RCE Okayama - 2022


Okayama City Office
1-1-1 Daiku, Kita-ku, Okayama City, 700-8544
ESD Cafe × SDGs Series
Basic Information
Title of project : 
ESD Cafe × SDGs Series
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Okayama
Contributing organization(s) : 
Contributing organizations for the program from October 2021 to September 2022 are members of the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission (Secretariat at Okayama City Office):
Okayama City; NPOs (Okayama City Children's Center, Tabula Rasa and Dappi); social organizations (Life is, and Desir); general incorporated association (Earth Company); public limited companies (HAPPY FARM plus R, Cocopia, and Ricoh Japan); and universities in Okayama area.
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Hirohisa Iwata (Mr.)
Organizational Affiliation: 
Okayama ESD Promotion Commission (Secretariat at SDGs & ESD Promotion Division, Co-Production Bureau, Okayama City)
Format of project: 
The program is hold online. The host and presenters use PowerPoint and videos. The summaries of the presentations and discussions on each session are shared on the Commission's website.
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Friday, September 9, 2022
Additional resources: 
"Okayama SDGs/ESD Navi", the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission website (in Japanese with machine translation):
http://www.okayama-tbox.jp/esd/pages/esdcafe (until Sep. 2022)
https://www.city.okayama.jp/sdgs-esd/index.html (after Oct. 2022)
The program was originally developed in 2011 according to The Okayama ESD Project Plan by the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission. It has been carried over, and now under The Okayama ESD Project Plan 2020-2030.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
Okayama City
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
Okayama City is located in the southwest of Japan, facing the Seto Inland Sea. It has an area of about 800 ?and a population of roughly 720,000. It has a variety of geographic characteristics from mountains to shores with different industries. It has developed serving as a major regional transportation hub, and has business, educational, cultural, and administrative functions and the facilities necessary for a comfortable lifestyle. It is known as a desirable place to live due to its mild climate and less natural disasters.  Since 2009, it has been designated as an ordinance-designated city with a greater authority.
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
One of the challenges Okayama area faces is expanding aging population. The excess of young and working-age populations moving out to bigger cities like Tokyo has increased. With the decrease in the population, a lack of labor and bearers in industries, and decline in the vitality of the local economy and the functioning of local communities are serious problems. To halt it, we have been initiating strategic development to stimulate the local economy and create new jobs, and addressing issues related to health care, education, safety and others to make the city a better place for the all to live.
November, 2021
In the Okayama area, there is a diverse range of stakeholders, each working to solve social problems in their respective fields and to utilize local resources in order to create a sustainable society. However, there are few opportunities for the general public to learn about these activities, and for the stakeholders to share the stories about their activities with the general public.

The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission is the network of various stakeholders including educational institutes, organizations and social enterprises. The secretariat of the Commission, Okayama city office, can reach out any stakeholder that is eager to speak about their initiatives to the general public.

Therefore, we decided to create such an opportunity for the people of various positions and generations to gather, hear directly from the implementing organizations, and engage in dialogue, which can inspire them to make their own actions to create a sustainable society. Also, it gives organizations and corporations an opportunity to share their stories, and expand their activities cooperating with more people. Sometimes, study courses and seminars are too formal and intimidating to attend and speak up, so the caf?-style dialogue is the perfect platform that anyone can comfortably join in and have a conversation.
Our goal is to create a sustainable city that people of all ages and backgrounds can comfortably live in. One of the objectives of the program is to provide people with an opportunity to learn about the activities of various organizations in the Okayama area that are working to solve social problems in each field and to utilize local resources in order to create a sustainable society. It can encourage participants to make their own actions to create a better society. Another objective is to give the participating organizations an opportunity to share their stories and expand their activities.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The secretariat of the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission, the Okayama city office, hosts the 1.5-hours program on the third Thursday of every month. Currently, it is online due to the COVID.
We reach out to the various stakeholders including educational institutions, organizations and companies in the Commission. As of September, 2022, it has 357 member organizations. The office holds a series of meetings with participating representatives of the organizations to discuss the contents, and calls for participation via its website and mailing list.

In the program, the presenters introduce their organizations and projects, and participants have an opportunity to ask questions and engage in dialogue. The topics include sustainable agriculture, prevention of isolated deaths, life and sex education, nutrition education, sustainable tourism, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the SDGs in business, among others.
Size of academic audience: 
There are about 20 participants each month, which seems to be the maximum number for a dialogue to take place.
After each program, we ask participants to fill out a questionnaire about how their perspectives have changed and what topics they would like the program to address in the future, etc.
After the program about nutrition education, one participant commented, "now I know that not only my body but also my mind can become more positive and energetic by changing my diet," and another said "when shopping for food, I will look at ingredient labels and make better choices from now on." At the program about the SDGs in business, one shared his story that he started an SDGs group in his company voluntarily, and another commented that it is difficult for young employees to start a new initiative and get their opinions heard, so veterans should support them.
The contents of each meeting with photos are shared on the website, so that more people can know about their activities.
Lessons learned: 
The program used to be conducted face-to-face at the Environmental Learning Center, but is now online due to the COVID. While an online event has the advantage of allowing people in distance or in tight schedule to easily join, a face-to-face event tends to have more enthusiastic dialogues and bonding. After the pandemic, we plan to go back to face-to-face, as it is probably easier for participants to interact and work in groups. Another issue is the participants tend to be the same people. We would like to draw more attention to different groups of people.
Key messages: 
The program is a casual setting of the caf?, where people can learn about local and global issues and have a dialogue with various people and the organizations that are working to solve them. We believe that these dialogues can lead to action toward the creation of a sustainable society.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The program serves as a forum for participants and recipients of other programs of the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission, such as the ESD University Student Internship Program, ESD Coordinator Training, and the Youth Activity Support Grant, to report on their activities. These people can get a chance to speak about their experiences to the public, while the public can get an opportunity to know such activities.
The funding is from the Okayama ESD Promotion Commission, whose budget is originally funded by Okayama City.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon RCE Okayama_ESD Cafe pamphlet.jpg (970.62 KB) RCE Okayama: Pamphlet of the ESD Cafe x SDGs Series The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission
Image icon RCE Okayama_ESD Cafe_sustainable tourism presentation.png (1.08 MB) RCE Okayama: Presentation and Participants online of the ESD Cafe x SDGs Series The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission
Image icon RCE Okayama_ESD Cafe_CSR and SDGs in business photo.jpg (131.88 KB) RCE Okayama: Participants online of the ESD Cafe x SDGs Series The Okayama ESD Promotion Commission
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: