All TEDxTokyo 2016 Talks
TEDxTokyo2016 Talks are all online!
Greetings from TEDxTokyo!
The event on October 22 opened up with spectacular performances, and altogether we had 18 people who shared their ideas. All videos are now online!
Check out the videos from our event below.
The theme for this year’s TEDxTokyo event was “Today Decides Tomorrow“.
What’s something that will change your future by deciding today? Find that video now!
*The talk titles will redirect you to the link.
Michael Peng – Creative Strategist and Catalyst
Curiosity and creativity have always been integral in Michael Peng’s life. Growing up, Mike always supplemented his academic studies with activities that enabled him to express his creativity. At UC Berkeley, Mike pursued a degree in Cognitive Science because he was fascinated with the workings of the brain — while also choreographing and dancing for The Movement, a hip hop dance group on campus.
The combination of creativity and curiosity came to an intersection in 2006 when Mike joined global design and innovation firm IDEO. At IDEO, Mike helped start-up the NYC office and experimented with new methods in design research and storytelling to stretch the Human Factors practice. In 2011, Mike moved to Japan to cofound the IDEO Tokyo office.
Today, he leads a team in Japan to help catalyze change and unlock the country’s creative confidence. Mike believes that the eternal thirst for curiosity should never be quenched — it opens our minds and hearts to feel things we’ve never felt, learn things that can never be taught.
Shenan “Shen” Brown – Artist
Aloha. More than a simple greeting, that single Hawaiian word is an entire way of life. Shenan “Shen” Brown, a musician who grew up on Oahu, believes in the spirit of aloha.
As one half of the renowned Hawaiian group Def Tech along with Yuki “Micro” Nishimiya, he’s gone on to drop eight albums full of positive reggae-influenced island vibes and sell five million copies.
In December 2015, Shen decided to launch a movement to proactively spread the aloha spirit. In addition to writing music and performing, doing talk sessions and media appearances, he now serves as an “Aloha Ambassador.”
Shen says the spirit of aloha is the key to opening your heart to connect and communicate in a constructive way, and he wants you to share the harmony. Just like you’d expect, membership in the movement is free and easy.
Katsumi Sakakura – Artist and Ambassador
Katsumi Sakakura expresses his art through a combination of elements characteristic of traditional Japanese culture—movement, rhythm and spirit. He combines live dance synchronized with projected video images in a self-developed style known as “projection live” and has received worldwide acclaim since the first showcasing of his artistry at Japan Expo 2004 in Los Angeles.
Katsumi has performed in thirty-nine different countries, including the opening ceremony for the 128th General Assembly of the International Olympic Committee in Kuala Lumpur in 2015.
He hopes his shows become opportunities for others to learn about Japanese culture as he introduces and spreads the concept of “Cool Japan” through his singular style and original performances.
Ryogen – Guitarist
Ryogen uses a single guitar for his live concerts and recordings, and yet his amazing technique makes it sound like multiple instruments are being played, earning him the nickname “the solo guitar orchestra.”He entertains and mesmerizes audiences with a vast variety of sounds, from classical to world music, and also plays as part of a band.
BLACK – Yo-Yo Performer and Serial Dreamer
BLACK is all about impossible dreams.
After getting Gold Medal at the World Yo-Yo Contest in 2001 while still in his teens, though, he lost his spinning mojo because society didn’t value his achievement.
Even when he graduated from university, couldn’t make yo-yo as an everyday
job and became a systems engineer reluctantly.
He was depressed, lost and felt “I’m dead”. Not only him, most yo-yo champions were not valued by society and he wanted to change that environment. He quit from the company and started new career as a professional performer in 2007 to aim performing yo-yo in Cirque du Soleil to change public’s image of the yo-yo.
He merged ballet, jazz dance, acrobatics and even choreography from video games into his performance.
His passionate attitude even brought him to original TED conference as a TED speaker in 2013. And in 2014, finally, BLACK began performing in Cirque’s show Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities as their first yo-yo artist in Cirque’s history.
BLACK’s goal these days is to tell people how to make the dream comes true to let them enjoy the life filled with happiness through his performance and talk.
Debbie Howard – Marketing Strategist and Caregiving Thought Leader
Debbie Howard knows a lot about how people think, and the choices they make.
The chairman of a Tokyo-based marketing research and consulting firm called CarterJMRN, she’s been in the business of analyzing consumer behavior and crafting marketing strategies for global brands in Japan for nearly three decades.
Her newest passion project, though, tackles a facet of life that presents some of the toughest choices any of us make: caregiving for a loved one.
Her book – The Caregiving Journey: One Downward Dog at a Time – will debut on Amazon in Spring 2017 – and is designed to help nonprofessional caregivers prepare, survive and thrive, and then relaunch their lives when caregiving is done.
Her ultimate goal is to inspire proactive and creative solutions to our caregiving challenges as individuals and businesses, globally and in society at large.
Debbie will be sharing what she’s discovered in December as a panelist at the Annual National Caregiving Conference in Chicago, Illinois.
Shizuka Aoi – Dancer
Shizuka Aoi tumbled into the world of gymnastics at the age of six and continued it until college, leaving a great record of accomplishments at many major competitions.
Making great use of the physical talents she had acquired from gymnastics, she dove into the realm of dance while attending university.
While performing on numerous stages and actively working as a choreographer, she created an entertainment group, Sadalsuud, which fuses both elements of dance and gymnastics.
With top-class gymnasts and dancers of Japan, she continues to create new and unique stage shows.Currently, she makes performance shows collaborating with gymnastics and also works on creating choreography for artists.
“I want to create things that only I can create.”
Her challenging pursuit to push the limits of dance and performance art continues to this day.
Tetsunari Iida – Energy Changemaker
Nuclear Reformer and Green Power Proponent
Tetsu Iida was a leading figure in the antinuclear and renewable energy movements long before the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. He believes power in Japan should be clean, green and 100 percent renewable, and focuses on exponential changes in the renewable energy as well as IT area.
Tetsu sees the potential to reform the structures of society worldwide. He believes that the people rather than government will drive reform, so we must make global connections to encourage that transformation.
As a social entrepreneur, he’s established several entities—the Japan Community Power Network, Fukushima Renewable Future Fund and Renewable Energy Institute—to promote renewable energy. He also works in Yamaguchi and other local society to spark a “creative local society of the 21st century.
Abigail Terrien – Founder of Abi Loves Sales Agency and MyOrganic Tokyo
Abigail Terrien believes we can be trendy and still keep the Earth clean and green by buying organic, fair-trade and biodegradable goods.
Her quest began when the Swiss and English entrepreneur came to Japan from France with a newborn in her arms.
Wanting to provide most natural baby clothes, toys and other products for her children and friends children, Abi started bringing in products that matched her expectations on sustainability.
Others took notice. She opened up Small Is More, a popup shop in central Tokyo dedicated to offering eco-friendly fashion, accessories and lifestyle for kids as well as various workshops, entertainment and a cafe.
Abi’s newest project is called MyOrganicCity – a guide to cities with nice places to eat and shop that offer healthier, more natural options yet retain the trendy touch globetrotters prefer, with Tokyo as the launch point.
Sh0h – Beatbox Artist
Sh0h ignites audiences with just his body and a single microphone.
A beatbox artist who won the Japan Beatbox Championship in 2014, he’s been obsessed with beatboxing since he happened to see it on TV in his high school days.
Sh0h quickly distinguished himself as one of the best human beatboxers around for his flow, groove, melody, musicality and originality.
While still in his teens, he performed in the guest beatbox showcase and at music festivals, and has also acted and appeared in several TV commercials.
Sh0h represented Japan at the World Beatbox Championship held in Germany in 2015 and reached the round of sixteen, the highest rank of any Asian beatboxer.
“I want to win the Grammy Awards with my beatbox,” says the man known as the Human Disco, “and become the richest, most famous Japanese person in the world and spread happiness around.” He pursues that dream through exclusive beatbox performances.
Imamaru Hayashiya – Paper Cutting Artist
A paper-cutting entertainer in the vaudeville tradition, Imamaru Hayashiya is also a paper-cutting artist who makes unique pieces of art upon request with a single pair of scissors.
He became a disciple of the first Hayashiya Shouraku in 1960, and since the late 1960s has traveled the globe giving interviews, performances and exhibitions of his work in Asia, Europe, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Middle East.
He plays a major role as an educator of traditional Japanese culture by holding workshops for children, not only teaching them about Japanese traditions but also sparking their creativity.
Imamaru is also know as a cultural ambassador spreading the arts of paper-cutting throughout the world.
Sami Elu – Artist
Musicians tend to perform using instruments built by masters of their own craft.
Sami Elu is one of rare few who also invent and build what they play. From drums to dulcimers, he assembles and plays acoustic instruments from scrap materials.
At the moment, he’s building the fifth version of his chopstick piano—a hybrid of a piano, a zither, a koto and an electric guitar—which he’ll use for a series of new album recordings.
In addition to his busy live concert schedule, Sami is working on the soundtrack for a short film to be produced in Tokyo entitled Dendro.
He calls acoustic music “an infinite frontier waiting to be explored,” and loves to put on spontaneous musical workshops to involve ordinary people in the creation of rhythms and group sounds.
Hiroshi Ishii – Computer Scientist & Media Artist
To achieve your goals, Hiroshi Ishii says, you must continuously stand out like the proverbial nail regardless of how many times you are hammered down, race alone down the path you have carved for yourself out in the wilderness, create mountains from sea level—and have the fortitude to be the first to reach the summit.
Hiroshi joined the MIT Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995 at the age of thirty-nine, and looks back at this event as the “reboot” of his life. His research now focuses upon the design of seamless tangible interfaces between humans, digital information and the physical environment, seeking to change the “painted bits” of GUIs to “tangible bits” by giving physical form to digital information.
In 2012, he presented a new vision he calls “Radical Atoms” that takes a leap beyond tangible bits by using the power of computation to build a new, dynamic digital and physical medium for artistic expression, design and communication meant to breathe life into static forms.
The CHI Academy—which focuses on the computer-human interface—made him a member in 2006 in recognition of the global influence of his research and longstanding achievements.
Kazuto Ataka – Futurist
Kazuto Ataka, the man who excels at big data and market insights, business development and strategies as well as data science.
He majored in molecular biology at the University of Tokyo, and after obtaining a Ph.D. in neuroscience at Yale University, he gained many years of experience while working at McKinsey and the Yahoo Japan Corporation.
He has been integral in the turnaround of a wide variety of brands as well as product development, and has been involved in coming up with a vast range of business strategies as well as data strategies.
Kazuna Tsuboi – System Developer
Here’s a high school girl named Rinna who’s massively popular on SNS.
She appears to be an ordinary high school girl, but a fundamental difference exists between her and other girls—Rinna is an AI, and Microsoft developer Kazuna Tsuboi and her team created her.
Already 4.6 million users have connected with Rinna through SNS and enjoy friendly chats with her. Rinna was developed with the objective of creating an AI that could emotionally connect with users in conversations.
They succeeded: Her witty and striking comments and emphatic reactions are so human that some are convinced a real human being is behind all this.
Kazuna’s next goal is to use this advanced technology to help individuals and businesses interested in establishing good relationships with people.
Meanwhile, this school girl just keeps getting smarter, and the world awaits her evolution with excitement.
Takafumi Horie – Entrepreneur
Takafumi Horie says the most crucial thing when you are facing your dreams or objectives is to avoid making excuses, like “but I haven’t got money/time/talent.”
Don’t restrict yourself by saying the word but.
If you really want to do something, you can go to extremes.
And get rid of your self-consciousness and pride.
If you forget about shielding yourself with barriers, you can talk to anyone and take on any challenge.
Those are the principles that he follows, and they worked for him. Four years after he launched his limited company On the Edge (later known as Livedoor) as an Internet business in 1996 while still a student at Tokyo University, the company was listed on the TSE Mothers Market.
Takafumi now runs one of the largest online salons in Japan, Horie Takafumi Innovation University, and recently published a book entitled “I Will Show You a Solution for Your Unprofitable Business”.
Helene Liu – Entrepreneur and Artist
If you’re looking for the model of a Renaissance woman, we suggest Helene Liu.
She has an academic background in business and finance, and has managed a portfolio of companies in the cosmetics and fashion industries.
Yet she also founded The MasterMinds—a niche consulting firm dealing in creative leadership and corporate culture transformation—after observing that most issues plaguing corporations and individuals spring from mental models.
After earning a master’s degree in Buddhist studies from the University of Hong Kong in May 2015, Helene joined Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design as a Ph.D. student last September to research the role of design in behavior engineering on social media, with a special focus on Instagram.
A certified firewalk trainer and hypnotist, Helene is also performing artist, having appeared on stage as an amateur actress, singer and dancer for the last two decades.
Hiromi Nakamura – Human Computer Interaction Researcher & Super Creator
Humans have five senses, one of them being taste and Hiromi Nakamura is changing the norms for how taste is experienced using a new technology of the 21st century, electric flavoring, and computer science to solve dietary problems common in this generation.
Hiromi was originally a music major at university, but the various types of technology and research used for media art fascinated her, and she eventually made a radical switch to studying human-computer interaction.
Starting her research on electric flavoring in 2010, she proposed “A New Food Content Using Electric Flavoring” at 2010’s Unexplored IT Talent・Personnel Training Project, and earned the title of “Super Creator”
Over the years she has been refining a prototype of an “electric flavoring utensil,” which controls taste by delivering electricity to the tongue through the food. In the spring of 2016, Hiromi collaborated with cooking experts, physicians and an advertising firm to hold electric flavoring × salt-free cooking events.
Check out what else was happening during the event.