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On Tuesday, May 6, which was the last day of the Golden Week, we had double sessions of Competitiveness course. It was such a beautiful day (and the streets were deserted!) that I felt bad about having a class inside. (It was an ideal day to stay outside!) We started at 8:30 a.m. as usual, with the case on European Integration. The case described the historical development of European Union and was quite long. Rather than trying to understand the events in Europe toward integration, we spent most of the time analyzing the motivation behind the Integration and how the evolution took place. 

 After we discussed how we measure the performance of integration effort, we turned our attention to Asia. We compared and contrasted the regional effort in Europe with that in Asia. The discussion was very interesting and heated as usual. 

In the afternoon, we had a special session with three guest speakers—Mr. Jorma Julin, Ambassador of Finland, Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa, Special Science Advisor at the Japanese Cabinet office and one of our alumni who took the Competitiveness course last year and now works for the trading company.   We began our discussion with the hypothetical case of locating R & D either in Finland or in Japan. It was the way to get our discussion going, before I asked the guest speakers to make a presentation.

 Two guest speakers discussed the status of the country now, in particular, in their initiatives for promoting innovation. Our alumni discussed how he found the relevance of the course to his job in the real world.  We then opened up for discussion, which went on and on.

  The class was followed by the wine session in the open space. (We did the wine cluster case last week, and wanted to sample wine from different countries—French, Italian, California, Australia, and Chile.)  The guest speakers stayed on to interact with us and we had wonderful time. It was a great way to spend the last day of the Golden Week, though inside, but our mind going into the world.

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