Schedule – November 2013

Salzburg Global Seminar
“People, Peace and Planet in 2030: Shaping Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”
Public Forum in Tokyo
Date & Time: November 29, 2013(Fri) 13:00-17:30
14:30-14:50 Keynote address
15:00-17:15 Panel discussion
Venue: International House of Japan (5-11-16 Ropponngi, Minato-ku, Tokyo)


Unlocking the Secret of Global Health Victories,
Engaging New Partners to Save Lives

Date & Time: November 12, 2013(Tue) 6:00pm-8:30pm
Venue: Japan Society (333 East 47th Street New York, NY 10017)
Event Flyer

Innovation City Forum Panel


It is already the tenth anniversary of Roppongi Hills. To commemorate the tenth anniversary, there have been many events held recently. One of those events, the Innovation City Forum took place over three days during mid-October.

I was invited to the closing session of the last day and was quite moved. The moderator was Mr. Nanjo, the director of the Mori Art Museum and the panel was composed of Glen Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Nicholas Serota, the director of the Tate Gallery(1) in London, Joi Ito director of the MIT Media Lab, and myself.

Mr. Joi has been involved in the organisation of this forum and Mr. Lowry and Mr. Serota are superstars. Each of the panellists gave ten minute presentations and then proceeded to the panel discussion.

The presentations and comments were brilliant. I spoke about future cities and museums and prepared some presentation slides which allowed flexibility in what I would say so that I would not be overlap with the others.

It is also the ten year anniversary for the Academy Hills. However, it feels like it has been here for a longer time. I am grateful to Mr. Mori, who has overcome many obstacles and spent much time pursuing the ideal of the urban planning.

I am grateful to Mr. Nanjo and everyone who gave me this opportunity.

MIT Media Lab at Tokyo Designers Week


MIT Media Lab was hosting a special forum at The Tokyo Designers Week 2013 which was being held at Jingu Gaien, so I went over to attend the afternoon session on the second day to listen to Prof Hiroshi Ishii, the associate director of MIT Media Lab. He gave a 90 minute talk titled ‘Remembering the Future’.

Prof. Ishii’s presentation was a delight to watch, with his passion showing through in the perfect content and delivery. Although I was totally convinced, the questions from the youthful audience during the Q&A session suggested otherwise, as many questions failed to follow up on what Mr. Ishii had to say. It’s important to be more daring and ask challenging questions.

Because Prof.Ishii is so serious and passionate, he met these lukewarm questions with a  dissatisfied look (as if to say ‘why ask such a question?’) . It was only natural that he was unable to answer some questions. Since I was in the front row, I was asked for my reaction 2 or 3 times, to which I responded with examples of Ishii’s inspirational words and what I had understood. Truly, his lecture was meant to be understood not through the head but through the heart.

After this lecture, there were two panel discussions with Mr. Ishii and Mr. Kenichiro Mogi, along with a guest and Mr Nobuyuki Hayashi acting as moderator.

The first guest was Yuji Hara ( links in Japanese 1, 2), who dropped out of university to become a martial artist before going on to start a 3D printing business. He was followed by Kuma Kengo, an architect who talked about using wood as a material in his architecture. Both of them gave talks based on their own personal experiences, and Mr. Hara’s talk in particular involved travels around the world, resulting in a very physical, very sensory account which was quite refreshing.Perhaps engaging the right side of the brain might have produced more memorable impressions.