The fifth preliminary education session focused on the overall theme of ‘thinking outside of the box.’ The lecture was split in three sections.
1) issues related to collaborative work: students were asked to think about the process of collaborating on the previous week’s task, which was to translate into English the report of Kusu no Ki project. The discussion that followed had the objective of making students aware that there are different ways of collaborating, and that most of the issues related to collaborative work arise because of our inability to account for ways, with which we are unfamiliar or which we do not originally consider ‘collaborative.’
2) issues related to cultural stereotypes: in this section, students were asked to think about the veracity and, simultaneously, the damage inflicted by cultural stereotypes which they may hold over people born in other countries, as well as the Japanese cultural stereotypes held by those same people. The discussion finished with a talk about Greek cultural stereotypes.
3) issues related to development projects: in the final section, Ioannis introduced his own experience of briefly working as an intern at a Japanese NGO, and of writing his MA dissertation based on that experience. In his talk he pointed out how development project planners need to think outside of the box too, in order to foresee issues that may arise, not because of the project itself, but because of other factors originally unrelated to the problem their project is trying to solve.