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The last month of the year 2017 is just around the corner. Many people overseas seem to be almost fully occupied by the spirit (and various chores!) of holidays. Japan’s enthusiasm for holidays may be a bit lower key than them, but people seem to be in the rushing as the year end approaches.

When we turn our eyes to the world, we can clearly see the unprecedented transformation mainly driven by technology and change in values. For example, “fake news” or “lack of trust in the society” which used to be new at the beginning of the year has almost become every day language. (See the photo of our Davos..in Tokyo session in January when we discussed “fake news.”)

We can NOT depend upon conventional wisdom and plan future as extension of present. Transformation of this magnitude brings about many uncertainties for us, but at the same time, it will bring enormous opportunities to innovate (it comes with huge threats, too.)

Taking advantage of the rare opportunities, let us start something new, with technologies and information that is available to all of us, beyond hierarchies and traditional boundaries. It is difficult, however, to go it alone.

At #54 of Davos Experience in Tokyo series on Friday, December 1, we will collaborate to make the year 2018 an exciting one. First, we will make a toast to celebrate the year 2017. (We want us to relax first.) Each one of us reflects the year 2017 and identify new experiences, new discovery, and new challenges. Then in small breakout groups, each member shares his/her discoveries etc. to the whole group, using some visuals. Then the small group brainstorms to identify the business idea for 2018, capitalizing on the strengths, experiences, travels etc. of each member.

For example, we will have some 20 graduate students who have spent a few months in Japan AND some Japanese who have spent some time overseas, we can start new service collaborating with them. Some ideas include the ones which are ubiquitous in other countries, but not found in Japan and vice versa. We may be able to start virtual community with some specific purpose such as informal job hunting.

I have had my own share of new experiences in 2017. My discoveries for this year include; overseas trips to where I have never been, key note speeches beyond my usual topics and not necessarily my expertise. There were times when I lost confidence in the extent of knowledge and felt somewhat depressed as I realized my lack of ability. But from these “not-always happy” experiences, I develop some ideas and am ready to try out some.

We will also hold charity auction during the networking session as it is holiday season.  I will offer scarf by Hermes, Christofle picture frame,  Japanese lacquerware, lithograph prints, Japanese dinner plates, together with commemorative coins etc. (I will post some photos soon.)  For the items I put on auction, proceeds will go to Nobel Laureate Dr. Yamanaka’s IPS fund. Hope you will offer some items for the auction. (If you want to do so, please let us know.)

It will be on Friday, December 1about 10 days from now. Everyone is welcome. For details and registration, go to this site.

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