Posts Tagged ‘U.S.-Japan Innovators Network’

Innovators Network member and anime scriptwriter Dai Sato was in New York to give a two-week summer immersion workshop for high school students at Japan Society.  Dai took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with Japan Society about his creative process.  In this video,   Dai muses about his “dream script,” discusses new features in Eden of the East, an anime series as of yet unreleased in the U.S., touches on the influence of authors Philip K. Dick and Haruki Murakami on his work, offers advice for future scriptwriters, and explains a few of the perception gaps between American and Japanese viewers regarding the TV series Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. 

Dai’s scriptwriting credits also include Cowboy Bebop, Freedom, and Wolf’s Rain.


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The Five LawsInnovators Network member Hiroshi Tasaka’s poetic The Five Laws to Foresee the Future: 12 Paradigm Shifts that will Happen in the Future of Human Society  (未来を予見する「5つの法則」) is out in English.  Tasaka-san’s philosophical insights into the future of work, life and society make for rivetting reading. For those who may have missed it, Tasaka-san gave a talk at a joint Japan Society- New School forum, “Beyond Web 2.0: How Technology will Change the World.” 



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This wonderful video is based on a retreat we held in the Fall of 2007 titled Invigorating Communities, Designing for Inclusion. The video was created by BAYCAT Studio, where Innovators Network member Villy Wang serves as the President and CEO. Enjoy!

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Project Row Houses

Project Row Houses

I’m standing on the corner of Smith and Elgin, not far from Houston’s Third Ward. It’s May but with the heat and humidity it might as well be August, so I’m relieved when Tim Martinez pulls up, and I slip into his air-conditioned car.

Tim’s the Director of Development/PR at Project Row Houses (PRH), a neighborhood-based art and cultural organization located in Houston’s Northern Third Ward, one of the city’s oldest African-American communities.

PRH founder Rick Lowe, artist, community activist and member of the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network, was one of four Americans who participated in Invigorating Communities, Designing for Inclusion in November 2007. The two-day retreat in Kyoto brought together architects, urban planners, and leaders in culture and civil society from the United States and Japan to share ideas on urban revitalization, social inclusion, the role of arts and culture in stimulating local economies.

In Kyoto, Rick gave a compelling presentation on PRH, explaining how the organization was established on the site of 22 abandoned shotgun houses, on the principle that art and the community it creates can be the foundation for revitalizing depressed inner-city neighborhoods. This principle was is in part based on the philosophy of German artist Joseph Beuys (1921 – 1986) who coined the phrase “social sculpture,” which transformed the idea of sculpture as an art form into a social activity.

Business has brought me to Houston, and I am eager to see PRH for myself.

As Tim and I cross over Freeway 288 into the heart of the Third Ward, he explains how home owners there have successfully staved off the condo developers that seem to have overtaken much of the city. “People decided the Third Ward is not for sale,” he says.

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The Third Ward was once a center of African American culture in Houston, with Dowling Street at its hub. We pass the Eldorado Ballroom, an unassuming art deco building that as a night club played host to the likes of BB King, Count Basie and numerous other blues and jazz luminaries until it closed in the 1970s. PRH renovated the ballroom and reopened it in 2003 and continues to make improvements.

We park in the shade under a large tree across the street from a row of white, single-storey wood buildings. These are some of the 22 row houses PRH uses for art installations and studios, as well as for their artist-in-residence program.  Seven of the buildings are used for PRH’s Young Mothers Residential Program, where single mothers 18-26 live in fully furnished updated row houses while receiving mentoring and finishing their education, Tim explains.

Crossing the street, we step into a two-story brick building, a former grocery store which now serves as PRH’s office. The first floor is used as gallery space.

Upstairs, I meet Cheryl Parker, PRH’s Executive Director. On this particular day, Rick Lowe is in Washington DC. He’s been invited to the White House to talk about the role of art in fostering community revitalization, Cheryl explains.

I ask Cheryl what of PRH’s current projects she find most exciting, and she immediately replies, “Home. Space. Place.” The exhibition, or “round” as she and Tim call it, comprises works by eight artists on the themes of home, identity, culture, struggles and perseverance, she says. PRH holds two major rounds a year, as well as a special program in the summer engaging local college students.

Tim and I step outside and in a few feet we are on the porch of the nearest shotgun house. Inside, I am amazed at how small it is.

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It’s really one room, with a door at the front and a door at the back. One, sometimes two, families lived in these spaces, Tim says. This house is being used as a gallery by artist-in-residence Andres Janacau, a student at the Glassell School of Art, he says.

The next several houses are being used as art installation spaces for “Home. Space. Place.” “It’s one house per artist,” Tim explains. “We want the artists to think of the houses as a blank canvass.”

In one house, the main space has been divided into several small rooms. The walls in one room have been papered over with red photocopies of a letter written by the artist’s grandmother, describing the effects of Hurricane Betsy fifty years ago.

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In another room, the same artist, Rashida Ferdinand, has covered the walls with sand and broken glass, echoing the destruction brought by hurricanes.

In another house, artist Lisa Qualls has strung clothes lines draped with white linen from wall to wall. “The idea here was to collect clothes line stories from local people” Tim explains – stories relating to hanging washing out to dry.

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In a third house, Cynthia Giachetti has created a ceramic quilt, reflecting the artist’s interest in preserving and protecting community.

We head back outside and Tim points out a series of new two-storey duplexes. Designed by Rice University architecture students, the clapboard houses echo the best qualities of shotgun houses and are being leased to families at affordable rates by Row House CDC, a spin-off from PRH which focuses on economic development in the Third Ward.

I ask Tim about future plans for expansion. “CDC is planning to do another development of duplexes about a mile away from here,” he says, as we make our way back to the office for a glass of water and much-needed respite from the heat.

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Eight of the 24 families that have moved into the current duplexes include artists as family members, which has helped new-comers engage in the community. “They wanted to be here because they wanted to be part of the community,” he says.

Our tour complete, Tim is kind enough to give me a ride back to my hotel.

Note to anyone traveling to Houston: Home. Space. Place. continues through June 21.
(Daniel Rosenblum)

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雑誌ファースト・カンパニーの共同創立者アラン・ウェバーの新著が本日発売されました。英語のタイトルは Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business without Losing YourselfRules of Thumbの直訳は親指の法則ですが、通常、経験則と訳されます。オンラインで検索するとgoo辞書には語源に関して、下記の解説が出ていました。

Rule of Thumb: 経験則{けいけんそく}、経験{けいけん}に基づいて得られた法則{ほうそく}◆ 【語源説-1】大人の親指(thumb)の関節間の長さが約1インチであるため、大まかに長さを測るときに用いられた。◆【語源説-2】昔、ビールの醸造業者がビールの温度を測る際に、親指をチョットつけてみた。この方法は衛生的でなく、温度計ほど正確でもない。しかし、醸造業者の長い経験に基づいたものであるから、それなりに正確である。




A:この本を書くことになったのは、ほとんど偶然の産物で少しだけ先見の明があったと言えるかもしれません。一年ほど前に大企業のCEOと重役50人を前にスピーチをしたときに、プログラムの最後にCEOが出席者全員に「今の米国で道徳的権限を持っている人は誰か?」と問いかけました。そこで皆シーンと静まり返ってしまったのです。きっとみんな頭の中でデータ検索をしてビジネスの世界、政府、宗教で一体だれが当てはまるか考えたと思うのですが、だれの名前もでてこなかったのです。そのときに私は、明晰なものの考え方や、究極的には仕事と生きるための新しいルールを生み出すための源が必要だと思ったのです。そう思った途端に私は、過去30数年にわたり - オレゴン州ポートランドで働いていた時代、ハーバード・ビジネス・レビューやファーストカンパニー誌時代、そして今わたしは自称「グローバルな探偵」として活動しているのですが - 貯めてきた記事、スピーチ原稿、エッセーが詰まっているファイルを見直しはじめました。そして私は今までに出会った卓越した人々と一緒に働き学んだことをまとめあげ、この本にしたのです。「経験則」がこの本のバックボーンとなっています。この時代が来るのをなんとなく予測していてこの本が生まれたという言い方もありますし、このような時代だからこそこの本が生まれたともいえます。



Q: 経験則41では、「もしも本当のリーダーになりたいのであれば、本気でリーダーになることに取り組め!」とありますが、今日のリーダーに一番欠けている重要な素質は何ですか?




アランの英文でのインタビューはまだ続きます。続きは、折をみて日本語に訳す予定です。アランの話はとっても面白いので明日の講演会が楽しみです! (Fumiko)

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U.S.-Japan Innovators Network Lecture @ Japan Society

Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 PM

Imagine a world where everyone has access to water, housing, health services and energy. That is the goal of Jacqueline Novogratz, a member of the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network. In 2001, Novogratz started Acumen Fund, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve global poverty. Join us in celebrating the launch of her new book The Blue Sweater, which follows her transformation from a young idealistic woman working in Africa to one of today’s most inspiring social entrepreneurs.

Moderated by Justin Rockefeller, Co-founder, GenerationEngage.

Followed by a reception and book signing.

This event is free, but you must register in advance.

Please send your name, affiliation and contact information by e-mail to innovators@japansociety.org.

If you have any questions, please call the Innovators Network at 212-715-1243

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april_22_pic1U.S.-Japan Innovators Network Lecture
Wednesday, April 22, 6:30 PM @ Japan Society

* Rule #14 You don’t know if you don’t go.
* Rule #23 Keep two lists: What gets you up in the morning? What keeps you up at night?
* Rule #37 All money is not created equal.
* Rule #45 Failure isn’t failing, failure is failing to try.

In his new book, Rules of Thumb: 52 Truths for Winning at Business without Losing Yourself, Alan Webber stimulates, inspires, challenges and helps us understand what makes for a life well-lived and work well-done. Co-Founder of Fast Company magazine, award-winning business journalist and a member of the U.S.-Japan Innovators Network, Mr. Webber reflects on 40 years of experience as observer, participant and agent provocateur, illuminating 52 rules of thumb on what it takes to innovate and lead in these extraordinary times. Whether you’re a social entrepreneur, a start-up, an established business leader or just plain curious about how to make the most of your life in these crazy times, 52 Rules of Thumb is the book for you.

Followed by a book signing and reception.

$10/$8 Japan Society members/$5 students & seniors

Buy Tickets Online or call the Japan Society Box Office at (212) 715-1258, Mon. – Fri. 11 am – 6 pm, Weekends 11 am – 5 pm.

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