Morinosuke Kawaguchi

Futurists, Innovation, Technology

Travels from Tokyo, Japan

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Morinosuke Kawaguchi Profile

  • Kawaguchi is known as Japan’s foremost “futurist,” his work has been fully incorporated into the Japanese government’s 2030 plan.
  • His unique innovation model and consultancy helps companies break into new markets.
  • By leaving no idea off the table, Kawaguchi monetized Japan’s fervent otaku culture and transformed them into a powerful consumer force.
  • His MEGATRENDS book forecasts 50 key trends many years into the future, allowing companies to stay current with their fans’ interests.
  • Morinosuke Kawaguchi is a cultural innovator, writer, strategist and futurist based in Tokyo, Japan. His laboratory, Moronoske Co. Ltd., uses a proprietary innovation method known as The Morinoske Innovation Model which considers every possible creative outcome. “If you don’t dare to think of even the silliest solution to your challenge, you might miss the blue ocean,” Kawaguchi said.

    Kawaguchi researches, lectures and examines how Japanese subculture is affected by technological advancements. His writings have won numerous awards, such as a Nikkei BP BizTech Book Award for his book “Otaku de onnanoko na kuni no monozukuri” (Neon Genesis of Geeky-Girly Japanese Engineering). In addition to consulting for private businesses, his future forecasting models form the base of Japan’s official 2030 strategic plan. His MEGATRENDS 2019-2028 book analyzes over 50 trends across all industries to predict market futures.

    Kawaguchi’s concept of Gross National Talent and the Gross National Talent Index reveal where countries are strong and weak in their talent base and allow for unique competitive analysis. He is also responsible for companies successful marketing to Japanese subcultures by using them in inform branding and technological research. He has taught at the Tokyo Institute of Technology and Doshisha Business School.

    • View Extended/Alternate Bio

      Morinosuke Kawaguchi is an innovation and competitive strategy consultant, futurist, author and designer. He is the founder and CEO of Morinoske Co. Ltd., a creative future laboratory based in Tokyo. He is the creator of the Morinoske Innovation Model and also of the concept of Gross National Talent and the Gross National Talent Index.

      As Japan’s foremost futurist, he serves as a strategy advisor to the Japanese government and to some of the world’s largest multinationals. These organizations adopted Morinosuke’s future forecasting book Megatrends 2019-2028 as the base for their future strategy. It was in 2013 that the first Megatrends book was published by Nikkei BP, titled Megatrends 2014-2023 メガトレンド 2014-2023 and as of December 2018, the book has been updated three times. Morinosuke presents the material at conferences and in-company events around Japan, as well as abroad.

      Morinosuke Kawaguchi is an award-winning author whose books have been translated into four languages and they influence thinking and practice not only in Japan but in other countries as well. Morinosuke is one of the twenty people, including two Nobel prize winners, whose ideas shape the Japanese government’s 2030 strategy.

      Morinosuke Kawaguchi is often the keynote speaker at innovation forums and international conferences around the world.

      Yahoo Japan listed his TEDxTokyo Toilet Talks as one of the five best online presentations in the world, and the South Korean search portal Naver Japan chose his TEDxTokyo Toilet Talks as one of the best presentations online, along with lectures by MIT’s Hiroshi Ishii and famous game developer Tetsuya Mizuguchi.

      In 2018, while updating his Megatrends book, he presented the material in keynotes at some of Japan’s most prestigious events, including Japan’s top symposium on quality control.

      In 2017 he was a keynote speaker at The World Government Summit and at The Principals Symposium 2017 in Dubai, and at the Mohamed Bin Zayed Majlis for Future Generations in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

      In 2013 he was invited by the Malaysian Prime Minister’s office for a keynote speech at the World Innovation Forum Kuala Lumpur. In 2014 he was once again invited to Malaysia, this time to be the keynote speaker at the Pangkor International Development Dialogue.

      In Japan, Morinosuke has been the keynote speaker for various innovation forums, including the IBM Innovation Forum 2014, Nikkei Innovation Forum 2013, Hitachi Innovation Forum 2013 and others.

      He also makes presentations and holds creative workshops in both Japanese and English, not only in Japan but also abroad. He is frequently interviewed by the international media and appears as a commentator on television.

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    Morinosuke Kawaguchi's Speech Descriptions

    Morinosuke Kawaguchi is a creative and technological thinker who helps direct companies, governments and students in breaking ahead of their competition in future planning. His novel theories surrounding creativity and marketing have allowed him to engage and monetize the fervent fanbases of Japan’s many subcultures.

    By taking a holistic look at where our new ideas come from and applying every conceivable option, Kawaguchi finds new and exciting applications for the simplest of devices. While a car is always a car, different groups assign it different values. Pairing this knowledge with a sustainable approach creates successful target markets based on laser-like precision.

    Kawaguchi explores the depths of this model to discover the granular desires that inspire and design large movements, such as Japanese otaku, so that marketers and product designers can own the conversation and make their products more human.

    Subculture-inspired innovation
    Based on his unique innovation model, Kawaguchi challenges his audience to cast a deeper look at micro cultures for hints for successful product and service innovation. In a world that becomes more diluted through globalization, identity and distinctive features need to be regained. And it is by looking at today’s subcultures – excellent mirrors to reflect consumer needs – that this can be achieved. This lecture is for people looking for innovative ideas as well as for new models in product value creation and branding.

    A new kind of hunger: Herbivore, urban markets
    The background of Kawaguchi’s lecture is the change in areas characterized by urbanization, high population density, financial well-being and dominance of the service sector. This urban-centric market-reshaping process is happening all over the globe in emerging as well as in industrialized countries as traditions and social rules and roles are blurring. The “herbivore man” from Japan is but one of the examples Kawaguchi uses to illustrate the formation of a large new market that dances to a different tune.

    So how does consumer behavior change in these urban centers, what is the hunger of the herbivore consumer, and what new markets can be expected to appear – this is the essence of Kawaguchi’s lecture.

    The Future is Fun
    The challenge companies are facing nowadays is how rapidly everything becomes a commodity and loses in both real and emotional value. What is never lost however is people’s deeply-rooted attraction to Play and Game. It is such a basic part of human nature in fact that playing becomes the actual appeal.

    The lecture exposes how concepts of play and successful product innovation are related. Using insights from brain research and presenting toys that embody different kinds of irresistibility and appeal, Kawaguchi shows how a new product value can be created if the essence of the concepts of toy and game are built into products and services. If this is taken into account, even the most basic commodity can turn into a hit seller or cherished item.

    Other lecture topics:

    - Time Machine accelerator: Look at Japan
    - Mining gold from the silver market
    - Discovering new needs: Lessons from the Japanese Toilet
    - Emotional attachment in value creation
    - Be shy, make money!
    - The markets of the luxurious weak
    - Sustainable innovation
    - Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s Innovation Model
    - Keiretsu 2.0

    What People are Saying about Seeing Morinosuke Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Morinosuke has a real sense of the future trends and what will spark them. This sense is the same one many innovators use during their creative processes.”
    – Patrick Newell, Co-founder of TEDxTokyo

    “Our president, Mr. Tadashi Yanai, has read Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s books and invited Mr. Kawaguchi for a lecture in our Tokyo headquarters. We live broadcasted the presentation to our offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh and France so our international teams could also learn from Mr. Kawaguchi’s highly creative and unique viewpoint. Mr. Kawaguchi is able to both distance himself from Japan and at the same time squeeze out the essence of Japanese culture in order to come up with new business ideas. This is exactly what a multinational company like ours needs. Thank you! ”
    – Naoki Otoma, Group Executive Vice President, Fast Retailing, Japan

    “In his lecture, Morinosuke Kawaguchi made me realize that Korea has an amazing opportunity at its hand to recognize its own style of innovation. Morinosuke’s culture-based approach is perfect for us to find our core competence and our position in the world market. I bought Kawaguchi’s books for my offices around the world because they are not only fun to read and make us more creative, but they are full of hints on the winning strategy business people are looking for to have real competitiveness.”
    – KyungChun Jang, CEO of FunctionBay, Inc., South Korea

    “Morinosuke gave a great presentation on some of the hidden strengths of Japanese design for Swedish policy makers in innovation and growth. His ideas and insights are inspirational, forward looking and well worth paying attention to in Japan, Sweden and elsewhere… and his lectures are fun too!”
    – Anders Karlsson, Counsellor Science and Innovation, Embassy of Sweden, Tokyo, Japan

    “Morinosuke has a real sense of the future trends and what will spark them. This sense is the same one many innovators use during their creative processes.”
    – Patrick Newell, Co-founder, TEDxTokyo, Japan

    “Morinosuke Kawaguchi has a very distinctive knowledge of cutting-edge technology and its characteristics. That allows him to connect technology and appealing product innovations across many industries. I enjoyed his lecture and got inspired and entertained at the same time.”
    – Lorenz Granrath, Representative, Fraunhofer Representative Office Japan

    “Morinosuke’s great talent is to make his audience see and understand, as if for the first time, Japanese customs and commonplace objects. By analyzing human behaviour and interaction, he demystifies the processes which spark creative innovation. Always fascinating!”
    – Heidi Potter, Chief Executive, Japan Society London, U.K.

    “Professor Morinosuke Kawaguchi is a phenomenon. He has deep and wide knowledge of innovation, technology, design and culture and he is able to present any material in an entertaining fashion that is uniquely “Morinosuke style”. He is blessed with everything that a person wishes for and yet so few are lucky to have: an incredibly unique mind that creates fascinating content, wonderful writing ability that makes reading his books such a pleasure and a presentation style which makes him a world-class entertainer. I know him as a selfless and giving person who is always willing to discuss ideas with fans, students, or anyone who attends his lectures. I respect him very much and I feel lucky to have learnt from him through his books, lectures and workshops. I don’t call living people geniuses often but Professor Kawaguchi is definitely one genius I am lucky to know. Thank you for giving knowledge so freely to everyone. If we could clone Professor Kawaguchi, we would like a few of him in South Korea. “
    – Jin H. Choi, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, South Korea

    “Whether you are looking for technological, business or cultural solutions, Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s innovative strategy sparks creativity across disciplines!”
    – Jennifer Anderson, Head of Communications and Events, Japan Society London, U.K.

    “Morinosuke´s lecture at EOI was to us like a breath of fresh air, spreading all these fantastic new ideas. One normally thinks that reality is the way it is and nothing can be changed, however, all of the sudden a person comes and shares ideas that make your mind upside down and helps you see things in a complete different way! That´s what Morinosuke did!! Arigatoooooooo!!”
    – Eva Curto, Director of International Affairs, EOI-Business School, Madrid, Spain

    “Morinosuke gave a very engaging and enlightening presentation at the DIJ Business & Economics Study Group on June 13, 2011. It attracted by far the largest audience of our study group and the audience feedback was unanimous that his talk was truly amazing and entertaining. We all learnt a lot!”
    – Dr. Florian Kohlbacher, Head of Business & Economics Section German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo, Japan

    “We had our first SDL DITA Day 2012 in Japan. We received a lot of positive feedback on the event and also on Morinosuke’s lecture. There is a huge potential market here for us and his keynote presentation gave the audience lots of hints for innovative thinking so important to companies that want to stay in the race and win, too. Morinosuke showed us a different view of the world and Japanese products. It was a wonderful presentation with stories of new technologies and ways of content creation for our clients’ products that our audience probably hase never heard of or thought about. I personally enjoyed his lecture immensely and from their feedback, we know that the audience did, also.”
    – Yoshio Fujimatsu, SDL Sales Director, Japan

    “Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s innovation model is a breakthrough. Whenever I listen to him lecture, I get inspired.”
    – Dr. Eiichi Yamaguchi, Professor, Graduate School of Policy and Management, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan

    “Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s lecture is amazing! It’s the best way to understand how “subculture” from Japan can inspire innovative products.”
    – Pedro Medina, Director of Cultural Affairs, IED Madrid, Spain

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