JDP Global Career Seminar: “Building a career in the world of NGOs"

JDP Global Career Seminar: “Building a career in the world of NGOs: Challenges and opportunities of working in the non-profit sector”

This fall Ritsumeikan University (RU) is organising a series of special events focused on global career formation. As part of these events, the RU JDP team organised a seminar targeting JDP students currently studying at RU and invited Mr. Takeshi Komino, the General Secretary of CWS Japan (a Japan-based branch of the global humanitarian NGO Church World Service) to give a guest lecture. Mr. Komino has extensive experience working for international NGOs in the field of humanitarian assistance, particularly focusing on disaster recovery and disaster risk reduction.

In this lecture, Mr. Komino talked about his career path, introducing various turning points that led him to become interested in and eventually enter the field of humanitarian assistance focusing on disaster recovery and disaster risk reduction as a professional. Mr. Komino also introduced key concepts and various trends in the field of disaster risk reduction thus setting the scene for the discussion. Specifically, he highlighted how the impacts of more frequently occurring disasters and intensifying impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt across the globe and explained how the underlying issues of exposure and vulnerability affect individuals’ and communities’ capacities to withstand and cope with the impacts of these environmental changes. He then outlined 3 key skills that are increasingly required to navigate this context.

Towards this end, Mr. Komino highlighted the importance of being able to see the linkage between different trends and actors involved in order to protect the people from adverse impacts through forging different partnerships and to forecast and mitigate the impacts of disasters and climate change together with the affected people and communities on the ground. He stressed that the profiles increasingly sought-after in the NGO sector and beyond are those of facilitators who are able to understand and communicate the complex risks. In addition, producers of partnerships, who can connect different segments/sectors of society, and mobilisers of action, who motivate different stakeholders to take joint actions, are also in demand.

Students who participated in the seminar actively participated in the discussion, asked pertinent questions and sought advice from Mr. Komino regarding their interests and career plans after graduation. The seminar provided a valuable opportunity for the students interested in pursuing careers in the non-profit sector to hear the perspective of an experienced practitioner about the challenges and opportunities of building a career in the world of NGOs.

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