Uwajima DX: Start from Uwajima Platform

Uwajima DX: Start from Uwajima Platform


A few days ago, we concluded a lecture series at the Uwajima City Office, focusing on what "Digital Transformation" signifies for a small, depopulating city like Uwajima, which primarily relies on agriculture, fishing, and pearl farming for its economy. Intriguingly, this region stands out as one of the leading producers of mandarin oranges, pearls, sea bream, and, more recently, farmed tuna, indicating significant potential for economic growth in the future. However, the challenge remains for Uwajima to evolve, not just in embracing technological advancements but in other aspects as well. 

One potential barrier we've identified is a "Risk-taking Mindset." Living in a city blessed with stunning natural beauty can, paradoxically, limit residents' lifestyles. While such a lifestyle might have been acceptable in the 18th or 19th centuries, it is less so today, with people carrying smartphones that connect them to a vast wealth of knowledge and information. During our seminar on "Digital Transformation," attended by about 20 individuals, we received no questions, leading us to speculate. Perhaps our presentations were unengaging, or the attendees were already well-versed in digital transformation. Alternatively, it could be that a fear of public questioning, indicative of a lack of risk-taking mindset, held them back.

Change necessitates personal growth and transformation, which inevitably involves time, money, and often pain. If the mere act of asking questions in a public setting is perceived as painful by the people of Uwajima, the city's future may not be as promising as it could be.

Our birthplaces are beyond our control, but we can choose where we live and how we grow internally, overcoming whatever fears we face, to shape our futures and the future of our city. Uwajima is the stage upon which its residents were born, and it is up to them to decide what kind of future they want to build on this platform. As someone who grew up here, I cannot overstate my hope for a bright future for Uwajima, fueled by a collective embrace of risk-taking.

Masaki Seike
Director of CSTOYS International

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