Takuya Harada

Takuya LinkedIn

Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Policy Studies • Chuo University

Bio

If Takuya were a super hero, he would be a green ninja whose secret weapon is a computer instead of throwing stars.

Takuya graduated from Chuo University, Japan, in 2014 with a Bachelors of Art in Policy Studies. His main academic focus was on environmental policies and wrote his undergraduate thesis on the plastic package waste problems and policies in Japan. Demonstrating his exceptional analytical thinking and outstanding research skill, his professor not only gave him the highest grade with the thesis but also encouraged him to publish it, which was unheard of for a bachelor thesis.

It was an internship experience, which he participated in during his undergraduate studies, at Greenbrean Recycle, a startup based in Boston, that sparked his interest in IT. The company developed a software installed in reverse vending machines which turned the tedious collection of drinking containers (i.e. plastic bottles and cans) into an engaging game; the software counted the number of containers inserted by each user, and they awarded the individual that had collected the most containers with various products, encouraging people to collect more and more containers. This made him start to view IT as an effective tool to tackle environmental challenges.

Aspiring to acquire IT skills, Takuya joined IBM Japan upon graduation and worked as a server engineer. While he supported business of major companies in Japan, both as a technical member and as a test leader, he equipped himself with intimate knowledge in IT systems as well as business skills essential in a professional setting. Having worked for IBM for almost 4 years, during which time he received the “Good Job Award” multiple times, Takuya left the company at the end of 2017 to pursue his strong passion for environment conservation, thus leading him to decide to join University of Toronto’s MScSM program.

After leaving IBM, Takuya, who was eager to further his expertise in sustainability, worked for the Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies (ISEP) and Neural Inc., a Japanese consulting firm that specializes in CSR and ESG investment, in Tokyo until he moved to Toronto. At ISEP where he worked as a research assistant, he was engaged in various research regarding renewable energy and also facilitated renewable energy installation projects especially solar PV across Japan. At Neural, he focused on translating English articles on ESG investment into Japanese to inform Japanese business people of the global financial trend. 

Takuya’s interest in environmental conservation spans across a broad range of environmental topics including waste management, renewable energy, sustainable urban development and so on. He is aware that IT is increasingly being introduced in miscellaneous sustainability fields such as climate data analysis and smart grid systems to name a few. Believing that IT is a powerful tool to address environmental challenges, he has been trying to get himself exposed to the technology in one way or another, and he is currently teaching himself python programming in his spare time. He hopes he can one day contribute to creating a society in which people are more sustainable and happy.

Outside of academics, Takuya enjoys working out at the gym and getting to know different cultures. Being a international student that grew up in Japan and is new to Canada, he is also trying to learn Canadian slang.