Innovators Network

Chikara Funabashi - Founder & Chairman, WiLLSeed Company Limited & Project Director, Public-Private Joint Project for Overseas Education Promotion, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan

Based on the philosophy, “For a Better World Through Education,” Funabashi established WiLLSeed Ltd. in July 2000. The company works simultaneously to enhance education for children and to play an active role in the dynamic business world of today.

Funabashi spent his childhood in Argentina and Brazil, and learned to accept and respect diversity in people and experience. In 1994, after his graduation from Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, he worked for Itochu Corporation, one of the largest trading companies in Japan. There he executed a subway construction project in Jakarta, Indonesia. While in active service at Itochu Corporation, in 1996, he established a cross-industrial study group called “LPC” which planned and implemented 80 events and workshops in 6 years. The group membership grew to 3000 people in three years.

In 2000, he resigned from Itochu and established WiLLSeed. In 2003 he was selected as one of the New Asian Leaders by the World Economic Forum, and he is now a member of the Promotion of Special Zones for Structural Reform Committee organized by the Cabinet Secretariat.

WiLLSeed provides services in the domain of corporate human resource development as well as classroom education for children and young adults. Believing that “the process of learning should be fun, because pleasure engages one’s will to learn,” the company utilizes a hands-on experiential educational program called “Trading Game.” Trading Game is a business simulation game which allows each participant to have a thorough and comprehensive self-understanding by clarifying his or her strengths and weaknesses. The game also provides both objective and subjective diagnoses of his or her competencies. WiLLSeed has provided human resource development training to more than 350 companies (over 20,000 employees per year), including clients such as Sony, Mitsu and Co., and Microsoft.

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