Glimpse the future at Rakuten Optimism 2024

For four days this summer, the future is coming to Tokyo: The fifth iteration of Rakuten Optimism – Rakuten Group’s largest interactive event – will transform Tokyo Big Sight into a showcase of technology, business insights and cultural experiences.

Rakuten Optimism 2024 will feature a two-day business conference, welcoming business leaders and visionaries to explore the frontiers of the tech industry. At the same time, the four-day Future Festival will be held at the venue, allowing the general public to experience the impressive breadth of the Rakuten Ecosystem through AI, VR and more.

Aug 1-2: Beyond Innovation, Envisioning the Future

This year’s business conference will follow the thought-provoking theme “Beyond Innovation, Envisioning the Future.”

One topic expected to take center stage is AI – the conference will discuss not only its incredible potential, but the many questions surrounding the technology’s social impact. Other sessions and panel discussions will cover e-commerce, fintech, telecommunications, sustainability and more.

Brand director Kashiwa Sato with Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani in 2021.
Creative Director Kashiwa Sato with Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani in 2021.

Headlining keynote speaker Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani will be joined by an impressive roster of business leaders from around the tech industry.

From the mobile telecommunications sector, Abel Avellan, CEO of (Rakuten partners) AST SpaceMobile, will discuss “The Era of Space-Based Connectivity” with Mikitani. His company is looking to launch satellites to provide mobile connectivity directly from space.

AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan announcing a partnership with Rakuten Mobile in 2020.
AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan announcing a partnership with Rakuten Mobile in 2020.

Other guest speakers include Miyoko Nakashima, Market Strategist and Vice President of Mizuho Securities; Kashiwa Sato, the Creative Director behind the brand identities of major outfits such as Uniqlo, 7-Eleven, and of course Rakuten; Kazuya Ogawa, CEO of Grand Design Co., Ltd. and Guest Professor at Hokkaido University; and Masafumi Kojima of Accenture, with many more to be announced.

Aug 1-4: AI, VR, pandas and culture at the Future Festival

Rakuten Optimism isn’t all business talk: The Future Festival will offer visitors the opportunity to experience the broad spectrum of Rakuten’s ecosystem.

Visitors will be able to sample delicacies from Rakuten Ichiba merchants located across Japan, have their golf swing analyzed by AI, experience virtual horse racing, learn all about the transformative technology driving Rakuten Mobile, and much more.

One of the festival’s highlights is sure to be the regional empowerment zone. A series of booths will recreate a festival-like atmosphere, even allowing visitors to experience the Nagaoka Fireworks Festival – one of Japan’s ‘big three’ fireworks displays – through the magic of VR.

The previous Rakuten Optimism attracted over 100,000 visitors to the Yokohama venue.

It’s also a big year for Rakuten’s beloved mascot, Okaimono Panda. A TV anime series will air later this year, giving fans an insight into the life of Japan’s favorite shopaholic bear. To celebrate the occasion, Rakuten Optimism will be handing out all manner of panda merch, and opening up an elaborate photo spot that seeks to recreate the home of the popular character.

Learn, sample, have fun at Rakuten Optimism 2024

Whether you’re a business leader looking to stay ahead of the curve, a tech enthusiast eager to experience the latest innovations, or simply someone in search of a unique and entertaining summer weekend, Rakuten Optimism has something for everyone.

Register now for the free business conference, or simply drop into Tokyo Big Sight for the Future Festival. Hope to see you there!

Rakuten Optimism 2024

Dates: Thursday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4

Location: Tokyo Big Sight, 3 Chome-11-1 Ariake, Koto City, Tokyo 135-0063

Cost: Free admission (Pre-registration required for business conference)

Official site:

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