Conference at the World Bank ? and ‘Let’s work at the World Bank’


On December 10th and to 11th, I joined a conference organized by the World Bank in Washington DC, ‘2009 Global Forum: Building Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership for Building Capacity’

I have been helping plan this meeting since last year (Ref.1)through this year. Dr Peter McPherson (we met this April ) and we wrapped up the session with several recommendations about the role of World Bank in the future.

From Japan, senior councilor Mr Iwasaki of the cabinet administration office and Dr. Ko Ito at JICA gave nice presentations.

The outline of my recommendation was: 1) As is clear from the presentations of two days, each developing country that receives support embrace different priorities (not only poverty, but conditions like primary education, etc), and from variety of stake holders that work on variety of activities for developments, many new model activities to be models could be discussed as emerging successes; Science Academies, Universities, or research centers are implementing their networks, collaborations with embracing developing countries; in the face of the world that is increasingly becoming flat (for instance, cell phones), consider  how to take advantage of this new advances; and the importance of taking into consideration the differences and overlapping of ODA policies of each recipient and donor countries. 2) The great advantage of the World Bank is that it has routes of direct communication to every government thus is able to make mid-long term and focused recommendations. 3) These new kinds of successes presented at the conference may not fit neatly to such public institution as a Bank, but Bank could consider it as its policy to spread this sort of projects. 4) Bank could invite people who carried out these successful projects, or its leaders, to serve as 'World Bank Science Envoys or Ambassadors’. 5) Introduce innovative activities, recognize them as World Bank 'Flag-ship’ model projects, post them on web sites, search for possibilities of applying them at local communities.  By doing so encourage local communities to adapt policies that are practical so as to, in the end, enhance the possibilities of national policies being put into action..

Comments by the participants of this meeting are posted on YouTube for your reference.  I will inform you once reports or websites are ready.

During my stay in Washington DC, I had opportunities to see people such as Ms Izumi Kobayashi, the Executive Vice President at MIGA of World Bank Groups、one of the shining Japanese women (she is hopping all over the world)、His Excellency Fujisaki, Ambassador to the United States of America, and science attache of the embassy, Dr. Inutsuka, Dr. Hitoshi Murayama who is active at University of California at Berkeley and University of Tokyo,Dr. Calestous Juma (Ref.1) of Harvard University, Dr. Ohde of Hitachi Washington DC, and some of senior executives and officials of the National Academy, senior scientists of National Cancer Institute.

Thus, I have been invited for dinner three nights each in DC, by these friends with their friends, thus plenty of time for lively discussions.

The President of the World Bank Dr. Zoelick recently visited Japan.  World Bank wants to hire more Japanese staffs and senior staffs.  I think even working there just as a transfer for a few years provides you a great chance of learning of developing and widening human network.  Also many nice things can happen such as understanding the world movement or advancing your own career and vision for future business opportunities.  If you are interested in research careers, World Bank has a history of nurturing so many experts; Dr. Stieglitz of Nobel Prize on Economic or Dr. Nicholaz Stern of the ’Stern Report’- to name just a few.  How about thinking big, drawing a larger picture about yourself, your company or even your country?  I think this is a very good opportunity.

Thank you so much to everyone who were so kind to me during my stay in Washington DC.