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Hiroshima for Global Peace

“Let’s talk about Hiroshima!” Hiroshima SDGs Meeting

The Hiroshima SDGs Meeting was held at the Hiroshima Convention Hall on Saturday, December 3rd, 2022, to promote SDGs business initiatives in Hiroshima Prefecture and to facilitate exchanges between companies, organizations, etc. and the youth. Following the footsteps of the Hiroshima SDGs Forum held last year, about 50 participants consisting of companies, organizations, students, and the general public in Hiroshima Prefecture who are working on or want to promote the SDGs attended the event.

The event took place in two parts. Session 1 began with a lecture by Shiina Tsuyuki, an “environmental activist aspiring for a society without the need for environmental activists,” followed by a presentation and discussion of the results of the SDGs Business Community Project, in which university students from Hiroshima Prefecture interviewed companies and organizations involved in the SDGs. The SDGs Business Community (formerly the SDGs Business Select Book), now in its fifth year, aims to raise awareness of the SDGs among the younger generation, sending college student reporters to companies and organizations in the prefecture that are actively tackling SDGs issues. This year, 20 university students and 10 companies/organizations took part in the program, which involves writing an article about the initiative and posting it on a website in order to share it with the general public.

The format for this year’s presentation was for two university students to work in pairs to create a booth and make a single large poster presentation on the initiatives and issues of the companies and organizations they interviewed, as well as their proposals for resolving these issues. The companies andorganizations that the students interviewed and members of the public visited the booths that interested them, and after listening to the students’ presentations, they offered their opinions and questions about the proposals.

During Session 2, entitled “Group Work: Hiroshima SDGs Project – Solving Issues Using Your Strengths!” participants worked in groups to come up with a project to solve issues in Hiroshima by harnessing the strengths of each participant.

During the closing remarks, a university student who acted as an administrative assistant summed up the event by saying that just a small change in awareness in everyday life is often enough to lead to the achievement of the SDGs, and that it is important to continue to take action to solve problems in order to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

After the event, we spoke with two college students who were university student reporters.

Ms. Sakura Morikawa (1st year student at Hiroshima University)

–Why did you decide to participate in this project?

I was told about this project by a friend who has a strong interest in the SDGs, and after seeing the initiatives for the SDGs on the website, I was intrigued and decided to participate.

–Were there any memorable moments or thoughts that you had while conducting your interviews?

I visited HAWK CSR, a private first-aid organization that provides emergency medical care and promotes first aid, as part of its efforts to achieve Goal 3 of the SDGs, Health and Welfare for All. It was a very valuable experience for me to be allowed to interview the ambulance crew while actually being shown the inside of the ambulance, and to have access to the medical equipment and facilities that are actually used inside the vehicle. One thing I thought of as something we can do now is to actively use social media to raise the visibility of its activities. However, after today’s Q&A session, I felt that I still lack the planning skills needed to turn an idea into a project. I don’t usually have many opportunities to speak with professionals, and this project made me more aware of that.

–What would you like to work on in the future?

My goal is to become a nurse in the future, but I also learned that there is a new way to work as a nurse, not only working in a hospital but also as a travel nurse, which has given me a broader perspective. This initiative has made me more aware of the SDGs in my spending habits, such as proactively buying foods sold at low prices that are close to their expiration date in order to reduce food waste, and I want to continue to be mindful of the SDGs in the future.

Ms. Chisaki Hamaoka (1st year student at Eikei University)

–Why did you decide to participate in the project?

I became interested in the SDGs through an initiative I had been working on since high school to reduce single-use plastics, and I wanted to be actively involved in SDGs activities as a university student. I was told about this project at my university and became involved.

–Were there any memorable moments or thoughts that you had while conducting your interviews?

The company I interviewed, Showa Kankosha, is a company that promotes accesible tourism. I had focused my efforts on the SDGs from an environmental standpoint, such as cutting down on single-use plastics, but I decided to change my focus and try working from a social and economic standpoint this time, which is why I chose Showa Kankosha. After conducting the interview, I realized that by tying environmental and social issues together, we can face the challenges of the SDGs and make them relevant to businesses. Until now, I had only approached these issues from an environmental perspective, but this gave me a perspective that I had never had before, and I saw the potential for broader solutions.

–What would you like to work on in the future?

Up until now, in my day-to-day life, I had never really paid much attention to Braille blocks, and I had even dismissed bicycles parked on top of them. Through learning about universal design and accesible tourism, I have become more aware of their importance, and I feel that I am now able to see things in the city in a different way than I did before. I hope to turn this new awareness into my own initiatives in the future.

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