The Nippon Foundation’s concept of Social Innovation

At The Nippon Foundation, we define Social Innovation as “Implementing ideas to create new frameworks and bring about change for a better society.” We believe that the widespread implementation of Social Innovation will achieve a truly sustainable society in which “all people support one another.”

Achieving a society in which all people support one another

The Nippon Foundation aims to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.” This requires new public-private sector and private-private sector frameworks that transcend the conventional perspectives of citizens, companies, NGOs, governments, and international organizations. We believe that implementing the concept of Social Innovation, with the involvement of individual donors, corporate CSR activities, and national and local governments, will lead to the realization of this society.

What can a Social Innovation hub achieve?

The Nippon Foundation acts as a Social Innovation hub, positioned at the center of new frameworks that link citizens, companies, NGOs, governments, and international organizations, to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.”

The Nippon Foundation is working toward the realization of this society. Some of our activities are introduced below.

Raising the Status of Sign Language

The Nippon Foundation has promoted sign language and supported teaching via sign language for many years, with the aim of enabling deaf persons to fully participate in society. Using the knowledge gained through these activities, we partnered with Tottori Prefecture to formulate a Sign Language Ordinance (passed in October 2013) that promotes the use of sign language in the prefecture. From this starting point, we will work with local governments across Japan to implement similar measures going forward.

Our Social Innovation has involved a partnership with the public sector (Tottori Prefecture) to create a new framework (the Ordinance) for supporting citizens (deaf and hard-of-hearing persons).

We are also engaged in a variety of other activities in Japan and overseas to promote the use of sign language.

ROCKET Project for Talented Children

The Nippon Foundation has launched the ROCKET Project together with the University of Tokyo’s Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, to develop the talents and abilities of children with learning disabilities or who cannot adapt to conventional classroom instruction.

Our Social Innovation has involved working with a university to bring about changes in education that go beyond conventional classroom teaching.

Our ultimate aim is for this project to be incorporated in Japan’s educational curriculum.

Promoting Special Adoption Programs

The Nippon Foundation has worked to support foster parents for more than 40 years. Our projects also gauge awareness of special adoption programs through which adopted children and adoptive parents are treated the same as biological parents and children in their family registry, and seek to allow children to grow up in a loving household.

There are approximately 46,000 children in Japan today who are not able to live with their biological parents. Our Social Innovation involves building networks with local governments, NGOs, and other organizations to promote the use of special adoption programs, to achieve a society in which “all people support one another.”