Inspiring Japanese companies to create more social impact: An talk at Ginza Six

On December 5th, Jocelyn Wyatt, CEO of, and Paul Bennett, CCO of IDEO, joined Hakuhodo DY Holdings in a public symposium on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event, “Tackling the SDGs with Design Thinking,” had over 400 attendees and was held in a Noh Theater (which traditionally hosts classical Japanese musical drama) in Ginza Six. Many clients, members and friends of HDY attended the event.

In the opening session, Kaoru Nemoto, Director of the UN Information Center in Tokyo, called for all actors – not just governments and companies – to “take the SDGs in hand” and engage with them in new, innovative ways.

Paul and Jocelyn delivered the keynote address for the symposium. Paul recounted the story of’s founding, and Jocelyn discussed work that has been doing in both Kenya and the US in close partnership with companies such as Unilever and JPMorgan Chase.

 Representing the private sector, Toshio Arima, Chairman of the Board of Global Compact Network Japan and Senior Advisor at Fuji Xerox, emphasized the advantages of building the SDGs into companies’ business strategies. Later, Kotaro Katsuki from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained how the Japanese government has been tackling and advancing the SDGs since its adoption by the UN in 2015.

In a final panel discussion moderated by Masahiro Kawatei, an SDGs specialist from Hakuhodo DY Holdings, Paul emphasized that the SDGs could stand as “a creative brief” that should inspire anyone involved in creative work. Jocelyn then spoke about the particular focus puts on women and girls’ health and family planning.

To close the event, both concluded by encouraging Japanese companies to lead the way with more inclusive, daring, and impactful initiatives.

Photo courtesy of HDY