In the mid week of February, our school welcomed 16 young leaders from Denso to our campus to collaborate on Denso Leadership Program. DENSO is a leading supplier of advanced automotive technology, systems and components for all the world’s major automakers, which has 50 billion USD in annual sales.
The program consisted of three parts; 1) Campus Tour, 2) Lunch Talk with Students and 3) Leadership Lecture led by our Chair of the Board, Ms. Lin Kobayashi. It was primarily aimed at providing unique opportunities for both Denso and our students to learn from each other and to be inspired by different perspectives, thoughts and ideas.
For the Denso participants, the Lunch Talk with our students allowed them to engage in the diverse and flexible perspectives of the young people coming from all over the world. While the Leadership session led by Ms. Kobayashi helped them learn more about transformational leadership, which UWC ISAK Japan aims to instill in and empower young people.
On the other hand, the program exposed our students to the latest technologies from a leading automotive company and awareness of issues that have been faced by the industry.
The Lunch Talk in particular was a really special event for our students.
The Denso Lunch Talk was held during the lunch break to spark interesting conversations between Denso young leaders and our 26 students who were thrilled to join this event.
Thankfully, the Denso team worked very hard to prepare three topics to discuss for the talk, which were divided into three groups for each topic.
1) The Future of Traffic
2) Clean Transportation in the Future
3) Future mobility society for everyone
At each classroom at our ASAMA building, the participants sat together, had lunch and discussions. The discussions included essential issues around Denso and our mobility society; for example, what the company’s latest technologies were, how they would market them and how they would tackle potential issues raised for the future mobility society.
Now let’s see how our students recall this special talk.
According to the survey, more than half of the students were “satisfied” with this opportunity. “Because this is a rare opportunity to ask questions about the field to the people who work at the frontier of the field, I was truly satisfied” a student recites. “I thought Google or other companies from foreign countries lead automobility, but I feel Japanese companies have qualified skill to lead the world”, another participant was impressed by the company’s leading technologies.
When the students were asked what new perspectives they learned from Denso, a student answered, mentioning the self-driving technology; “Not every product which is invented will be welcomed by societies. And it always depends on the dominant mindset of the societies”. Another student added to the comment; “It made me think about my own ethical stances on upcoming technologies even if I didn’t want to, because I know that I have a drivers’ licence and even if I avoid driving my whole life this technology has impacts in more than just cars. It affects everything in our world”.
Denso participants also gave us extremely positive feedback.
“I was so impressed by ISAK students who were not afraid at all to express different ideas even conflicting ideas with others and also who could help others to get their messages across more accurately. They do respect with each other whether or not they are from the same cultural backgrounds or not. (Are they really G10?!)”.
Perhaps we adults can learn from the young people’s unbiased thinking too, as another Denso participant recites “I realised that our thoughts were unconsciously restricted because of our bias”.
The talk also successfully motivated one of the employees in Denso. “I was so much motivated by their beautiful eyes of the students. I strongly wish to work for the better future for young generations like them”.
In our survey, 70% of our students are “likely to attend a future event with companies. We are very happy to update the event like this in the near future. Please stay connected!