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Global Conference to Convene in Tokyo

by Jon Weiner

Tokyo joins Seoul and Shanghai as a USC Global Conference site. 

More than 400 USC alumni, trustees, faculty, administrators and industry leaders are expected to attend the 2007 USC Global Conference in Tokyo, Oct. 25-27.

The conference will bring together experts discussing key issues and challenges facing the region in four major areas: how to adapt to the aging of our societies; interactive digital entertainment; entrepreneurship and innovation; and questions facing Pacific Rim societies.

“The conference exemplifies USC’s global heritage and our even more ambitious global future,” said USC Provost C. L. Max Nikias. “We expect hundreds of guests at this year’s event � including USC trustees, administrators and world-class authorities on a variety of matters involving the Pacific Rim’s growing impact on our planet.”

Presentations, keynote addresses, panel discussions and networking events will provide participants with opportunities to connect with leaders, learn about trends that will affect business, discover new technologies that will change the way we live and explore the business impact of social changes.

Bobby Valentine, field manager of Japan’s Chiba Lotte Marines professional baseball team, will speak at the conference’s opening gala dinner Oct. 25. The Honorable Shinzo Abe, former prime minister of Japan, is the special invited keynote speaker for the conference’s closing banquet on Oct. 27. Valentine and Abe attended USC.

The conference also will feature a discussion on communication in the new millennium, led by Yukiko Ogasawara, president of The Japan Times; a panel on emerging opportunities in real estate for senior citizens, led by chairman of the Hang Lung Group and USC trustee Ronnie Chan; a look at the aging of societies across Asia, presented by Tim Feige, co-president of Prudential International Insurance; a plenary presentation on entrepreneurship in Japan by Joichi Ito, chairman of Creative Commons and fellow at the USC Annenberg Center; and a discussion on creating a culture of innovation, led by Krisztina Holly, vice provost and executive director of USC Stevens Institute for Innovation.

Other prominent speakers � and leaders in their fields � include Bill Ireton, chairman of Warner Entertainment, Japan; Thierry Port�, president and CEO of Shinsei Bank; Kin-Ichi Yoshihara, senior vice president of the Asia Forum, Japan; Jim Clifton, chairman and CEO of the Gallup Organization; Gerald Davison, dean of the USC Davis School of Gerontology; and Jim Ellis, dean of the USC Marshall School of Business.

USC long has been recognized as one of the world’s most truly global universities. For more than 125 years, its student body has drawn young men and women from all parts of the globe. The USC Global Conference will increase USC’s profile as an elite global research university as well as draw together a worldwide network of leaders with a valuable range of vantage points on global change.

“Under President (Steven B.) Sample, USC has recognized that it has an opportunity to create a model for a truly global university, one that benefits society by building bridges across continents,” Nikias said. “USC is a natural leader for such efforts, due to its location as a rising Pacific Rim capital, its strength in areas such as business and technology, its active alumni network and its own heritage as an international crossroads.”

As one of the world’s leading private research universities, USC is the nation’s leader in international student enrollment with more than 5,600 students of international origin, making up nearly 17 percent of the university’s student population. Asia makes up more than 77 percent of all of USC’s international students and of that number, 165 originate from Japan.

Previous USC global conferences have been held in Seoul, Korea and Shanghai, China. This year’s conference was made possible by the work of the USC Alumni Association in Tokyo as well as the meeting’s sponsors, including Platinum sponsors The Japan Times & Nifco Group, Korean Air, Satake and Trianz; Gold sponsors Capital Services Group, Fubon International, Hanjin Shipping, Tingyi Holding Corp. and ValueCommerce; and Cardinal sponsors Design EXChange, Edelman Public Relations, InterSoft, Newport, Suntory, Theory, Toyota and the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association.

The USC Global Conference will be held at the Tokyo Shinjuku Hilton Hotel. For a full list of participants and program schedule, visit http://www.usc.edu/globalconference

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