GNW 2018 at Hitotsubashi ICS, Innovation X Globalization Japan Style
For one week, 58 students from around the Global Network for Advanced Management gathered in Tokyo at Hitotsubashi ICS. This was a unique experience where students from around the world came together to learn about business and innovation in Japan while also sharing their own unique perspectives from their cultures and backgrounds. The week was filled with many exciting sessions, cultural experiences, and special GNAM Alumni Reception was also held where any graduate of a GNAM school was invited. Let's take a look at some of the highlights of the week.
Throughout the week ICS Faculty gave lectures on key topics. Professor Yoshi Fujikawa opened the week with a discussion of Japan as a National Innovation System. On the second day, Professor Emi Osono held a session on Competitiveness & Clusters. Dean Kaz Ichijo closed out the week with the signature lecture of ICS, Knowledge Management.
We also welcomed numerous guest speakers from companies. Some speakers were from large multi-national companies such as the CEO of Unilever Japan who spoke about sustainability innovations specific to the Japanese market. Speakers from prominent Japanese companies including Askul discussed their unique strategies and how to differentiate from other larger global players. Seven Dreamers, a startup that created the Laundroid robot that folds laundry, also visited ICS to tell their unique story. In addition to the classroom sessions, we also had the opportunity to visit company offices. At the Sony Global Headquarters, we learned how a large company like Sony can create new innovations by tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of employees through its Seed Acceleration Program. Another day we visited the PwC experience center to learn how big data is driving new innovations in the Japanese Market.
GNW was not just business, there were sessions on Japanese. This included lectures on the history and evolution of Japanese culture as well as immersive cultural experiences. One day we took a bus to Kamakura, a city known for its traditional cultural sights, and experienced Zazen seated medication at Engakuji Temple. In addition to traditional culture we wanted to discuss modern culture as well. Mr. Umezawa from A.T Kearney taught us about the Cool Japan initiatives and what is in store for the future of Tokyo through NexTOKYO.
As we closed out the week, we hope that everyone not only discovered the exciting innovations happening in Japan, but also created lasting memories and connections together. The week went by fast, but it was filled with many memorable experiences. We look forward to welcoming many more students next year for GNW 2019, and many more years to come.
(Sean, Class of 2016)