By Guest Contributor Kengo Sakurada
Author of Bushido Capitalism, Kengo Sakurada, explains how real data can create real solutions.
THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT HUMAN WELLBEING IN A POST-PANDEMIC WORLD
Technology can be a wonderful enabler. In recent decades, it has facilitated magnificent medical advances and innovations that have made our lives richer, healthier and more fulfilling in a whole host of ways.
But as technological development accelerates, it can also overwhelm. As the buzz and hype of inventions, digital contraptions and smart devices proliferate, it’s paramount we remember the fundamental role of technology in our society. That role is to support human wellbeing. It should not jeopardise or hinder it in any way.
The code of Bushido can provide a moral compass when it comes to how we develop and use technology to our advantage.
We must be humble and realistic. We must understand and acknowledge how and why we use technology, and we must resist the temptation of developing and using technology simply for the sake of it.
THE SOMPO APPROACH TO TECHNOLOGY
At Sompo, we’re aware of the limits of our capabilities and skills and we’ve therefore struck up partnerships with some of the smartest minds in the world of tech, to ensure that we are doing things in the right way: in an ethical way.
In 2019, we formed a joint venture with the data analytics company Palantir Technologies Japan, with the goal of creating cutting-edge healthcare solutions for our clients. Palantir was founded in 2003 by a group of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and Alex Carp. They were convinced that the technology products on the market at the time were either too rigid to handle novel problems or too complex to deploy, and they were determined to change that.
Sompo’s collaboration with Palantir is a 50-50 joint venture. It serves commercial clients as well as the Japanese government and we feel exceptionally privileged to be in a partnership with such a dynamic, cutting-edge business. Above all, we value Palantir’s commitment to ensuring technology will always be a force for good. We believe that in this, Palantir can be a model for others.
Every single business leader, regardless of how and where they work, should be scrutinous and critical when evaluating the ways in which they use technology and why they do so. They should ask themselves regularly, “am I doing this for the right reasons?” Good leadership is about being able to respond to that question honestly, even if the answer might not be ideal.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KENGO SAKURADA is the CEO of Sompo Holdings, a large mulitinational insurance company headquartered in Japan. He is a prolific international speaker and is passionate about sustainability, ethical governance and using technology for the wellbeing of all.
In 2020, the world was rocked by the sudden and indiscriminate spread of Covid-19. But for all the damage caused – lives lost, economies roiled and jobs eradicated – it also created opportunities for individuals and businesses to pause and reflect. Bushido Capitalism explores the ways in which this forced interlude has allowed us to reflect on the effects of a Great Acceleration of the last two decades and to critically evaluate where we should go next.
Guided by updated values of Bushido, which have long been enshrined in Japanese culture but are rarely referenced in the West, this book presents ways in which we can use this current inflection point to become more responsible, ethical and sustainably minded citizens and business leaders. It underscores the importance of collaboration, humility and realism, but also of confidence, ambition and creativity. it demonstrates that businesses, particularly in a complex and polarised world, can be a force for the common good of society – if run the right way.