Tohoku 2020: Building a sustainable post 3/11 future

A charity event dedicated to reinvigorating
the conversation on the future of Tohoku


18:00 – 21:00

(1) Panel Discussion: 18:00 – 19:00 (2) Reception & Presentations Powered by PechaKucha: 19:30 – 21:00



Roppongi Hills Mori Tower 51F, 6-11-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo, Japan


15,000 YEN

all profit will be donated to the Ganbatte 365 NPO
Price includes seating during the panel, full buffet, and open bar provided by Roppongi Hills Club


Eventbrite - Tohoku2020 - Developing A Sustainable Future

As we approach the 5th anniversary of the March 11th, 2011 earthquake & tsunami, the media will once again focus on the memory of the disaster. In the time since, communities have regrouped, but the shadow of the disaster still looms large over region.

This is not okay. The narrative of tragedy is, by nature, a negative one. For Tohoku to move forward and find new relevance in the coming years, then, there needs to be a change in perspective, a shift in focus from recovery to development, from events of the past to shaping what is to come.

There is already a massive PR campaign underway in Japan that will surely grow in the coming years: the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With a budget of galactic proportions, Tokyo stands to benefit immensely from such an investment – but how much can the lynchpin of Japan’s GDP benefit from it? What sort developments could we affect if we redirected even a fraction of the interest in Tokyo to Tohoku?

To this end, Langley Esquire and Ganbatte365 will host a panel discussion & PechaKucha event at the Roppongi Hills Club on March 10, 2016 in order to uncover the individual and organizational passions that can drive the ideas to realize an exciting future in the the North of Japan.

Tokyo 2020 is already decided; Tohoku 2020 is yet to be seen – come see the discussion and contribute to the conversation for a Tohoku renaissance!


Neil Van WouwNeil van Wouw


Neil van Wouw is the CEO of Vanten K.K., a leading digital communications company that provides cutting-edge digital signage platforms and services. Neil is also the Representative Director of Ganbatte365, an NPO extensively involved in many Tohoku-related projects, including internship programs, marathons, and video production. Neil received his BA of Computing Science at Simon Fraser University.


Mark DythamMark Dytham

Klein Dytham ArchitecturePechaKucha

Mark Dytham is co-founder of Klein Dytham architecture (KDa). He studied Architecture at the Royal College of Art in London, and moved to Tokyo in 1989. After working with Toyo Ito, he and his partner founded KDa in 1991, and they’ve been standing the architectural industry on its head ever since. He is also co-founder of PechaKucha, an event series using the PechaKucha presentation format. Mark received MBE (Member of the British Empire) status for his services to British design in Japan.


Mayo HottaMayo Hotta


A native of Gifu, Mayo Hotta joined Softbank Group Corp. after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2004. There, she focused on business planning, investments, and incorporation until the 3/11 disaster, after which she became involved with the SoftBank-US Embassy partnership, the TOMODACHI SoftBank Leadership Program. This program sends Tohoku high school students to the leadership seminar at the University of California, Berkeley. Between 2012 and 2015, 600 students participated, and the program is planned to continue until 2021.


Adam FulfordAdam Fulford


Adam moved to Japan in 1981 and set up Fulford Enterprises (FE) in 1985. FE supports the production of television shows presented on NHK WORLD TV and provides language services for various public and private sector clients, including the Japan National Tourism Organization and Fast Retailing. ​These days ​Adam is working closely with a community of a few hundred people in Yamagata Prefecture as he prepares to launch NowHow, a means to discover priceless treasure all over Japan.


Pieter FrankenPieter Franken


Pieter’s career spans over 25 years specializing in IT & Operations management, innovation and software engineering. Currently Pieter is the CTO at Monex Securities. Not happy with the data available after the Fukushima Nuclear crisis in 2011, Pieter together with Joichi Ito and Sean Bonner, founded Safecast, an independent volunteer group focused on transparent measurement of radiation levels, and open access to the results. Pieter holds research positions at Keio University in Japan (Wide Project) and the MIT Media Lab (Civic Media Center).


Michael Anop

Playground of Hope

Michael Anop is a serial business entrepreneur who first moved to Japan in 1989 and has helped establish a number of businesses during his time in Japan. He is currently the Representative Director for Eclipse Production YK and the Representative Director/Founder of the Playground of Hope NPO, an organization that has built over 40 play spaces is disaster-affected Tohoku communities.


Matt KetchumMatt Ketchum

Langley Esquire, Ganbatte365

Matt Ketchum, a Pittsburgh-native, was living on the coast of Miyako city, Iwate prefecture when the tsunami hit in 2011. After 5 weeks of front-line assistance, he relocated to Tokyo, beginning his involvement with Tohoku support with the My Japan photography project. With a background in community organization and marketing, Matt has since spent much of his time in Japan to exploring and developing the latent opportunities that abound in Japan’s youth and creative communities.

Tickets for Tohoku 2020 are available on a first come first serve basis – please purchase an advanced ticket to ensure a seat.
For venue security purposes, we kindly ask that you provide your full name and organization upon registration.
For payment via cash or bank transfer, please email with the full names and organizations of all attendees by March 9th.

*This event is on the record