2020 President’s statement
Junior Chamber International
President Masashiro Ideta
Humans are creatures who dislike change. It seems that everyone experienced many things that they had anxiety and fear of change. We have had anxiety about unfamiliar environment, or fear of deciding something, but change is the “sign” connecting new value, a source of growth, and opportunity for innovation. When I feel such anxiety and fear, I always remember this poem, “Youth.”
Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind.
It is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees,
it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions,
it is the freshness of the deep springs of ilfe.
Youth, Samuel Ullman
The young heart is the only force
JCI’s greatest force is “youth.” The group with limited active time of 20 to 40 years old and diversified values because of immaturity is our existence value. When I look up the word of adolescent in a dictionary, it says “young man and woman in youth.” So, what is youth? As the passage of the poem mentioned above, youth is a state of mind. Youth is a passion overflowing, a challenging mind to face anything without fear, and a curiosity to an unknown thing. Do you keep such a state of mind? “Keep young mind!” We must always ask ourselves about that.
Inevitable turning point
The Heisei Period ends on April 30, 2019, and a new history begins from May 1. JCI Fukuoka celebrated the milestone of the founding 65th anniversary in 2018. Fukuoka city exceeded the population of 1.55 million in 2016, becoming the fifth largest city in Japan, and the population increase is predicted to 2035, despite of the falling birthrate and aging society and local population decrease. However, contrary to the result, JCI Fukuoka’s membership has hardly fluctuated in the last ten years. Also, although the percentage of those whose tenure of members was 5 years or less was around 40% before, but last year it reached 50%. Now more than half of the new member’s tenure is less than 5 years. Considering the total number of graduates is 130 in these 3 years; 48 in 2018, 34 in 2019, and 48 in 2020, we must face a risk of a decrease in the number of members.
Meanwhile, the number of NPOs, which are civic organizations doing non-profit social contribution activities and philanthropic activities, continues to increase after the development of laws in 1998, and the authorized ones by Fukuoka city were 833 in 2017; they were 373 in 2007. It has increased by 2.2 times in the past 10 years. Under the vision of Fukuoka as a leader city in Asia, Fukuoka City Mayor Soichiro Takashima; elected with the young age of 36 in 2010, has carried out advanced policies beyond the traditional administrative framework, such as “National Strategy Special Zone Certification,” “IT company attracting Fukuoka base,” “Start-up café; Fukuoka growth next start,” “Promotion of the Tenjin Big Bang,” “Development of one person one flower movement,” etc. Furthermore, individuals can easily gather friends because of the development of social media, and it is also possible to raise funds among individuals through crowd-funding. Considering these things, we must take seriously the decline of the relative influence of our organization, JCI Fukuoka. In the expansion movement, how we deal with the contradictory issues of quantity, quality and tenure by new, sustainable, and strategic ideas. In addition, not only using social media and crowd-funding, but also exploring ways to utilize new technologies such as IoT, AI, Sharing Economy, FinTech, building close relationship among government, industry and academia, and promoting cooperation with designated action groups, we must consider methods beyond the past confines. Indeed, we are entering a turning point that we cannot escape.
Because JCI Fukuoka aims for “realization of a bright and affluent society” and the short-term basic policy is the president’s statement, it is important to establish the significance of existence going along at the times, and medium- to long-term vision by ourselves, and rebuild a new scheme.
The tradition being in innovation
The tradition is the history of inheritance and innovation. The inheritance is not merely to follow the precedent. Knowing its meaning and the heart, and thinking through the essence, it is ingrained into DNA for the first time. I wonder if the spirit of founding has faded in the persistent high members’ turnover. I also wonder if our members have been doing activities hidden in the name of tradition without being aware of the meaning of that spirit, from force of habit, or too obsessed by “How? (method)”. It might be a history dilemma of 65 years. However, now is our turning point, and it is important to face the simple question "Why? (purpose or reason)," tracing the origin of things.
For example, the proposal that is the framework of the project plan may need to rebuild the format, the length of time, the way to submit, etc. according to the time when the speed of decision making, and empathy communication are important. Also in the new members' project, we will also share the "youthful feelings" that is the basis of the JCI movement, learn the essence of the JCI project, and inherit the purpose of deepening friendship and unity, it may be necessary to innovate to be able to do projects with a free idea like a youth without being obsessed by the method.
There is a big change in innovation. Due to the large change, there is contact beyond the realm, creating unprecedented diversity. The key is to take the best advantage of its diversity. The fusion of unknown ones should be a powerful adhesive that connects tradition. Do not be afraid of change. Let's enjoy and develop together.
Fukuoka, a city accepting diverse values
Fukuoka is located in northern Kyushu, and this area has been a contact point for “new technology” as represented by rice crops, ironware, mirrors, etc., and an exchange base with foreign people, also symbolized by Korokan. In other words, it is the area that always accepted diverse values. Even in modern times, we are proud of the nation’s highest youth population with the population inflow of young people aged 15 to 29 from the whole country including Kyushu and the number of migrants from abroad is about 36,000. In addition, under the designation of the Special Strategic Zone for Global Strategy “Global Entrepreneurship and Employment Creation Special Zone,” the opening rate and the number of international conferences held are ranked first in Japan, and new products, technologies, and services have been born and developed.
Especially in Fukuoka city which is called a city of student, with about 15,000 foreign students of universities and vocational school students of 107 schools, a total 110 thousand students are major accepting parties for the population influx of young people and foreigners. In addition, Fukuoka City supports the discovery of talent in various fields by such as "start-up visa" for foreigners who intend to establish in Fukuoka city and "start-up corporate tax reduction" for corporations that conduct innovative business. Fukuoka City is also called a city with a well-organized system.
Let's foster creativity-rich human resources by creating such a place where young people and immigrants will be active in the future as well as having such a blessed environment, and holding hands with them and touching various values. Our town is in our hands.
Visualize the future of Fukuoka without hesitation
Youth's privilege is to create a future with a dream. The purity due to its immaturity is the root of JCI's dissemination ability. Flexible ideas of youth, and creativity that can think things multifaceted are its motive force. If it is a person who holds a dream and visualizes the future, it is also the person who realizes it. Let us sometimes put a smartphone in a bag, and let's create time to think about both dreams and the future together.
Dreams do not need grounds. You should listen to the voice of your heart without being swept away by someone's voice. For example, in the 1950s, Osamu Tezuka drew a future city where high-rise buildings were stretched across the highway in one of his best-known books "Mighty Atom". For example, in the movie '2001 journey in the universe' published in 1964, tablet type terminals and speech recognition technology were drawn as the ideal device of the future. All the accomplishments of our seniors who have been realized in the long history of JCI Fukuoka are all moving out of one bold idea.
Thinking from "what you can do" may be a solid way, but you cannot make big progress. You cannot gain much sympathy just by "what you want to do," either. I believe our JCI mission is to think what we should do and challenge no matter how tough it is and whatever the results.
Association with the outside and inner unity
In order to put the dream into reality and practice it as a JCI movement, we need to strengthen the point of contact with the outside more than ever. No, we must become ourselves even more needed. This year in Fukuoka, the G20 Finance Minister and Central Bank Governor 's Conference will be held in June, and Rugby World Cup 2019 Japan Competition and the world event will be held in September. As in the proposal in "Asia Exchange Capital Declaration" in 2010, Fukuoka City has been internationalizing year by year and trying to climb the stairs one more step up as a noted city. In such circumstances, when considering what role we should play, we need a broad perspective that turns outward and a high viewpoint to objectively capture things.
For government, industry, academia, various organizations, and people living in this town, we can make a variety of collaborations beyond the realm because we are a colorless flat organization with a single year system. We should be able to demonstrate a large impact. In addition, we have connections with more than 1,500 seniors who have graduated from JCI Fukuoka, and with about 36,000 members of 697 local organizations in JCI Japan. We have many irreplaceable assets such as an international network spreading in 117 countries and regions. It is important to practice exchanges that are not limited only to existing frameworks but also according to purpose.
On the other hand, if we look to ourselves, in order to maximize the performance of each project in JCI Fukuoka, it is necessary for the chapter to function as one team. I think the keywords are "feeling of tension" and "thoughtful mind". "Feeling of tension" creates a serious and sincere atmosphere. Individuals must take care of this "feeling of tension" more than anything else, such as courtesy, a way of thinking about time, attitudes toward meeting and so on, because they are a group of young people of the same generation who do not have a personal stake. And it also leads to "thoughtful mind". In other words, it is a feeling to respect each other. Even though our age, position, or committee are different, we are friends with the same spirit. I believe “thoughtful mind” is the heart that can treat everything as my problems, not someone else’s. Let’s unit more and more with “feeling of tension” and “thoughtful mind.”
Leadership and Followership
One of the purposes of Junior Chamber International is to enlighten leadership, so-called to cultivate leaders. In addition, the leading role of JCI Fukuoka should be a committee chairman. Because, in addition to being elected directly from the members through elections, they have the opportunity to bundle the committees and to demonstrate leadership to open up their own direction. However, the chairman is required not only as a leader role but also a managerial role.
A leader is a person who leads diversified groups to the same direction and leads the way the organization should go. A manager is a person who identifies each individual's ability in an organization and creates opportunities for role sharing and growth. In recent years, it seems that only the role as manager is conscious of the figure of the chairman. Diamonds are only polished with diamonds so that leaders are polished by leaders. There are many young leaders of the same generation across the country in each field, not limited to JCI. It is necessary to think about once again as an opportunity of mutual growth what is leadership.
In addition, in order to make a leader a leader, the presence of followers who empathize and gather is important, and it is essential that the followership is demonstrated. Followership is a force that takes the initiative as a member who is the leader's side, not just passive but thinking actively in the organization. We, JAYCEE, should be an equal position to work with the same membership fee, even if the enrollment history and title are different. Even people who are in the position of representatives are one member at JCI. This is also an opportunity to learn again. It is the committee members who support the chairman, the leading role of the local organization. Together with the synergistic effect of leadership and followership, there is a strong organization, and a hint to create strong motivation.
Preciousness of working at the Junior Chamber
We are standing on the foundation that our seniors have connected with their spirits. It is a property that cannot be changed anything. We should not be satisfied with this. Because it is the cornerstone that has been built since our seniors challenged boldly and did not raise but humbly continued to absorb various things. Everyone is different, but we have grateful experience under the three creeds of training, service and friendship. This is not a matter of course. That is why you should not work only for yourself, but for the world and for the people, and do not forget to return intangible assets gained from this activity to your company and family.
JCI is an opportunity to experience only for a limited period of time. With friends who share the same time, not be afraid of anything, let's try evolving the tradition and evolving the future, and make this city and the organization's signs together. Keep our spirit high, and build a humble attitude.