NASA Hackathon in Boston Another Success! (2016 NASA ISACを開催しました)

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(Japanese follows. 日本語は英語の後にあります。) BOSTON – Binnovative is celebrating its yet another successful year organizing the NASA International Space Apps Challenge (ISAC). Thirteen Boston teams comprised of 40 participants participated in this global hackathon on April 23-24. This is the third year for Binnovative to organize and host the International Space Apps Challenge in Boston. Commissioned by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), ISAC is one of the world’s largest hackathons. The competition is intended to inspire global citizens to share their creative minds and tackle various challenges facing humans. ISAC takes place over two days in April. This year ISAC drew more than 12,500 participants from 162 locations around the world. Binnovative organized ISAC in Boston (ISAC Boston) by bringing together local participants from diverse backgrounds to brainstorm ideas and fine-tune the details of their presentations. Judges and mentors from the community helped evaluate and mentor participants as they worked for 27 hours to deliver their projects. Both local and global companies sponsored the event and provided the infrastructure needed to make this happen. This year, the local projects comprised of hardware, software, data analysis and design. ISAC Boston is unique in that participants have the opportunity to partner with their counterparts in Tokyo to form international teams. Of the 13 Boston teams, eight teams were so-called “mix teams” comprised of both Boston area residents and participants from ISAC Tokyo and Tokyo University. Binnovative would like to congratulate all 13 teams, including the five teams (which included mix team) that won the following awards and the two that are advancing to the global finals: Award Team Name Challenge 1st Prize (Proceed to global final) hypnos 2nd Prize (Proceed to global final) Echimp Rock-It Space Fashion and Design People’s Choice Award (Proceed to global final) hypnos Rock-It Space Fashion and Design Best Use of Bluemix by IBM Astro Boy, M.D. (Mixed team) Space Recreation Best Use of Edison by Intel Echimp Boston Children’s Museum Award Echimp Hypnos **Projects from Boston Children’s Museum Award will be presented at their 1st annual Boston Mini Maker Faire on July 23, 2016!        Left: ISAC Boston ||Right: ISAC Tokyo (Japanese) 4/23-4/24、毎年恒例となったBinnovative主催によるNASA International Space Apps Challenge (ISAC) が開催されました。40人が13チームを構成しこのグローバルハッカソンに参加し、本年のイベントも成功に終わりました。 ISACボストンをBinnovativeが開催するのは今年で3年目。NASAが主催者となり開催されるこの大会は世界で最も規模の大きいハッカソンの一つです。大会は2日間にわたって行われます。今年のISACでは世界162か所の会場から12,500人以上が参加しました。 Binnovativeは、イベントをオーガナイズするにあたり、様々なバックグラウンドの参加者を募り、アイデアブレインストームやチームのプレゼンテーションのアドバイス等を行いました。また、スポンサー、メンターやジャッジの協力により参加者は27時間という限られた時間の中で思い思いのプロジェクトを形にすることができました。今年のISACでは、チームから提出されたプロジェクトは、ハードウェアやソフトウェア、データ分析やデザインまで、サブジェクトは多岐にわたりました。 ISACボストン会場では、東京会場の参加者と手を組み、インターナショナルなチームを結成する機会を提供しています。今年ボストン会場で参加した13チームのうち、8チームがこの「ミックスチーム」を結成し、ボストン在住の参加者は、ISAC東京会場と東京大学会場の参加者とリモートで一体になって大会に挑みました。 下記の賞を受賞したチームを含む、全13チーム(ミックスチーム含む)とグローバルファイナリストに進出する2チームをここに称えます。 Award Team Name Challenge 1st Prize (Proceed to global final) Hypnos 2nd Prize (Proceed to global final) Echimp Rock-It Space Fashion and Design People’s Choice Award (Proceed to global final) hypnos Rock-It Space Fashion and Design Best Use of Bluemix by IBM Astro Boy, M.D. (Mixed team) Space Recreation Best Use of Edison by Intel Echimp Boston Children’s Museum Award Echimp Hypnos Boston Children’s Museum Awardを受賞したチームのプロジェクトは7/23に開催される1st annual Boston Mini Maker Faireにて展示されます。

Binnovative Launches NASA Space Apps Challenge 2016 Event Page (NASA ISAC 2016 イベント特設サイトオープン!)

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NASA International Space App Challenge(ISAC) is an international mass collaborative hackathon focused on space exploration that takes place over 48-hours in cities around the world. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A PROGRAMMER to take part in this event. Held on April 23-24, 2016, the event embraces collaborative problem solving with a goal of producing relevant open-source solutions applicable to both life on Earth and life in space. NASA expects to see wide scope of talents: programmers, designers, artists, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, developers, and anyone with creative mind. Click here for more info and to register for info-session on 4/2!   NASA International Space App Challenge(ISAC)は世界130か所以上で同時開催されるハッカソンです。このグローバルコラボレーションイベントで、参加者は、土日の二日間、27時間をかけてNASAが呈示する課題を解決します。本イベントの目的は、各個人のスキル、アイディア、NASAから一般開示されたデータ等を活用して、宇宙開発や人類の発展に対し、有益となるソリューションを創出すること、また、各国の参加者が国際社会の一員として協力し合いながら、迫りくる人類への課題やチャレンジを解決する糸口を見つけだすことにあります。今年は、Aeronautics, Space Station, Solar System, Technology, Earth, Journey to Marsのテーマの中で,様々なチャレンジが呈示されます。今年は4/23-4/24の二日間にわたって開催されます。 イベント情報、登録はこちらから!

Predicting 3 Business Trends in Japan in 2016 / 2016年に注目を浴びる3つのビジネストレンド(By Kelvin)

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11/28/2015 By Kelvin Ha (Japanese follows. 和訳は英語の後にあります。) Because of where I work and where my family is, I get to travel frequently between US and Asia. In turn, these experiences allow me to bridge different perspectives, and recognize distinct patterns in how cultures approach business problems. As the year of 2015 concludes, I believe more Japanese companies will transition to dedicate increasing resources in the following areas. No matter if you are an entrepreneur starting a new business, or an innovator from within a company, these are the three trends I think are beneficial to be prepared for. Demand Generation experts will be in great demand The Abe administration has been pushing different measures relentlessly to ensure spending occurs at the household level. Classic Keynesian economic theory argues spending kicked start from the government will eventually flow to families, initiating a subsequent multiplier to revitalize the economy. Additional policies from Abe, including quantitative easing, have been in place as well. The caveat here is that Japanese citizens have a higher propensity to save than consume. Japanese businesses and the government have however been smart to encourage purchases. From limited edition items to time sales, to even “premium merchandise coupons” which many have lined up to purchase, we see Japanese responding favorably to time and quantity restricted tactics.   To ensure household spends the yen, businesses have to transition from one-off based stimuli to around-the-calendar planning. In the US, there are companies with whole teams dedicated for the function of demand generation. If you consider a customer purchase journey, the function should be baked around and across the funnel. In the wake of economic recovery, Japanese businesses which dedicate resources to demand generation can strategically position themselves to first share the result. Companies will dedicate more time with the 2Ms (message and metric) as brands transition from selling products to experiences As part of the attempt to generate more demand, businesses are transitioning from selling just products, to instead a lifestyle, or experience. Various American brands have seen success, including Patagonia, Airbnb, and Nike. When consumers ring at checkout, they are not just purchasing a down jacket, a night of stay, or a pair of shoes. They are buying into part of the ecosystem, which combined with other products in the portfolio, weave into a higher aspiration of a lifestyle. To brands, this would mean enhanced upselling and cross-selling opportunities. Walking around Harajuku this summer I observe more clothing stores no longer just sell clothes. Coincidentally, they start selling coffee, furniture, and household items. Brands like BEAMS, JOURNAL STANDARD (BAYCREW’S GROUP) are now aspiring you to not only buy their clothes, but also into their crafted ideals of life. Bloomberg quoted Fred Thompon, retail practice leader at marketing company LoyaltyOne, in saying millennial consumers are “increasingly responding to blended retail and entertainment experiences.” Brands should consider two things as they contemplate to expand their offerings. The first is reason to believe. From existing products, what makes the original quality (composed of both tangible craftsmanship and intangible service) transferrable to the new areas of the portfolio? In particular, customers may already believe you manufacture superior clothing, but simultaneously they also know clothing and furniture making ask for very different skillsets. A clear messaging strategy has to be in place. Just because other industries, or brands experience success, your portfolio may or may not be optimized to make this change. Apart from messaging, metrics is another area these brands should focus on. The transition to include furniture and coffee in an existing clothing store may mean implications on margin and turnover. What, therefore, will the new metrics be to monitor success? Messaging and metrics as the 2Ms will accompany businesses as they consider transitioning to sell experiences with the start of 2016. Space sharing in traditional retail environment will continue Land prices in Japan has only gone up higher in recent years. To combat, we see companies beginning to embark in space sharing. TSUTAYA and Starbucks, as well as Uniqlo and BIC CAMERA have been starters in Shinjuku. While traditional one building approach provides a one-stop shopping experience, with even extra spaces for exhibition and interactions, space sharing in central locations enlists immediate cost-savings and an increased exposure. The above approach is itself a double-edged sword. As two brands converge, impressions from one extend to influence the other. Picking which to partner with will be a strategic decision as brands go back to examine their value proposition. What brand, when positioned together, can generate synergies greater than the sum of both? Are there characteristics from a certain brand which juxtaposed to yours will serve to complement what you are selling? What can your brand share with the other in return? The intention of space sharing may originally be for rent sharing. Yet, companies should pivot the discussion to also consider opportunities. While a more competitive real estate market can be a challenge, how can you create synergies through this very constraint in the first place?   About Kelvin Ha Kelvin Ha started a web-based boutique marketing studio “Spreat” at fifteen, helping partners including Unicef, Usher’s New Look, and MTV Show “The Burried Life” tell their stories to millennials like himself. Now part of the Brand Strategy and Innovation division at Adobe, Kelvin uses creativity, data and research to support product brands in the Creative Cloud ecosystem, from Photoshop to mobile app Capture CC. Outside of work, Kelvin values time building non-profit programs, with “311JEA,” “The Boston Bean Project,” and “Books For a Cause” as interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, BostInno, and HKBN. With Binnovative, Kelvin is launching the San Francisco chapter in 2016 as continuous effort to foster entrepreneurial exchange between Japan and Silicon Valley. Kelvin now travels between San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Japan. Learn more about his thoughts at Kelvinha.com. *Views above my own and do not reflect past or current employment.     (Japanese) アメリカで働いていており、家族がアジアにいるので、よくアメリカとアジアを行き来する。こうもよく大陸を行き来していると、それぞれの土地によって違うビジネスへのアプローチがよく見えてくるものである。今回は、2015年も終わろうとする今、これから更に多くの日系企業がリソースを投入していくだろうと思われる3つのエリアをご紹介する。以下が、私の思うビジネスパーソンなら気をつけておきたい3つのトレンドである。 デマンド・ジェネレーションの専門家が重宝される 安倍政権が、ありとあらゆる策を講じて消費を促していることはもうご存知だろう。ケインズ経済学の法則に則れば、政府による支出の増加は、いずれ家計の消費を促し、スパイラル的に景気を回復させるはずである。また安倍政権は大胆な金融緩和政策も講じている。 ここで問題になるのが、日本人の貯蓄は消費を上回る傾向がある点だが、安倍政権及び日本企業はこのところ効果的な対策を講じているように思う。最近のトレンドを見ると、限定版商品、タイムセール、特典付き商品券など、時間・量に制限のかかった商品に対して、消費者は特に購買意欲を促されているようだ。 ただし、継続的な消費を促すためには、年間を通した効果的なマーケティングが重要となってくる。アメリカでは、すでに多くの会社がデマンド・ジェネレーション(需要創出)担当のチームを構え、これに取り組んでいる。消費するまでの過程を「旅(パーチェスジャーニー)」と考えれば、その大切さがわかるだろう。 日本経済が回復する中、デマンド・ジェネレーションへ戦略的投資を有効に行うことができる企業は、業績を一気に伸ばすことができるだろう。 「モノを売る」から「体験を売る」へ、企業における2つのMに対する投資の増加 需要拡大への戦略として、多くの企業が「モノを売る」だけにとどまらず、包括的な体験、ライフスタイルを消費者に提供しようと試みている。この戦略を通じて成功を収めた企業の一例として、アメリカでは、パタゴニア、AirBnB、ナイキなどが挙げられるだろう。消費者は、ただ単に一着のジャケットを買ったり、一日部屋に泊まったり、一足の靴を購入しているわけではない。彼らは、その一つの消費を通じて、その先にあるライフスタイルそのものへ足を踏み入れているのだ。売り手側からすれば、ここから自社他製品購入へと繋げることができるのだ。 私がこの夏原宿を歩いていて気がついたのは、多くのアパレルショップが、洋服以外の商品を売っていたということである。店頭には、コーヒー、家具、またその他家庭用品が並ぶ。BEAMS、JOURNAL STANDARD(BAYCREW’S GROUP)などのブランドは、消費者に対して理想のライフスタイルそのものをプロデュースしようとしているのである。 ブルームバーグは、LoyaltyOneの小売セクター部長のフレッド・トンプソンが「ミレニアル世代は、商品と体験の融合を求めている」と述べたことに注目している。 これらのことを踏まえ、サービスの拡大を考える上で、企業は以下のことに注意すべきであるう。一つ目は、「信じる理由」である。これまで培ってきたブランド力と商品の質は、これから拡大を目指す分野に合うものであるか。例えば、すでに高品質が認められているアパレルブランドがあったとしよう。しかし消費者は、アパレル製造と家具製造には全く違ったノウハウが必要であることも認識しているので、アパレル企業が家具販売にも守備範囲を広げる場合、そこには明確なメッセージがなくてはならないのだ。ここは十分に気をつけたいポイントである。 ブランディングにおいては、メッセージングの他に、メトリック(測定方法)にも注意したい。アパレルショップにコーヒーや家具のラインアップを追加することで、ショップ全体としての来客の回転数や利益率に何らかの影響が及ぼされる可能性がある。そこで、業績を数字として分析するために、どんな新しい測定基準を設ける必要があるのか?。 「商品」から「ライフスタイル」へと「売る対象」が変わる中、メッセージングとメトリックには注意したい。 今後も続くであろう共有空間の活用 近年、日本の地価は上昇の一歩をたどるのみである。それに対して、テナントを共有するといったビジネスモデルも出始めている。新宿には、ツタヤとスターバックス、ユニクロとビックカメラがそれぞれ共同店舗を構えている。 …

Binnovative organized Business Plan Competition 2015 (ビジネスプランコンペティション2015を開催しました)

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(Japanese follows. 日本語は英語の後にあります。) Fall marks the season for Binnovative’s annual business plan competition. This exciting competition brings together Japanese and non-Japanese participants in Boston, to propose solutions to Japanese companies wanting to expand in the US. This year, the organization collaborated with the newly opened Ramen shop, Santouka Ramen in Harvard Square, to help expand their business in the Boston area. Santouka was founded in 1988 in Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. In order to appeal their traditional cooking to the local palate, they needed ideas to situate themselves in the Boston food scene. Binnovative offered to help by organizing a Business Plan Competition. Teams of students and professionals from different backgrounds and cultures living in Boston, proposed new marketing ideas, products or strategies for Santouka to implement, in order to better localize itself. The Santouka Business plan challenge kicked off on September 19 and lasted two weeks culminating in a final presentation day on 10/3. A team building session was held for like minded participants to group together and participate in the competition. During the competition, the teams visited Santouka’s kitchen and got a behind-the-scenes look into what goes into Santouka’s celebrated ramen. Participants tasted the ramen and learned why the company has been so successful for many years. They also asked executives and employees questions to validate business ideas. Finally, on presentation day, 43 participants in 8 teams presented their business plan proposals to a panel of  judges composed of various industry professionals, fellow participants and volunteers.  A panel of five judges was tasked with selecting the winner of the event. It included Ms.Kerianne Panos - an International Communications Advisor and Coach, Ms.Alice Stein - a Brand marketer and digital strategist, Mr.Kohei Fujita - the Marketing & New Shop Development Manager for Santouka Boston, Mr.Walter Foster - a business lawyer in Boston, and Ms.Kiyoko Morita - a Japanese language lecturer at Tufts University. Due to their deep relationship with both Boston and Japan, the judges were able to objectively pick the winning idea based on practicality of the idea, deference to Japanese culture, and local appeal. On presentation day, eight upbeat teams presented radically different ideas to the panel. The teams thought up ideas such as design, marketing and social media strategies, new promotional ideas, ways to stimulate brand engagement with campaigns and mascots, and suggestions for food trucks or flagship stores. Team Sancha took 1st place for the overall Santouka Business plan challenge for their Japanese “Yatai” style food truck idea, while team Omoto was voted People's Choice winner for their idea of incentivizing customers to visit during non-peak hours. Santouka has agreed, as part of the first place prize, to implement team Sancha’s idea. Through this competition, Binnovative was able to create opportunities for local American participants to gain exposure to the Japanese culture as well as for Japanese participants to learn from the American entrepreneurial mindset. The diversity of ideas presented in this competition, feedback from participants, and positive impact on Santouka has assured Binnovative that its goal was met. So keep an eye out for Santouka’s very own food truck and Binnovative’s next event. Comments from Judges We interviewed to two judges out of the five. Ms.Alice Stein - a Brand marketer and digital strategist, and Mr.Kohei Fujita - the Marketing & New Shop Development Manager for Santouka Boston 1. About each team’s presentation “Each team presented a high quality, realistic business plan that can be put into practice. I hope to utilize my experience at this event through my future business career at Santouka.”(Mr.Fujita) "It was obvious the eight teams who participated took the competition very seriously and prepared some innovative recommendations for Santouka Ramen." (Ms.Stein)  2. About the winning team (team Sancha) The winning team had a highly feasible plan with in-depth research. The team presented a rental food truck instead of purchased one. This enables us to implement the plan easily and temporarily, which is a huge plus for a small business like Santouka.(Mr.Fujita) "The best teams had clearly been out in the field and could back their recommendations with market and consumer research. The winning team represented by Showa University won based on their thorough analysis, research and easy-to-implement recommendations. ”(Ms.Stein) 3. About the overall event I thank you for making this event a such fascinating competition, with participants from various backgrounds. Event operation was very smooth, and I was able to focus and enjoy listening to the presentations. (Mr.Fujita) “Binnovative stretches the international entrepreneur to new heights by exposing them to business challenges typically handled by senior executives at multinational companies. Eriko and Binnovative team has done a great job with organizing a business plan competition that explicitly addresses the challenges of Japanese businesses expanding into the US market." (Ms.Stein) Comment from winning team (Team Sancha) “I am very excited to win the first business plan competition I ever participated. Three members of our team had great teamwork, and we worked very hard for two weeks. It was also great how I got to meet other participants throughout the competition. I really enjoyed the competition, starting from the kick-off day, then Santouka visit, and ending with the final presentation. I appreciate Binnovative staff for creating welcoming and supportive vibe throughout the competition. I also learned a lot from other teams’ presentations. I cannot wait to see Santouka food truck in Boston! “(Maho Yanagisawa, Showa Boston Institute)  “It’s starting to sink in myself that we won Binnovative Business Plan Competition 2015. Not everything went perfectly, but we did our best. I enjoyed meeting people from different backgrounds through this competition, and the experience was precious. I also learned how far we can go by working the absolute hardest. I am excited to build on my experience at Binnovative Business Plan Competition 2015 and go further! “(Yuri Ishiguro, Showa Boston Institute) “I learned a lot through participating in Binnovative Business Plan Competition 2015. I joined the competition because my friends invited me to their team, and did not know what I was getting ...

不完全ニッポン-NASA Hackathon が示すヒントとは/Incomplete Japan: What the NASA Hackathon Suggests to Japanese Society (by Shunta)

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10/18/2015 by Shunta Muto (English follows. 英語は日本語の後にあります。) 今年、Binnovative主催で行われたNASA International Space Apps Challenge。NASA から与えられた様々な課題に対し、27時間以内に解決案を見出すというハッカソンです。ハッカソンというものに参加したことがない僕は、果たして各チームが時間内に仕上げることができるのか、不安でした。イベント中はスタッフとして駆け回り、迎えた最終プレゼンテーション当日。とにかく驚きました。各チームが自分たちの作ったソフトウェアや試作品を披露しあうのですが、ユニークなアイディアが出るわ出るわ。会場の撮影を任されていた僕はビデオカメラ片手に、ただただ感動していました。 近年、「イノベーションが生まれない」と言われる日本。そこには、高度経済成長期からバブルにかけて一直線に目指してきた「完璧な日本」像が大きな壁となって見え隠れしているように思います。目まぐるしく交錯する情報や、秒単位で変化を遂げ加速していく世界を目の前に、完璧な答えを求め足踏みしてしまう。内向き志向、消極的と揶揄される「さとり世代」の僕たち若者の背景には、そんな社会の形があるのではないでしょうか。 しかし、今回のハッカソンはそれに対しての小さなヒントではないでしょうか。大会中、各チームが100%満足できる解決法を提示できたわけではない。途中でパソコンや機械のトラブルに見舞われたチームもいた。日本とアメリカで結成されるミックスチームは、時差やネット回線などの壁もあった。それでも、最終プレゼンテーション当日には、しっかりとモノになっていたのです。調達できる材料、時間、スペースなど、いくつもの制限がある中で自分たちだけのユニークな答えを堂々と提示してきた。自分のプロジェクトに多少の欠陥や弱点があろうとも、参加者達は達成感と自信で満ちているように見えた。彼らが大会中に起こした小さなイノベーションの数々は、考える前にとにかくやってみるという、「完璧を追い求めない姿勢」が生み出したものではないでしょうか。Binnovativeの一員としてイベントに関わる中で、そして一大学生として、そう感じました。 挑戦する者。それを推し進め、発信していく者。二つが一体となったこのイベントは、Binnovativeが目指す社会の形を表しているのではないでしょうか。「完全」を目指す代わりに、常に自ら新しいものを創り出していく者たち。それを応援し、発信していける社会。単なる理想とは承知しながらも、そんな「不完全なニッポン」の方が皆さんもワクワクしませんか? (English) This year, Binnovative organized the NASA International Space Apps Challenge on April. In this global mass-collaborative event, participants spent 27 continuous hours solving challenges presented by NASA. Since it was my first time helping to organize the hackathon, I was worried that teams would not be able to finish their projects within the time limit. After bustling about for 27 hours, finally the time  came for final presentations by each team. Well, to put it simply, I was very, very impressed; not only because each team finished the project within the time limit, but also because of the unique and creative ideas produced by each team. Amazed by the original prototypes and software applications that each team presented, I could only stand still with a camcorder in my hand (recording was one of my tasks) and watch each presentation go by. For many decades, Japan has not been recognized as an innovative country. During the post-war economic period, Japanese companies achieved great success by focusing on quality and perfection, over creativity. Today, businesses in Japan still cling to that model of success instead of embracing the new model of success in the global economy through innovative thinking. In a hopeless search for a “perfect” solution in a constantly transforming and accelerating world, society stands motionless and becomes bewildered by the enormous stream of information. Current Japanese youth generation is often bantered as “Satori Generation,” characterized by an absence of ambition and enthusiasm. Perhaps, hidden behind such generation is a society that rejects any risk or challenge to be taken, in a fear to give away “perfection” that Japan has aimed to build up to this day. However, from my experience as a college student and working as staff at Binnovative, I am inspired to think; could this hackathon be a hint for the current Japanese society? During the hackathon, none of the teams were able to deliver a perfect solution for the challenge. Teams had technological challenges, as well as problems with the working environment.. The mixed team, composed of participants from Japan and Boston, had internet connection problems and had to overcome the 13-hour time difference between Boston and Tokyo venues. However, despite limited space, time, and resources, the team successfully produced an innovation at the end. Instead of holding the team back, these limits forced the participants to become proactive in taking challenges and risks, which ultimately led to unique and creative ideas. If the participants had insisted on pursuing an exact, “perfect” solution, the 27 hours would have passed without any progress. Hence, regardless of whether the project was 100% completed, participants seemed to have a great sense of accomplishment and confidence toward seemingly small innovations that they produced. By facilitating the participants to become proactive in taking risks and challenges, the event represented a society that Binnovative aims to foster: society with people who constantly strive to invest in new and creative ideas, in an exchange for a satisfaction with a given solution: society that encourages and acknowledges those fearless people. You may say that such society is highly idealistic. However, wouldn’t you be excited to see such an “incomplete Japan”?