Innovators Network

In Japan the volcano on Miyake Island erupted in 2000, forcing all 3,800 residents to live as refugees outside the island for four and a half years. In the United States, meanwhile, Hurricane Katrina took a heavy toll in 2005 and was the costliest natural disaster and one of the five deadliest hurricanes in the history of the United States.

This project involved exchanges between working-level members of local governments and nonprofit organizations who were on the frontlines of disaster response in Miyakejima and New Orleans. The goal was contribute to the recovery and progress in their respective regions and communities. The participants privately and publicly discussed the problems they encountered, the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained, and the recovery plans for the affected areas; they examined the common problems and differences seen in the two disasters; and they made recommendations to one another.

By deeply and comprehensively analyzing two instances of response to natural disaster, this project gave the actual on-site experiences of municipal workers and local nonprofit workers who were the primary responders at the affected areas a rare opportunity to sum up, preserve, and publicly share the numerous lessons and firsthand observations from the front lines.


Learning from Disaster
In English   |   In Japanese


Ashitaba: The “Courage and Hope” to Recover Community in Miyakejima and New Orleans by Richard McCarthy, Co-founder & Executive Director,


List of Innovators

Learning from Disaster: Miyakejima and New Orleans is generously funded by The Ford Foundation. Additional support is provided by Japan Trade Union Confederation, Tokyo Local (Rengo Tokyo), Tokyo Consumers' Co-operative Union, and Meiji University, Research Center for Crisis and Contingency Management.

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