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TEDxTohoku 2011 1-3川島優志

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I came from the United States: on a 10-hour flight, and after this 10-minute talk, I’ll be back up on my plane again. Now, I’d like to begin my talk. I work as a webmaster at Google. I work as a webmaster at Google. Creating websites of various designs like these, Creating websites of various designs like these, and I sometimes draw special logos for events and anniversaries. On that day, same as usual, I was working on my office located in the Roppongi Hills. Felt a strong quake coming, so I rushed out of the meeting room. The office was in chaos. Of course, not as much as Tohoku area, but the shake was strong and long. This is what I saw out from the window. You can see a smoke rising up from somewhere around Odaiba. Employees started to evacuate, but all we could do was just gazing at this extraordinary, devastating situation. but all we could do was just gazing at this extraordinary, devastating situation. Meanwhile in the United States, people were already taking actions. Google has a team that deals with this kind of natural disaster. Google has a team that deals with this kind of natural disaster. This team, which also responded to the Haiti Earthquake and Chili Earthquake, This team, which also responded to the Haiti Earthquake and Chili Earthquake, was already working on launching Person Finder; a tool to locate missing people, was already working on launching Person Finder; a tool to locate missing people, only after an hour from the earthquake. only after an hour from the earthquake. Back in Tokyo, things were calming down little by little, so we tried to create emergency website as soon as possible. so we tried to create emergency website as soon as possible. so we tried to create emergency website as soon as possible. This is what it was like then. Actually, my working desk is a Japanese “kotatsu”, which I bought for myself. Workers from all kinds of stations gathered around the kotatsu, Workers from all kinds of stations gathered around the kotatsu, and began planning. Consequently, this ordinary kotatsu became somewhat like an earthquake emergency headquarter, Consequently, this ordinary kotatsu became somewhat like an earthquake emergency headquarter, and we successfully discussed over face-to-face to cope with this disaster. and we successfully discussed over face-to-face to cope with this disaster. We worked hand-in-hand with the US office, and 2 hours after the quake, we succeeded in launching Person Finder we succeeded in launching Person Finder and the first version of Crisis Response website. and the first version of Crisis Response website. However, these tools were far from perfection at this stage. As for Person Finder, it was not fully available in Japanese; there was a risk of accepting typos as correct information. But we decided, to just believe in others, and first and foremost, to launch this at any rate. There’s no need to be perfect; let’s make this available for everyone at any rate. So we put all our efforts to launch the website as quickly as possible. This “ship it, and iterate fast” was the key. Engineers came up with new ideas one after another, and continued to work day and night and continued to work day and night to improve resources such as shelter information and transit statuses. to improve resources such as shelter information and transit statuses. 2 hours later, We also got satellite on the move. This was aimed to capture latest photos of the disaster stricken area. This was aimed to capture latest photos of the disaster stricken area. This was aimed to capture latest photos of the disaster stricken area. In fact, we did not take any permissions from our boss to make every judgements. We gathered information on the kotatsu, shared them, discussed them, and made decisions at that very place. Same with the US: directors were trusting the on-the-spot staffs. Everyone was believing in each other. Everyone was believing in each other. From the following day, I wasn’t even a leader anymore. One by one, a new leader was born from the team, and every one of them were showing leadership, making decisions on their own, and taking immediate actions. Same with other employees all over the world. Thanks to the countless supports, we were able to work around-the-clock, 24/7. As a result, only after 2 weeks from the quake, we successfully launched 37 projects relating to this massive disaster. Speaking of Person Finder, more than 670 thousand were registered in the end. more than 670 thousand were registered in the end. Though this number was not made possible only by our efforts. was not made possible only by our efforts. It was NHK, countless medias, mobile phone operators, and many other companies that integrated loads of their collected information on Person Finder, and helped us. Companies which are usually competing with each other were cooperating, regardless of their own profits. All of these factors led to this result. There are many other examples like this. The automobile traffic information map. It shows which roads are available to reach the stricken area. It shows which roads are available to reach the stricken area. The blue part shows passable roads, and the gray part is impassable. Why not, then? It’s because a ship stranded by tsunami is blocking the road. These information cannot be obtained by just looking at a map. We need data collected by GPS to see which road is actually available or not. The company which donated this valuable information to us were HONDA and Pioneer. Instead of putting a link to their website to gain traffic, they shared the data itself, relying on us. We too, continued our effort on sharing data and information that we’ve collected so that anyone can use them. Person Finder won’t function unless someone registers information about the evacuee. Only in the stricken area, the means are limited. Then,someone tweeted, Then,someone tweeted, “why not sharing the evacuee list in shelters?”. “why not sharing the evacuee list in shelters?”. In fact, it was a tweet from former Google employee. Seeing this tweet, engineers put it to practice in only 8 hours. These are the lists posted on shelters’ walls. Gathering them and typing in the evacuee’s names manually was such an overwhelming task. was such an overwhelming task. At first, in-house volunteers consisted of sales team members were taking on the job, but that absolutely wasn’t enough. So we sought for volunteers outside. So we sought for volunteers outside. But this decision raised controversy. The reason was because they might upload unrelated, useless, inappropriate photos instead of photos we need. We were also concerned that, intentionally or not, false information might be posted and consequently put Person Finder in confusion. and consequently put Person Finder in confusion. However, we were confident that those issue will not occur, and launched this service. The result was beyond our expectation. Of course, in a good way. The volunteers discussed by themselves online, The volunteers discussed by themselves online, and came up with the most efficient way to type in these information of the evacuee. As a result, 5000 volunteers dealt with over 10 thousand pictures, and reached 140 thousand registration. and reached 140 thousand registration. During the first month after the earthquake, problematic photos which we have concerned about were never uploaded. This devastating earthquake drew attentions and supports both domestically and worldwide. We not only raised donations on website, but also translated messages from all over the world into Japanese, but also translated messages from all over the world into Japanese, and shared them on a website. More than 40 thousand of them, in various languages, More than 40 thousand of them, in various languages, were translated and displayed like this. These messages were actually delivered to people as tanzaku (paper strips), in the Sendai Tanabata Festival. Take a look at this chart. It shows the number of accesses to the Crisis Response. It shows the number of accesses to the Crisis Response. Here’s Haiti Earthquake, and Chili Earthquake. And the Great East Japan Earthquake, is over here. You can easily understand how much impact this unprecedented disaster had, and how much it gained attention around the world. We’re taking actions for recovery as well. This website sends real-time information and voices of businesses in east Japan. Everyone is welcomed to create their own commercial advertisements by themselves. Over 85 thousand commercials have been created, and played more than 1.3 million times. At the cafeteria of Google office, we can eat foods like vegetables harvested by Kanto and Tohoku farmers. We have also attempted to preserve memories of this earthquake. It’s our digital archive project, which records the disaster-stricken area using the Google Street View technology. I think it’s a project that will continue forever. And to have this scenery of Kesennuma City and other regions captured for now will definitely be a great fortune that will last a lifetime. that will last a lifetime. Part of this archive will be released within this year. We also support people who have lost their memorable photos through this earthquake and tsunami. It’s a project called “Memories for the future”. It’s a project called “Memories for the future”. For example, if someone posted a request asking for scenes or photos of Kesennuma, whoever has the photos can upload and share them using this service. Over 47 thousand pictures and movies are being shared now. There are supports for musicians’ charity concerts. There are supports for musicians’ charity concerts. There are supports for musicians’ charity concerts. For those who cannot attend them, we provide streaming services that share live music and movies of the concerts through the Internet. So far we’ve released concerts of artists such as Dreams Come True and Masaharu Fukuyama. Finally, We had so many lessons to learn from this experience. And the most important lesson we learned, was to trust people. was to trust people. Though our websites and Person Finder were far from perfection, we launched them because we trusted in others. we launched them because we trusted in others. none of the issues we have concerned about actually occured; instead it created collaboration which were far beyond our expectation. Countless companies shared their datas, believing in us. Office in the United States and all the directors trusted the on-the-spot staffs, and so did them. However, we were sometimes at a loss what to do. Because we couldn’t rely on and trust in others completely. Yet, now we’ve learned one undeniable fact: We human can trust, and have faith. And we also learned how much we can benefit from doing so. We will keep on believing in the reconstruction of Tohoku, Thank you very much.

Video Details

Duration: 12 minutes and 31 seconds
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Genre: None
Views: 62
Posted by: tedxtohoku on Jan 11, 2012

TEDxTohoku 2011

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