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[vision] Why visionary is not enough to make the world better place!

Updated: Feb 20, 2021

Eadible mask (^^;)

Hello, This is Takeshi, CEO of and occasional highschool teacher!

I taught another sustainability class at Clark High School. Continuing from last week (1), (2), we have been asking students to create prototypes of sustainability masks. When I ask students to introduce their masks, I ask them to talk about two things.

  1. Why did you make this mask?

  2. Edible mask (^^;)de you decide to make this mask?

Thinking about why you wanted to make this mask will help you to find your vision. By talking about your personal "experience", you increase the likelihood that the problem is not fantasy.

Here are some more examples.

This high school student introduced this mask by cutting off a knitted hat to take a nap during classes. His teacher seemed a little surprised at the 'why', but the student didn't seem to mind at all. He said that it was comfortable to wear when he dozed off in class. However, when I asked him about his personal experience of 'why', he came up with the idea of such a nap mask, he had an exciting story to tell. His parents' house is in a place where he has to travel by plane. So, he had an experience of dozing off on his way home, and he wanted something comfortable to wear. This mask does not come off, so even if you doze off, you are likely to be protected against infection from the virus. He also said that this mask could be easily worn by people who do not have ears.

In the middle of this mask that this high school student is holding, you can see a black horizontal stripe. This strip is a microphone attached to a Bluetooth earphone he bought from a $1-shop. He cut off the earphone and put only the microphone on the mask. The Bluetooth transmits the voice through the speaker of the smartphone. This idea solves the problem that wearing a mask makes it difficult to hear the voice of a small talker. When we asked him to make this mask last week, I thought it would be quite tricky because it requires electric technologies, but he has made good use of existing, already matured and marketable technology to bring this idea to life on the cheap. This idea of being able to offer cutting edge technology at a low price anyway is truly a frugal innovation.

He was inspired by the fact that he was sometimes difficult to hear the voice of a clerk wearing a mask in a convenience store.

The mask that this student is wearing is an Indian inspired mask. The reason why she made this mask is to transform the negative aspect of having to wear a mask into a positive aspect of intercultural exchange.

She also made a mask inspired by France. The reason why she decided to make these masks is based on her own experience of discrimination as she is a mixed Chinese and Japanese person.

She is a high school student who was upset a fortnight ago when a middle-aged man took off his mask when he sneezed. She wants to make a mask that doesn't end up in the rubbish, and she told us last week about a mask made of jelly as an idea. I told her that you should actually make one and she did. I think it was a hard idea because it broke easily and it didn't work as a mask in the first place. But as I said before, this failure was made very quickly and very lightly, so we can improve from here. Furthermore, by committing to the problem and not being attached to this solution, she can quickly move on to a new solution. All we need to do is to solve the problem. I look forward to seeing you next week with your new mask ;-)

This high school student has made a mask that solves the problem of suffocation by making the mask look like a beak. The beak mask can also be folded into a smaller size in crowded places. He feels that masks are usually suffocating. He would like to have some space between the mask and his mouth, but it would get in the way if he makes such as a mask while getting on the train. I'm surprised that he achieves the point where it actually folds up.

This mask is made of water-soluble paper, which dissolves and disappears when put in water. The reason the mask is already well made is that this is not the first pilot model, but some masks have already been made beforehand. The two high school students are not making this mask alone but in teams. Where they have failed in the past, they have improved and made the mask what it is today. They have already found out that the water-soluble mask is made entirely of organic materials and does not cause any problems such as microplastics. They know what they need to do next and will come back next week with a better mask.

This high school student had no idea what kind of mask she was going to make, so she created one out the illustration of a bear on her pencil case. Her sewing skills are excellent, so good that I thought she had bought the mask. If we teamed up with a student who had an idea to use her skills, she might be able to make a great mask.

A visionary is someone who can think about why they wanted to make this mask and come up with a problem that is real, not imaginary. But not everyone can be a visionary. More to the point, a world where everyone is a visionary is not a good world. Being able to see the future is one skill, but actually making those ideas happen is another essential skill the world needs. And that means we need lots of people to support a visionary. The students of the water-soluble mask have worked together to create the mask that is already close to (maybe) perfection. The last high school student of this session can also use her sewing skills to support other people's ideas, even if she doesn't have ideas for creating a sustainable world.

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