Trends In Organizational Culture In The Age of Digitalization

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In a society where the business environment is evolving faster coupled with technology forcing us to evolve continuously, our…

Protected: The Pursuit of “Healthy-ness” – Improving the Quality of Life Through Microfabrication

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“I Am Not My Body”: Continuing the Quest to Understand Body Disownership

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In the mind of Yuta Nishiyama, science and philosophy mix and mingle in a sublime and intriguing dance. A cursory…

Diversity and Inclusion in Workplace Transformation

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The vision of a Thought Leader: Natsumi Shimaoka Whether one is ready or not, globalization is already rapidly changing…

Do High Performers Make Bad Managers?

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Information from digital breadcrumbs could provide great insights to the situation happening in an organization; enabling diagnoses, predictions and…

Improving the Internet: Prof. Kohei Watabe on its Potential and Prospects

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There seems to be no slowing down our collective demand for the Internet. For everything from shopping to banking…

Nagaoka Highlights: Mimatsu Café’s “San-Kyu Matsuri”

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Showing appreciation to the community for their unending support Japan has a fascination for long waiting lines, believing that…

3 Ways RPA Helped a Financial Institution Navigate COVID-19

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In order to support the demand for a remote or skeletal workforce due to COVID 19, most organizations, by now,…

Japanese Open Innovation in Silicon Valley

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Innovation outposts as effective ways of ingesting innovation into corporate ecosystems The term “open innovation” is most recently defined…

Protected: Thinking The Extreme | Why Extreme Is Not Always Bad

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Envisioning a Japanese Multicultural Society

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Chikyo Hiroba: a place where multiculturalism takes on a special color Today, more than two million foreign residents live…

Feedback: Identifying Change Readiness for Improvement

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Thought Leaders

Anthony Swartz

Sr. Technical Sales Engineer, Murata Electronics

Prof. Angela Hondru

Angela Hondru

Japonologist and Professor, Hyperion University

Anne Stenros

Lecturer, Nagaoka University of Technology

Artis Birzins

Director, Data and AI Delivery Management at Avanade

Dev Glover NR Homepage

Dev Glover

Digital Entrepreneur, Author, and Speaker

Fumiaki Tajiri

Fumiaki Tajiri

Founder & CEO, Worldvoice Communications Inc.

President, LIKEART RESOURCES and Lecturer, Nagaoka University of Technology

Keita Sugiyama

Global Business Services Consultant, IBM

Kiyoshi Ohishi

Kiyoshi Ohishi

Vice President, Nagaoka University of Technology

Nobuhiko Azuma

Nobuhiko Azuma

President, Nagaoka University of Technology

Tetsuya Kaida

Founder & CLO, Nagaoka University of Technology Idea Lab

Zohrab Chong

Founder & CEO, Enablerz Consulting & Solutions


James Chua

James Redmond Chua

An enthusiast of interdisciplinary thinking and future experiences, James is focused on design research, technology, and consumer behavior.

Areas of Expertise:
– Digital Communications and Consumer Behavior
– Marketing Strategy and Implementation
– Robotic Process Automation

James is a seasoned marketing professional with over ten years of experience in industries that include cybersecurity, technology, consulting, media, and education. James helps organizations grow their business by identifying key growth opportunities and developing and executing revenue-generating, industry-specific demand generation programs. Utilizing his knowledge and experience in 360-degree marketing, he can conceptualize a strategy to deliver growth in an organization.

James considers himself a problem solver, creative thinker, and builder.

While he will always see himself as a marketing professional through and through, he has recently expanded his interests to include digital transformation and innovation with specific focus on digital communications, robotic process automation (RPA), and modern business collaboration.

In addition to his role as a content strategist and thought leader on marketing for The Nagaoka Review, James also serves as Executive Project Manager for Japan Creative Enterprise, a Japan-based consulting agency which helps corporate teams transform their business and manage talent.

James lectures on Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Digital Communications at Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan).

Senior Researcher

Ana Damaschin

A determined young researcher, passionate about Organizational Communications and Negotiating in International Business.

Areas of Expertise:
– International Relations and European Affairs (Cultural Diplomacy)
– Management and Negotiation
– Leadership
– Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
– Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

A determined young researcher, passionate about Organizational Communications and Negotiating in International Business, with numerous researchers in the fields of International Relations, Leadership, Cultural Integration, and Executive Development, Cognitive Science, and Cultural Integration. Ana has worked with corporations and public institutions on the role of new talent operations, corporate communications in executive development, and the practice of negotiating.

Ana is currently finishing her Ph.D. in European Studies at the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Law and a Master’s Degree in International Relations focused on International and European Management and Negotiations.

Ana lectures on Cultural Intelligence (CQ) at Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan).


Michelle Lim

A passionate storyteller who is able to draw links between logic and emotion through Graphic Facilitation.

Areas of Expertise:
– Humanizing Business Relationship
– Design Thinking
– Creativity
– Graphic Facilitation & Recording

A passionate storyteller who is able to draw links between logic and emotion through Graphic Facilitation. Experienced Associate with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer goods industry. Skilled in Learning & Development, Design Thinking, Graphic Facilitation, Creativity & Innovation, and Management. Strong professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) focused in Business Administration and Management, General from Graduate School of Management, Globis University.

Michelle lectures on Design Thinking and Business Communication at Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan).

Tudor Tomos
Senior Researcher

Tudor Tomos

An engineer by education, Tudor has had an extensive experience in strategic communications and developed a keen interest in social innovation.

Areas of Expertise:
– Brand Storytelling & Media Production
– Software Development
– Sustainable Businesses and Social Innovation

Tudor’s interests and passions come from seemingly divergent but complementary paths. An engineer by education, Tudor has had an extensive experience in strategic communications and developed a keen interest in social innovation.

Throughout his career, Tudor has helped organizations and communities harness digital and traditional communication channels in creating value. He produced content of public interests and covered news for the government of Romania and worked with JCI, a nonprofit organization engaged and committed to creating impact in their communities. From these experiences, Tudor has refined authentic and unique brand storytelling that is key in building trust and mobilizing audiences.

A graduate of Electronics and Telecommunications, Tudor has a solid technical background in electronics engineering, network engineering, and software development.

Tudor lectures on Social Innovation at Nagaoka University of Technology (Japan).

For Tudor, the social and technical paths he chose are complementary paths that bridge human with technology, enabling us to better innovate for the future.

Nil Pontius
Senior Researcher

Nil Postius Echeverri

Born and raised in the Principality of Andorra, Nil's areas of interest include disruptive technological innovation, its social implications, and skiing.

Areas of Expertise:
– Design Strategy and Implementation POC
– Disruptive Technological Innovation
– Digital Transformation

When involved in a problem, Nil always asks, “How can I transform people’s lives not only for survival but also to be able to evolve into a better future?”

His natural inclination to ask this question comes from his multicultural background and experience. Nil was born and raised in a small country in the middle of the Pyrenees called the Principality of Andorra, known for its ski resorts and high concentration of protected natural reserves in the world. While it is important to preserve the country and its wonders, there is also a huge but necessary challenge to align the country into the digital era where innovative technologies can be used to address conservation issues.

After working in Spain and in Italy, Nil eventually pursued an MBA in Japan to increase his knowledge of disruptive technological innovation and its social implications. This has given him the opportunity to work with people from multiple nationalities, and learn innovative ways of problem-solving and decision-making.

Currently, Nil works for a multinational company on Smart Manufacturing and Robotics in industrial solutions. He helps create synergies between customers and technology based on a systematic and achievable digital transformation roadmap, applying a human-centric approach towards Industry 5.0.

Bianca Yamaguchi
Senior Researcher

Bianca Yamaguchi

As the CEO of Zero Waste Japan, Bianca advocates for the shift towards more sustainable, ethical business practices centered on social welfare.

Areas of Expertise:
– Corporate Value Creation
– Trend Analysis and Consumer Behavior
– Sustainable Development
– Alternative Economics
– Youth Leadership

Born in 1988 on the shores of the Black Sea, she spent the last 10 years in Japan advocating for the shift towards more sustainable, ethical business practices centered on social welfare.
Bianca helps social businesses and non-profits grow their impact by identifying key trends, up-to-the-minute innovations and collaborative opportunities. Utilizing her knowledge in various fields, such as psychology, marketing, business, sustainability and economics, she delivers holistic solutions through public speaking and creative workshops. She believes that a global perspective, a growth mindset, and a playful mind can bring visible change.

Bianca considers herself a visionary global citizen, a disruptive thinker and a creative problem solver.

She has started her academic career with a BA in General Psychology and gradually built her portfolio of certificates to include:
- Sustainable Science from the Graduate University of Tokyo (JP)
- Circular Economics from TU Delft (NL)
- Microeconomics from MIT (USA)
- Sustainable Development from The SDGs Academy (UN)

After working for the Corporate Value Creation Department of Toyota Motors Corporation and five years of business consulting at JCE, she launched the Zero Waste Japan volunteer group in 2015 and now is a freelance consultant at The Zero Way. She is a polyglot, public speaker and author, and is currently working to help young minds succeed in business by volunteering as a mentor for YMCA Youth for Causes, and Hult Prize judge and advisor.

Her future plans include receiving her PhD diploma and continuing to create a society based on sustainable development, ethical business development, social equity, cultural equality, physical and mental health, and lastly positive human progress in harmony with both nature and technology.