Dialogue for Change with Rakuten

Introducing Dialogue for Change with Rakuten

Through our Dialogue for Change with Rakuten program, we're looking to join hands with a range of diverse stakeholders to bring about social change and a positive impact on the future through the power of dialogue. By turning this dialogue into concrete actions, we plan to promote new values and a new vision for the future.

Dialogue to build our best future

Why do we need dialogue? In this era of complex social challenges, building a better society requires the cooperation of a diverse range of stakeholders, combining their strengths to take action. We believe that ideas will not only come from seeking a single solution through debate, but through seeking to understand one another's opinions through dialogue.

Program outline

The program consists of three main stages.

  1. Dialogue between diverse stakeholders
  2. Actions based on dialogue outcomes
  3. Sharing new visions and messages gleaned through actions
Flow of the Program

2022 Activities

Working towards gender equality in Japan

The event's inaugural topic of dialogue is Women's Leadership and Empowerment.
In 2022, Japan ranked 116th out of 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report, published each year by the World Economic Forum. Japan is last among the G7 countries, by a wide margin. The gender divides in fields such as economics and politics are particularly significant.
For Rakuten, where we embrace innovation as a driving force, the elimination of gender inequality is an important challenge. Today, Rakuten is one of many companies implementing different initiatives to promote women in the workforce, including boosting the ratio of women in management roles and executive positions and building an inclusive and accepting work environment. Beyond the realm of in-house initiatives, however, there remain diverse challenges and opportunities to improve women's standing in many aspects of society. We at Rakuten believe that it is important to broaden our scope to include these challenges.
By promoting and sharing what we learn from this program not just within Rakuten circles but with all of society, we hope to contribute to the achievement of true gender equality in Japan.

A dialogue workshop to conceptualize ideal futures

In July 2022, we held a workshop in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, bringing together a diverse group of dialogue partners, including six teams of Rakuten employees, government and NPO workers and high school students. Over two days, we conducted fieldwork at organizations dedicated to empowering women in Kesennuma, held subcommittees on a number of topics, and conceptualized dialogue-driven ideal futures at a Future Editorial Conference.

Dialogue to spark the next action

Each team of Rakuten employees who participated in the workshop will go on to take concrete actions towards turning their conceptualized futures into reality. The results of these activities will be shared at a report conference in January 2023. Please stay tuned to discover what proposals and actions come to fruition on the topic of Women's Leadership and Empowerment.

2022 schedule

  • Kickoff session: July 8
  • Dialogue workshop in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture: July 30-31
  • Action (first half): August – September
  • Interim report: September 26
  • Action (second half): September – December
  • Report conference: Late January 2023

From some of our dialogue partners

Ami Miura
(Learning Strategy, Maru Office)

The workshop allowed me to interact with a diverse group of people from different generations and professional backgrounds, and to experience the synergistic effect brought about by these connections. The pandemic still presents challenges, but being able to come together and talk directly about the future gave me the chance to witness great new ideas being born. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of messages we can broadcast to the rest of Japan and the world from regional Kesennuma!

Ami Miura
Rika Hamade
(Representative Director, 1mm innovation / CEO, Greedy Ltd.)

With a common agenda of Women's Leadership and Empowerment, what can we create from dialogue with people of different backgrounds? How will that evolve? For me, the workshop was all about these exciting questions. Over the course of two days, I realized that the challenges we currently face are the very same as those faced by many Rakuten employees, and quite possibly by all of society.
I have high hopes that this program does not stop at gender equality, but becomes a movement to enhance the wellbeing of all workers in Japan.

Rika Hamade