The Art of Cross Sector Innovation

It takes 30 people to transform our city

Project30: The Art of Cross Sector Innovation

In 2011, we had the most powerful earthquake, called The Great East Japan Earthquake, ever recorded in Japan, and the earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves that reached heights of up to 40 meters in Tohoku region. I visited Tohoku region several times to support social entrepreneurs to have a dialog session among people living in the area. I was shocked to see the damage from the tsunami, but on the other hand, surprised to see the power of people who struggle to re-create the city beyond the boundary of sectors. One of entrepreneurs in the area said that they only welcomed the people who are eager to re-create our society with them. They needed collaboration rather than sympathy. I saw the future of society without boundary among three sectors, such as Private Sector, Public Sector, and Non-profit Sector in the city.

The new idea of Project 30 has been developing to transform a city into a cross sector platform. The most interesting point of this idea is that it takes only 30 people to transform a city. Can you imagine that your city might look like a cross sector platform? The question we pursue is “what if corporations, NGOs and governments could help each other become more innovative to solve business, economic, social and environmental problems in your city?”

I’m inviting you to start your Project30 in your city.


In 2016, we started the Shibuya30 project in the Shibuya city. We invited 30 people from three sectors: 20 from corporations, 8 from non-profit organizations, and 2 from the local government. It’s the first time for us to experience the feeling of complete multi-stakeholders of the Shibuya city in a room. The Shibuya30 has continued for 4 years, so we have 120 people who trust each other in Shibuya.

Through cross sector collaboration, corporations could create new business opportunities that were not visible before other sectors changed their own behavior toward the issue. If a corporation believes that their resources and power of business could improve the society, other sectors provide fruitful information and actions to the corporation to solve any problems through their business. The trusted relationship is the key to collaborate among three sectors creatively. The film shown on the left side was created by BOSCH, who is a member of Shibuya30, to express the power of collective impact with Shibuya30.

You can see the English introduction film at the following URL.


Nagoya30 will start in Sep, 2019


Kesennuma30 will start in Aug, 2019


Kyoto30 wil start in Oct, 2019

How to start Project30 in your city?

  1. Organize a team with diverse background to start Project30 in a city.
  2. Hold an alliance with a local government, universities and/or companies.
  3. Plan a financial budget to implement Project30.
  4. Design sessions to follow the Project30 process: Listening, Questioning, Prototyping, and Transforming.
  5. Invite 30 people from diverse background to make them feel the whole system of the city.
  6. Facilitate them to know each other, understand the area, change questions of social issues, inviting stakeholders, prototyping CSV business models, and design cross-sector collaborations.