Today (October 20) I went to Shizuoka to give a key note speech and participate in the panel discussion. It was autumn symposium organized by Shizuoka Chubu Future Discussion group. This year’s topic has been “New business strategy in the era of diversity.”  At the spring symposium, the main topic was on women participation, one aspect of diversity management. I took much broader view this time and started with the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The article in Japanese is reported in Shibuoka Shimbun site. 
After I discussed the transformation taking place in the world with technology as driver, I discussed the business environment and the position of Japan in the world today with focus on human capital. Then I discussed what companies and individuals could do in this era.
In the latter half of the symposium I participated in the panel discussion. It was very interesting and inspiring. Panelists included Ayano Okawara of Okawara co. ltd. and Atsushi Suzuki, president of Kyomaruen co. ltd.
It was very refreshing to hear the background of their strategy incorporating diversity (women and non Japanese in the case of Okawara and age free and disadvantage etc. free in the case of Kyomaruen) to pursue the purpose of business in terms of profitability and helping resolve social issues.
I was very impressed with their high aspiration and down-to-earth and specifc comment only those who actually tried could make. I learned a lot from joining the panel.
It was a rainy and relatively cold day, and trains were delayed here and there when I came back to Tokyo. But my spirit was high and my heart was warm hearing their stories. I am grateful for this inspiring opportunity.