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 in elementary school and started his own company while still in high school and was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1998 (by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today). As one of the world’s leading authorities on cybersecurity.

After selling his business to Microsoft, he moved to Tokyo in 2005 and founded InTecur, a venture capital firm. In 2011, he served as the Chief Technology Officer of the National Diet’s (Parliament) Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission. Later that year, he was named as both a Young Global Leader and Global Agenda Council member for World Economic Forum (WEF) and subsequently been named to its Foundation Board. In 2012, Saito was appointed to a council on national strategy and policy that reported directly to the Prime Minister of Japan.

Saito also advises several national governments around the globe. In Japan, he has served as an advisor to Japanese ministries; the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST); the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPAS); the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, among others. He is currently the Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Trade and Industry (METI) and the Cabinet Office for the Government of Japan.

He went to medical school at UCLA and Harvard Kennedy School; serves on various boards of Global 2000 companies; frequently appears as a commentator on TV and is the author of seven books in addition to writing several weekly newspaper columns. His management book, The Team: Solving the Biggest Problem in Japan, was published by Nikkei BP and became a best-seller in 2012. In 2016, Saito received the Medal of Honor from the Government of Japan for his work in the field of education.

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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