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Professor at The University of Tokyo
Professor at the Inter-faculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo, Japan. Getting PhD in 1992 from Kyoto University, Japan, by behavioral ecology of wild chimpanzees in West Africa. After finishing doctoral thesis, I have shifted my field to rather historical and philosophical areas, especially on the reception of sociobiological ideas in Japan.
Recent activities include popularization and education of sciences. Teaching experience at Freiburg University, Germany, and Yokohama University, Japan. Publishing includes more than a dozen of books (written in Japanese), around 50 academic papers, many articles in popular magazines and newspapers, as well several times of TV appearance as science interpreter. Advisory board member for academic journal Biology and Philosophy since 1998.
Head of Google Partner Plex Tokyo
Wakana manages Google's Partner Plex Tokyo, working to create innovative digital strategy & solutions for Google's partners. She started her career in management consulting, and later managed Lancome brand as a Marketing Manager in L'Oreal. Following the 3.11 Earthquake, she joined the National Diet of Japan Fukushima Nuclear Investigation Commission to lead the International Affairs. After she ran Change Management at Glaxo Smithkline Japan, she joined Google in 2014. She has a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She is also a certified Coach and an active Social Director of HBS Club of Japan and Georgetown University Alumni Club of Japan. She grew up in Tokyo, Kobe, Jakarta (Indonesia), studied and worked in the US, Japan, and France. She is a passionate traveler, singer & dancer and mom of 2 children.
Executive Director at i.school/JSIC
Executive Director of i.school. Professor of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo. As the Executive Director, he launched i.school in 2009 and has been successfully leading its multidisciplinary programs. He also heads Center for Knowledge Structuring, The University of Tokyo. He is the author of the books “Socio-technology for problem solving”, “Socio-technology for safety and security” among others.
In a few short years, the Hult Prize has become one of the most prestigious student competitions in existence today, offering teams unparalleled opportunities and resources. With the goal of educating and engaging students at its core, this truly international prize has created a platform to support the launch of social enterprises that are tackling seemingly intractable global challenges.
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