Blog post

Yesterday, January 9, we had the first session of Global Agenda Seminar series at Academy Hills.

Part I of the  session began with my welcome (in Japanese), followed by my introduction of Dr.Kiyoshi Kurokawa who gave the keynote speech.  (From here, English)

Here is the outline of his speech which was very interactive, provocative and fun.

Keynote Speech by Kiyoshi Kurokawa, MD

I.Status of the world 2010- Hot,Flat and  Crowded (T. Friedman)

II. Major changes taking place in the past two decades

From International (with focus on nations) to Global (with focus on Inter-connectedness)

Why?, What’s behind it?—Because now it is visible, and real time to us through technological progress such as a variety of media (www. Etc.)

III.  Is Japan visible and relevant?

If not, what do we do?

=> Need to convey our message to the inter-connected world today

What?   Our unique strength?  What is it? How can we get it known? Water, etc.

How?   Various medium available.  In broken English, current de facto tool?

Who?   Each and every one of us as representative? (see below)

To whom?  What are our customers, clients? Do we know who they are?

III. From Human Resource to Human Capital –another change

Indicating the power/impact of an individual to change the world Ex. Steve Jobs, etc.

IV. Great opportunity for each of us to reflect our own strength/weakness, decide on the message to communicate to the world


  1. We DO have something to say—message; unique strengths
  2. Individual can make a significant impact using medium available
  3. Collaborate with others to offset the weakness
  4. Communicate in the way our customers/clients would understand

=>Global Agenda Seminar

I found his speech had a very clear message, and interesting story with many specific examples (for some specific examples,  check his blog) . His style is always very powerful, inspiring and with a great sense of humor.

Part II after the break was for the participants to act.  We did game to remember names, followed by the self introduction (strictly within 1 minute) in English by all the participants.  I realize how diverse and interesting background each and every participants has.  I am particularly delighted at the diversity of background, interest, expertise of the participants.  (including those who are in charge of finding restaurants, bars, of singing, cooking, of taking care of our health, etc. etc.)

The session ended with the explanation of housekeeping matters such as how to use the library, etc. and the assignment for our second session in February.

All in all, our communication was done in English (about 85%) and in Japanese(15%).  I was a bit concerned about it, but it worked very well. I am convinced we can go on like this for the rest.

It was a VERY exciting three hours for me and I hope the participants feel in the same way. I am very much looking forward to our next session in February.

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  • Comments (4)

    • mariko
    • January 10th, 2010

    Hello Ishikura‐sensei.I’m Mariko,one of the GAS participants.
    The yesterday’s GAS seminer was really splendid.
    I am grateful that I was able to participate in such a seminar.
    The speech by Mr. Kurokawa was very splendid, too(To be frank, as I am weak in English, I was only able to understand around 1/3 of his speech. But I was able to catch up, thanks to today’s blog of Ishikura-sensei.)
    In addition, I find the self-introduction of all the participants very interesting.
    I hope to spend wonderful time in such an exciting place for one year.
    I am looking forward to the next seminar very much.
    Thanking you in advance.

    • Ashihara
    • January 11th, 2010

    As Nari san and Mariko san wrote, I also think the GAS had a very good start. During the seminar, I thought I “participated well”, but after I came back home, I felt I should have talked more and asked more questions/listened more to the other participants. But anyway, some of us also enjoyed a lunch together and thanks to Mineo san, we could also start to use our mailing list even on the same day. This is exactly what I wanted, I mean, everyone is so spontaneous and quick and very open. I look forward to collaborate with the members and even want to make a good “team”. I shyouldn’t forget to mention that Kurokawa san was just “cool”. His speech was so inspiring. I look forward to the next session, but tell myself to prepare well for it.

    • yishikura
    • January 11th, 2010

    Mariko san, this is Yoko Ishikura. Thanks for your comment. I am delighted that you found our first session exciting. I am also very excited. Remember, English is just a tool. You need to use it often.

    • yishikura
    • January 11th, 2010

    Ashihara san, this is Yoko Ishikura. Thanks for your comments. It is nice that you had lunch with some of the members. It is how the network starts. I hope we can start some kind of movement.

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