Botswana trip

So I arrived in Gabarone (GBE), Botswana (hot) and things didn’t start off very well since my baggage didn’t make it.  Anyway, I’m on a quasi-government mission to see how Japan and work with the Botswanan government to help improve its economy through science & technology (S&T) policy recommendations.  I am going on this trip with Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa and Mr. Yukio Tada of Sojitz.

The trip started from Narita via Hong Kong and Johannesburg.  After almost exatly, 24-hours of flight, losing your baggage is not the first thing you want to experience.  However, interersting, I wasn’t as peeved as I would have been normally.  First, after many trips to many countries (close to 60 at this point), it was actually my first trip South of the equator.  Second, since I was going to Africa, I set my expectations somewhat low and actually assumed my bags wouldn’t make it after two transfers.  Luckily, they found my bags and I got them later that afternoon.

Pictures from this trip can be found here.

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.

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