Rakuten donates $50K to help launch Global Citizens Summit for Youth

From left, Mie Kurosaka, executive officer and general manager CSR Department, Rakuten, Inc. and Yumi Kuwana, GCI founder and founding principal at Cook Pine Solutions LLC.

From left, Mie Kurosaka, executive officer and general manager CSR Department, Rakuten, Inc. and Yumi Kuwana, GCI founder and founding principal at Cook Pine Solutions LLC.

The program, titled August 2014 Global Citizens Summit for Youth (GCSY), is hosted by Global Citizens Initiative (GCI). A 501(c)3 organization, GCI was founded in 2011 to inspire families, students and educators to adopt a global and holistic approach to education.

In this summer’s youth summit, GCI is partnering with Harvard and Phillips Exeter Academy faculty volunteers who will lecture and participate in the discussion sessions. The summit will incorporate The Good Work Project’s curriculum, a unit of Project Zero at Harvard University that focuses on ethics, engagement and excellence. Students will brainstorm solutions to global issues that they can take back to their local communities and ultimately leave with a deeper understanding of cross-cultural cooperation.

GCI founder Yumi Kuwana, a Greenwich resident, explained that the GCSY program is designed to spark new ideas and critical thinking.

“We decided to make the focus of the program Freedom and Fairness because these concepts mean different things to different people,” said Ms. Kuwana. “In the countries these scholars represent, the intrinsic meaning of these terms varies. Advancing a dialogue between cultures helps nurture this next generation to be more globally aware.”

Donor support has allowed the summit to be truly inclusive, with a diverse body of participants from more than ten countries, including India, Ethiopia, China, Japan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iran and the USA. Other generous contributions included a matching grant from Cook Pine Solutions LLC as well as additional gifts from individuals and global organizations.

“As a global company, our ability to grow and execute depends on our ability to attract and develop a workforce that can understand multiple languages and cultures while having a strong moral compass. Therefore, we feel the responsibility to nurture our next generation by supporting personal, hands-on educational organizations like GCI, which is dedicated to growing Global Citizens,” Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, Inc.said,

This is only the beginning of GCI’s endeavor. Using the results and lessons learned from the summit, GCI hopes to develop a best practice guide for global educators to incorporate into their curricula.

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