Start by verbalizing social problems
Cookpad, whose stated mission is “to make everyday cooking fun”, runs Japan’s largest recipe service, with 60 million unique users every month. Despite this, we had only accomplished 1% of our vision of “solving society’s problems through cooking”. We hadn’t been able to put the other 99% of that vision into words. Although we were aiming to solve society’s problems, we didn’t even know what those problems were. Our other mission, “to make everyday cooking fun”, could not be quantified, so how were we to put the feelings that inspired that mission into words, and convey them to our employees? I felt that design thinking, which makes use of the right brain’s intuition and power of visualization, should work well with cooking, and this is how we ended up working with BIOTOPE.
Learn of a variety of values
At our first workshop, BIOTOPE extracted and mapped the values each employee held of cooking. It turned out that everyone’s values were different. The participants included members of upper management, office workers and those in charge of overseas operations, and learning of their diverse values was refreshing. We could now see the challenges that arose from these values, and that they were all connected.
Focus on cooking
In the second workshop, we visualized the cycles of societal problems. Map of food and cooking related problems When we wrote them up as directed by the facilitator, we saw that they formed cycles, and that several of them were connected. That is when we realized the importance of increasing the number of people who cook. Solving society’s problems lies in making food, rather than eating it. Therefore, Cookpad should focus on cooking.
Solve society’s problems through cooking
It was a surprise to me that just by thinking about these things, a vision of “increasing the number of people who cook” arose naturally. We were also able to clarify the things we had not yet accomplished. It became clear that what was lacking in order to solve society’s problems through cooking, was being a help to someone.
Overseas employees were the first to react
When I first shared these results with our employees, the first to react was an overseas team. The wish to change the world clearly goes beyond country and nationality. Also domestically, I received numerous requests from all kinds of employees to participate in the workshop. Personally, I grew confident enough to talk openly about these things.
Towards workshops worldwide
This workshop should be made into a package, and all employees should take it. But if we have to ask BIOTOPE to hold every single workshop, it cannot scale up. Therefore, we all have to become able to hold it ourselves: myself, local managers, and even normal employees. I imagine a future where this workshop is held all over the world.
Solve society’s problems and create a peaceful world
In the future, I want Cookpad to join up with and lead other companies in solving the problems that we cannot solve all by ourselves. A future where everyone enjoys cooking, and this solves societal issues and makes the world more peaceful — such a future would be wonderful.