Where’s James? Making Connections at the End of the Year

 In Where's James


November 14-15, 2016
Moderating a panel at the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference

PVF Executive Director James Higa attended the 2016 U.S. Japan Council Annual Conference, “Imagine. Innovate. Inspire.—The Silicon Valley Experience,” and moderated a panel of executives from Spotify, X (formerly known as Google X), and Blue Bottle Coffee, as they shared about Silicon Valley’s success and how Japan might learn from it. Every year, the U.S.-Japan Council Annual Conference brings together distinguished U.S. and Japanese community leaders from all sectors (from business and government to nonprofit and academia) to discuss the current status, challenges, and opportunities for cooperation and strengthened relations between the United States and Japan.

US Japan Council Annual Conference
Rochelle King, Vice President of Data, Insights and Design at Spotify; Hans Peter Brøndmo, General Manager of Robotics at X; Bryan Meehan, CEO of Blue Bottle Coffee
Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org


November 16, 2016
Hearing the DonorsChoose.org story at the Social Innovation Summit

Next, James attended the Social Innovation Summit, where leaders, thinkers, and change-makers at the “nexus of technology, investment, philanthropy, international development, and business” convene annually to discuss solutions and partner to make them happen.  Charles Best, Founder and CEO of DonorsChoose.org, spoke on “How the Crowd Will Change Education,” using the education system as an example of how crowdfunding tools can allow funders to give directly, bypassing bureaucracy and allowing for faster action.


December 7, 2016
Discussing the forefront of impact investing with Jacqueline Novogratz

During a trip to New York, James met with Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen, which aims to tackle poverty through “patient capital,” a new form of philanthropic investment based on long-term change and sustainable solutions.  Acumen raises charitable donations to make debt or equity investments in early-stage companies providing low-income consumers with affordable and reliable access to goods and services such as agricultural inputs, quality education, alternative energy, healthcare, housing, and safe drinking water.

Jacqueline Novogratz, Founder and CEO of Acumen
Dan Rather
James Higa, Executive Director of PVF, with Dan Rather


December 8, 2016
Being interviewed by Dan Rather at “Ashes to Gold” event

The Japan Society of Northern California invited James to participate on a panel moderated by Dan Rather at an event called “Ashes to Gold: How the 1964 Olympics Transformed Japan and Lessons for 2020” to explore how the Tokyo 1964 Olympics transformed Japan into “a post-war manufacturing powerhouse” and how Japan can use the 2020 Olympics to address its current challenges and become a “post-industrial innovation center.”

December 20, 2016

With Dawn, learning about Youth Radio’s ambitious future plans

James and Dawn, PVF’s Chief Operating Officer, visited Youth Radio to hear about their plans for scaling their work nationally. Located near the PVF office in Oakland, Youth Radio is a media production company that provides local high school and college-age youth with education, employment, professional development, and wraparound support services.  Youth Radio hosts digital media and technology classes to low-income youth, covering topics in journalism, music production, design, and coding; graduates from the six-month training course can apply for paid in-house internships, partnering with industry professionals to produce digital media and learn real-world career skills.

Youth Radio
Lissa Soep, Senior Producer and Research Director at Youth Radio
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