A Vision: 2020 and Beyond
円卓会議201A Vision: 2020 and Beyond
Founder, Susana Balbo Wines
Chair, W20 Argentina
Member of the House of Councilors
Liberal Democratic Party
Lori Henderson MBE
British Chamber of Commerce in Japan
the youngest person to complete the "Explorer's Grand Slam"
This roundtable will address future possibilities for work and life in 2020 and beyond.
Building on the legacy of the past and weaving in aspirations for the future, Society 5.0 will be the fifth big step in the evolution of human society. Topics include diversity and inclusion, how we work and live, and societal innovation, as well as how we can learn and use AI for the betterment of our lives.
A mountain climber, a politician, and an entrepreneur walk into a conference room. There is no joke here; these women just offered a ton of inspiration to help the participants pursue their dreams. Lori Henderson led this roundtable, introducing Society 5.0, a Japanese development plan which Henderson describes as the 5th stage of human and societal revolution.
She gave the floor to Ms. Matsukawa, a member of the Upper House Parliament, with 23 years of experience in the Foreign Ministry. What would a future working lifestyle be like with AI and robotics? Ms. Matsukawa and Ms. Minamiya, the world’s youngest woman to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam, shared a similar perspective on happiness and the pursuit of your dreams in the face of an ever-changing world. Ms. Matsukawa challenged everyone with an interesting proposition: “If you have 100 years for your life, what kind of life would you like to design?” Ms. Balbo brought an opposing side to the topic of Society 5.0, which she stated is a far more frightening rather than enjoyable prospect in a country like Argentina, which faces corruption, underdevelopment, and widespread poverty and unemployment.
The future is always in the hands of the youth, and sitting on today’s panel was 21-year-old Marin Minamiya, who presented her views on how her generation is dealing with AI and robotics. She shared a refreshing perspective on what companies must do to not fall behind in the face of technological advancement. Ms. Matsukawa agreed and took the conversation a step forward into the future, saying that “it is time for workers to say what they want.” Along with Ms. Henderson, they discussed various possibilities for the future of Japan’s laborious workforce style, and stressed the importance of balancing work and personal life, encouraging everyone to enjoy their life too.
As a young Japanese globalized woman, Ms. Minamiya offered insight into students’ opinions on the matter, advising the audience that there is a whole world out there to pursue your dreams. Ms. Balbo agreed; globalization brings opportunity to young people, especially women who have a lot of talent. Ms. Henderson said with the future’s focus on a human-centered society, we can make our own decisions and carve our own paths. As Japan is a group-based consensus culture, it is very hard to say no, especially for women. When asked what stops young people from achieving what they want, the lively Ms. Minamiya blamed traditional values and social standards. She shared her experience growing up in a household where she was never told what to do and what not to do, allowing her the freedom to start mountain-climbing. An ambitious woman, she thinks happiness is essential: “I think much more about what makes me happy, not me serving the company. What is my talent, where can I blossom?”
In the Q&A session, Ms. Matsukawa stressed the importance of individual happiness, and how the Japanese structure of labor can be improved to allot more time for family and personal endeavors. Ms. Balbo’s words resonated with the audience: “The world is becoming more unpredictable. The challenge for human beings is to learn how to drive their life blind.” Ms. Matsukawa addressed combining a career and children and stated her goal of establishing a way for women who have children to become congresswomen.