I’m currently starting to write, what will hopefully be, an inspiring speech for my keynote at the MIT D-Lab Japan event this Saturday.  I think this event would be a great kick-off opportunity for “Japan, Inc.” to work effectively with universities to create globally relavent technologies and products.

From the D-Lab program:
Capacity building in developing countries is one of the enormous challenges we face this century. Despite the prosperity of developed nations like the US, Japan, and European countries, we cannot ignore the fact that 1.6 billions people still do not have access to safe drinking water, and most of them live on less than $1 per day. The fight against poverty and hunger is the challenge for the entire global citizen — the impoverished will suffer the most if effective policies and plans are not put in place.

Technology has a great power to dramatically help poverty alleviation, and university can play a major role in creating new technologies. Especially, cost-effective and user-centered technologies (also known as appropriate technologies) can provide affordable and reliable tools for capacity building in many areas. The projects on appropriate technologies are beneficial in many ways; the programs help the poor, but also help to improve the design process and education programs in developed countries through hands-on experience, real-world experience, and human-centered designs.

This one day workshop will introduce some of the leading projects in Japan on international development and appropriate technologies. You will also learn the projects at one of the leading universities in the US, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). José Gómez-Márquez and Ken Endo from MIT D-Lab will introduce their projects on improving the quality of life of low-income households through the creation and implementation of low cost technologies.
 
Plenary Speech – Kiyoshi Kurokawa (GRIPS)
 
Location: National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS)
Registration site is here