Exploring Social Innovation in Silicon Valley

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Exploring Social Innovation in Silicon Valley

Join VIA in Tokyo to learn about Exploring Social Innovation in Silicon Valley for university students and young professionals from Asia!

By VIA Programs

When and where

Date and time

Saturday, April 22 · 4:30 - 5:30pm JST


WeWork Iceberg 6 Chome-12-18 Jingumae 1F Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001 Japan

About this event

  • 1 hour
  • Mobile eTicket

The Exploring Social Innovation (ESI) program brings together a diverse cohort of 15-20 students and young professionals from across Asia and the US in Silicon Valley for an intensive 9-day exploration of social challenges and innovative solutions. Participants develop changemaker skills through interactive workshops, learn about innovative companies and social enterprises in Silicon Valley through site visits and guest speakers, and exchange ideas with local leaders and global friends.

We are hosting an information session in Tokyo for anyone interested in learning more about the ESI program, meeting VIA staff and program alumni, and getting a taste of the VIA program experience!

Attendance is free but space is limited - register today to secure your spot!

Meet the Speakers

Kazutoh Ishida, VIA Executive Director

Kazutoh started his VIA journey in the early 1990s when he joined the American Language & Culture (ALC) program as a college student from Japan. Based on the eye-opening and transformative experience he had on this program, he started to envision a future career in which he would design and run impactful international education programs.

Kazutoh’s dream came true in 2005 when he had the opportunity to join the VIA team as senior director to manage the programs in Silicon Valley. Kazutoh became VIA's Executive Director and works with staff, board, alumni, and partners to build an ecosystem that will bring deeper impact to our participants and the communities they serve.

Kazutoh received his Phd degree in East Asian Languages & Literatures (Japanese pedagogy) from the University of Hawai’i. His personal interests include watching movies, hiking and traveling. In addition to his fondness of Asia, he loved traveling to Tanzania and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kristy Ishii, ESI Program Director

Growing up in rural Salinas, California, Kristy was immersed in sports (softball, volleyball, and soccer) and academics. Through sports, she developed a strong affinity for collaboration and community. At UCLA, she was introduced to the Japanese language for the first time, and this sparked her desire to work and live as a bi-lingual professional in Japan.

She started her professional journey as a Japan Exchange & Teaching Program Assistant Language Teacher in Gunma, Japan, then transitioned into full-cycle recruitment for bilingual talents in Tokyo & Osaka. For four years, she was an active member of The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan and served as the president of the Japanese American Citizens League Japan Chapter in Tokyo for three years.

Upon returning to the US, Kristy struggled to find any external help with her repatriation journey, so she brought all of her past experiences together (recruitment, teaching, community building) to help people like herself create a strategy to find a purpose-driven career. She creates customized programs for clients in both the Americas and Asia. She is a certified coach and graduate of the Institute of Coaching Mastery (Santa Monica, CA), and continues to provide workshops that relate to career transitions and mindset coaching.

About the organizer

Organized by
VIA Programs

Leveraging over 58 years of experience in transformative intercultural and experiential learning, VIA inspires and empowers emerging leaders seeking to create positive social impact in their communities. VIA is a nonprofit organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area that facilitates 15+ experiential learning programs, workshops, and events for 300+ participants annually in Silicon Valley, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.