Global Challenge Program (GCP)

Statement of Purpose

The goal of GCP is to improve relations for better cross-cultural understanding among people, communities, and nations through research, study and training. Our motto is THINK globally and ACT locally.
GCP provides opportunities for students and professionals to work together to seek solutions to (g)local problems. We define (g)local problems as those which are common globally and which demand local attention.
Each year we sponsor training activities for those who are (or will be) dealing with these critical issues to help them become more successful.
We are developing a network of support that is multi-national, multi-organizational and multi-generational.

GCP Training for Diversity Management

Larry E.Smith
Executive Director

Social changes over the last two decades in Japan have created an unprecedented need for training in diversity management. Because of the declining in the midst of growing globalization, skilled foreign workers may need to come to Japan in large numbers. Japanese women have entered into the managerial and professional ranks of organizations once thought to be male-only positions of authority. These demographic trends have created some of the most significant opportunities for today’s managers. It is popular to say that cultural diversity should be seen as an asset in the work force rather than as a liability but it is not a simple matter to make it so. The challenge is to create working conditions where people can use their cultural background differences, including differences in race, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and religion as a resource to facilitate team learning and adaptive organizational change. When this is done effectively it enhances human dignity and organizational capacity. The danger, of course, is that it will NOT be done well and that the results among workers will be conflict, mistrust, and misunderstanding with the cultural differences serving as axes of inequality. A “good” attitude among managers is necessary but not sufficient. Training is essential.

Training in diversity management is suitable for all types of business and occupational categories. I know of no exceptions. In fact it is also necessary in the non-profit and NGO worlds of activities. When managers can draw on their own and others’ cultural knowledge and experiences in the service of their work, they are much more likely to have a competitive advantage over those who cannot.

The time to begin such training is when the manager recognizes the need. It is very likely that there will be a necessity for large numbers of foreign workers in Japan. Certainly one can expect a greater diversification in values and diversification of customer (consumer) needs. Any manager will be able to see that team building and teamwork in such a diverse situation require communication skills and perspectives that are broader than most people have. The training does not need to be long but it needs to be on-going in the sense that managers need access to materials and methods that they can use “on-site” and offer feedback to other managers to the effectiveness of their efforts. The managers must be encouraged to take risks, learn new ways, and experiment so that they can create conditions under which cultural diversity becomes a resource rather than a hindrance to high performance in their organizations.

There are some who don’t believe Japan can be successful in the management of diversity. I am not one of those. Japan has a history of developing new ways of seeing and being that open up new possibilities for effective action while at the same time holding on to what is essential to be Japanese. Now is such a time to continue in that tradition.

Our Team

Larry E.Smith
Executive Director
Experience includes over two decades as a researcher and administrator at Hawaii’s East-West Center and a decade as Executive Director of the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE).  He is co-founding editor (with Braj B. Kachru) of the professional journal World Englishes.  His most recent book Cultures, Contexts, and World Englishes (with Yamuna Kachru) was published in 2008 by Routledge (London) and is scheduled to be published in Japanese by Keio University Press in the fall of 2010.
Yoshiko Otsubo
Academic Director
Yoshiko Otsubo has been pursuing a Teacher Training Program for Japanese students and teacher trainees over three decades at the Department of English, Nagasaki University and published her book, Development of a Teacher Training Program with Giles Parker by Soueisha/Sanseido (Tokyo) in 2004. Meanwhile, she attended such programs as “ESOL Teacher Trainers Program”, ”English as an International Language”, “Internationalization Forum”, etc. coordinated by Larry E. Smith at the East-West Center, which opened her eyes to issues in global communication. She is Professor Emeritus, Nagasaki University, a lifetime member of the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE) and the editor in-chief of the Bulletin of the Japan Association of English Teaching in Elementary School (JES).
Sanzo Sakai
Academic Director
Sanzo Sakai, Professor and Dean, Graduate School of World Englishes, Chair of Dept. of World Englishes, College of World Englishes, Chukyo University, has been associated with the Umemura Group of Educational Institutions for over four decades, most of them spent teaching at Chukyo University.
Professor Sakai spent time working in the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. in the 1960s. He is founder and editor of the Journal of Educational Systems and Technology and has worked to keep the language facilities at Chukyo at the cutting edge of technological developments. This includes the new Learning Support Wing and Multi-Media Classrooms. This center was envisioned in his 1999 article, The Computer Based English Language Learning Center, in the above journal, no. 9, 1999, and was completed to coincide with the opening of the new College. He acted as a key member to establish the new College of World Englishes, the first of its kind throughout the world, in 2002.
He acted as a chair of a Workshop on World Englishes in the Classroom in 2003 at Chukyo, hosting a group of key speakers; such as Dr. Braj Kachru, Dr. Yamuna Kachru, Mr. Larry Smith, and others. He also acted as a chair of the 12th IAWE Conference in 2006 at Chukyo University. He now serves as a director of the International Association of World Englishes.
Masaye Kurino
Managing Director
Masaye Kurino is engaged in education for cross-cultural understanding intended for a wide range of generations from adults to children. She has planned unique international exchange programs between Japan and various other countries (the US, the UK, the Philippines, Canada, the then Soviet Union, Southeast Asian countries, Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Luxemburg). Involving universities, local governments, school boards, local junior chambers, etc., she implemented about 2,000 international exchange programs over 10 years at a grass-roots level or regional level; she was commended for this achievement by the Aichi International Association headed by the then governor of Aichi, Reiji Suzuki. Since then, she has worked for government-sponsored cross-cultural exchange programs at a number of expositions held in Japan, thus contributing to international friendship. As a manager at the Tokyo Center for Language and Culture, she engaged in planning and developing various training programs for internationally minded Japanese people. In 1995 she was named the Elaine K. Kono Fellow at the East-West Center.
Hiroko Ando
As a researcher at the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo, an independent administrative institution under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Hiroko Ando conducted research and study related to regional policies for science and technology, regional initiatives to create industries, and regional human development for globalization. She then joined the Mitsubishi Research Institute where she engaged in research and study on the overseas business start-up environment and the development of human resources as a precursor to globalization. For the Global Challenge Program (GCP), she is taking charge of the planning and developing of the Job Shadowing Program for Japanese college students. She is also in charge of marketing the Leadership Program for Business Persons and the World Englishies Program for English Teachers in Japan. At the same time, taking advantage of her personal life experience with three children she enjoys raising, she is planning a training program with a focus on global careers and family balance targeting business people with children.

Partner Institution

International Association for World Englishes (IAWE)

University of Hawaii at Manoa Children’s Center

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