A visual journey through the impact of the earthquakes that hit Haiti in January 2010 and Japan on March 2011, the joint response and sustainable recovery efforts. (more...)
Bicycle ride from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince, New York and Boston. Bringing together the TEDx communities on these cities and raising awareness on the challenges and opportunities of innovation and collaboration. (more...)
The first time I presented in Japan the Relief 2.0 Enterprise strategy for disaster recovery with dignity, inclusion and generation of wealth through business recovery and entrepreneurship promotion under the 4 steps approach of "Never Help: Enable, Engage, Empower and Connect", I knew I was home. Prof. Masaharu Okada, Executive Director of the Grameen Creative Lab at Kyushu University nodded positively as I explained our vision and as soon as I finished he went on to explain with genuine enthusiasm how he related to the concept as it was part of what he considered the true "Japanese DNA", a culture of outstanding achievements through capacity building, hard work and collaboration.
This was the first of many happy discoveries and further proof that Relief 2.0 Enterprise comes natural to Japanese culture probably more than anywhere else in the world. I have been recently reading Keiji Nakasawa's autobiographical manga masterpiece Barefoot Gen about the challenges and hardships of the Japanese society in post-atomic bomb Hiroshima told through the eyes and adventures of six-year old Gen. My goal was to better understand Japanese visual communication and handling of disaster issues in order to adapt and design our Digital Storytelling of Disaster Recovery through Photography project for the Big Tohoku earthquake and tsunami survivors. Many survivors have lived through so much, yet they keep their feelings strongly guarded and focus in moving on and "surviving". Our assumption is that if we get them to share their stories and feelings through documentary photography, some of the stress and heavy load of memories might be released and their stories get to be told by the survivors and stakeholders themselves and not by foreign journalists or people alien to their reality. This is part of the accomplishments and legacy of Nakasawa's Barefoot Gen.
In Volume Six, pages 158 and 159, there is a scene that explains our Relief 2.0 Enterprise initiative so much better than all our documents, videos, slide presentations and talks. Read the scanned pages and pay tribute to the advanced mind of Nakasawa and the Japanese people, almost 40 years before we wrote the first draft of our project.