Interview with JCI World President Kojima Ryubun

 About Kojima Ryubun

Kojima Ryubun was born on January 2, 1981 in Minoh-city, Osaka, Japan. Kojima Ryubun is an Administrator of Katsuo-ji-temple, and resides in Minoh-city Osaka, Japan.
Ryubun joined JCI Osaka in 2012. In 2019, at the local level, he served as President of JCI Osaka. Last year, he served as the Executive Vice President of JCI for Asia and the Pacific.
We have sent our sincere greetings to Kojima Ryubun, congratulating him for becoming the world president of the JCI in 2021. We have interviewed him about his aspirations and goals, as well as the direction of JCI and his plan to lead JCI under the challenging circumstances of COVID-19.

  1. Heartfelt congratulations on being elected! Would you please share with us your thoughts as the World President-Elect?

First of all, as President, the first thing I think about is how honored I am to be entrusted to lead such an amazing organization, with such incredible members world-wide, sharing the same badge, the same values, and the same creed.
Given just one single year, I hope to share the essence of JCI and its true nature as a global organization, as we make inroads into the preparations for the year ahead. I hope to further consolidate the fundamental principles of JCI, extend the spirit of the Immediate Past President Itai’s focus – “Bridge the gap”.

2. What are the challenges of being the World President in 2021? How would you overcome them?

It’s clear that COVID 19 would be one of the challenges we currently face. It brings challenges in so many aspects, particularly the division across the world.
In JCI we aim to promote world peace. But the concept of “world peace” is too distant for all of us. Instead, I believe we must focus on what we can do as individual members, starting from our immediate surroundings, starting small. As long as we are all taking action, starting small will ultimately lead us to world peace.
Reframing the Coronavirus pandemic situation, I urge our members to take advantage of the positive effects of the situation. View Coronavirus as an opportunity to improve and I believe we can overcome this challenge together.

3. What will JCI do for JCI RISE in 2021? In addition, how can City Lady, as a female-only chapter in Hong Kong, contribute to this program?

Rather than top-down projects, JCI in 2021 will focus on ‘bottom up’ projects whereby our action is entirely fueled by the needs coming from the grassroots to work around the 3 recognized pillars of the global JCI RISE.
JCI City Lady, as a female-only chapter, is in a unique position in which their insight can significantly contribute toward combating inequalities and other issues currently prevailing in society relating to women. Indeed, in terms of damage to the workforce, women in general and female entrepreneurs in particular have been hit the hardest by the global pandemic, losing a higher number of jobs and facing increased childcare needs. JCI City Lady can help create solutions for female entrepreneurs by helping women-owned businesses get access to additional funding and helping their businesses with digital transformation and digital fluency, which is essential during COVID-19 and beyond. They can also find and share resources for women who are unemployed and seeking employment through entrepreneurship education and training for professional reconversion.

4. How many times have you been to Hong Kong? What was your most memorable experience in Hong Kong?

I have visited Hong Kong ten times and have felt very welcomed every single time. In particular the 2012 ASPAC. It remains a very memorable experience for me in which members from various countries and of different religious and cultural backgrounds were welcomed to a fantastic conference. Appreciations to the huge efforts from the hosts in Hong Kong, who demonstrated that the quantity is not a crucial factor for a successful event but the quality of members, and how the members cooperated, it was an impressive conference for me.

5. The theme of this issue is “Courage”. What is the most courageous thing you have done during your JCI life?

For me, It’s pretty clear that becoming the JCI world president is my biggest challenge. Running for the presidency of this truly amazing organization of nearly 160,000 members was a challenging decision that requires a lot of courage personally. I encourage all of you to challenge yourselves as members of JCI in any way you can. None of us are perfect, meaning we always have the space for growth. This for me is a concept that links perfectly well to the JCI core value “providing development opportunities” and I hope you can embody it in 2021.

6. Would you like to send our JCI HK members some new year greetings?

I wish all the members of JCI Hong Kong a very happy new year. Well done and thank you for all of your hard work in 2020. This year has been a trial period with the Coronavirus pandemic and all of the political unrest, but you have always shown that you have the cooperative spirit to get through any situation and turn crisis into opportunity. With that confidence, I hope you can make this year a year to remember as JCI members.

What is JCI RISE

JCI has launched a new initiative to sustain and rebuild economies and strengthen workforce morale as we face the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic together.
This initiative, JCI RISE, stands for Rebuild, Invest, Sustain, Evolve. It calls upon enterprising young leaders across the world to work together to make economies and workforces more resilient.

By focusing our efforts on these three areas, we can reimagine the way our businesses and communities work. We have the unique opportunity to look at our traditional ways of doing things and find new paths that will make the world a better place for all people.

There three main goals with this new initiative:

  • Sustaining and rebuilding businesses and economies
  • Engaging and empowering our workforce
  • Acknowledging, understanding and finding solutions to the mental health impacts COVID-19 has had on the global population

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