ever spear headed. I went to Global Power Shift back in June 2013 and was inspired to kick it off in Japan. Its a cocktail of youth empowerment, anti-nuclear, climate activism themed event that will begin a new era in Japanese activism.

Global Power Shift info
http://globalpowershift.org/about/#History


Looking for all the help I can get!!!
I need

  • youth and student participants
  • photographer
  • art
  • funds
  • translator
  • campaign strategists
The event is Feb 21~23, 2014.

Friday: Awakening the Dreamer symposium
Saturday: Day 1 of official event (Green Peace campaign workshop)
Sunday: Day 2 of official event (campaign development and ACTION!)

This is just the beginning....

We're going to start making some serious change.


Greenz.jpの記事に最近力を注いでいるPower Shift Japanが投稿されたよ〜!!!
是非、参加してね!

ISSUE
Yesterday - 2014.02.08
SHARES 110

地球温暖化やエネルギー問題を、自分ごとに。若者から社会を変えていく「Power Shift Japan」

社会を変えたい。世の中がもっと良くなってほしい。でも、どうしたらいいのだろう?そう思っている人も多いのではないでしょうか。
実際に動いてみても、一人や一団体の影響力が大きくはないことも事実。それなら、みんなが集まれば、力も大きくなるはず。
そんな希望を持って始まったサミット「Power Shift」は、気候変動という大きな問題の解決に向けて、若い世代から声を上げていこうと、2007年にアメリカで始まりました。

2年に一度、ワシントンで開催されている「Power Shift」には全米から一万人以上の学生が集まります。そこでは、参加者同士で思いを共有したり、再生可能エネルギーの普及に向けた実現方法や政策などについて議論したり、現場で活動する若者から社会に働きかけている実例を聞き、より効果的なアクションにつなげていくのです。
その反響は世界に広まり、カナダやオーストラリアなど各地で開催されるようになりました。そして日本でも、2月22日、23日に「Power Shift Japan」として初めて開催されることが決定。
若者が主体となって、社会変革を目指し、国際的なムーブメントとつながっているイベントとしては、日本初だとか。二日間のプログラムでは以下の内容が行われ、自分の思いや活動を見つめなおし、社会へのアプローチの仕方を学ぶことで、次のステップに活かしていきます。
【1日目】
・Defining Moment
全国各地から集まった仲間たちと、それぞれの気候変動やエネルギー問題解決に対する思いを分かち合います。
・キャンペーンワークショップ
国際NGOのキャンペーナーを呼び、社会への働きかけ方を身につけます。
・アクティビズムビルディング
日本社会における歴史的背景から社会変革に対する課題と可能性、キャンペーンの立ち上げに必要な認識を構築します。
・パワーオブユース
国内外の若者の活動事例から、若者もつ可能性と課題を考えます。
【2日目】
・キャンペーン・プランニング
1日目に身につけたことから、参加者はキャンペーン計画を作成します。
・キャンペーン・マーケット
NGOや市民グループ、ユース団体などを招いて、実施しているキャンペーンの紹介を受けます。
・デクラレーション
Power Shift Japan以降にそれぞれが行うアクションを発表します。
・アクション
参加者全体でアクションを行います。
NPO/NGOだけでなく、台湾からCOP(国連の気候変動会議)のユース代表をしているLiangyi Chang(張良伊さん)も来日し、世界の若者の取り組みや、台湾での脱原発と気候変動について話してもらう予定だそう。
国際的にも注目されているこの「Power Shift Japan」主催者の一人である、ソーヤー海(カイ)さんにお話を聞きました。
 
s_IMG_3604
アメリカ人と日本人の両親を持つ、ソーヤー海さん
カイさんは世界中のエコビレッジやトランジションタウンなどを訪れ、各地で学んだ持続可能な農法や暮らしを、ワークショップなどを通して広める「東京アーバンパーマカルチャー」を主催しています。
そんなカイさんが「Power Shift」と出会ったのは、昨年6月のこと。トルコのイスタンブールで開かれた「Global Power Shift」というイベントに、友人に誘われて参加したことがきっかけでした。
 
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「Global Power Shift」の様子 Some rights reserved by 350.org
Global Power Shift では、130カ国以上から500人もの若い活動家が集まって、すごく刺激的な5日間でしたね。エジプト革命やニューヨークのオキュパイ・ウォール街に参加していた人とか、サダム・フセインにデモをしていたイラクのクルド人とか…。みんなそれぞれ活動をしているんだけれども、地球環境についても真剣に考えていました。
こうした多様な参加者に対して「自分たちの国でもPower Shiftを立ち上げてください」というメッセージがあり、日本に帰国してから仲間を募り、準備してきました。
参加しただけでも社会は変わると自信がつきそうですが、それでは社会変革は起こらない、とカイさんは言います。
イベントで終わってしまうことが多いけれど、もう一歩踏み出してアクションに移すことが必要です。Power Shiftではそれを「キャンペーン」と呼んでいます。具体的な課題に対して目標を立てて、そのステップを計画し、実践する。達成までに時間がかかっても、うまくいかなくても、動いてみることが重要だと思っています。

シドニーではPower Shiftキャンペーンとしてフラッシュモブが行われました
ちなみにカイさんが最初にやりたいことは「日本の大学を100%自然エネルギーに変えること」だそう。実際に、カイさんが通っていたカリフォルニア大学サンタクルーズ校では、学生からの発案によって、100%自然エネルギーに切り替わったとか!

市民一人ひとりが、社会を変えていく

「もともと社会問題に関心がなかった」というカイさんですが、こういった活動の原点はその大学時代にさかのぼります。
まわりの学生たちが行っていたイラク戦争への反戦運動に巻き込まれていったんです。数十人の団体でしたが、軍隊の勧誘を大学から追い出したり、開戦の日に一部の教授や市民とともに大学を閉鎖したり、メディアや連邦政府に目をつけられるくらい大きなインパクトのあることをしていました。
それでもみんな「やっぱりおかしいよね」と恐れに負けずに、強い信念を持っていて。そういった姿を見て、社会への活動ほどかっこよくて社会に必要なものはない、と心に刻まれました。
権力者が社会を変えるのではなく、一般市民が変えることができる。特に欧米では、市民が立ち上がって変革してきたという歴史がみんなの意識にあるそうで、海さんもそう信じて活動に参加するように。
結局、戦争は止められなかったけど、何もしないよりも、何かをした方が意識が変わってきます。国が戦争をしようとしているのに、あたかも何も起きていないかのように授業が行われていることに違和感を持ち、集中できなくなったんですね。それで学生たちで、実際に今起きている社会問題を取り上げるような授業をつくってみたんです。
自分たちでプログラムを運営し、資金も集め、講師にはサティシュ・クマールとか、バンダナ・シバとか、国際的に活躍するいろんな活動家を呼ぶことができ、すごく盛り上がりました。
でも話を聞くだけでは何も変わらない。そこでアクション・リサーチチームといって、一つの問題を取り上げて具体的な解決策を実行するグループができました。大学が自然エネルギーに切り替えたのも、この運動のおかげです。
こうした大学を中から変えていく教育プログラムや、学外の活動を通して、消費者ではなく生産者の気持ちで社会と関わるようになります。だからこそ、「自分が参加したようなムーブメントを日本でも広めたい」という思いを胸に、2012年から日本で活動を始めました。

日本の活動の形を変えたい

「みんな現状を維持せざるをえないと思っているけれど、意外と今の状況を変えることはできる、と知ることが大切」と言います。
それを妨げているのは、思考。投票しても政治は変わらないとか、どうせ経済は変わらないとか、「変えられない」とみんな思っている。この考え方を変えるのは難しいけど、持続可能な社会を実現するには変えるしかないと思っています。
実際に、日本の若者の70%が、自分の行動では社会を変えることはできないと思っている、というデータも。
今、世の中の大きな決断をしているのは、みんな一部のおじさんばっかりですが、これからを担う若い人にこそ、自分の未来を創作する意識と力を持ってほしい。だからこそ、アクティビティズムが社会に大事なものなんだ、という意識が必要だと思うんです。
日本人は市民が社会を変えてきたという実感があんまりないけれど、女性も投票できるようになったこととか、労働者が正当な権力を得たこととか、本当はたくさんあります。
「活動」というと安保闘争や大学闘争といったものしかイメージできない人が多いようですが、歴史を知れば、今の現実って市民がつくったんだ、じゃぁこれからも作っていける、という意識を持てると思います。
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Power Shiftではアート作りも。 Some rights reserved by 350.org
僕もそうですが、日本の活動家は批判を受けることがすごく多い。でも僕は活動家の情熱と活動の楽しさを味わってきたから、10年以上も続けることができました。日本の活動も、アートや音楽などを取り入れて、もっとクリエイティブで楽しく、かつ効果的なものにしないと続かないと思います。
そのためにもPower Shift Japanでは今まで僕が会った若い活動家と団体、それから海外の団体をつなぎ、横のネットワークを強くしたいと思っています。
「僕はね、活動オタクなんです」とカイさんは続けます。
反戦運動から始まって、非核、LGBTの人権、低所得者、人種差別などさまざまな問題に関わっている人に出会って、「全部大事じゃん!」とあらゆる問題に関心を持つようになりました。
その中でも特に大事だと思っているのが、脱原発と温暖化の問題です。原発はみんな意見が違うとはいえ関心を持つようになったけれど、温暖化については無関心というか、心のこもった意識がないように感じます。この脱原発と温暖化の問題をつなげていきたいと思っています。

みんなが大事にされる世の中をつくる

「活動は趣味でも仕事でもないし、それが自分の道だと考えている」とカイさん。その根っこにあるのは、「みんなが大事にされて、平等で平和な世界をつくりたい」という思いでした。
問題意識はあるのに、厳しい環境や巨大な借金など、負の遺産がどんどん増えている。それはどうなるかっていうと、全て次世代が受け継ぐことになる。かなり希望を持ちにくい未来になるけど、次世代のために、この現状を変えていきたいんです。「Power Shift Japan」に参加することで、その一歩をみんなと踏み出せたらと思います。
気候変動やエネルギーといった問題はあまりにも大きすぎて、向き合うことは少ないかもしれません。この機会に、私たちの生活にも関わるこの問題について、解決策を考え、学び、そして実践する「Power Shift Japan」に、あなたも参加してみませんか?

木村 絵里

1989年東京生まれ。大学生のときにThink the Earthでインターンをしたことがきっかけで、自分に合った暮らし方や働き方を実践している人たちに興味を持つ。その魅力を伝えるべくライターの道へ。現在はgreenz.jpにて編集アシスタント、ライター、ときどきカメラマンとして日々勉強中。
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