Challenge is one of Awaji Youth Federation’s (AYF) key programs. Pasona Group which founded AYF, has its divisions come to AYF to give fellows detailed presentations about each division, and problems that they want fellows to solve. Fellows then are given a month to provide solutions that can be implemented in the divisions of Pasona Group. The three divisions that came to the home of AYF, Manabi no Sato are the metaverse department, the marketing hub department, and the agricultural department.

Trends related to any technological area are crucial for every aspect of a business. We can say the same with metaverse. Understanding the metaverse trends and implementing them to a certain level can give businesses a major advantage. Often called the future of the internet, metaverse as a concept is a way we shift in interacting with technology towards a new cyber realm. 

One of Pasona group’s new initiatives is the implementation of metaverse in different areas of its business. For instance, the use of digital avatars for virtual travel service purposes. The metaverse department explained all of its initiatives and gave a task to AYF fellows to create a plan & strategy to utilize certain aspects of the metaverse and implement it together with the current initiatives of Pasona Group.

It is known that Pasona Group has invested in building many facilities on Awaji Island. Thus, it is essential for people to come to the island and enjoy the facilities. The marketing hub is Pasona Group’s division that tackles this problem and encourages the use of digital marketing not only to build awareness for people outside Awaji but also to think of efficient ways to actually bring more tourists to the island.

Fellows had a great opportunity to hear about the current initiatives of the division to strengthen the relationship between Awaji and tourists using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Strategies, the marketing hub’s efforts to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and many more. The division team requires fellows to come up with a detailed marketing strategy to bring more people from abroad to come to Awaji and provide them with a piece of writing according to the SEO Guideline.

AYF fellows also visited Nouentai and Tane no Chikara, which are Pasona’s divisions tackling issues related to agriculture and regional revitalization. It was a great opportunity for fellows to learn about their concepts, current projects, and future visions to support Japan’s regional agriculture. Nouentai is taking the challenge of new job creation by attracting human resources to the rural areas, and by cooperating with local government and businesses, working on regional revitalization to facilitate the sustainable development of rural communities across Japan.

Tane no Chikara provides the place and knowledge for people to learn about self-sufficiency in farming and hopes to expand the knowledge to other areas in the country. This is also done for the preparation of the idea pitching in the following month. 

In July 2022, fellows had an opportunity to present their creative solutions to all the teams. For the marketing hub pitching, the teams focused on finding points to emphasize and points to improve based on their visits to several Pasona Group’s facilities. Then, the team provided a detailed report about potential improvements based on their observations and available data. 

The teams also emphasized on building and increasing awareness around Awaji island. For the metaverse challenge, one of the teams presented the idea of using a cute digital mascot character to promote Pasona Group’s facilities in Awaji. The mascot character also called Tamatan, will be integrated into the metaverse initiatives by Pasona Group.