My favorite company to visit was My Mizu. I love how we started off the meeting by talking about the environment where the company works at. We went into this big, shared workspace called Shibuya QWS. This space is a shared workspace that allows companies, students, and workers to work and study together. We started the meeting with a tour of the facilities. This allowed us to get a perspective on how My Mizu works and collabs with other companies. We saw how the space was bright and open with a bunch of windows. Each area had whiteboards for questions and ideas to collaborate on. They also had tables for people to display what they were working on so other people who were working on the same thing could join. I also enjoy how the space had other start-up companies. Before the meeting, Robin Lewis ran into the founder of another company and we got a special speech about her digital business card. This shows how easy it is to make connections and opportunities in an open work environment.
We also talked about the challenges in Japan. One challenge is gender equality. I was surprised there was such a big gap in gender equality, as I saw many women in the Shibuya QWS. However, I noticed later a lot of our speakers and other high-position people were male. I learned that women often take care of their families and never rejoin the workforce. As a result, men tend to be in higher positions. In the last decade, they have started to see a shift. Due to the aging population, there are fewer people to take on jobs. Women are getting hired to fill those open positions. As a result, women have become more career-focused and have fewer kids. This factors into rural depopulation due to the decreasing population.
I noticed how each challenge affects one another so it’s important to lead a sustainable lifestyle. The government is trying to create this sustainable lifestyle by setting 17 sustainability goals including no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water, sanitation, etc. To reach these goals, Japan needs to start implementing sustainability in their daily lives. One way they started to implement sustainability is by having reusable umbrellas. 42 shops in Shibuya offer free reusable umbrellas that you return later. This project promotes the reduction and reuse of plastic umbrellas. This also urges the local communities and new generations to contribute more to society.
My Mizu aims to be another project that becomes a daily use. By being able to refill water bottles for free, more people will be willing to carry reusable water bottles. My Mizu also gives power to their partner shops to become more sustainable. They get the chance to add their shops to the app. This adds to the movement.
In America, we should add more sustainable things to our lifestyles. In college, a lot of students carry water bottles with them to class. The college campus does a good job of providing water fountains. However, local businesses rarely do. We would benefit a lot from having an app to tell us where we could fill up our water bottles. Also, we would benefit from having a movement to believe in. Having a movement will build a community of people who are willing to make sustainability a lifestyle. I am excited to see My Mizu grow and hope to see it come to the States. They have many opportunities to make a change around the world.