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p1000555.JPG The three-day Symposium held in May in St. Gallen, Switzerland, was a wonderful experience for me. We were very fortunate to have had three beautiful days, which I heard was rather unusual at this time of the year. (In fact, the weather forecast was for rain before I left Tokyo and I was all prepared with my raincoat and umbrella!)
 
I attended two full days of keynote sessions which were full of insightful and inspiring presentations with active Q&A sessions, and several parallel work sessions featuring various topics.
   In
 fact, the days were extremely full, as the sessions started around 8:00 a.m. and continued all the way to dinner, which began with cocktails around 8:00 p.m. going on until 11:00 p.m. (See the photo)
  I discovered that it is one thing to hear about these events, but another to be actually there. Now many of the names I found in Dr. Kurokawa’s blog last year such as Lord Griffiths of Fforestfach and Mr. Martin Wolf have become real people for me with a great sense of humor, wit and insight. I am so fortunate to have been given this opportunity to encounter such a distinguished group of people. I was so impressed not only with their expertise and knowledge in their own fields, but also with their ease of discussing a wide range of subjects including social capital, business ethics, literature and history.
  
It was so stimulating to be in that environment. I hope to see many young people being given similar opportunities because I am sure this would motivate them to follow in the footsteps of the leaders of today and help them become even greater leaders of tomorrow. 
   It was also nice to have one of our students with me among some 200 who were selected from throughout the world. It was fun to listen to a conversation about European issues between my student from Poland and a St. Gallen student from Germany.
 

  Now back in Tokyo, we had the Final Examination for my course on Competitiveness. To celebrate the completion of the course, we had an informal get-together right after the exam was over. (Our final exam is four hours with two essay questions.) It is always nice to see students looking relaxed and happy right after the final exam. Whether they are in St. Gallen, Switzerland, or Tokyo, Japan, I feel the young generation is the hope for the future, as they will make great things happen.

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