kyu
02 / 15 / 2017
First kyu-HDY Networking Event is a Resounding Success
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kyu + HDY Networking Event
Opening speech by Toda, CEO of HDY
kyu Introduction by Michael Birkin, CEO of kyu
Michael Birkin, CEO of kyu
kyu's vision
Lisa Maulhardt / SYPartners
Charles Hayes / IDEO
Will Travis / Sid Lee
Alex Pasini / Sid Lee
San Rahi / Sid Lee Studio
Susan Cantor / Red Peak Branding
Stewart Devlin / Red Peak Branding
Peggy Pan / Red Peak Branding
Yong Joon Cho / Red Peak Branding
Robin Rusch / Infrared
Stephen Hall / Infrared
Dennis Ryan / Digital Kitchen
Chris Burns / Digital Kitchen
Richard St-Pierre / C2 International
Chloe Langevin / C2 International
Kelly Peters / BEworks
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Last month, senior representatives from the kyu collective gathered in Tokyo for kyu’s first-ever event with Hakuhodo DY Holdings Inc (HDY). With over 300 HDY employees in attendance, the one-day event was a resounding success.

Including opening remarks by Hirokazu Toda, CEO and President of HDY, and kyu CEO Michael Birkin, the event was held on HDY’s spacious café floor and featured presentations by each kyu member company, followed by a networking reception. Each member company presented not only their credentials, but also potential areas for future collaboration.

“kyu’s service offering has grown to comprise eight areas of specialty,” said Senior Vice President Naoto Akagi. “We believed it was a good time to extend the sharing of knowledge and experiences to companies across the whole HDY group.”

Despite kyu’s founding nearly three years ago, for many HDY attendees the event was their first opportunity to fully understand each member company, as well as the collective’s larger purpose: Harnessing creativity to propel the economy and society forward. The event left many participants motivated and eager to pursue joint opportunities with kyu.

“It was an excellent opportunity to get together with the whole kyu group,” one HDY employee commented in a post-event survey. “I also found that they have many things in common with the culture of HDY. I would like to focus on how to activate our collaboration.”

Other HDY members were impressed that kyu member companies shared many similar values. “I never knew that they have such a great affinity for sei-katsu-sha insight,” wrote one participant. “I am proud that such a progressive and creative bunch of companies belongs to our group,” expressed another.

For senior representatives from kyu member companies, the event was also the first opportunity to meet their HDY colleagues. Presentations were tailored specifically for the largely Japanese-speaking audience, but Red Peak Taipei’s impromptu live adaptation of the “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen (PPAP)” song—a viral hit last year in Japan—was met with much enthusiasm.

“Meeting our counterparts at Hakuhodo DY was very special. Turnout was much greater than expected, and interest and support for what we have to offer was heartening. The welcome we received was worth the trip,” said Robin Rusch, Global CEO of Infrared. “Next visit we’d like to learn more about HDY in return. There was a lovely feeling of warmth, trust, and shared interests among those whom we met.”

Another senior executive from Red Peak Branding affirmed: “I felt a real affinity with HDY as a parent company for the first time.”

The event could not have been successful without the hard work of kyu’s Tokyo-based team, who planned for months and ensured everything ran smoothly on the day of the event.

As the first proper introduction of kyu to the larger HDY community, this first event could not have accomplished more. kyu and its member companies look forward to deepening their relationships with HDY companies and working together on future opportunities.