Spoke at a law conference

In early January, I was invited to speak at a law conference in Malaysia. At first, I turned them down politely, since I didn’t know who they were, and it was somewhat short notice. I had a potential conflict with another event later that month, and what did I have to do with the legal profession anyway? The organizers were persistent and upon further investigation, I realized it was being organized by an old acquaintance from Microsoft – Bill Neukom. Therefore, I agreed to be one of their keynote panelists and flew to Kuala Lumpur to attend the World Justice Project APAC Rule of Law Conference.
At the conference, I was one of the few (less than 1%) non-lawyers at the event, but, I must say, it was one of the best conferences I have participated in. Perhaps because lawyers are naturally predisposed to discussion and debate (which, for anyone who knows me, I like very much). There were actually three other people from Japan at this conference, led by the Honorable Kunio Hamada, a former member of the supreme court of Japan – a very kind gentleman – and we spent many hours talking about a variety of topics.
Initially, I was concerned that my topic (titled “Japan ‘leading’ the way” – a play on words) would not be germane to the listening audience. I ended up speaking about how innovation and entrepreneurship is often hindered by well meaning laws and regulations when, in fact, they have many unintended consequences; and how Japan has been a good (and bad) example of this “experiment” over the past 20 years. I specifically focused on how Japan’s aging and shrinking population is going through a grand experiment that many countries in the world will encounter shortly (and therefore should learn from). Since it is “leading” in this area, I focused on three main points that government, corporations and society in general have attempted to address, but which haven’t gone as planned: 1) Addressing risk, 2) The role of governments, education and research, and 3) The role of women.

In the end, the speech went over very well, and I received a lot of great feedback during and after the conference. There have been numerous requests for my slides, so I have posted them here as well.

Your comments are most welcome.
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. tres interessant, merci


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