The future is in motion: Thought leaders assemble for Rakuten Optimism 2022

Optimism is back!

This September 28 and 29, united under the theme of “Tech & Green: The future is in motion,” Rakuten will welcome an exciting lineup of business visionaries from around the globe for the Rakuten Optimism 2022 virtual business conference.

First held in Japan in 2019, the annual event is designed to inspire visions of a shared brighter future, provide opportunities to discover joy and deepen understanding of the ideals underpinning Rakuten’s unique ecosystem. This year, leaders from a number of growth industries will delve into topics ranging from sustainability in tech and carbon neutrality to the rise of fintech and the changing telecommunications industry. 

All sessions will be livestreamed around the world and are completely free to join. While the full schedule is still to be revealed, read on for a small taste of what to expect from Rakuten’s upcoming celebration of optimism.

Fintech, sustainability, mobile & more

The morning of the first day of the conference will feature a keynote address from Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani, who has previously taken to the stage to share his unique perspective on the state of the many industries in which Rakuten is involved. 

Julie Sweet, Chair & CEO, Accenture speaking with Rakuten chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani at Rakuten Optimism 2021.
Julie Sweet, Chair & CEO of Accenture, speaking with Rakuten Chairman and CEO Mickey Mikitani at Rakuten Optimism 2021 last October.

Key sessions planned for this year’s edition of Rakuten Optimism include a fireside chat with José María Álvarez-Pallete López (Chairman and CEO, Telefónica S.A) and Mickey Mikitani, as well as a talk session with Michael Martin (CEO, 1&1 Mobilfunk GmbH; Part of 1&1 AG) and Tareq Amin (Group Executive Vice President, Rakuten Group, CEO, Rakuten Mobile, CEO, Rakuten Symphony).

Another series of sessions exploring how fintech is shaping the world of tomorrow will feature two titans of the credit card industry: Ryan McInerney (President, Visa) will join Masayuki Hosaka (Representative Director and Vice Chairman, Rakuten Group and President and CEO, Rakuten Card) for an industry leader-level discussion.

Ming Maa, president of Singaporean super-app Grab, will also join the conference for a fireside chat with Yasufumi Hirai (Group Executive Vice President, CIO & CISO, Rakuten Group). On the e-commerce front, meanwhile, a number of prominent Japanese leaders, academics and creatives including celebrated business designer Hideshi Hamaguchi will analyze the changing behaviors of online consumers.

Additional sessions are planned for the topics of Innovation with Big Data and the contributions it can make to our digital society, Planting the Seeds for a Greener Tomorrow and what it will take to achieve true carbon neutrality and Entertainment is All Around You — an examination of how technology has reshaped not only our tastes, but the very way we experience entertainment.

Yasufumi Hirai, Group Executive Vice President, CIO & CISO of Rakuten Group (left) with Eric S. Yuan, Founder & CEO, Zoom Video Communications at Rakuten Optimism 2021.
Yasufumi Hirai, Group Executive Vice President, CIO & CISO of Rakuten Group (left) with Eric S. Yuan, Founder & CEO, Zoom Video Communications at Rakuten Optimism 2021.

A history of Optimism

Over the years, Rakuten Optimism has established itself as a forum for leaders of tech, entertainment, business and more to share their perspectives on the future. 

In 2021, Zoom CEO Eric S. Yuan revealed his philosophy on happiness, Accenture Chair & CEO Julie Sweet embraced the “phygital” and Rakuten CEO Mikitani went deep with Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger on the silicon driving Rakuten’s software-centric telecommunications revolution. Earlier Optimism conferences have featured the likes of tidying guru Marie Kondo and iconic Japanese creators such as Iron Chef writer Kundo Koyama and branding visionary Kashiwa Sato.

Conference-goers have plenty of reasons to be optimistic this year too: In addition to the exciting roster of speakers, those who pre-register and tune in from Japan will have the chance to win one of 60 pairs of tickets to Rakuten’s upcoming basketball spectacle, the NBA Japan Games 2022, which will see recent NBA champions the Golden State Warriors face off against the Washington Wizards.

Don’t miss this year’s Rakuten Optimism conference, which is on track to be the largest in Rakuten’s history. Register today and tune in from anywhere in the world this September 28 and 29.

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