Morinosuke Kawaguchi

Morinosuke Kawaguchi is an innovation and competitive strategy consultant, futurist, author and designer. He is the founder and CEO of Morinoske Co. Ltd., a creative future laboratory based in Tokyo. As Japan’s foremost futurist, he serves as a strategy advisor to the Japanese government and to some of the world’s largest multinationals. These organizations adopted Morinosuke’s future forecasting book メガトレンド2014-2023  ( MEGATRENDS 2014-2023) as the base for their future strategy. This unique book analyzing and outlining the future in fifty megatrends across all industries, was published in December 2013, has been selling very well in Japan.

Morinosuke Kawaguchi is an award-winning author whose books have been translated into four languages and they influence thinking and practice not only in Japan but in other countries as well. His seminal book: “Otaku de onnano ko na kuni no monozukuri” (English title: Geeky-Girly Innovation: A Japanese Subculturist’s Guide to Technology & Design) was awarded the prestigious Nikkei BP BizTech Book Award 2008 in Japan, given to books that contribute to the advancement and development of technology and management. In Taiwan, it was listed as number one among the top ten “Great Technology Management Books 2010”. That same year Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs and South Korea’s KITECH, the Korea Institute if Industrial Technology, studied the book to be applied in their countries’ technology and innovation strategies.

In 2014 Morinosuke has been engaged in the Japanese government’s science and technology policy-planning process while working with The National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP), a national research institution under the direct jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).

That same year he has been invited by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s National Strategy Headquarters for his ideas on creating jobs and gaining foreign currency, two issues that are crucial for the Japanese government’s 2030 future strategy.

Since 2013 he has been an advisor to the 日経BP未来研究所, Nikkei BP Mirai Kenkyujou, the Future Laboratory of Nikkei BP, Japan’s biggest publisher of business and technology magazines and books.

Until 2013 for eleven years, he worked for the global strategy consulting firm, Arthur D. Little, (Japan) Inc. where he was Principal & Associate Director. He is the inventor of the Morinoske Subculture-driven Innovation Model, which he applies to both his consulting work and educational activity. In this fundamental concept, he established the importance of subculture as a seed for innovation, defined its parameters and is proving that it is indeed a value creating, viable solution for both industrial and national strategies.

Kawaguchi book_Geeky-Girly


Subculture-inspired innovation

Based on his unique innovation model, Kawaguchi challenges his audience to cast a deeper look at micro cultures for hints for successful product and service innovation. In a world that becomes more diluted through globalization, identity and distinctive features need to be regained. And it is by looking at today’s subcultures – excellent mirrors to reflect consumer needs – that this can be achieved. This lecture is for people looking for innovative ideas as well as for new models in product value creation and branding.

A new kind of hunger: Herbivore, urban markets

The background of Kawaguchi’s lecture is the change in areas characterized by urbanization, high population density, financial well-being and dominance of the service sector. This urban-centric market-reshaping process is happening all over the globe in emerging as well as in industrialized countries as traditions and social rules and roles are blurring. The “herbivore man” from Japan is but one of the examples Kawaguchi uses to illustrate the formation of a large new market that dances to a different tune.

So how does consumer behavior change in these urban centers, what is the hunger of the herbivore consumer, and what new markets can be expected to appear – this is the essence of Kawaguchi’s lecture.

Kawaguchi book_Geeky-Girly_JapThe future is fun

The challenge companies are facing nowadays is how rapidly everything becomes a commodity and loses in both real and emotional value. What is never lost however is people’s deeply-rooted attraction to Play and Game. It is such a basic part of human nature in fact that playing becomes the actual appeal.

The lecture exposes how concepts of play and successful product innovation are related. Using insights from brain research and presenting toys that embody different kinds of irresistibility and appeal, Kawaguchi shows how a new product value can be created if the essence of the concepts of toy and game are built into products and services. If this is taken into account, even the most basic commodity can turn into a hit seller or cherished item.

Other lecture topics:

  • Time Machine accelerator: Look at Japan
  • Mining gold from the silver market
  • Discovering new needs: Lessons from the Japanese Toilet
  • Emotional attachment in value creation
  • Be shy, make money!
  • The markets of the luxurious weak
  • Sustainable innovation
  • Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s Innovation Model
  • Keiretsu 2.0

Lecturing testimonials

“Our president, Mr. Tadashi Yanai, has read Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s books and invited Mr. Kawaguchi for a lecture in our Tokyo headquarters. We live broadcasted the presentation to our offices in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh and France so our international teams could also learn from Mr. Kawaguchi’s highly creative and unique viewpoint. Mr. Kawaguchi is able to both distance himself from Japan and at the same time squeeze out the essence of Japanese culture in order to come up with new business ideas. This is exactly what a multinational company like ours needs. Thank you!”
~ Naoki Otoma, Group Executive Vice President, Fast Retailing

“In his lecture, Morinosuke Kawaguchi made me realize that Korea has an amazing opportunity at its hand to recognize its own style of innovation. Morinosuke’s culture-based approach is perfect for us to find our core competence and our position in the world market. I bought Kawaguchi’s books for my offices around the world because they are not only fun to read and make us more creative, but they are full of hints on the winning strategy business people are looking for to have real competitiveness.”
~ KyungChun Jang, CEO of FunctionBay, Inc.

“Morinosuke Kawaguchi gave a great presentation on some of the hidden strengths of Japanese design for Swedish policy makers in innovation and growth. His ideas and insights are inspirational, forward looking and well worth paying attention to in Japan, Sweden and elsewhere…and his lectures are fun too!”
Anders Karlsson, Counsellor Science and Innovation, Embassy of Sweden, Tokyo

“Morinosuke Kawaguchi has a very distinctive knowledge of cutting-edge technology and its characteristics. That allows him to connect technology and appealing product innovations across many industries. I enjoyed his lecture and got inspired and entertained at the same time.”
~ Lorenz Granrath, Representative, Fraunhofer Representative Office Japan

“Morinosuke Kawaguchi’s lecture is amazing! It’s the best way to understand how “subculture” from Japan can inspire innovative products.”
~ Pedro Medina, Director of Cultural Affairs, IED Madrid


Mike Walsh

Leading Futurist

Fredrik Haren

Creativity & Innovation

Michio Kaku

Foremost Futurist