Innovathon from Japan

In February of this years,  I visited Japan to participate in the Tokyo Marathon. It was my third marathon in  the World Marathon Majors, and it was great!.

I like to use my marathon experiences to connect with innovation and find insights to improve my assistance to companies that want to innovate. I call it Innovathons.

After my participation in Tokyo Marathon I wanted to learn about the innovation and technology in Japan. I went to Miraikan to meet Asimo.

Miraikan, The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, is a place where we can understand the things happening in our world today from a scientific point of view, and have discussions while considering the future that awaits us.

In addition to permanent displays and exhibitions that provide people with a chance to enjoy hands-on contact with science and technology, Miraikan’s colorful line-up of offerings includes experienced based classes, and talks. While exchanging opinions and ideas with Science Communicators, visitors can experience the technological progress of today, from simple day-to-day questions, to the latest technologies, the global environment, and space exploration.

“Miraikan” is a nickname of National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. The symbol logo is made of a circle inscribed with arcs. This suggests an image of satellites orbiting the globe, cell division, various terrestrial networks (people and information) and the motion of electrons. This symbol represents the themes of exhibition.

The slogan “Open Your Eyes to Science: See a Whole New World” expresses the stance of Miraikan.  “Open Your Eyes to Science” means not only to understand and learn learn science but also to entertain new ways of thinking by coming into contact with “the state-of-the-art knowledge and innovation” manifested by cutting-edge science and technology. “See a Whole New World” means looking at the surrounding world differently through the lens of “the state-of-the-art knowledge and innovation”, and leading the world to a better future. This slogan encompasses Miraikan’s aim to share the state-of-the-art knowledge and innovation in order to achieve a future society guided by wisdom and understanding.

The Miraikan’s activities are based on Three Pillars:

1.  Science Communication

Disseminating information about cutting edge science and technology and developing methods for communication.

Miraikan highlights cutting-edge science and technology as “new knowledge and innovation” through various methods, such as permanent and special exhibitions, talk sessions, experimental classes, on the web, through publications, and videos. To arouse the interest of the general public, Miraikan is developing methods of expression and communication to present the information in an easy-to-understand manner.

2.  Fostering personnel

Development of Science Communicators.

Miraikan trains Science Communicators internally and externally through a unique human development system based on practical science communication activities. At Miraikan, Science Communicators are appointed on a fixed-term system for a maximum of five years. During their terms as Science Communicators, they engage in science communication activities, including providing explanations of exhibits on the exhibition floor, and planning events and exhibitions. At the end of their terms, armed with their experience as Science Communicators, these knowledgeable personnel take up jobs in research institutes, universities, science museums and other museums, corporations, and educational institutions. They also provide training for people who require know how in the area of science communication.

3.  Creating connections

A network with eight stakeholders.

This network includes researchers, engineers, the media, volunteers, Member’s Club, museum visitors, government offices, schools, science museums in Japan and around the world, and industries. Miraikan views these relationships as multi-dimensional linking Miraikan’s activities to all society, and continues to strengthen its connections with these eight stakeholders. Miraikan approaches these people and organizations and engages with them in its projects and activities. Through such engagement, Miraikan creates links between cutting edge science and technology and the general public.

One of the biggest attractions in Miraikan is to attend Asimo’s show. ASIMO, an acronym for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility, is a humanoid robot designed and developed by Honda. Introduced on 21 October 2000, ASIMO was designed to be a multi-functional mobile assistant with aspirations of helping those who lack full mobility.

Mamoru Mohri, Ph. D., Miraikan’s Chief Executive Director said that this center will continue to review and present the evolutionary role of science, and accumulate wisdom from each part of our culture, share and combine those with wisdom from other cultures so that together, humans can develop global solutions, and create hope for the future.

images credit: tokyo marathon foundation; wikipedia.org/ASIMO

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Geovanny Romero, NPDP: Manager at Renovallanta-ContiLifeCycle. Managing Director at NPD Strategy in Andean Region. President of PDMA Ecuador. His main interests are focused in Lean Innovation Management and New Product Development. You can connect with him on Twitter @geovanny_romero

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