We all know that disaster kicks ego and old complaints out of the room. It makes us forget our hesitancy to act. It creates clear purpose: save lives now, recover and then recreate. Sometimes the crisis is a visible and undeniable one like the triple disasters of Japan on March 11, 2011. Other times we are surrounded by less immediately visible crises — climate change, vanishing oil reserves, institutionalization of poverty — that are much more like being a frog in boiling water.
New Stories founder Bob Stilger has been working in Japan since a few weeks after the 3.11 disasters. He is supporting an emerging coalition of civil society, business and government organizations as well as many concerned citizens who believe the crises offers an opportunity for people in the Tohoku region, as well as across Japan to create the future they want. There is a great deal of grief and confusion in Japan right now, and people are learning how to hold that grief and begin to think about a new future where people and communities are more resilient.
Bob and the people he is working with are convinced that a network of “Future Centers” throughout the Tohoku region, connected with each other as well as with similar centers across Japan and the world, is one important key in creating this new Japan. A Future Center is a laboratory of grace where local people come together to share their grief and confusion and to go on to build new community with what they already have. On the one hand, it creates a hospitable space for conversations that matter and then connects the people and ideas from those conversation to others around the world.
NewStories is supporting the development of these Future Centers as well as other dialogues and workshops across Japan where people are coming together to create a near future. We believe that the lessons learned from working in this visible disaster will prove valuable far beyond Japan.
Project Director: Bob Stilger
Team: Yuya Nishimura, Takahiko Nomura, Yuka Saionji
Can you help us out? The Donate Button below will send your support to the Resilient Japan Project. You can make donations to other specific projects on their pages, or to New Stories itself on our home page. You can contribute using your credit card or your paypal account. New Stories is a 501©3 and your contributions may be tax-deductible.