2018 Winner: Kentaro Yoneda in Berlin
2018 Honorable Mention: Science & Technology Group, in Tokyo (Nozomi Seki, Andrew Edie)
Why They Won
When making their selection, the Global Awards Jury considered Consuls who think “outside the box” when planning and implementing their activities.
One of our newest Consuls kick-started his brand-new Group with such enthusiasm and energy that there was no question about his nomination. Since the opening of the Berlin Taste Asia Group in November 2018, Kentaro has organized 18 activities and almost 400 members joined him to explore different Japanese, and other Asian locations.
Kentaro is always looking for some unique and interesting get-together with his members.
Besides finding the best Asian food, interesting locations, and best things to do with the members, Kentaro creates a special dress code for the group as well and motivates member in his creative humorous way:
“Make sure you wear your old school gangster attire — we always go in style! Lateness, or failure of showing up, will result in your exclusion from the family. The Ramen Mafia will be hitting joints all over the city until we find the best Ramen in Berlin.”
Where do you get all your wonderful ideas?
I moved to Berlin in 2016. I am a Japanese, yet I did not have any recommendations to introduce my friends to good Japanese food. I checked different restaurants and got to know a few good places, but I did not have time to take my friends there one by one. So, I thought that I could bring everyone together at the same time.
How do you overcome the challenges in coming up with fresh ideas for your group members? What motivates you in general to stay active?
Every morning, lunchtime, and evening, I am hungry. Motivation never disappears. The biggest challenge is that you never know how many people come to your activity.
Do you have any tips for Consuls on how to entice members to sign up?
When I make an event, I tried to use keywords such as "Free", "Ramen", "Sushi" or "BBQ". This attracts people!
After creating events, I check the participants list and send emails to everyone. This is a little bit of work but if you have communicated before, most of the people show up for the event.
Congratulations to Kentaro Yoneda in Berlin, 2018’s winners of the Innovation Award, as well as our honorable mention, the Tokyo Science & Technology Group, for impressing all of us with your incredibly unique activities and themes!
About the winner:
Kentaro Yoneda is one of our newest Consuls in Berlin. He is originally from Hiroshima, Japan and moved to Germany two years ago because of work. Keeping his traditions, finding the best Asian food in Berlin, and spreading his culture motivates him every day.