Business leaders and luminaries from around the world converge for Rakuten Optimism 2021 this October

This fall, Rakuten’s biggest-ever virtual business conference is going live. On October 12 and 13, Rakuten Optimism 2021 will connect participants from Japan and around the world with some of the world’s top luminaries and business leaders to reflect on the myriad ways in which the world is changing around us, and how our lives can be enriched as a result.

Earlier today, Rakuten unveiled the official website for the event, and the two-day roster promises to be packed to the rafters with high-profile optimists from business, tech, design and more. Rakuten Optimism is an event series designed to inspire visions of a shared brighter future, provide opportunities to discover joy, and deepen the understanding of the services and ideals underpinning the Rakuten Group Ecosystem.

Headlining the free, digital conference will be a diverse group of top tier speakers including Accenture CEO Julie Sweet, Japan Post Holdings President and Group CEO Hiroya Masuda, Qualcomm President & CEO Cristiano R. Amon, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, Zoom founder and CEO Eric S. Yuan, Rakuten Group Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani and many more.

Rakuten Optimism 2021: New year, new format

2019 marked the first time Rakuten Optimism was held in Japan, welcoming some 80,000 guests to hear from the hottest leaders of today’s business world and experience the breadth of the Rakuten Ecosystem for themselves. The conference stage was graced by a long line of stars including former Intel CEO Bob Swan, Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, tidying guru Marie Kondo and iconic artist YOSHIKI.

Former Intel CEO Bob Swan and Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani on stage at Rakuten Optimism 2019 in Yokohama, Japan, discussing how 5G will empower network cloudification, autonomous driving and more.
Bob Swan, former Intel CEO, and Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani on stage at Rakuten Optimism 2019 in Yokohama, Japan, discussing how 5G will empower network cloudification, autonomous driving and more.

This year’s online format leverages the New Normal to welcome speakers and guests from around the world, providing participants with a broad-ranging and engaging experience featuring top CEOs, luminaries and creators. Free to register and participate in all sessions, the two-day virtual business conference highlights a wide range of themes including mobile, e-commerce, fintech, and marketing, covering the full breadth of Rakuten’s expansive ecosystem.

A revolution in the workplace: What’s changed?

Working from home has become a staple of modern life for many, particularly in the world of tech. Even as thoughts are starting to turn to the post-pandemic period, it’s hard to imagine things going back to the same way they were after nearly two years of being connected with our closest colleagues via videoconferencing.

Perhaps nobody has more relevant insight on the topic than Zoom Video Communications founder and CEO Eric Yuan. Yuan will join Rakuten’s very own group executive vice president, CIO & CISO Yasufumi Hirai to discuss the workplace revolution.

Digital transformation for Japan and beyond

Digital transformation is another topic that lies close to the heart of Rakuten’s philosophy of empowerment.

Earlier this year, the Japan Post Group and Rakuten Group kicked off a capital and business alliance which sees the two companies collaborating both on logistics and the digital transformation of Japan Post’s businesses. For this year’s edition of Rakuten Optimism, CEO Mikitani will be joining Japan Post Holdings President & Group CEO Hiroya Masuda to discuss how social innovation is created when the real and digital converge.

In a later session, Mikitani will also join Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger to discuss how technology superpowers are driving digitalization on the world stage.

Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani speaking to merchants about the launch of Rakuten Mobile, the impact of 5G, and new initiatives in payments, logistics and fashion on stage at Rakuten Optimism 2019.
Rakuten CEO Mickey Mikitani speaking to merchants about the launch of Rakuten Mobile, the impact of 5G, and new initiatives in payments, logistics and fashion on stage at Rakuten Optimism 2019.

5G is here and we are optimistic about its potential

An Optimism conference wouldn’t be complete without some exciting discussion on the future of telecommunications.

5G is a major keyword in this future, and President & CEO of Qualcomm, Cristiano R. Amon is on hand to share his global perspective on how this will affect all of our lives. Amon will join Rakuten’s Mikitani for a deep dive into how 5G will “empower the future.”

Fintech, creative design, security and more

The action-packed two-day conference will have plenty more on offer from the likes of the iconic Kashiwa Sato, Creative Director of Samurai Inc., and Yugo Nakamura, interface designer and CEO of tha ltd., on the intersection between design and tech.

Ann Johnson, Microsoft Corporate VP of Security, Compliance & Identity (SCI) Business Development, and Anthony Grieco, Cisco Systems VP and Chief Information Security Officer of the Security and Trust Organization, will share insights on security in an interconnected digital ecosystem. Rakuten’s Fintech business leaders will also take to the stage to discuss the future of fintech, cashless payments, the digital transformation of personal asset building and more.


To stay updated on speakers and topics to come, check out the Rakuten Optimism website and register for free today!

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