Rakuten IT School NEXT

Rakuten IT School NEXT is a program that aims to solve issues encountered by local communities, making use of Rakuten's services and technologies.

About Rakuten IT School NEXT

Solving local issues

Holding the future of their communities in their hands, high school students identify and address local problems in their own way.

Leveraging Rakuten's technologies

The purpose is to draft solutions to local issues making use of Rakuten's services and technologies.

Diverse collaboration

From the diverse backgrounds of Rakuten employees and the collaboration with local partners will emerge innovative ideas.

From investigation to concrete solutions

Idea generation workshop

Rakuten employees take on the role of facilitator to help students interview people from their local community on the issues they face, and come up with ideas for solution to the issues.

Day1 Team building Learning how to think Interview preparation Day2 Interview Issue finding Idea generation Day3 Idea brush-up Presentation Workshop reflection

Proposal brush-up

Students refine the ideas from the workshop, based on the advice received from Rakuten employees.

Selection of representative team

At each high school, students share their experience and ideas, and decide which team to present them during the final presentation day in Tokyo.

Final presentation

All representative teams gather in Tokyo for one day to present the results of their work and learn from other students who took on the challenge to tackle local issues across Japan.

2018 Highlights

Rakuten IT School NEXT

Total number of students graduated

137

Rakuten IT School NEXT

Total number of schools participated

10

Rakuten IT School NEXT

Total number of employees participated

45

Rakuten IT School NEXT

Total number of hours volunteered

3,021Hours

  • Data as of December 31, 2018

Solutions proposed by the representative teams

Iwate Prefectural Mizusawa Commercial High School

Topic: Creating a better environment for raising children
After graduating, many students decide to leave their town and work near Kanto area (urban area). Therefore, the city has been facing the issue of the young generation outflow.
Ideas for solution: As mothers often worry about child rearing without being able to share their concern with anybody, students aim to provide a platform to support those mothers through a mobile application.

Fukushima Prefectural Futaba Future School

Topic: Revitalizing Futaba District
Futaba Future School opened in 2015 as a high school that plays an important role in education in Futaba District after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The school has been implementing initiatives to foster a generation that will create a brighter future, and students have been given the theme "Revitalizing Futaba District".
Ideas for solution: Students try to connect high school students who like to plan something new and adults and elderlies who want to support young generations, online and offline utilizing internet and the café at their high school.

Gifu Prefectural Hida Kamioka High School

Topic: Spreading The Charms Of Underpopulated Town
It is often said that the town of Hida gives a preview of what Japan will look like in 30 years. In this town with rich nature, students are looking for ways to "spread the charms of an underpopulated town".
Ideas for solution: Students aim to help elderly merchants share their store information effectively by utilizing simple smartphones called “Hida-Phone” which leverage “Viber” and voice recognition.

Shizuoka Prefectural Fugakukan High School

Topic: Creating the "Fujinomiya" Brand
Fujinomiya city already has resources famous nationwide, such as Mt. Fuji, Fujinomiya Fried Noodle, etc. But there are still attractions that could gain popularity. In cooperation with the city employees, the branding of Fujinomiya is discussed from various perspectives.
Ideas for solution: Students utilize “Rakuten Ragri” in order to share agricultural products made in Fujinomiya. They produce vegetable by themselves and promote local production for local consumption.

Aichi Prefectural Nanyo Senior High School

Topic: Fair Trade Town Nagoya
Nagoya City became a "Fair Trade Town" in 2015, but this concept is relatively unknown to most people. The students of "Nanyo Company Club", who have been actively working on community contribution through product development and sales, have for a mission to rethink the future of "Fair Trade Town Nagoya".
Ideas for solution: Students plan project that collaborates with Girls Award in order to raise awareness about fair trade among younger generations. The collaboration also includes fashion show where models where second hand clothing collected through “Rakuma”.

Wakayama Prefectural Wakayama Commercial High School

Topic: The Nankai Trough Earthquake
In Wakayama Prefecture where damages due notably to floods are to be expected, various municipalities are implementing disaster prevention efforts such as the provision of special mobile applications. The high school students are given the task to think about disaster prevention methods using Rakuten's technology, from their unique points of view.
Ideas for solution: Students aim to develop an application which helps deliver goods to disaster-hit areas in cooperation with “Rakuten Ichiba”.

Hiroshima Prefectural Onomichi Commercial High School

Topic: Inbound tourism
With the southern part of Onomichi City having several beautiful islands and the port's history as a major trading center, students are working on the development of events using the various touristic resources, to attract tourists, taking advantage of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games influence.
Ideas for solution: Students aim to develop a website which suggests sightseeing spots customized for foreigners individually in order to promote inbound tourism.

Hiroshima Prefectural Yuki High School

Topic: Abandoned agricultural land
Jinseki Kogen Town is on a plateau surrounded by vast forests with a population of approximately 10,000 people. For the students of Yuki High School which has agriculture related departments, the issue of abandoned farmland is a familiar regional topic. This time, in cooperation with honey producers in abandoned farmlands and researchers working on community revitalization, new ideas are discussed to help local communities.
Ideas for solution: The students’ project called “hands-on style shared farm” helps recover abandoned farmland and rent them out to local people.

Kochi Prefectural Susaki High School

Topic: The aging population and local communities
Susaki City has been an active fishery and agriculture city for a long time, and even has the nation's largest sales of Japanese ginger. On the other hand, as in many other regions, it is also facing the challenges of birth rate decline and aging society. High school students in cooperation with local NGOs working on community development and support for the relocation of people from outside the region, collect information about Susaki City's current situation, think about the future of the city, and come up with the innovative solutions.
Ideas for solution: Since Kochi prefecture is facing the risk of Nankai Trough Earthquake, students explore disaster-related measures for elderlies asthey have difficulty moving around, such as evacuation plan using elevators powered by solar energy.

Kumamoto Prefectural Kumamoto Commercial High School

Topic: Recovering from the Kumamoto Earthquake
The Kumamoto Earthquake that occurred in April 2016 caused serious damage to the area, and many people are still living inconvenient lives in temporary housing. After the earthquake, young people including local university students have been engaging in various reconstruction activities such as volunteering and event hosting. Now that two years have passed, high school students think about new ways to support the city's reconstruction.
Ideas for solution: In order to aim “recovery” rather than “restoration”, students come up with an idea to help match companies being affected by disaster and companies willing to support those affected companies.

About Rakuten IT School

For over 10 years, the pro bono Rakuten IT School provided nearly 7,000 high school students with hands-on opportunities to experience e-commerce. Taking charge of products or accommodation plans on Rakuten Ichiba and Rakuten Travel and engaging in actual sales, these students had a chance to put their unique ideas to work and get a taste of what it is like to run a business. In 2018, the program was revamped and became “Rakuten IT School NEXT,” offering high school students the chance to develop their creativity beyond online retail.

6,955

graduates

245

participating schools

3,063

hours of lecture time

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