– Redesigning Japanese Higher Education, Building on the Past –

The Project
HELIO (Human Ecology Lab In Ōsakikamijima) is an intensive two week program that will bring 24 changemakers from around the world together to help launch the next era in Japanese higher education by co-designing a new Japanese ‘college’ in the community of Ōsakikamijima, Hiroshima.

Over the course of the program, participants will be immersed in the local community, partaking in cutting edge workshops, and learning from local and internationally recognized leaders in government, peace activism, and social entrepreneurship. At the end of the program, in order to demonstrate both the impact potential and viability of a new college participants will present to the town officials and islanders their vision for higher education Ōsakikamijima.

We are seeking 24 change agents from the Ashoka University Network, with diversified experience and backgrounds, and with high empathetic aptitude, motivation, and intellectual curiosity. Are you ready to take education to the next level to tackle the world’s complex challenges? The group will be made up of 8 students from College of the Atlantic, 8 students from the AshokaU consortium, and 8 students from Japanese higher education institutions.

HELIO 2017


  – Redesigning Japanese Higher Education, Building on the Past –

When | Where
Human Ecology Lab & Island Ōsakikamijima (HELIO)
August 17-31, 2017 | Seto Inland Sea Island of Ōsakikamijima | Japan


Education | Ecology | Focus
Participants will help launch the next era in Japanese higher education by co-designing a new Japanese college. The college will draw inspiration from the College of the Atlantic and Ashoka, both of which have been educating and supporting social innovators for decades. Interdisciplinary practices and perspectives will be leveraged to design the institutional, curricular, and partnership foundations for a new kind of higher educational institution – one that will help Japan prosper in a world that links the local with the global.


What Is There to Gain?
Participants will cultivate skills that accelerate their ability to bring social impact ideas to life by exploring the environmental, economic, social, and educational contours of Ōsakimijima, Japan. Through cutting edge workshops, trainings, and hands-on local community immersion designed by College of the Atlantic’s professors and Japanese educators. Participants will return home with a greater desire to drive social change and with tools needed to do so.


Presented and Supported by
An official College of the Atlantic Program delivered in partnership
Ashoka Japan | AUST | AshokaU | Town of Ōsakikamijima



Hands-on Field Immersion
Get to know the grassroots
Participants will be working within cross cultural teams on a range of interdisciplinary community projects that may encompass food systems, design, activism, enterprise, peace studies and movement. The groups will be given a chance to interact with local islanders, collect information and opinions to help shape the vision of a college on the island.



Social and Personal Innovation
Dig deep into system of ‘self’ and the world
Learn more about yourself through discovering new perspectives

Participants will have opportunities to reflect on their own personal development and decide the role they want to play in this world.



Powerful Workshops
Gain transferable skills that matter
Within the span of two weeks participants will expand their skills as facilitators, presenters and apply design principles to a community focused process.



Dynamic Cultural Exchange
Share experiences, passions and stories
Participants will be immersed into Japanese culture, partaking in traditional activities, such as one of the oldest Zen Buddhist temples in Japan, a tea ceremony, onsen (traditional Japanese spa), drumming, and Japanese Dragon boats. In addition, all participants will spend 2 nights in immersion with a Japanese host family. International participants will also have the opportunity to share their culture through various activities such as storytelling.


Guest Speakers:
Learn more about yourself through discovering new perspectives
▹ Jerry White: 1997 Nobel Peace Prize recipient
▹ Koko Kondo: Hiroshima A-bomb survivor

– More guests to be decided.



When | Where

Human Ecology Lab & Island Ōsakikamijima (HELIO)
June 25 – July 04 | Seto Inland Sea Island of Ōsakikamijima | Japan


Participantion Fee
JPN 100,000 / person
– Excludes transportation fee to / from Osaki-kamijima.


Who can join us?
University and Graduate School Students in Japan
Native or business level of English is required.




1st Application Deadline : 23:59 Mon, April 30th, 2018