Art Thinking Forum 2023

Nikkei, Japan’s leading business newspaper, and Ars Electronica, in cooperation with Hakuhodo, hosted the Art Thinking Forum, a community event to creatively transform future business and economic activities, on October 30, 2023, at Nikkei Hall in Tokyo.

Leading Japanese artists, innovators, businesspeople, and Ars Electronica members discussed “Restoring Creativity to Japanese Industry,” “Art x Society: Building Trust in the Future Society,” “Future Vision: Corporate Creativity for the Future,” and “Art x Community: Conceptualization and Co-Creation of Future Communities,” introducing the possibilities and practices of Art Thinking.

The purpose of this forum was to discuss the forefront of Art Thinking, “a perspective that questions assumptions and overturns common sense,” which is necessary for the next generation of leaders, and to create a community to exchange know-how and co-create a better society.

The 2023 program

What is Art Thinking? What synergy does it have with Design Thinking? In the introduction, Hideaki Ogawa (Co-Director of Ars Electronica Futurelab) and Rena Tanaka (Hakuhodo Brand & Innovation Design) discussed why Art is needed in the business world today and gave an overview of the Art Thinking Forum.

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.

Keynote Session: “Restoring Creativity to Japanese Industry“

In the keynote session, Hakuhodo, Japan’s integrated marketing innovation company, reflected on its nearly decade-long collaboration with Ars Electronica and how it all began. What is Ars Electronica, the public arm of the Art Technology Society, which has been practicing Art Thinking for over 40 years? What kind of mindset and systems are needed for “Restoring Creativity to Japanese Industry”? Hisashi Fujii (Director, Managing Executive Officer, Hakuhodo) discussed with Gerfried Stocker (Co-CEO and Artistic Director, Ars Electronica), moderated by Emiko Ogawa (Head, Prix Ars Electronica) and Kei Takeuchi (Director, Hakuhodo Brand & Innovation Design).

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.

Session 1: Art x Society: Building Trust in a Future Society

Session 1 asked what is needed to build trust between industry, government, academia, and the private sector in the future society. How can Art Thinking contribute according to a politician and an artist? Manabu Miyasaka (Deputy Governor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government) and Shiho Fukuhara (Artist/Researcher) discussed from their respective perspectives, moderated by Hideaki Ogawa (Co-Director, Ars Electronica Futurelab).

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.

Session 2: Future Vision: Corporate Creativity to Create the Future

Corporate activities created from purpose – What role should companies play in social issues and for the future society? What is the innovation that art thinking, not art, can create? Why are “questions” important for companies? This was the content of session 2 where companies and artists discussed with practical examples what is important to practice in Future Vision. Moderated by Kyokoh Kunoh (Artist, Ars Electronica Ambassador), the participants were Hiroki Otaki (Executive Officer, D-LAB, Japan Tobacco Inc.), Yoichi Ochiai (Media Artist) and Karen Palmer (Futurist/Artist).

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.

Session 3: Art x Community: Conceptualization and Co-creation of Future Communities

In the future society, what is a “community where each individual can demonstrate their creativities”? What is needed to form such a community? The speakers, who are both artists, activists, and entrepreneurs, used real-life examples to get to the core of this question. Saki Yamakawa (Founder, CRAZY WEDDING / Director, Kamiyama Marugoto National College of Technology / Director, CBO, ECOMMIT) and Ory Yoshifuji (CVO, Ory Research Institute) discussed under the guidance of moderator Emiko Ogawa (Head, Prix Ars Electronica).

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.

To conclude the Art Thinking Forum 2023, Kyoko Kunoh (Artist/Ars Electronica Ambassador) and Kei Takeuchi (Director, Hakuhodo Brand & Innovation Design), recapped the ideas and visions shared by all the participants.

> Watch the video (in Japanese) on the Nikkei website.


Ars Electronica Futurelab: Hideaki Ogawa
Ars Electronica: Kyoko Kunoh, Emiko Ogawa, Gerfried Stocker

In collaboration with Hakuhodo and Nikkei

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From our never-ending list of ideas and concepts we have compiled a selection of works related to the topics addressed in this project. An overview of all our productions, cooperations and projects can be found in our continuously growing project archive.