Series #11
New Year, New Agenda?

In this first year of the “Davos Experience in Tokyo” series we have covered a broad range of topics on global issues.

With the New Year at our doorstep, we would like to ask you what you consider to be the critical issues for 2014. Be it the global income gap, climate change, cyber security, social innovation prospects, energy resources and policy or Abenomics – we look forward to getting your views on both global and Japanese hot topics on the 2014 agenda.

At our next session on January 10th, we are planning to discuss your proposals and select a few topics for the upcoming sessions in February, March and probably beyond. Over the next year, we would like to emphasize the participant-driven nature of “Davos Experience in Tokyo” series, so we hope to meet you all in January and learn about your perspective of the truly important problems we will face in 2014.

This would also be a good time to reflect on how the world changed in 2013, as well as to catch up with the global prospects for 2014 according to the World Economic Forum (e.g. Global Outlook for 2014 or the Human Capital Report 2013), other research institutes and international organizations.

Video & Discussion


On January 10, the Davos Experience in Tokyo started the New Year with the 11th session of the series. Entering in our second year, we were delighted to see many new faces among us and look forward to get to know you better and hear you speak more through the next sessions.

The beginning of a New Year is a time for new hopes and decisions, as well as a new agenda. Curiously, our New Year’s resolutions are a mix of both! Through our second year, we aim to make the Davos Experience in Tokyo a more participant-driven event and give you more opportunities to speak up, share your ideas and have even more fun shaping the agenda. Furthermore, while we know a good debate to be the beginning of every good plan, we also hope to achieve more in a way of action in 2014. There are things that each of us can achieve if we take the initiative, rather than wait the issues we deem important to climb up our leaders’ agenda.

Thus as a first step towards these resolutions, at our January session, we asked of our participants to share their views on the critical issues for 2014 and set the agenda for the next few sessions of the Davos Experience in Tokyo.

Professor Ishikura opened the session greeting the attendants with the arrival of the New Year and wishing them strength and persistence to stick up to their New Years’ resolutions.

Moving to the main session, we asked our attendants to share the issues they think of critical importance during the coming year. Problems such as employment, energy, elderly care, climate change, institutional decay, rebranding Japan, immigration and migration, economic inequality etcetera came up. With the help of participants, we organized these issues into seven categories and proceeded with a break out discussion trying to distill some of the critical problems we are likely to face in 2014.

The attendants formed seven groups based on their interest and debated Demographics (covering topics like low birth rate and immigration), Employment (including work/life balance, women participation, etc), Environment (covering global warming and air pollution), Business and Work, Institutional Decay (covering democracy, decreasing political participation and institutional failure), Technology and Japan as a Brand. The participants who joined us online discussed Education, in particular the role of English language education in Japan. At the end of the break out session, the groups reported back the results of their discussions.

While some of the insights from break out session echoed themes that have already been tackling at previous sessions of the Davos Experience in Tokyo, the participants also came back with a fresh take on several problems and highlighted some new aspects of the issues that we have been discussing. Among other things, the Institutional Decay group pinpointed the inability to relate to large-scale problems and the disconnection from the political process in an increasingly complex world, as underlying reasons for the society’s failure to solve many of the problems we face nowadays. They identified investigating the causes of these trends as a critical issue. Participants from our online Education group discussed the increase of foreign students and workers to Japan not only as a means, but also as an incentive to improve the English language education. Furthermore, the group on Environment issues, proposed discussing the C02 emission regulations as a moral issue, which climbs up the agenda only when countries have solved their immediate problems of mere sustenance

Professor Ishikura picked four themes out of the discussions and the participants voted the agenda for the next two sessions of the Davos Experience in Tokyo. The four topics were “How to brand Japan as a safe country” (specifically in the context of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics), “Second job as a step towards better work-life balance”, “Radical ideas for Japan’s demographic problems” and “Robotics applications to improve our lives”. The audience voted the former two as the topics of the February and March session of the Davos Experience in Tokyo.

Professor Ishikura closed the event announcing the details for the next session to be held on February 7th at the Wilson Learning Center and sharing some thoughts on our next topic.

We are excited to see you next month and until then feel free to prepare your very own PR strategy on how to present and promote Japan as safe country in the context of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020. If no budget were too big and all technologies were on the table, how would you build and promote the “Safe Japan” brand globally?

Posted in ARCHIVES.

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