Certifying youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents as members to be supported for a maximum of five years and offering support grants to those applicants
The Masason Foundation (“the Foundation,” President: Masayoshi Son) has chosen 96 people aged between 8 and 26 (25 on the date of application) as members of the Foundation. They will be given support for 1 year*1 as associate members*2.
The Foundation was established in December 2016 with the aim to assisting a new generation of leaders in the coming age of Singularity and dramatic change. On July 18, 2017, the facility for members was established in Shibuya Cast (Shibuya-ku, Tokyo) as a location for research and development activities and interaction among members, and will host lectures and networking events by specialists and experts in various fields, including the directors of the Foundation. In addition, among the members, those who apply for and pass the screening process will be given a support grant for a maximum of four years. The details and amount of the support grant will be considered on an individual basis, as support for those who wish to gain experience in the future in research or study abroad, or have something they wish to accomplish.
The Foundation has chosen youth with high aspirations and who are making use of their exceptional talents in a range of fields, including a university student who has started and is running their own business, a junior high school student who has achieved excellent results in programming contests from a young age, and a high school student who is developing robots, as members. The Foundation provides support to youth with high aspirations and exceptional talents for expanding their potential and for their growth to be people who will create the future through exposure to new values and the latest technologies, and interaction with members.
1* It is possible to be enrolled as an authorized member for a maximum of five years, including the period of being confirmed as an associate member. Any desire to extend this may be confirmed once each year. If a member reaches the end of their five years, it is still possible to remain enrolled up to the age of 28 should there have been a review once during the five years confirming an extension of membership.
*2 The Foundation will certify talented persons as associate members for one year only, and a judgement will be made as to whether they will be confirmed as authorized members based on their activities and results during that year. Associate members will, as planned, receive support from the Foundation such as support grants, the free use of facilities for members, and be able to participate in events organized by the Foundation.
The Foundation asked five of the members for their thoughts:
・Moyuru Nakamori, 8 years old
Mr. Nakamori is joining a gifted program in Vancouver, Canada, from this September. “I’m going to be a researcher. And I want to discover something ridiculous that will help people around the word. To do that I need all kinds of knowledge. As soon as I heard that people survey dangerous areas with new robots, I thought, ‘I want to develop robots that will support people, robots with knowledge that can do a lot of things.’ I also want to discover compounds and objects that no-one knows about. For that, I want to learn about lots of current chemical compounds, and create something new with that knowledge. My aim is to do something to help people. My target in Vancouver is to skip grades in English, and quickly become a university student,” says Mr. Nakamori.
・Kurama Enokitoge, 12 years old
When he was in his fifth year of school overseas (10 years old), Mr. Enokitoge completed math for years 7 to 9 in one month, and now at age 11 he is taking the year 11 advanced course. “Due to the support I get from the Foundation – a support grant – I want to become an engineer with a good knowledge of the liberal arts. And, I’d like to study hard with other members of the Foundation and learn from them, and contribute together to solving various problems around the world,” explains Mr. Enokitoge.
・Kaede Sugano, 13 years old
Ms. Sugano started programing when she was nine years old, and her achievements include being the youngest winner at the U-22 programming contest in 2014 she entered when she was 10 years old. This year, she was also chosen as part of Mitou Junior, which nurtures people who will lead 21st century innovation (run by the Mitou Foundation). “I love stories so at the moment, I’m engaged in the development of natural language processing,” says Ms. Sugano.
・Megumi Sano, 18 years old
Ms. Sano was victorious at the International Brain Bee World Championship (a neuroscience competition), and has a record of participation in worldwide competitions. She is a Board Member of the International Youth Neuroscience Association, and was involved in research on autism spectrum disorders at the University of London until this summer. “The way our brains develop depends on the person, and each person’s brain develops to the highest level of functionality that it can, according to the characteristics we are born with. I am researching the differences in the way our brains develop, and the influence that has on the recognition of things and our environment, and I want to do my best to help people said to have atypical development, so they can show their strengths in society. In Stanford University, where I’ll be enrolling in September, I’ll be investigating neuroscience from diverse angles by studying the engineering development of artificial intelligence as well as physiological clarification of the cranial nerves. I’m very grateful for the support from the Foundation, and being able to take one great step towards my dream through interacting with all of the brilliant members of the Foundation in different fields,” explains Ms. Sano.
・Taichi Yaguchi, 18 years old
Among other achievements, Mr. Yaguchi worked on research focusing on the flight of cicadas from when he was 10 years old, and at 16 he won the Prime Minister’s Award at the 59th Japan Student Science Awards. “I feel that my future potential has been evaluated, not just what I have accomplished up to now. I’m very happy that my research on cicadas, which I initially started due to a simple interest, has been acknowledged like this, and that my future possibilities have been evaluated. At the Foundation, I want to really work hard so I can contribute to ‘the future of humanity’ through friendly competition and study with all the members of the organization, who are active in a wide variety of fields. I look forwards to future activities as a member of the Foundation,” says Mr. Yaguchi.
■Overview of Facilities for Members of the Foundation
1. Location: 2F Shibuya Cast (1-23-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
2. Facility Details:
We provide the following as an environment for the members to refine their abilities through friendly competition with each other:
This area provides opportunities to encounter the latest technologies. The items available at all times include a super computer, 3D printer, drone, VR/AR equipment, Pepper, tablets, and various types of computer machinery.
Books and papers on a wide range of topics (biology, chemistry, technology, business, and more) are always available to read.
(3) Food and Drink
All items in the cafeteria are free of charge, including beverages (like mineral water, coffee, tea, and juice) and food delivery, as well as snacks and other foods.
(4) Other Facilities
The spaces, equipment and an environment are designed for members to use in any way they like, including the work area that can be freely utilized, individual booths where members can concentrate, meeting spaces, a sofa area to facilitate communication, lockers, and free Wi-Fi.