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Tohoku students and TEDx share local and global innovations on rebuilding northeastern Japan

by Monica Tandung

Staff Writer

TEDxTohoku is asking the “3.11 generation,” those whose lives were changed in great or small ways by the disaster, their thoughts and aspirations for northeastern Japan’s recovery from the Great East Japan earthquake.

TEDxTohoku, organized by local university students in the Tohoku region and the independently-organized Japan TEDx, aims to introduce ideas and activities that can help revitalize areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. The event will showcase emerging innovative ideas from across the region and in a variety of fields, including IT, economics, education, medicine and architecture.

High-profile speakers actively involved in the relief process, 500 attendees and thousands of online viewers will take part, listening and contributing to the voices of Tohoku with the aim of spreading ideas, sharing global and local wisdom, and sparking initiations for innovation.

Speakers include Masashi Kawashima (Google Asia webmaster), Masaharu Takasaki (Royal Institute of British Architects International fellow), and Paul Bennet (chief creative officer of IDEO). There will also be performances by Hiroyuki Kurosawa (Tsugaru shamisen player), who has played at evacuation shelters, and the Yamazaru taiko drum team from Fukushima Prefecture. A complete list of the speakers is available on the www.tedxtohoku.com, where you can also watch the event live via Ustream.

TEDxTohoku takes place at Kawauchi Hagi Hall, Tohoku University, Sendai, on Oct. 30. For more information, visit www.tedxtohoku.com.