Shibuyu University Network—a participatory university

Revitalizing communication between members of the community.


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NPO Shibuya University Network Udagawa-cho 5-2,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo
JP Japan


About the project Edit

Nao Kondo, weary of a life spent as a designer and Japanese individualist, indifferent to the issues of well-being, education and the environment, founded Shibuya University in 2006. The goal is to revitalize communication among community members; no one is classified solely as a teacher or as a student. veryone can share their knowledge with others, and in turn learn from their students. For example, a young father teaches formal education to children, a child teaches life skills to his or her brothers and sisters, the president of a go club teaches the philosophy of the game.

Free of charge, without a campus as such, and not-for-profit, Shibuya University is undoubtedly, the most original and creative of the new knowledge and culture sharing initiatives in the country. The university contacts people living or working in Shibuya, a vibrant ward of Tokyo where different worlds intermingle—from fashion to design, even publishing. These community members are then invited to share their passion or knowledge. The university finds a location such as a, café, gymnasium, school, store or park where the class may be held and announces it on the university website

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Shibuya University offers a unique experience that provides a new way to learn, create, and share knowledge and space.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

The goal is to combine the essence of the city with the university to create an open space, a rich and thriving environment to house the creativity of Shibuya’s youth. The long-term goal is to make Shibuya a model for urban and social development, a city of the future built around shared ideas, a place of co-creation. The civic-mindedness that drives the steering committee as well as our participants, comes from a strong desire to live together that applies to adults and children alike. Thanks to the support of private partners, the university can now pay its permanent members and its twenty or so part-time contributors.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

The participatory university model has seen tremendous success: 293 people, both Japanese and foreigners, have already given classes at the university to over 12 000 students. As a result, other similar projects are popping up all over Japan and in other countries as well. An online education city was developed in Taiwan two or three years ago. On this website, anyone can offer a duly structured training or online lesson.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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