Orange Institute #10

Six new waves in the digital economy – Tokyo & Yokohama

Avpil, 2013

Since our last session in Japan back in 2010, we noticed how the country had been able to rebuild itself. The lessons of the 3/11 disaster emerged as bright spots of innovative collaboration against the backdrop of destruction and human loss. Japan has been a powerful lens on the future. We discovered how pioneer this country was in terms of big data exploitation and startup creativity. The lack of natural resources, urban density and sophisticated consumer marketing skills drive optimization of everything: from water and public spaces, to how convenience store shelves are stocked. Here the Big Data specialists are not 20-something geeks doing war sharing algorithms, but very large companies, working on industrial processes, algorithmically augmenting them for efficiency. From Galapagos to Global: the narrative we heard this time were more externally-focused, no longer just looking inward but outward via organic and inorganic expansion onto a world stage. If we had to keep in mind only one single aspect it would be this reference to the Power of “Gemba” mentioned to us by Takeshi Masuda of Yamato ,”the Sampoyoshi-principle” by merchants of the feudal province of Ohmi: “good in Three directions” meaning that commerce should not only benefit the buyer and the seller but also the society as a whole.


  • Themes explored


Telematics, Big Data in autos, and future of personal transportation
Smart cities and IT industry
E-Money and omni-channel mobile commerce
Supply chain management
Disaster recovery (post-Fukushima)