Masakatsu Mori, Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd. / Yoshimitsu Kaji, Senior Principal of Hitachi Lumada Innovation Hub, and Chairman and Executive Sustainable Development Officer of Cinnamon AI
A dialogue between Yoshimitsu Kaji, Senior Principal of Hitachi Lumada Innovation Hub , and Masakatsu Mori from Research & Development Group, Hitachi which was live streamed as a webinar on August 5, 2021. In the final part of this series, the two talked about the role DX needs to accomplish to create social innovation.


[Part 1] How does DX relate to solving social issues?
[Part 2] Why is 'a place to connect beyond boundaries' important?
[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?

Create social innovation = DX

So far, you talked to us about the relationship between solving social issues and DX, and the importance of connecting beyond boundaries. For the third topic, we hope to hear from you both about the role of DX in the process of Hitachi's Social Innovation Business in co-creation with customers.

Today, DX is growing at a tremendous speed across the globe, and I think the trend will continue to accelerate. Also, in Japan, the establishment of the government's Digital Agency will likely change society dramatically.

画像: Create social innovation = DX

Recently, many discussions have been held around big changes at a global level. In 2019, Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs of leading US companies, proposed a new form of capitalism called "Stakeholder Capitalism." The idea was to shift away from shareholder supremacy, and aim to bring value to all stakeholders of companies.

Also, in Japan, in November 2020, Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) announced its ". The NEW Growth Strategy." The period at the beginning symbolizes their intention to put a full stop to the form of capitalism that have supported the traditional global economy, and grow the economy under a new strategy. Background of this growth strategy is a concept for Japan's future called "Society 5.0 (*1)" proposed by Japan's Cabinet Office. DX is positioned as one of the strategy's pillars. The strategy of Keidanren resembles the future direction of Hitachi, that is to say, solving the social issues of the world through innovation is DX. And now, through the SDGs, companies around the world are beginning to awaken and head in the same direction.

(*1) With a system that combines cyber and physical spaces at a high level, the world aims for a people-oriented society that simultaneously realizes economic development and the resolution of social issues.

Sharing an ideal future is the starting point of DX

After all, utilizing DX to solve social issues means changing the social system. To do so, as you mentioned earlier, it is indispensable to gain consensus from stakeholders. Having many stakeholders means it is more difficult to proceed with a project. So thinking about how to create consensus and how to achieve "three sides benefit (*2)" is crucial.

(*2) Three sides benefit: a management philosophy of the Omi merchants in Japan Edo period meaning "Benefit to the buyer (customer), benefit to the seller (company), and benefit to the public (society)"

画像: Sharing an ideal future is the starting point of DX

After the agreement is reached among stakeholders and the problem that should be solved is identified, we can use technology to approach the solution. What is important is to set a direction that will lead to a better society, with the consensus of stakeholders. At Research & Development Group, Hitachi, we use a simulator called "Cyber-Proof of Concept (Cyber-PoC)," which enables demonstration tests by combining a variety of data in a digital space, for co-creation with customers. Before we proceed with a project, we conduct a simulation that shows what happens if a certain measure or solution is implemented to society, making sure everyone has agreed on the process.

画像: application example of "Cyber-PoC," a simulator developed by Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

application example of "Cyber-PoC," a simulator developed by Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

Visualize future aspirations that "this will lead us to a better society," share it among the stakeholders, and proceed together. We hope to contribute to society to make the world a better place by initiating such projects one by one.

In the beginning of the session, Mr. Kaji indicated that in order to create social innovations in an era of VUCA, it is important to close the gap between ideal and reality by using a backcasting approach. And Mr. Mori said that to close the gap, creating consensus by utilizing visualization in a digital space, for example, will be the starting point for promoting DX. Although we haven't found an answer yet, I think we had a good discussion about the significance of DX in our Social Innovation Business. Mr. Kaji and Mr. Mori, thank you both for joining us today.

画像1: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?

Yoshimitsu Kaji
Senior Principal of Lumada Innovation Hub, Hitachi, Ltd.
Chairman and Executive Sustainable Development Officer of Cinnamon AI, smart city promotion consultant for Kamakura City

After receiving his B.A. from the Aoyama Gakuin University Department of Economics, Yoshimitsu Kaji worked at Fuji Bank and advertising agencies before graduating Kellogg Graduate School of Management and earning an MBA. After his graduation, he worked at companies and organizations including Coca-Cola (Japan), Time Warner, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Nissan Motor Company, and the Tokyo Olympic Bid Committee before working for the Office of Global Communications in the Prime Minister's Office. He then moved on to work for Accenture Japan, where his duties included heading branding, innovation, work style reform, SDGs, and local expansion. He also served as Slush Asia Co-CMO in 2016, and helped drive startup momentum in Japan.

画像2: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?

Masakatsu Mori
General Manager, Global Center for Social Innovation
Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

Masakatsu Mori joined Hitachi, Ltd. after obtaining his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Engineering at Kyoto University in 1994. As a researcher in the Systems Development Laboratory, he worked on new services and solutions using cutting-edge digital technologies. He was also a visiting scholar at University of California, San Diego from 2003 to 2004. After leading the Planning Office at the Yokohama Research Laboratory and Production Engineering R&D, he was appointed to lead European R&D as Corporate CTO as well as General Manager of the European R&D Centre of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. in 2018. He was appointed to his current position in April 2020. He also has a PhD in Information Science and Technology.

画像3: Innovation Starting with a Question - Vol.3 What is society-changing DX?
[Part 3] What is the role of DX in the Social Innovation Business?

Yukinobu Maruyama, host
Head of Design, Global Center for Social Innovation – Tokyo
Research & Development Group, Hitachi, Ltd.

After joining Hitachi, Yukinobu Maruyama built his career as a product designer. He was involved in the foundation of Hitachi Human Interaction Laboratory in 2001 and launched the field of vision design research in 2010 before becoming laboratory manager of the Experience Design Lab UK Office in 2016. After returning to Japan, he worked in robotics, AI, and digital city service design before being dispatched to Hitachi Global Life Solutions, Inc. to promote a vision-driven product development strategy. He is also involved in developing design methodology and human resource education plan. He took up his current position in 2020.










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