We ran the EGAKU Program for the University of Tokyo Global Health Leadership Program. 

The theme for the first session was “Where I am Now” - a fitting theme for the program kick-off. 

Where am I now?  Who am I?  Even with faced with such weighty topics, exploring these questions through the medium of painting pictures allowed participants to engage with the questions in a spontaneous, instinctive manner.   

Although most participants said painting wasn’t their forte, and that this was the first time they were painting since they were a child, they were taken aback by the unique and beautiful works that they created. 
Starting with participants communicating with each other through their pictures, followed by a discussion in the second half of the session in which participants transcended their mother tongues to create a deep and open discussion, and an opportunity for each of the participants to reflect on how they wanted to engage with the rest of the program - it appears that we were able to create a process which empowered and engaged the participants.  

The theme for the second session was, “Me: 3 years from now.”   Over the past month the participants had been immersed in an excellent and stimulating program.  They had been deepening their thinking and as this was their second artwork, they all gave powerful expression to their thoughts. 

At the end of the session, as each person held their painting of their vision of themselves 3 years from now, and passionately talked about the future, we felt the powerful impact of the program.  Furthermore, the experience of conducting these two EGAKU sessions in Japanese and English also deeply impressed on us the incredible power of art as a non-verbal medium of communication.  

As the participants embark on their internships at various organizations around the world, we believe that the 50+ beautiful artworks they created in this program will bring color into their daily lives and become bridges to the future. 

Theme:  May 14 - Where I am now
    June 18  - Me: 3 years from now
Program objective: Leadership development
Program details: EGAKU Program, discussion
Participants:  May 14 - 28 university students
         Jun 18 - 19 university students
Venue: The University of Tokyo
Host institution: Global Health Leadership Program
Partner: ELAB
Instructor: Kunihiko Yazawa
Facilitator: Kimi Hasebe
Project lead: Mayuka Yamazaki