World Wise Web Initiative Founding Goals
World Wise Web Initiative Founding GoalsJapan’s “presence” is in question.
Not only is it the first country in the world to enter a stage of super-aged society, in which more than 21% of its population is over the age of 65, but it also experienced the Great Tohoku Earthquake, in which almost 20,000 people lost their lives, and the resulting Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant incident, which rivaled those of Three-Mile Island or Chernobyl. Japan now suffers from more issues than any other developed country in the world, i.e. it is a “developed problem country.”
Additionally, the fall of capitalism triggered by the Lehman Shock and as seen in the global credit uncertainty and the European crisis, the rise of a new activism exemplified by the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street, and even the worsening environmental problems which UNEP warns in its reports as having “reached a critical point,” are all problems from which Japan cannot remain isolated any longer.
However, it seems that the phrase “Japan passing” has come into use, and that Japan’s global presence is in fact in a diminishing trend. Even so, as a “developed problem country” and key player in the global economy, Japan should have a responsibility to contribute to resolving various global issues, cooperate with the knowledge of other countries, and actively share and transmit its accomplishments.
Today, with the support of industrialists of vision, founders Ikujiro Nonaka, Professor Emeritus of Hitotsubashi University, and Noboru Konno, Professor at Tama University, are preparing to launch the World Wise Web Initiative (w3i), a not-for-profit research organization which will create a so-called “knowledge commons.”
w3i will attempt to follow in the footsteps of Aristotle and other ancient philosophers by regularly creating a forum for discussion, a so-called topos , and construct a social network (web) of world-class people. At the same time, w3i will focus on the following three points:
- Encouraging school-festival-like discussion conducive to solving global issues;
- Supporting intellectual collaboration and practical action of industrialists and researchers;
- Creating the human network necessary for the above.
Japan may have lost its confidence of the past. But think back: through its trials and tribulations Japan has under metamorphosis in the past. In order to use the current hardships as stored energy for the next transformation, the intellectual elite with wide perspective and thorough knowledge of the issues must assemble, and as the philosophers of yore practiced, they must eschew the simple solutions of dualism or reversing the status quo and hold constructive discussion while taking in various opinions and perspectives. Please lend your understanding and support in making w3i a success.
Summary of Activities
w3i’s greatest goal is to build an innovation ecosystem suitable for the 21st century and recreate Japan’s society and companies. Towards this goal, it will act as a school-festival-like consortium built on industry-government-academic collaboration. Specifically, we will invite industry’s opinion leaders and authorities and visionaries from various academic fields, plan and operate a place of intellectual discussion, a.k.a. a topos, and record and disseminate the intellectual dialogue therein.
As shown in the figure below, w3i’s organizational structure will be divided into: the committee, which decides w3i’s overall activities and direction; the advisory board, which advises the committee; supporters, who support w3i’s activities; participants, who participate in the activities; and the administration office, which runs the activities as staff for each of the above functions.