Few days ago, I found out that defending Shogi Meijin, Toshiyuki Moriuci is now 3-1 over a challenger, Yoshiharu Habu. Meijin sen title match is one of the major title matches in Shogi and I usually follow the event pretty close. (There is a limit as to how close I can get, as I myself do not know how to play.) Because my schedule has been so hectic these several weeks, I have not had a chance to check the progress of this major title match. Finding out that T. Moriuchi has one more game to win in order to defend his title refreshes my interest in Shogi again. So I checked the rest of the title match and other major titles.
Then two things happened. At the Sony CSL Open House Demonstration, I ran into Kenichiro Mogi who said something about Shogi while he was talking about how brain works etc. As there were several people talking about other things, I missed the opportunity to ask questions and explore more.
Then I picked up the book entitled “Geniuses in Shogi” (i Japanese) written by the late Kunio Yonenaga. He was the president of professional Shogi association and I met him at few occasions. I read few of his books as his writing (and his talk) is witty and articulate. This book which I bought a while ago and began reading (but then stopped as I had so much to do) captures the essence of top professional Shogi players so well. (I do not understand where he explains the key moves in each match, so I skip that part!)
Now my interest in Shogi is back! The game 5 of Meijin sen title match is scheduled for May 30 and 31. I will be following it!
I went to see the demonstrations at Sony Computer Science Laboratories Inc. this morning. The Anniversary Open House Symposium was such an impressive event that I made sure that I would see the demonstrations. (It was a bit tight time wise, as I had many activities scheduled today, but managed!)
It was three years ago I was invited to the Open House Symposium and Demonstration for the first time. I was so fascinated to find a completely different world from the one I was familiar with, and found the demonstrations so much fun and exciting.
The Symposium on Monday was full of exciting and well coordinated presentations by the younger researchers, Open Talk by the three senior people, followed by the incredible AI opera entitled Casparo.
I love the concept of Open Systems Science and various research with vision of making an impact in the world. I liked Post Digital Entertainment, Hack the Body, Open Energy System, Care, Data & Health presentations, in particular at the Symposium.
Today, I got to see some more demonstrations including Medical Healthcare Platform for Big Data, “Oto-Latte”, and even was given an opportunity to try Augmented Human by Dr. Rekimoto whose presentation I missed on Monday. I met with Dr. Ken Endo with Hacked Legs, and Dr. Luc Steels with Open-Ended Robust language Programming. He even gave me the book of Casparo, opera he created music for.
Though some research was totally beyond me, the whole concept of “Open Systems Science” and “Act beyond Borders” was very appealing to me. I am very fortunate that I got to know such a great lab and great people like Dr. Tokoro and Dr. Kitano, both of whom are so inspiring and at the same time, so much fun to be around!
Today, I was given an opportunity to address a group of business executives. My topic was “What’s next? Human capital-key to the future.” As often, I talked about how the world is changing, what it means for business and executives, how important and critical are human capital and what is a new model? of leadership.
As I wanted to engage them (when majority of the audience is Japanese men of certain age group, it is a challenge to get them engaged), AND also want to find out how business executives view the current status of Abenomics etc., I asked them a question.
The question was “Is Japan changing?” Majority responded with No. I was a bit surprised as I had thought it might be at least 50/50. One l hypothesis about their response could be: their business-wholesaling of furniture/office equipment etc. which has not quite sensed the positive (for a change) outlook of business yet.
I personally feel that we should at least give the new administration a chance. The people’s mentality has definitely changed since December and psychology plays an important role in economic outlook. We can use this positive attitude as a trigger to bring about a change. We will see how it goes….
I plan to ask the same question whenever I have a chance, to sense the mentality of the public.
I came across with an interesting (and in a way, inspiring situation) this morning at the hospital. I had doctor’s appointment at 8:30 a.m. and was waiting my turn. There was an elderly lady on the wheelchair waiting as well.
She started asking nurses when the doctor would see her, as she had been waiting for some time. The nurses were trying to comfort her, by telling her that her turn is next and all she needed to do is to wait a little while. She seemed to be a bit out of it, but understood.
I cheered this elderly lady on the wheelchair, as she was demanding the answer to her very valid question. (She had been waiting for some time, and wanted to know why she had to wait so long!) It reminded me of the importance of having your position/view and expressing it. This is precisely what I have been trying to tell young people if they want to make the best of the connected world.
I was struck by the fact that regardless of age, you need to defend your own life, demand your own right to know and ask questions.
The hospital I was at was one of the most efficient (according to the Japanese standard) and nurses & staff are very friendly and willing to help. So it was even more impressive that the lady asked for the answer. (Patients and families tend to be more patient – no pun intended!- as they know that staff are working hard with good intentions.)
I now realize it is important to be aware of the fact that you are the person that is in charge of your life and that you have every right to ask questions and express your views. It is freedom of speech in my understanding.
Today, May 20, has been such an exciting day full of activities. I taught two classes in the morning (which I will write more later) and then went to the 25th Anniversary Symposium of Sony Computer Laboratories Inc. It was full of interesting presentations and the talk (I particularly liked the talk by the three members at the end, as it showed the mission and vision of SCL very well. -I will write more about the presentations.)
I ran into many old friends at the Symposium and met with Manabu Tago whose presentation at TEDxTokyo was what I liked best this year. I was so fortunate to meet with him. Meeting with people engaged in fascinating things and being exposed to many new fields makes our life so rich!
I often talk about the need for change, in particular, when the world is moving as fast as has been in a past decade. I also talk about reluctance/resistance to change I often find in Japan. I believe it is partly because of people’s fear of losing something. (Thus, I now use the photo of big garbage can and say, “Throw away things/ideas to move on!”
I recently found that resistance to change also comes almost unconsciously. For example, I am now in the process of planning the Boot Camp at KMD (which I began last year for the first time for my students) and Global Agenda Seminar 2013.
As I make a detailed plan, I find myself reflect and refer to the past plan/program. As I have worked on it, all of a sudden, I realize that it is MY way of not quite willing to change. I had no intention to resist change, but my behavior is that of review and reflection of past plan and program.
We need to remind ourselves that we need NOT review and reflect all the time. We can start from a clean slate every time, as excellent professional Shogi players start from the situation they are in, when their opponent makes unexpected move. It is unconscious, but nonetheless, it is a kind of resistance & reluctance to change.
This morning, I was listening to the audio version of “60 minutes” by CBS news last Sunday, May 12. It was an interview with Bill Gates where he talked about how he plans to eradicate children’s diseases. It was pure coincidence that I believe few days ago I saw the article reporting that Bill Gates is now back to No. 1 of the wealthiest people in the world.
I was quite impressed by his interview entitled Bill Gates 2.0. His passion, his dedication and relentless effort to get things done to make an impact is just extraordinary. The way he talks about various new technologies to resolve problems in the world, and the way he talked about the children made a strong impression on me. (I was very inspired!) I also liked the way he talked about his father and the way his father talked about Bill.
He talked briefly about Steve Jobs and there is an additional interview segment on the overtime section on the web. I need to watch!
At the Nikkei Global Strategy Forum, Mr. Miyakawa of Price Waterhouse Coopers introduced us the result of Global CEO survey. In particular, we discussed the difference they found between Japanese CEOs and the rest.
I found it interesting that Japanese CEOs had lower score for the stakeholder groups they plan to strengthen relationship– namely, Government & regulatory agencies, Users of social media, and NGOs. At the Global Forum we focused on difference, as the topic was the business expansion into ASEAN countries, in particular, Myanmar. Mr. Miyakawa pointed out the low score of Government & regulatory agencies, as this is quite crucial in new emerging economies. I thought that the age of Japanese CEOs (I am assuming older than the rest in general) had something to do with the low score of Social media users and NGOs. I had suspected this tendency among the Japanese CEOs and found the survey very informative and helpful. I believe the Japanese CEOs need to be much more aware of the presence and importance of social media and NGO in the world.
There will be “Study in Europe Fair 2013″ held this weekend- in Tokyo and in Kyoto. Some 50 educational institutions and other organizations from Europe will participate to explain a variety of opportunities to study and research in Europe.
So if you are interested, please check details via this link. Though it looks as if it were written in Japanese, you can click various items to find out the list of participating organizations etc.
In Tokyo, it will be held at Surugadai campus, Meiji University as follows.
May 17 (Fri) 12:00 – 20:00
May 18 (Sat) 10:00-16:30
In Kyoto, it will be held at Imadegawa campus, Doshisha University.
May 19 (Sun) 12:00-18:00
It is for high school students, undergraduate, graduate students as well as business people. It is free of charge, no need for pre-registration. So drop by to find out what’s available in Europe!
Tonight (May 15), I had a wonderful time at dinner with Prof. & Mrs. Grayson (sort of my American parents) and my Senpai from Darden School, UVA. I always meet with the Graysons while I visit NYC (now they live there) , but this time, they were in Charlottesville when I visited NYC at the end of April.
So it was such a great pleasure for me to have fabulous dinner with them, at the invitation of my Darden Senpai. The Graysons came to Shanghai where there was a big dinner to thank Prof. Grayson who made such a big impact to make the Darden global place. I owe him and Olivia, Mrs. Grayson, so much as they always welcome me in NYC. (I did not take any class from him while at Darden)
We talked about the changes in Japan, impact of technology, and our memories from few decades ago, etc. It is so nice to have people who love Japan AND who have done so much for us, Japanese students as well as other international students.
We enjoyed great food (it was magnificent) and different kinds of wine! I am grateful that I met with the Graysons and am a part of the Darden community.