New Models of Leadership – Japan and the World
One of the most interesting seminars I have ever been to was held last October 13 at Academy Hills in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo, Japan. Dubbed as “G1 Global: New Models of Leadership – Japan and the World,” the event was jointly organized by GLOBIS and the World Economic Foundation.
Given the event was sponsored by GLOBIS Corporation, I was able to join the event with my fellow MBA students from Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University, which is Japan’s Largest Business School. Donning my 3-year old suit, which according to its “world-renowned Pinoy designer, Marc Rancy (hehe)” was in supposed dire need of an upgrade, I trotted from my house in rural Nerima Ward in Tokyo to the epicenter of what’s chic, what’s hot, and ridiculously expensive in Japan. As I could sense my helplessness about getting excited about the event, I once again got a glimpse about what makes Japan uniquely interesting.
The ward I live in Tokyo is very modest in appeal and is actually dubbed as the birthplace of anime. There are several animation studios in the area and in fact, the legacy of anime is both reflected in random works of on the streets or aboard the train. Even the Ward City Office would print your official government documents with a character from one of their homegrown animators.
Roppongi Hills, however, is the melting pot of culture as almost every foreigner, every gaijin, seems to feel the need to be there. To be honest, this is the second time I’ve been in Roppongi, and chances are I’d be coming back a lot for more not just because of the movies, the food, the fun, or the dream of shopping, but also because the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines is located nearby.
Anyway, during the event, which was located in the 43rd floor of the Mori Tower, I was met with one of the most spectacular views of my life. I know, I know, my reaction was like a probinsiyano, but then again, I am, so what’s the problem about living to the fact that I am? Hehehe. I am also wowed and amazed by natural wonders because God works in mysterious ways. But having spent my life as a kid near rice paddies, carabaos, herons, mountains, hills, bananas, beaches, rivers, creeks, and a whole lot of coconuts, you can’t blame me if even with a college education and a decade in Metro Manila, I’d still be in awe with architectural marvels in an urban landscape.
It’s easy for me to be humbled and accept that God can make wonderful things. What interests me is the human factor on making wonderful things this side of the planet. The Tokyo skyline is just amazing because it reeks of innovation and culture and that underlying danger of an earthquake. I was on the 43rd floor after all, and to be honest, while looking down at the beauty, you can’t help but wonder about the possibilities….. Eep. I remember seeing the beautiful sunset of Manila Bay as well on top of the a certain skyscraper in Ortigas Center. It’s just amazing to see the whole world in a bigger scale of things….
This leads me to the discussion about Japan and the country’s impact to the world from a bigger, wider point of view. Nice segue, huh? Hehehe. Being in a room full of world economic catalysts and business leaders, I felt my desire to change the Philippines when the time is ripe to be more and more a reality. But let’s not talk about that…. for now….
One of the contentions during the discussion was about Japan as a risk taker and Japan as leader in this new era. As a kid, I can undoubtedly attest of Japan’s risk taking nature because I am all too-familiar with the investments that Japan has in the Philippines in terms of infrastructure, businesses, and even healthcare. So to say that Japan is a risk-taker, I would most likely disagree with it because as I said, Japan has always been an economic partner of the Philippines, whether it may be the best of times or the worst of times.
Perhaps this is the reason we have the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement. Aside from the company I was connected with before, manufacturing plants, and the numerous Japan-Philippine flags that we see in bridges and roads all over the country especially in the provinces, now Japan has once again allowed Filipinos to explore opportunities within its borders. I am a testament of how Japan has been a great help to the Philippines and why to say Japan is risk averse is somewhat sadly myopic.
With respect to the world leaders who was present during the event, I would rather not expound on their thoughts within the realm of my personal blog, and just point you to the official documentation of the said gathering in the Official GLOBIS Page: