40th St. Gallen Symposium

I have been selected to be one of the speakers for the 40th St. Gallen Symposium in Swizerland from May 6-7, 2010.  The best way I have come to describe the event is that it’s the “Davos for Entrepreneurs”.  From Japan, other (confirmed) participants include Dr. Yoko Ishikura and Hiroshi Mikitani.  I’m excited since the event will bring several hundred entrepreneurs, leaders, top managers, politicians, academics and decision-makers together from around the world to “stimulate thought and action for the sustained success of companies and societies in a globalised world.”

Anyway, the overall symposium theme is “Entrepreneurs – Agents of Change” and I will be speaking on the topic of “Entrepreneurial enviornment” and more specifically, how the world of politics and entrepreneurism intersect. 

“Each entrepreneurial activity takes place under conditions set by society and the political system. The world of politics and the world of the entrepreneur are not separate entities; depending on the prevailing economic and political circumstances, to a greater or lesser degree they merge. The political reactions to the economic crisis show how precarious this relationship can be. That being said, entrepreneurs must always be critical about the desire of politics for authoritative controls. This session will thus take a critical look at the economic and sociopolitical impact of political concepts designed to handle crises.”

In my last attempt at crowdsourcing comments from my social network, I received over 130 comments, advice and ideas.  I would like to take this opportunity again and solicit input from both my SNS and blog network.  I look forward to your feedback.

William Saito
Special Advisor at Cabinet Office (Govt. of Japan)
Named by Nikkei as one of the “100 Most Influential People for Japan,” Saito began software programming at an early age and started his own company in high school. By the time he was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today), he was recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on encryption, biometric authentication and cyber security.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm and consultancy that identifies innovative technologies, develops global talent and helps entrepreneurs become successful. In 2013, Saito was appointed a Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

Similarly, in 2012 he served as a council member on national strategy for the Cabinet-level National Policy Unit, and prior to that, was named as the Chief Technology Officer for the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC). He is a Foundation Board Member at the World Economic Forum (WEF), and has been named by the WEF as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has also served as an advisor to METI, MIC, MEXT, MLIT, AIST, IPA and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), among others.

He teaches at multiple universities, serves on several corporate boards, appears as a commentator on national TV and is the author of numerous publications in addition to writing a weekly column for a prominent Japanese business newspaper. His best-selling management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP in 2012, his follow-on book, Is Your Thinking up to Global Standards?, was published by Daiwa Shobo in late 2013 and his autobiography, An Unprogrammed Life: Adventures of an Incurable Entrepreneur, was published in 2011 by John Wiley & Sons.

Posted by whsaito

  1. Sylvia Nedeltchev March 25th, 2010 at 05:09 PM

    I am a student attending the Symposium. I am interested in hearing what speakers have to say about online vs offline entrepreneurial environments. I am also interested to hear more about the ease, or lack thereof, for cross-functional vs uni-functional entrepreneurial partnerships.

    Especially how academic systems and capital markets have an effect on both the above topics.


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