Day Two - The ECONOMY Session

Day Two Report

Date:  October 24, 2020

Location:  BMW GROUP Tokyo Bay

Highlight Video: OYW Facebook Page

To kick off the Economy session, our Words of Wisdom guest, Takashi Sawada, Representative Director of the convenience store chain FamilyMart, shared his recent experience leading FamilyMart’s “inclusive action” with employees and local communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the 17,000 stores nationwide in Japan converted to a “new normal” that seized the opportunity to convert dead space in the stores no longer used by regular customers into mini-markets for local farmers to sell their goods.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”

- Charles Darwin -

The ECONOMY Session

“The Challenges Of Creating Truly Sustainable Economies”

in partnership with

Takashi Sawada

Representative Director and President
FamilyMart Co.,Ltd.

Ibun Hirahara

World Road

Takayuki Inagawa

​NTT Docomo Ventures

Eriko Suzuki

General Partner
Fresco Capital

Kenji Kohashi

CEO & Creative Director
​The Human Miracle

The panel discussion was facilitated by OYWJ ambassador and Co-founder of World Road, Ibun Hirahara. She welcomed her personally selected panelists,  Takayuki Inagawa, CEO of  NTT DOCOMO Ventures , Eriko Suzuki, General Partner of Fresco Capital, and Kenji Kohashi, CEO of The Human Miracle.

The ECONOMY Session

When asked by Ibun if Eriko is seeing any shift from superficial CSR activity to true CSV or sustainable policy changes, Eriko commented that VCs  (venture capitalists) that are focused on ESG investing are, in fact, seeing some positive changes in this sphere, especially the pursuit of carbon neutrality. Additionally, Eriko said that she was extremely excited about the Gen-Z and Millennial generations and their ability to adapt to change more quickly as SDG and COVID natives but, that she would like to see more focus on B-to-C business models that are sustainable at the core and offer business solutions directly to the consumers.

In building her segue towards the main topic of “sustainable business,” Ibun shared some of her thoughts and concerns surrounding the separation of profit from sustainability instead of the integration of the two.

Takayuki expanded on this by clarifying that NTT Docomo Ventures looks at not just profit but, also “strategic returns” that take social impact into consideration. He used Marie Kondo as an example of “business concept first.” She created a unique niche in the market and the money came later.

The session ended with a key message from Kenji on how businesses need to get back to original concepts that use the idea of Japanese “kokoro” to connect with consumers on a deeper, more meaningful level for more sustainable business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Don’t miss an opportunity to create your own concept. Start your business, and don’t be afraid.
  • Invest in the future you want by voting with your wallet.
  • Recognize the change around and seize the opportunity.
OYW TOKYO CAUCUS 2020 – Day Two Report – The ECONOMY Session
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