Recently, the number of people who have moved out of cities that are forced to pay high rents and crowded trains and move to the areas where they want to live is increasing little by little. These people decide to relocate based on subjective values such as the richness of the landscape and relationships with people, which could not be measured by the economic indicators so far. How was this flow born?
This book is a guidebook for us to depict the future life, from the point of view of regional revitalization and future capital theory, starting from changes in the way of living such as migration and living in two locations. Many interesting cases are posted centering on the work done by "interesting corporation kayak" whose author is CEO. These are attempts to visualize the attractiveness of a region that cannot be measured by money, from the perspective of "connection" and "environment/culture."
The IT benefit of being able to work with just one computer has been seen as a privilege in some industries. However, the measures to prevent infection with the new coronavirus have become one of the major reasons for this, and the scope of application of telework and online services is expanding rapidly. Such moves will be no exception to any industry. The author's "living shift" is no longer about some people, but about everyone. This is a great guide to the future of living freely and working positively.
Main points of this book
With the development of IT, we are in an era where people can work anywhere. Along with that, the work-life style, how to choose a place to live, and the values of the way of living are changing. This is called "living shift".
Many people who choose to move to rural areas or live in two locations choose their place of residence based on values that cannot be measured by conventional economic rationality.
In addition to conventional capital such as factories, labor, and money, we also consider the connections with people, beautiful nature and culture as capital, and try to visualize and maximize the capital in the region. This is the idea of "regional capitalism."
[Must read!] The concept of migration has changed
Free from space constraints
The number of young business people who have recently moved from Tokyo to rural areas and started living in two locations is increasing.
The biggest factor is the advancement of Internet technology. An environment where people can work with just one computer and one smartphone has been established, and members can work on projects even if they are remote. Another reason is the cost reduction and technological progress associated with movement, such as the spread of LCCs (cheap airlines) and the development of the linear Shinkansen. There are many people who migrate not only domestically but also overseas. In other words, we are shifting to an era in which human beings can be freed from the "location restrictions" and work anywhere.
As industrialization progressed due to the Industrial Revolution, there was a big shift from a lifestyle that consisted of farming and domestic handicrafts to a lifestyle that required work at a large factory. However, with the increase in work that can be done with a computer and a smartphone, it is becoming possible to work from home just as it was before the Industrial Revolution. On the contrary, you may not even have to fix your home, and you may be able to choose a place you like or live in a comfortable area depending on the season.
Also, the speed of time flowing in Kamakura is clearly slower than in Tokyo. For businesses, prioritizing speed is a reasonable choice, so city-based is a priority. But for individuals, sometimes it's more important than speed. It is thought that such personal commitment and personality are promoting migration to Kamakura. First of all, I have a clear work lifestyle that I want to achieve. They choose the places they want to live and assemble their working styles based on the image of where they live and what kind of days they want to live.
The author calls these changes "living shifts." There is no doubt that Tokyo is a convenient and attractive city, but in the future Tokyo will only be one of the options. The traditional standard of attending a company five days a week and setting up a house near the company for the rest of its life is about to change.
Making the town a theme park
Traditionally, large factories and labor, money and stocks were called capital. The idea of capitalism is to use this capital as leverage to generate profit and to grow.
As a result of pursuing too much convenience and efficiency indicators based on this economic capital, a situation was created where a uniform landscape could be lined up in any local city. It seems that migrants are more likely to find a town that develops the appeal and strengths of their own region, rather than a "town that is convenient but has no characteristics or interests".
"Regional capitalism" is the idea of visualizing and maximizing the capital that the region originally possesses, by regarding the connections between people and the beautiful nature and culture as capital. Then, based on this, when a unique and interesting town is created, "making the town a theme park" will occur, as if Akihabara is a sacred place for subculture. I think if all the cities in Japan will be full of interesting and diverse cities, if the content that stands out in each town grows and people who like it and get into it, gather. Such a place has a great influence on people.
Make the town your own
Living in an area and belonging to that community entails certain obligations and responsibilities, from trash disposal to fire fighting. The idea of "freedom to live where you want" is not to say you are not responsible for these communities. Rather, because I like living, I want to participate more actively in the area. By choosing the place to live independently, it may create a feeling of improving the town and create a cycle of becoming more fond of the town. It's hard to be satisfied just by changing the place where you live by saying, "The administration doesn't do anything" or "I'm not happy here." Rather, "self-improvement" of local issues should result in higher satisfaction. If everyone can overcome a difficult task, it will be a fun community to be with, and they will like the town more.
Immigrate people to a reference point
In 2018, kayak launched an internet service "SMOUT" to promote migration. It is a service in which a person who wants to relocate registers their skills and wishes and is "scouted" by the local government or region.
There are three main types of immigrant attributes. The first is "a person who has a reason to move to another place" such as inheriting his parents' home or caring for him. The second is "those who have a strong interest in a specific area" like those who like fishing and want to move to Sanriku, and these people have already moved or gathered information themselves. And the third one is "the person who wants to move somewhere sometime", who began to want to move as the need to live in a big city diminished. "SMOUT" is mainly used by the third person.
The living shift is a new change that can be called "migration 2.0", which is completely different from the migration process up to now. One of the typical changes is to look for a migration destination by "people's connections". This is probably the most important thing for a person who wants to move to somewhere someday. In fact, most of these people decide their relocation destination by “marriage and chance”. "SMOUT" is an internet service that provides people-to-people encounter that creates this "relationship and chance."
Carry the community
The "portability" of the community, where you can continue to belong wherever you are, is another new change. When immigrating to a land that is free of blood and ties according to my own values, I am worried that I may have to disconnect from the existing community and start a new human relationship from scratch. However, if you use SNS etc., you can live as if you belong to the community even if you are physically separated. As if you were carrying your own community. This has lowered the migration hurdle.
In an event in Kamakura operated by a kayak, there is an example in which a resident who once participated in Tokyo moved to Kamakura as a result. Before moving, join the community of the town, interact with them online, and gradually increase the weight of the community. This flow is the reverse of the sequence seen in previous migrations.
Create an exchange
The stimulus of movement
Kayak is called "Travel Branch Office", and has set up branch offices in Florence and Izu in Italy for some time. However, changing the place of work does not increase productivity. Given the cost of travel, hourly productivity should be higher in one place. Still, I move all the way because the concept of "productivity" is changing drastically.
In the industrialized society, work efficiency per hour has been emphasized. However, if the work done there could be replaced by AI or robots, humans would compete with the skills of craftsmen or the quality of ideas and innovations that machines cannot. In that case, even if I work for a long time in the company, if I do not come up with a good idea, I will not produce anything.
Touching different lifestyles in places you don't know by the Traveling Branch should lead to the creation of ideas and creativity in the long run. The phrase "travel distance is proportional to creativity" is exactly what it says.
Companies are becoming borderless
Many companies have come to lift the side jobs of employees. The purpose is to improve skills and expand the network by experiencing various jobs and environments outside the company.
This trend will also benefit local companies. This is because the human resources of large companies, which have not been able to hire until now, will be able to assist in the form of side jobs and side jobs. Share excellent human resources throughout society. If the ban on side jobs is promoted, the boundaries of the company will become ambiguous.
“Open source” in IT refers to making source code available on the Internet so that engineers from all over the world can participate in development. Similarly, an organization that can collaborate with a variety of people, including those outside the company, is stronger when solving in-house issues and creating interesting things.
Kayak has created a “town employee cafeteria” that can be used by anyone working in Kamakura city. The idea is that new things and interesting things should be born by interacting while having lunch and dinner without the barriers of the company or organization.
Living shifts that change value
Visualize the richness of connections
Living shifts may change the shape of money. This is because if you live in your favorite area, your sense of belonging and affection for your area will grow, and the local currency may evolve.
In 2019, kayak also started a local currency business called "Machino coin". This is different from the conventional local currencies aimed at increasing the consumption in the area, and is designed to be connected with people both when receiving and using coins. It is, so to speak, a community currency.
An important feature of this coin is that it cannot be converted into yen and its value decreases over time. The nominal value of money does not change, interest is earned when you deposit it in a bank, and profit increases when you invest. That is the mechanism of capitalism, but as a result of too much of a mechanism by which money makes money, environmental problems and the gap between rich and poor were created. The “town coin” was triggered by the desire to quantify what was previously considered “invisible capital”. In addition to the traditional “regional economic capital” that produces sales and productivity, regions have “regional social capital” and “regional environmental capital” that are unique to the region, such as connections with people, nature and culture. .. But the other two were difficult to quantify with money. Therefore, the "coin of the town" was created especially to visualize the "community capital".
The more you use it, the more you connect with other people, and the more people you get along with, the better. It can be said that social capital will increase. On the other hand, just having one does not increase the number of "friends", so the value of the coin itself decreases. Therefore, it can be said that the greater the volume of distribution per person, the greater the number of connections between people and the greater amount of social capital. It can be said that this is a currency for everyone to participate in sustainable city development while maximizing the strengths of the region.
Capitalism will change
Karl Marx, in his Theory of Capital, states that "the value of a product depends on the average amount of labor spent on producing it". However, the value of today's products is no longer proportional to how long it takes to make them. The trend of living shift may transform the capitalism, which has been considered to be the most efficient, until now. In other words, capitalism is trying to evolve into a new form that takes in slow time as value.
Recommendation of reading
Changes in the way of living lead not only to changes in values, but also to changes in the sense of time and money. In the future, when choosing a place to live based on the values you cherish, the attractiveness of the town may be measured by the mono-faces of ten different colors. It will provide a new perspective not only to administrative staff and people involved in town development, but also to everyone who has begun to vaguely think about their future lifestyle. If you read through this book, first of all, the city of Kamakura should look completely different. From there, the next step begins.