On June 13-15, 2019, a three-day event “the SDGs Mirai Kaigi: Social Summit to Build the Future” was held in Osaka, Japan. The aim of the event was to increase the awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through hands-on experiences and learning opportunities, and to encourage people to take action.
With the event held in central Osaka at Grand Front Osaka, a mixed-use commercial complex near Umeda station, it proved popular and attracted a diverse mix of visitors including families with young children, high school students, business people, and teachers and school workers.
Kyowa Kirin took part in this event as an exhibitor, setting up a booth showcasing our hands-on science experiment class Bio Adventure and a panel exhibition of our website MIRAI PORT. Here is a report of the event along with comments from the Kyowa Kirin staff members who took part.
SDGs Mirai Kaigi: Social Summit to Build the Future
Date: June 13 (Thu) – June 15 (Sat), 2019
Organizers: Junior Chamber International Osaka and Sendenkaigi Co., Ltd.
At the SDGs Mirai Kaigi, 21 companies set up booths, and various programs were held, such as meetings and workshops by government officials and experts.
Bio Adventure and MIRAI PORT at Kyowa Kirin booth
The Kyowa Kirin Group’s current Mid-term business plan incorporates the concept of Creating Shared Value (CSV) and sets out ways for us to contribute to the SDGs through its business activities as a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The Group is also engaged in a wide variety of social initiatives rooted in local communities. Our booth featured two of these: Bio Adventure, science experiment classes that aim to inspire the next generation of scientists; and our owned media MIRAI PORT, which highlights SDGs-related stories from Japan and abroad.
Kyowa Kirin booth at the event: MIRAI PORT panel exhibition on the left; microscope from experiment classes on the right
Welcome to the microworld!
Bio Adventure microscope experience
The biggest attraction of the booth by far was the binocular microscope from the Bio Adventure Experience.
“The Bio Adventure Experience was an invitation to the wonders of the microworld, which people rarely have an opportunity to see in daily life. The magnification of our binocular microscope is 400x, which means that a 1-mm-long object is magnified to 400 mm, or 40 cm. We had set up a monitor display in front of the microscope so that people around the booth could see the same view the person using the microscope saw. Many people were intrigued, asking ‘what’s this?’”
Binocular microscope with a monitor display
What the visitors to the booth saw was Aspergillus, a type of mold used to make the fermentation starter for miso and sake. In the actual Bio Adventure classes, participants prepare their own specimens for microscopic observation using cheese and bubbling, fermenting yeast.
“Young children were simply amazed by what they saw through the microscope. High school students asked us questions about the work pharmaceutical companies do, which impressed me a lot. I was also surprised by the high level of interest we received from people working in the educational sector. They told us that it was very difficult for schools to provide a binocular microscope with a monitor display. I said that we would be delighted to have more people taking part in our Bio Adventure classes, and they really liked the idea.”
The microscope experience raised interest in the Bio Adventure initiative
From junior high school students to business people – encounters with SDGs activists
MIRAI PORT is Kyowa Kirin’s owned media that showcases news stories from around the world about efforts to achieve the SDGs. The launch of the website coincided with the opening day of the Mirai Kaigi event.
“We told visitors that the website had just opened on the day, and that got them curious. We provided tablets so that visitors could take a look at the MIRAI PORT website at the booth.”
Flyers introducing MIRAI PORT
There was a constant stream of people gathering around the panel exhibition on the MIRAI PORT website, intently reading the featured cases from around the world.
“I spoke to a group of junior high school students, who said that they had been visiting local primary schools on a voluntary basis to teach children about the SDGs, and that MIRAI PORT would be a useful source of information they could learn from and pass on to children. They chatted excitedly, saying things like ‘this site is great!’ and ‘can we view it on a smartphone too?’ I was amazed how proactive they were – I’m not sure if I would have been able to do the same as a junior high school student. I was happy to see the value of MIRAI PORT.”
The coverage of overseas news in Japanese also seemed to be an attraction of MIRAI PORT.
On a weekday, with a constant stream of visitors intently reading the panel
On weekdays, many visitors were business people, and there were scenes of visitors from different companies swapping stories of their own companies’ initiatives.
“We learned a lot from what other companies were doing. For the staff running the booth, this event was a valuable opportunity to think about the contribution Kyowa Kirin – and ourselves personally – could make in order to achieve the SDGs.”
Feeding the experience of the SDGs Mirai Kaigi back to future work
According to the organizers, the SDGs Mirai Kaigi exceeded their expectations and received as many as 25 thousand visitors. The Kyowa Kirin booth was also a success, attracting crowds throughout the event.
“The event attracted a large number of people who were interested in the SDGs, which made it an ideal opportunity to showcase our efforts. I hope the experience and knowledge gained here will encourage people to take action for a better society.”
“We really had so many visitors. It was very satisfying to be able to tell people face to face what positive work our company is doing on the SDGs. Another positive for me was the positive reaction and goodwill we received from people about the MIRAI PORT and Bio Adventure initiatives. We will continue our effort to spread the message and raise awareness of the SDGs through MIRAI PORT, and accelerate our work on the SDGs in order to contribute to a sustainable society.”