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Robin Lewis

Co-founder & Chief Mizu Officer
Co-founder & Director
Social Innovation Japan

Date of birth: Aug. 11, 1988

Hometown: London

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 12 (as of January 2020)

Robin Lewis
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

I was born in Tokyo and then moved to the U.K. at the age of 3. After moving back and forth throughout my childhood, I eventually relocated to Japan in 2011 because of the Great East Japan Earthquake. That was a major turning point for me and was the beginning of my career in humanitarian, development and climate issues spanning countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

I always ask myself “what is no one else doing?” when making career and life choices. For example, in 2017 I ran a photo-documentary project that involved walking 600 km solo along Tohoku’s coastline to document the region’s recovery — something that very few people have done. Doing that ultimately landed me a job in a leading intergovernmental organization — one of my dream career destinations!

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

For me, launching the MyMizu app was one of the most nerve-wracking and exciting moments in my career. It was the culmination of almost a decade of work, combining technology and innovation for good. I was terrified that upon launching, no one would care, but the response has been phenomenal and I believe this speaks to the fact that many of us see a need for societal change.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Our goal with MyMizu is to tackle the plastics crisis. When we talk about climate change and pollution, these concepts can be so daunting and overwhelming. But the simple act of not buying plastic bottles can be the first step into a much broader journey to sustainability, and we hope that more people will join us on this journey, one drink at a time!

Last updated: Jan 27, 2020