New SVNJ Policy Evaluation Working Paper

In our newest SVNJ Working Paper, "Abenomics and Japan's Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Is the Third Arrow Pointed in the Right Direction for Global Competition in the Digital Era of Silicon Valley?" Kenji Kushida evaluates the efficacy of Abenomics’ third arrow of comprehensive economic structural reform towards leading Japan to compete in an era dominated by Silicon Valley firms.

As Japan's political economy evolves over time, a critical question is whether or not it is adjusting effectively to the dynamics of global competition. While Japan has historically shifted from its status as one of many countries aiming to catch-up to global leaders to becoming a leader in many areas of global competition, recently global leadership has shifted to the economic ecosystem of Silicon Valley. In the past couple decades, global value creation has been driven by the Silicon Valley model - not only a geographic region but a distinct ecosystem of complementary characteristics. 

Since assuming power, the Abe administration has put forth a well branded and enthusiastically promoted economic reform package, "Abenomics" consisting of three arrows. The third arrow in particular, was a comprehensive reform strategy that recognized Japan's need to restructure many aspects of its economy to compete in the current digital, globalized era. Policy evaluation is one of the pillars of the Silicon Valley-New Japan Project, and this new paper seeks to evaluate whether third arrow reforms move Japan closer to a Silicon Valley model of entrepreneurship and innovation.  

Read full paper here

Technology and Labor Market Disruption: Discussing Danish Perspectives with Silicon Valley and Asian Country Input

On Monday, March 5th, the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project hosted the Danish Minister of Employment, Troels Lund Poulsen, and top Danish labor union representatives for a small closed group discussion about labor disruption in the digital era. 

The Danish government is currently working on a year long project on the future of work. The question of how technology can change the labour market is prominent in the political and policy discussions. The Danish government has set up a "disruption" council to handle these issues and specify policies to meet the challenges.

The Danish government has had a strong tradition of working with labor unions and businesses to face new economic challenges. During this session, the Minister and Labor Leader each spoke about labor disruption in the Danish context, and discussed Denmark's efforts to effectively implement technologies and embrace the future in a way that is inclusive of everyone.   

The acceptance of new technologies and the ways in which they are implemented varies greatly from country to country. APARC faculty and members of the audience offered similar as well as differing viewpoints from Silicon Valley and from Asian countries such as South Korea and Japan. 

Several major themes to emerge from this conversation were: labor replacement vs. labor augmentation, structuring and implementing lifelong learning, and implementing new social welfare systems for a future with vastly different employment structures. 

New Columns Published by the Canon Institute for Global Studies

Two new columns by Kenji Kushida were published by the Canon Institute for Global Studies this month. Please click the links below to access the articles (available in Japanese only). 

RegTech (レグテック)の大いなるポテンシャル:"Weapons of Math Destruction" の落とし穴を避けて (RegTech's Great Potential while Avoiding the "Weapons of Math Destruction" pitfall")

AI浸透についての考え方のフレームワーク:日本にとってどこが高付加価値となるのか (A Framework for Thinking of AI Diffusion: In search of high value added for Japan)

Kenji Kushida leads Seminar on Disruption by AI

On December 19, Kenji Kushida led a seminar at the Canon Institute for Global Studies, on AI disruption and the fine line between true disruptive innovation and illusion. 

AI has been gaining attention for some time now. AI is a catalyst for a bigger algorithmic revolution, and it is clear that genuine AI incorporated into various services and companies will disrupt existing industry and work as we know it. At the same time, the buzz around AI has created an environment in which information analysis will not sell unless it is labelled as AI, leading to concerns that the current AI boom might be superficial. 

How do we differentiate true disruptive innovation versus superficial, excessive expectations, and how do we implement solutions in a way that optimizes and increases value, without causing destructive consequences?  

For more information on the seminar please click here

Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project 2017 Year End Report

The Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project had another productive year of activity and growth. This year, we were able to facilitate substantial research, conduct new and ongoing joint research collaborations, and organize several large scale conferences, and other outreach activities. 

We sincerely thank all of our supporters for helping make this a great year, and we look forward to sharing another successful year with you in 2018. 

Happy Holidays and a have a wonderful new year! 

Full Stanford SVNJ 2017 Year End Report (PDF)

Human Autonomy in the Age of Automation: Envisioning 2045 Final Report

On November 3, the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project hosted “Human Autonomy in the Age of Automation: Envisioning 2045” at Stanford University. The event was produced jointly with Japanese venture community, Mistletoe Inc. We invited thought leaders, technologists and social entrepreneurs to discuss the replacement of human labor by artificial intelligence and robotics, and what this shift might mean for the future of human welfare and economic opportunity. We also revealed our new joint collaboration with Mistletoe In., The Mistletoe Foundation, and its inaugural program, the Mistletoe Research Fellowship Program. 

Human Autonomy in the Age of Automation Final Report (PDF)

Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit Mentioned in the Nikkei

The Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit was mentioned in an article published by the Nikkei this morning!

The article, roughly translates to "The Rise of Silicon Valley's 'Third VC Boom.'" Developments in AI, IoT and Big Data technologies in Silicon Valley have resulted in a new wave of VC investments. Large Japanese corporations have recently been actively partaking in this wave, investing CVC in innovative startups and establishing branches in the heart of Silicon Valley. The article mentions our efforts to try to connect these Japanese firms with Silicon Valley startups, and help Japanese firms better harness Silicon Valley. 

Click here for full article (in Japanese only)  



Working, Earning, Learning in the Age of Intelligent Tools

On November 29-Dec 1, 2017, the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project co-sponsored a symposium on “Working, Earning, and Learning in the Age of Intelligent Tools” at UC Berkeley. The conference was a joint production by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy, the UC Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies, the UC Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society, UC Davis Community and Regional Development Program, The American Jobs Project, the German Federal Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs, The German Academic Exchange Service, and the Stanford Silicon Valley-New Japan Project. This closed event brought together an interdisciplinary and international group of about 80 researchers from the fields of engineering and data science, economics, sociology, and political science, to explore the challenges we face in the age of intelligent tools and computation-intensive automation of manufacturing and services, and how we might find ways of working, earning, and learning that support the healthy development of our societies and economies and the humans who inhabit them, going forward.

See list of speakers below. 


List of speakers (Alphabetical by last name):

Paul Alivisatos, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UC Berkeley

Alexandre Bayen, Professor of EECS and Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley

Annette Bernhardt, Director, Low-Wage Work Program, Center for Labor Research and Education; Senior Researcher, Institute for Researcher, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment

Michael Borrus, Founding Partner, XSeed Capital; Co-Founder, BRIE

Stijn Broecke, OECD, Senior Economist, Directorate of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley

Giovanni Dosi, Professor of Economics and Director of Institute of Economics, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Chris Edley, Distinguished Professor and former Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law; Co-Founder and President, the Opportunity Institute

Stuart Feldman, Head of Schmidt Sciences, Schmidt Sciences

Ken Goldberg, William S. Floyd Jr. Distinguished Chair in Engineering, UC Berkeley; Chair and Professor, Industrial Engineering/Operations Research Department; Director of AUTOLAB and CITRIS “People and Robots” Initiative

Montserrat Gomendio, OECD Deputy Director, Directorate for Education and Skills, Head of the OECD Centre for Skills

Jennifer Granholm, Faculty Member at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy; Senior Advisor, CITRIS; Former Governor of Michigan

Bjoern Hartmann, Associate Professor in EECS, Faculty Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, UC Berkeley

Stéphanie Jamet, OECD, Directorate for Education and Skills, Senior Economist

Phil Kaminsky, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations and Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley

Stephane Kasriel, CEO, Upwork

Martin Kenney, Distinguished Professor of Community and Regional Development, UC Davis

Helmut Krcmar, Chair of Information Systems, Department of Computer Science, Technische Universitat Munchen

Kenji Kushida, Research Scholar, Stanford University; Research Affiliate, BRIE

Mark Kvamme, Co-founder and Partner, Drive Capital

Susan Lund, Partner, Mckinsey Global Institute

Lenny Mendonca, Senior Partner Emeritus, Mckinsey

Niels Christina Nielsen, CEO World Refugee Schools

Mark Nitzberg, Executive Director of the Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence

Tim O’Reilly, CEO, O’Reilly Media

Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center, Director of Internet and Technology Research

Petri Rouvinen, Research Director, Research Institute of the Finnish Economy; CEO, Etlatieto

Shankar Sastry, Dean of the College of Engineering, UC Berkeley

Patrick Scaglia, Managing Partner, Blue Bear Ventures; Co-founder, CITRIS Foundry Accelerator

Stefano Scarpetta, OECD, Director, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Hanne Shapiro, Business owner, Hanne Shapiro Futures

Andreas Schleicher, OECD, Director, Directorate of Education and Skills

Costas Spanos, Director CITRIS and the Banatao Institute, Distinguished Professor of EECS; Chief Technical Officer of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore, UC Berkeley

Mariagrazia Squicciarini, OECD, Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry, Senior Economist

Claire Tomlin, Charles A. Desoer Chair in the College of Engineering, Professor in EECS at UC Berkeley

Laura Tyson, Distinguished Professor of the Graduate School and Faculty Director of the Institute for Business & social Impact, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business; Chair, Blum Center for Developing Economies

Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

Mary Walshok, Dean of the University Extension and Associate Vice Chancellor for Public Programs, UC San Diego

Andrew Wyckoff, OECD, Director, Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation

Saadia Zahidi, Head of Education, Gender and Work; Member of the Executive Committee: World Economic Forum

John Zysman, Professor Emeritus, BRIE Founder/Co-Director, Convener- WITS University of California, Berkeley

Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2017 (Silicon Valley)

The Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2017 is over! We want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors, co-hosts, and staff for making this event possible, and of course to all of our participants who made this event the success that it was. We had a total of about 500+ attendees of the course of the two-days, with 65 Silicon Valley startups and over 100 large Japanese companies. 

The summit, in its second year, was broken up into two days - the first day was entirely in Japanese, and the second day in English. This year’s summit featured keynotes from Executive Chairman of RENOVA, Sachio Semmoto, and CEO of StartX, Joseph Huang, and also highlighted some interesting Japanese large firm and Silicon Valley startup partnerships, featuring panel discussions with Softbank and Aeris, and Panasonic and Citrine Informatics. This year we heard pitches from 30 innovative startups, including firms such as Skycatch, Coinbase, Cylance etc.

A longer report is forthcoming.  


Day 1

Day 2

10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies: The Sequel

In February, in an interview piece with Ishin, Kenji Kushida discussed 10 of the worst practices by Japanese companies attempting to harness Silicon Valley. 

In a second interview piece with Ishin, Kushida discusses a new set of worst practices, discussing the areas in which Japanese firms and Silicon Valley firms might feel disconnect, and suggesting ways in which Japanese firms can better harness Silicon Valley. 

The article (in Japanese) is available online via the link below. 

[続編] シリコンバレーの日本企業は陥る、10のワーストプラクティス


Nikkei Finsum Week 2017

Kenji Kushida participated in the Nikkei Finsum Week 2017 in September. He held a fireside chat with SBI Holdings CEO Kitao Yoshitaka. He also moderated a panel with fintech firms that had experienced and were planning ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and participated in a panel discussion on the future regulation and social issues in a cross-border talk. 

photo3 Fireside_preview.jpeg

New Book Chapter on Blockchain

Kenji Kushida's new book chapter, "Blockchain, a Silicon Valley Vantage on its Potential and Challenges" was published in new book, "The Future of Blockchain: How it will impact finance, industry, and society" edited by Yuri Okina, Noriyuki Yanagawa, and Naoyuki Iwashita.

The book is an investigation of the potential and challenges of adopting a disruptive technology such as blockchain. Experts on blockchain applications explain the concept of blockchain, how it is being utilized in a variety of areas, and its wide-range impact on economy, industry, business and society, based on cases in Japan and overseas. 


The book is part of a NIRA project, and is now available on Amazon. 


Press Conference for the Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit 2017

The Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2017 that will be held here at Stanford University is right around the corner. Last week, we held our first press conference in Tokyo, with the heads of JMA and Ishin Group. 

The summit, which will take place at the end of November, follows the success of both the Silicon Valley-New Japan Summit 2016 at Stanford, in which over 50 Silicon Valley startups participated, and over 400 people attended, and the Silicon Valley New Japan Summit 2017 Tokyo this past June in Japan, that saw about 600 attendees. With a growing interest in open innovation from both large firms and startups, our hope is to create opportunities for the exchanging of ideas, and facilitation of collaborations.

The event will be jointly produced with the Japan Management Association (JMA) and Ishin Group, and will be held here at Stanford University.

Article in Japanese


Silicon Valley - New Japan Summit Tokyo

On Tuesday, June 27, 2017, Ishin and the Stanford Silicon Valley – New Japan Project co-hosted the Silicon Valley – New Japan Summit 2017 Tokyo.

The event kicked off with a VIP dinner on Monday, June 26, for our speakers/panelists and supporters, that featured a talk from Kenji Kushida, and a toast from KDDI founder, Dr. Sachio Semmoto.

On Tuesday, June 27, nearly 600 policy makers, startups, VCs, company executives and employees, aspiring entrepreneurs, academics and other interested parties gathered at the Azusa Center Building in Iidabashi. The day began with introductory remarks from Yoshiaki Ishii from METI, a keynote speech from Kenji Kushida, and an introduction to open innovation by Naomi Nagatomi from Fujitsu, and later on by KPMG Partner Hiroshi Kinoshita. During the day we had some great conversations with Nori Matsuda, Ryoichi Togashi from Komatsu, Naoki “Nick” Sugimoto from Honda, and a second keynote speech by the riveting Dr. Semmoto. The program was interspersed with presentations from innovative and exciting startups, including Skycatch inc., DocuSign, App Annie, and Rancher Labs.

We would like to thank all of our speakers, and all of the supporters who made this event possible, and as successful as it was.

On November 28 and 29 we will hold a bigger version of this event at Stanford Unviersity. This event will feature pitches and business matching with over 60 Silicon Valley startups, and boot-camp activities and talks in English and Japanese over the course of two days. Registration page will be ready soon, so we hope you will be able to join us! 

"10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies in Silicon Valley" Cited In Nikkei Column

Kushida's article, "10 Worst Practices by Japanese Companies in Silicon Valley" published by Ishin, was cited in CEO & Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Ventures and Laboratory Silicon Valley, Hiro Saijo's most recent column in Nikkei (Japanese only). In his column, Saijo discusses the importance of purpose and reciprocity when forming strategic partnerships with Silicon Valley firms. 

The SV Startups 100 Interviews Honda Silicon Valley Lab Senior Program Director, Naoki (Nick) Sugimoto

SV-NJ strategic partner, and creator of the Silicon Valley Startups 100, Ishin, interviewed Honda Silicon Valley Lab Senior Program Director Naoki (Nick) Sugimoto last month (article in Japanese). In the interview, Sugimoto discusses Honda's collaborations with Google and Apple, and the recent announcement of a partnership with VISA, and Silicon Valley startup, Drivemode.

Honda is discussed as a case study of interesting and innovative attempts at open innovation by Japanese companies in Silicon Valley in the most recent SV-NJ working paper.