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Leadership Forum on Digital and People Driven Change - Nov 10

TOKYO, Japan (Oct 20, 2022) - Culturelabs, in collaboration with Robert Half, is to host on November 10, 2022 a Leadership Forum on digital and people driven change. Culturelabs founder Aya Shimada discusses why Japan fell behind in data-driven change, how Japan can leverage data solutions to resist relying on uniformity, tap into underutilized diversity, and reach out beyond the status quo, silos and re-organize top-down legacy structures.

It will also be attended by 30-40 C-suite executives who will be engaging in discussions on the challenges faced operating in Japan, and how to create change and agility to survive the fast-changing business world of today.

The session will start with a “Kampai” Opening at 6:30pm! There will also be time to talk to and mingle with the attendees of the forum after the session.

----- Details ------

What? Leadership Forum on digital and people driven change, macro and micro challenges global companies are facing while operating in Japan and how to create change and agility to survive a rapid moving and transforming business environment.

When? November 10, 2022 from 18:00 – 21:00

(Registration and drinks served at 18:00, “Kampai”, main speaker, and facilitated discussions at 18:30-20:00, Networking with cocktail and finger food at 20:00-21:00)

Who? Main speaker:

Aya Shimada, founder of Culturelabs, is a transformation consultant with 20+ years of global experience in cross-functional, cross-cultural business evolution based out of New York City and Tokyo. A Tokyo native, she holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and is a diversity and human rights advocate. Her current interests are the future of work using “Agile” methodologies and “Design Thinking” approaches in a data-driven society - and the survival of legacy companies in this environment.

Discussion Facilitators

Yasumi Taniguchi, Managing Director, Japan Country Market Leader at Protiviti

Rochelle Kopp, External Board Member, MS&AD Insurance Group, Managing Principal, Japan Intercultural Consulting

Haruko Watanabe, President & CEO, American Home Assurance Company, Ltd., Director, Vice Chairman, AIG Japan Holdings KK

Trey Roper, Former CEO, Husqvarna Group, Member of Culturelabs

Hiro Iwashima, Chief Customer Officer, MetLife Insurance K.K.

Andrijana Cvetkovikj, PhD, EMBA, Ambassador (retired), CEO&President, BrioNexus KK


Yewki Tomita, Managing Director Japan at Robert Half/Protiviti (MBS)

*Other guests include 30 to 40 C-suite executives. (However, note that these guests will take part in discussions and will be available later. You need to contact them in person and individually if ever you are to quote them by name or company).

Why? Many Japanese enterprises like silos, routines and uniformity. The status quo, while limiting, is comfortable to many businesses confused about the fast-paced modern business world.

An island nation proud of its 2,000 years history and culture - molded by long acquired and tested ways and traditions - sees this status quo as a tried and proven way to endure both economic, social and even private crises.

However, things no longer work with status quo. Some may just about survive but few can thrive without change.

Uniformity, which is much valued culturally in Japan, however does not add value in today’s ever-changing, uncertain business environment. We are no longer 20th century factory workers that can simply mass produce standard products and hope economies of scale and operational efficiencies will work in our favor, as it did with Henry Ford and his ilk of that time?

Guess what happened to many of those factory jobs? Automated. Taken over by robots and AI. The World Economic Forum says that automation will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. (

The WEF also says 97 million new jobs will be created – mostly in the creative data driven and digital transformation sector.

How? There will be a speech by Aya Shimada, followed by a group discussion, short break sessions for C-suite executives to exchange ideas, and finally time to network over cocktails.

Where? The forum is by invitation only. If you are interested in joining any future such event or you just want to know more, please contact .


is an innovation and transformation company based in Tokyo and New York, experienced with consulting multinationals in Japan and abroad. Culturelabs founder Aya has two decades of experience in strategy and technology projects, and also works advocating for diversity and human rights.

Robert Half

is a global human resource consulting firm based in California, USA. It is a member of the S&P 500, and is credited as being the world's first and largest accounting and finance staffing firm, with over 345 locations worldwide. Fortune magazine lists has listed Robert Half as among the "World's Most Admired Companies" in the temporary-help industry for 25 years consecutively.


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