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Sustainabili-Tea Talks

Promoting Sustainability with Shops and Businesses

Online May 25 - May 27

(14:30-16:30 & 18:30-20:30)

Why Attend?

Learn about the latest sustainability trends as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from various industries and explore how to practice sustainability (environmental, social, economic, and wellbeing) from businesses that are already implementing sustainability initiatives. To accelerate sustainability practitioners between participants, the event will include a Speed Networking session and allow every participant to connect and learn from members in other industries.


Sustainabili-Tea Talks is organized by Zero Waste Japan and mamoru to support the sustainability efforts of small and medium-sized (SME) businesses.

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Media Partners & Sponsors

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If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or media partner, please contact 



Akira Sakano
Zero Waste Japan, Founder

Akira was in charge of waste reduction policy in Kamikatsu Town, Tokushima Prefecture, which became the first town in Japan to declare zero-waste in 2015. She was also co-chair of the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum) in 2019 and has been working with Zero Waste Japan since 2020 to form a model for waste reduction in various regions. 


Philip Nguyen

Gochiso Inc. / mamoru, Founder

After studying environmental science and graduating from UCLA in 2011, he moved to Japan to study environmental radiation at Kyoto University. In 2016, he graduated from his PhD program, and established his social venture, Gochiso Inc. In 2020, he established mamoru.


Mariko McTier

Social Innovation Japan / mymizu

After graduating from the University of London, she worked at the London bureau of the Chunichi Shimbun, and in 2014 she joined the International Trade Department of the British Embassy in Tokyo. In 2017 she launched Social Innovation Japan, and in 2019, launched mymizu, Japan's first free water refill app. She is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Japan.


Takako Ohyama

Fog inc., Founder

After working for a newspaper in New York, overseas strategy at EdTech, and editing & writing, she returned to Japan in 2015. Feeling the need to address food safety and environmental issues in Japan, she conducted various projects and workshops on food loss as part of the 100BANCH tenant project, and then founded fog Inc.,a design consulting company that aims to realize the circular economy. As a company that creates circulation, fog Inc. implements the circular economy and recycling-oriented society from the perspective of human resource and organizational development. 


Linda Dinh
INOW, Co-founder

Linda Ding was born in China but grew up in the United States and Canada. She moved to Kamikatsu in 2019 on a whim, after visiting the village on a writing tour.  In 2020 Linda co-founded the INOW program in Kamikatsu.


Kana Chan

INOW, Co-founder

Kana is a Japanese Canadian, born and raised in Canada. She currently resides in Kamikatsu, Tokushima, Japan. Through INOW, she hopes to be a living bridge - connecting guests with the local community and helping discover the wonders of Kamikatsu!


Yuichiro Hattori

Sustainable Lifestyle Practitioner

Yuichiro lives in Kochi Prefecture. After working as a waste disposal worker at a government office, he moved to California and South India. He writes about ecological living on his blog, SNS, and various other media. His books include "Zero Waste Home" (Anonima Studios) and "Plastic Free Living" (NHK Publishing). He holds a Master's degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Policy.


Yuichi Hirayama

Veg Out -vegan cafe-, Director

In his mid-20s, he spent time in Byron Bay, Australia, where he was greatly influenced by the people and lifestyle of living with nature. After returning to Japan he worked as an elementary school teacher and then as a barista at Veg Out in 2017. He is currently managing the cafe in a zero-waste way. He is a father of three children and keeps his own pace. His hobbies include coffee, surfing, outdoor activities, music, DIY, photography, sauna, and soon maybe yoga. 


Yuta Matsuda

Fujimi Morino Office 

After graduating from Kyoto University of Art and Design in 2009, he started hiscareer as a store staff of an outdoor brand, then as a designer at a design company in Tokyo. In 2016, he was involved in the operation of the coworking space "Fujimi Mori no Office, is currently the creative director of the office, and is promoting the "Green Community" project, which aims to operate an eco-friendly coworking space. At his own design company, MATSUDA SHOJI DESIGN LLC, he is involved in branding and product development for many venture companies in Tokyo and small and medium-sized local companies. 


Yoshio Tsuda

Route Design, LLC, Representative
Fujimi Morino Office 

From 2001, he worked in the digital domain at Tokyu Agency, an advertising company. After working there for about 10 years, he moved to SONY as a service designer. In 2015, he moved to Fujimi-cho, Nagano Prefecture, and launched Route Design LLC and was involved in the launch of a government project, Fujimi Mori no Office. Currently, he manages the co-working space "Fujimi Morino Office", and is involved in various projects such as consulting for the launch of community spaces, planning and development of local products, creative direction of brands, and event planning and management, while moving back and forth between Tokyo and the local area.


Harumi Komura


Harumi was raised in Yokohama, Stockholm and Dublin. After working at embassies and UN agencies for 8 years, she now works in the hospitality industry believing that international travel is a grassroots activity for peacekeeping. She is aiming for sustainable hotel management.


Feilang Tseng

ROOTS Journey, Co-founder

Feilang Tseng studied industrial design for social issues in San Francisco. In 2016, she became independent. She lives in an old thatched house in Keihoku, Kyoto, and designs communities to bring out the best of the local area. Currently, as ROOTS Inc., she plans and manages sustainable study tours, including inviting students from around the world and architecture experts from Europe to Satoyama to learn about traditional Japanese houses. The company provides a place to practice sustainable design by connecting with creators from around the world who are working with local businesses to solve local issues.


Kei Nakayama

ROOTS Journey, Co-founder 

After graduating from Keio University's Faculty of Law with a degree in Political Science, Kei worked as an English simultaneous interpreter on a cruise ship that sailed around the world. In 2013, he moved to Keihoku from Tokyo. He launched a community based tourism service for foreigners called "Discover Another Kyoto," and in 2016 won the Kyoto Shinkin Bank's "Grand Prize for Entrepreneurship in Kyoto. His tours and educational programs, which convey the uniqueness of the region and "satoyama" without losing its depth, are now spreading to the greater Kyoto area of Mori and Soni village in Nara, and he is deepening cooperation with satoyama in Japan and abroad.


Tomoko Hitomi

Sisam Kobo, Director 

Since 1999, Tomoko Hitomi has been running Sisam Kobo, a company that develops, imports and sells original fair trade products. She has been working with 13 fair trade producers in 6 Asian countries, including India and the Philippines. She holds a Master's degree from the Graduate School of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University. She is responsible for the overall communication with overseas fair trade partners. She is also active in the field of compliance such as international certification, new business development, and as a fair trade storyteller both internally and externally. She lives in Kyoto and is a mother of two children.


Mihoko Yasukawa

Tea Ceremony Performer

Mihoko was born in Nagoya, Japan and lived in New York City from age 23-32. While working as a waitress, she worked as a fashion designer and stylist. She was greatly influenced by ethnicity, different cultures, diversity, and people's lifestyles and ways of life. After returning to Japan, she worked at a telecom call center supporting foreigners in English, and in 2018, with a passion to "connect with the world more", she started working as a table style tea ceremony master at Tsubaki no Kai. Through the Nagoya Salon Online Lesson for Table Sado in English, she is currently giving lessons to students who want to connect with the world.

What's Included

Panel Talk


Three to five speakers will join in a dialogue with topics based on practising sustainability. There will be various topics, from industry-specific topics such as talking about restaurants' initiatives to non industry-specific topics such as human resource development and external engagement such as communication with customers. For details on the themes, please refer to the event schedule below.

※ If"(English/Japanese)" is shown, then the panel will commence in both English and Japanese, with a simultaneous interpretation.

Speed Networking


During the Speed Networking, participants will have the opportunity to engage in one-on-one matching session for a few minutes to exchange information. Utilize this opportunity to get to know like-minded people and find potential partners for your business. After the Speed Networking session, participants can follow up to have an in-depth discussion.

※This part is optional and all participants do not need to attend. You can just join to listen in to the panel talk.


Day 1 
May 25th (Tues)

Afternoon Tea (Session 1)


Opening Tea Ceremony (English/Japanese)

The purpose and flow of this event will be explained, along with an online tea ceremony experience.

Philip Nguyen (Mamoru)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)
Mihoko Yasukawa (Tea Ceremony Performer)


Driving Zero Waste and Sustainable Actions at Cafe/Restaurants (English/Japanese)


General discussion on how to practice sustainability with practical case study and tips from Zero Waste Accreditation restaurant and shops.

Yucihi Hirayama(Veg Out -vegan cafe)

Yuichiro Hattori(lotus granola/Translator)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)



Speed Networking (Optional)


Evening Tea (Session 2)


How and Why Partnerships Can Help Businesses Shift to Sustainability (English/Japanese)

Discussion on why Mamoru and Zero Waste Japan partnered and how collaboration between various platformers and service providers can accelerate sustainability in businesses.


Philip Nguyen (Mamoru)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)


Speed Networking (Optional)


Day 2
May 26th (Weds)

Afternoon Tea (Session 3)


How to engage our people & customers in driving sustainability (Japanese)

Deep dive with business owners, who just started sustainability and seasoned sustainability practitioners, regarding how the business entities communicate sustainability with staff and customers. We will hear from each speaker about their efforts and issues which they faced when communicating with customers.

Harumi Komura(UDS)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)

Tomoko Hitomi (Sisam Kobo)


Speed Networking (Optional)


Evening Tea (Session 4)


Creating an ecosystem in implementing sustainability at coworking offices (Japanese)


The discussion on finding sustainability within the Coworking and Share office, and an announcement with the new Zero Waste Accreditation Office.

Yuta Matsuda(Fujimi no Mori no Office)
Yoshio Tsuda(Fujimi no Mori no Office)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)


Speed Networking (Optional)


Day 3

May 27th (Thurs)

Afternoon Tea (Session 5)


Opportunities in Sustainable Tourism for Expanding Businesses (English/Japanese)


Discussion on the opportunities on how SME's can utilize sustainable tourism through working with local communities and partners.

Linda & Kana (INOW Kamikatsu)
Kei & Feilang (ROOTS)

Philip Nguyen (Mamoru)


Speed Networking (Optional)


Evening Tea (Session 6)


Starting Systemic Change from Communities (English/Japanese)


Discussion on the potential opportunities on how meso-level definition of "community" where businesses and entities collaborate beyond the local area can drive systematic change.

Takako Ohyama(K.K fog)

Mariko McTier(Social Innovation Japan / mymizu)

Philip Nguyen (Mamoru)

Akira Sakano (Zero Waste Japan)




Speed Networking (Optional)



How to Join

3 Day
All Sessions
Join all panel talks and speed networking sessions
3 Day
Join all afternoon panel talks and speed networking sessions
3 Day
Join all evening panel talks and speed networking sessions

Book individual sessions or a pass for multiple sessions below.

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About the Organizers

Zero Waste Japan

In addition to the conventional "no-waste" model that focuses on recycling, we aim to make the "no-waste" model (recycling-based production, distribution, and sales model, and product design for that purpose) the global standard, and create opportunities to practice "zero-waste" together with stakeholders in both the government and private sectors. 


Gochiso Inc.

Based in Osaka, Japan, we are a social enterprise with a mission to build a more human-centered society through the use of technology. The company supports social contribution projects through its restaurant reservation service and operates Mamoru, an application for finding stores and products that are useful for sustainable living. 

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