A Visit to Japan...

In the Spring of 2015, the Project Wayfinder team headed to the International School of Asia- Karuizawa, or ISAK. ISAK is recently accredited United World College and Japan’s only international boarding school - hosting a large number of scholarship students from around the world.

The school is in its third year and has a unique leadership program that focuses on mindfulness and design thinking - a perfect fit for the Project Wayfinder pedagogy. Patrick, Kelly, and the d.school’s civic innovation fellow Chris Rudd, led a Wayfinder Week for the ISAK’s 53 sophomores.

We will let one of ISAK’s students, Vichy, share with you what he learned during the week:

You guys coming in was like the wind for my windmill… it stirred all these things inside of me. It was like the energy I needed to move my machine. It was a new way to see myself and how I can rely on those around me.
— Raj, 10th grader at ISAK


Here are a few (pretty profound) student-generated definitions of what being a Wayfinder means to ISAK students after experiencing Wayfinder Week:

I think Wayfinder is a person who can lead people. It means that a person who knows the direction and can support others and to know what is needed at that time. Also, a Wayfinder needs to know about him/herself. Sometimes, there are leaders who can lead people really efficiently but doesn’t care about themselves.
A Wayfinder means a person who can find their way through life, utilizing their resources while discovering new ones.
A Wayfinder is someone who can easily get through any struggle tossed at them based on the resources they already have. They have strong knowledge on who their support group is, the ability to always reflect, have strong insights about themselves, and use their experiences to apply it to something. With this, one’s journey through life will be full of self-awareness, purpose and meaning. Us, as individuals, are the one’s navigating our path in life, instead of the roads others might want us to travel.
Welcome, (First Name)!

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