As participants of the DBIC Singapore Innovation Program come together to share about the fruits of their labour, we are once again reminded of the importance of sustainable innovation and its role to play in advancing the Japanese economy.
Japan’s history of a booming economy has gradually faded and the country is in a climate of decline today. As key executives from corporations step up and get together in the spirit of Kaizen (改善), the country shifts towards a more promising phase. Kaizen refers to “improvement” and in the innovation context, the motivated initiatives that Japanese corporates take today towards creation. With deep resolve to better the future for later generations, Digital Business Innovation Center (DBIC), a non-profit organisation based in Japan, started its first innovation program in Singapore — a well-connected landmark with strong collaborations between academia, enterprises and the government.
DBIC Demo Day 2018 was held at the Metro@Ascent on 18 October. A total of 10 driven innovation candidates from key Japanese organisations took part in the program to delve into critical areas of digital transformation, design thinking, self-discovery and market diving. Throughout the afternoon, participants of the DBIC Singapore Innovation Program shared about their new business projects and experiences in the program over the past 5 months. More than new business creation, the program helped participants to cultivate a growth mindset — to see failures as lessons to learn from, embrace personal imperfections and consistently challenge themselves. As the Singapore Innovation Program draws to an end, participants will return to Japan. However, this is just the beginning of a new journey, where they play key roles in the proliferation of new perspectives to lead Japan into its new paradigm.
As President and CEO of Konica Minolta (Shoei Yamana) shared in his speech, the evolving environment necessitates sustainable innovation. Amongst which, shifting corporate cultures towards value creation and customer-centric approaches are pivotal. In creating customer value, it is imperative to take on the viewpoints of customers to gain deep insights about real problems. By leveraging on digital technologies, corporations today strengthen their capacity to design social programs that resolve pressing needs of society. Technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it may erect social barriers to create divide. Conversely, it allows the amplification of the effort of those who seek to provide for others.
“Human capital is the most important,