For the December 8th class, we welcomed U.S. Ambassador Roos (IMPACT Japan posting of 2010/12/08) as our guest. Because this was such a rare occasion, the Keio SFC administration arranged to open the auditorium at the θbuilding, thereby extending the opportunity to all students. President Seike, as well as the Deans of Keio SFC, Drs. Murai, Kokuryo, Agawa, and Tokuda also came to listen to this lecture. NHK came to report on this, too.
To say a few words about Ambassador Roos’ background, he earned his degrees at Stanford University and Stanford Law School, and was the CEO of a Silicon Valley-based law firm specializing in intellectual property law before accepting the ambassadorship, and has a great interest in entrepreneurship. So, I decided to have a dialogue style session with H.E. Roos focusing on the theme of entrepreneurship. Since the auditorium was huge, I asked my students beforehand to prepare one question they each would like to ask Ambassador Roos. I also asked about 20 students to get on the stage with him.
Additionally, we set up a big screen behind us to show twitter entries from the students in the hall during the session.
I think the session turned out to be a nice one, reflecting well the character and personality of Ambassador Roos. After our dialogue, Dr. William Saito, my partner of this class (we do this together because we are both frequently away for overseas travel…) hosted a Q&A between the Ambassador and the students. The first question was asked by a surprise guest (IMPACT Japan Posting of 2010.11.22) Ms. Reina Otsuka of Ecotwaza. This session will be uploaded on the video site of my class soon, I hope.
After giving the lecture, the Ambassador stopped by our Innovation Lab. He seemed to be quite interested. I hope that several years from now, some good results will emerge from here and directly relate to Silicon Valley.
A part of my session with Ambassador Roos was broadcasted two days later on NHK-BS television program at 10 pm on December 10th. Unfortunately, I was unable to see this because I was set to leave for Tunis the same evening….
I am quite positive that this was one of the most unforgettable, wonderful, and stimulating days of the participating students’ lives.