"University x Technology x BOP" – Innovations that will change the world from Japan!

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

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

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