This March Hitotsubashi ICS hosted Global Network Week, the highly regarded one-week intensive immersion course, as we have for the past six years. This year’s GNW involved sixteen other business schools affiliated with the Global Network for Advanced Management.
The GNW is a unique opportunity for MBA and EMBA students to broaden their studies on a specific topic through a visit to another network school. Hitotsubashi ICS #GNW2019 titled “Innovation x Globalization | Japan Style” as it focused on analyzing the challenges the Japanese economy and businesses currently face by exposing the students to a variety of corporate practices and market phenomena throughout Japan.
Over the last ten years, Japan’s share of global consumption has continually increased and, in many cases, has become the main source of revenue for large Japanese corporations. Hence, innovation and globalization are now inextricably linked; firms’ innovation strategies are core to their global strategies and their global strategies are core to their overall innovation strategies. This explains the GNW 2019 Tokyo Program theme. As fundamental shifts in innovation strategies emerge, multinational firms have to adapt; the practice of innovating in their home market and then spreading those innovations to other markets is now being challenged. Today, there is an increasing need for innovative strategies that tap dispersed and differentiated knowledge from all over the world.
On Monday, March 11, we welcomed 51 students from the 16 business schools participating in this year’s GNW, forming a genuinely diverse classroom with over 20 nationalities represented. Since GNW’s inception, Hitotsubashi ICS’s program has been among the most popular choices, and this year was no exception; we were only able to accept 26% of the students who applied.
Following a rigorous schedule under the Japanese standard “early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable,” GNW students attended several interactive lectures, joined in lively classroom discussions, went to five company sessions, made six field visits, and participated in cultural sessions that included a team-building activity through ikebana, a 101 session on Japanese culture, and a zazen meditation experience in Kamakura.
Japan and especially Tokyo are often described as the “land of old and new,” where contrasting cutting-edge technology and tradition coexist. Like an ancient amphitheater, this land of the “old and new” hosted the GNW students attending this one-week immersion course of global exchange, learning, and networking at Hitotsubashi ICS to further their business education. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our faculty and staff, to the lecturers and speakers, and to the students, that made this GNW edition a great success.