On April 11, Tokyo will once again play host to the New Economy Summit (NEST), a conference that brings together entrepreneurs, policymakers, Nobel Prize recipients and even rock stars to discuss and anticipate future trends. The event is presented by the Japan Association for New Economy (JANE) and expectations for its sixth annual edition are high.
The theme of this year’s event is “Japan Ahead,” a key focus for JANE, which works to achieve the triple objectives of promoting innovation, globalization and entrepreneurship in Japan. In previous years, NEST has welcomed both current and former Japanese Prime Ministers in Shinzo Abe and Junichiro Koizumi. For NEST 2018, it will be the aforementioned Koizumi’s son, Shinjiro, who will take to the stage. A member of Japan’s parliament of increasing prominence, Shinjiro has a high bar set by the excitement created by his father’s memorable outing from last year.
But perhaps what makes NEST such a unique event is how it brings so many distinct voices from around the world to discuss topics as diverse as technology, education, medicine, sports, and culture, all the while examining how innovative and disruptive models can drive growth.
Salesforce Chairman and CEO, Marc Benioff, the founder of a remarkable global growth company entering its third decade, will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s event. John Zimmer, president and co-founder of sharing economy champion Lyft, also returns to the NEST stage from San Francisco for the second time.
In other fields, Dr. Hisataka Kobayashi and Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Shinya Yamanaka will discuss their groundbreaking work in cancer treatment and iPS cell research, respectively. While in education, UWC ISAK founder and Chairperson Lin Kobayashi will discuss progress at her innovative international school and outline how global models of education can apply to Japan.
One of the most unique guests slated to make an appearance this year is national soccer icon Hidetoshi Nakata. Despite his incredible footballing career, Nakata won’t be speaking on the “Sports Partnerships” panel, but rather will be discussing his Japanese sake business. Since retiring from professional sports, Nakata has refashioned himself as one of most prominent voices and boosters of traditional Japanese arts and industries.
Tickets for NEST quickly became a difficult-to-get item this year, but Rakuten.Today will be on-hand to report the day’s events. Be sure to catch up with us here and follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a thing.