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lecture

28 November 2019, His Honour Witold Pawlak, Circuit Judge: ‘The view from the Bench’ – joint with MIT Sloan alumni

‘The view from the Bench’

His Honour Witold Pawlak (Trinity 1966) will speak to us about his experience as Circuit Judge at Wood Green Crown Court (appointed 2004)

On Thursday 28 November 2019 at 7pm His Honour Witold Pawlak will visit us from the UK, and will talk to us about his unique insights into how justice works in the UK: “The view from the Bench”. Location: in central Tokyo.

This event will be joint with MIT Sloan alumni.

  • 7pm – 7:30pm His Honour Witold Pawlak, ‘The view from the Bench’
  • 7:30pm – 9:30pm dinner
  • after 9:30pm – nijikai drinks nearby

The fee including kaiseki dinner and unlimited drinks will be YEN 10,000, nijikai drinks etc are separate. We will meet in central Tokyo.

All Fellows or members of Trinity College (Cambridge University) living in or visiting Tokyo are very welcome.

Registration and prepayment until Friday 22 November 2019. I will send location details and account details for prepayment to those who register.

Usually we go for nijikai nearby.

His Honour Witold Pawlak

Trinity 1966. Called to the Bar in 1970. Practised in contract, tort, environmental, family, financial services and other areas. Memorable cases include re Schwitters (Hospital Patient), Spring v Guardian Assurance and Rv Hertfordshire County Council ex parte Green Environmental. Appointed Circuit Judge 2004 until 2017 at Wood Green Crown Court, thereafter a Deputy Circuit Judge until April 2020. Training in mediation for mediators in Poland for 10 years. Currently working on the EU Modern Court project in Ukraine.

To register

If you are Trinity College Cambridge Fellow or member living in or visiting Japan please join us. To register, or for any enquiries contact us here:

His Honour Witold Pawlak
His Honour Witold Pawlak

Copyright (c) 2019 Trinity in Japan Society All Rights Reserved

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lecture

Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo

Japan’s corporate governance reforms

joint event with the alumni organizations of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/ Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 19:00 in Tokyo

On Thursday 7 March 2019 we will have a joint event by the alumni organizations of several French Grandes Écoles, HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec, and Trinity in Japan on Japan’s corporate governance reforms.

Topic: Japan’s corporate governance reforms

Everyone of us who wants Japanese companies to take major decisions, e.g. in major sales, M&A, as investor, or executive or employee benefits from understanding how Japanese companies take decisions at top level. Corporate governance is about how companies take decisions, and how this decision making is controlled. Reforms were initiated by PM Abe and Japan’s Parliament since 2015, mainly driven by the very low returns on capital by Japanese companies compared to Europe and US, and by a long series of scandals. 

As the major shareholder of Nissan, Renault shares responsibility for corporate governance at Nissan, and governance of Nissan directly impacts employment in France. Thus interest in Japan’s corporate governance has suddenly shot up in France.The speaker has several years experience as Board Director and Member of the Supervisory & Audit Committee of a stock market listed Japanese SaaS, cloud and cybersecurity group, and will give a practician view of governance at Japanese companies.

Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo

Speaker: Dr Gerhard Fasol

Dr. Gerhard Fasol, graduated with a PhD in Physics of Cambridge University.  He first came to Japan in 1984 to help build a research cooperation with NTT.  In 1997 he founded the company Eurotechnology Japan KK and has been working with hundreds of Japanese and foreign companies on cross-border business development and M&A projects. For four years he served as Board Director of a Japanese stock market listed company. He is also Guest-Professor at Kyushu University and was tenured faculty in Physics at Cambridge University,  Fellow and Director of Studies at Trinity College Cambridge, Associate Professor at Tokyo University’s Dept of Electrical Engineering, and also Guest Professor in Physics at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris. In recent years he has been focusing also on questions of Corporate Governance at Japanese companies, a topic about which he is frequently presenting at a wide range of organizations in and outside Japan.

Event details and registration

  • Date: Thursday 7 March at 19:00 (Please try to be on time).
  • 19:00 – 20:00: Presentation and Q&A
  • 20:00 – 21:00 Cocktail
  • Venue: Aux Bacchanales Kioicho
  • 東京都千代田区紀尾井町4-1新紀尾井町ビル 1F
  • Shin Kioicho Bldg. 1F, 4-1, Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
  • https://goo.gl/maps/yuqAxJafe1s  
  • Registration: Please register using contact form below, no later than Friday 1 March 2019.
  • Please note that the last HEC event was booked out early, and some late registrations had to be turned away. So to avoid disappointment, make sure you register early!
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo
Japan’s corporate governance reforms: Joint event with the alumni of HEC, École Polytechnique, Sciences Po, Edhec, Essec and Trinity College/Cambridge University. Thursday 7 March 2019 in Tokyo

To register

Copyright (c) 2019 Trinity in Japan Society All Rights Reserved

Categories
lecture

Lord Martin Rees, former Master of Trinity College, Lecture “The world in 2050 – and beyond”

Lord Martin Rees, Baron Rees of Ludlow OM FRS, Master of Trinity College 2004-2012

Lord Martin Rees: “The world in 2050 – and beyond”

Lord Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College 2004-2012, gave a public lecture at the Japan Academy in Tokyo on the topic “The world in 2050 – and beyond” on Wednesday 4 October 2017 at 14:30.

Details here:
http://www.japan-acad.go.jp/japanese/news/2017/082901.html
location:
http://www.japan-acad.go.jp/japanese/about/access.html

Summary

notes written by Gerhard Fasol, based on Lord Martin Rees’ lecture notes and Gerhard Fasol’s notes taken during the lecture

This century is special – a new geological era, the Anthropocene

Earth existed for 45 million centuries, humans a few thousand centuries. This century is special: we are in a new epoch, the Anthropocene, its the first century where the future of earth depends on humans.

Humans could degrade the biosphere, or cause misdirected technology to destroy or diminish civilisation.

Martin Rees has written a book on these issues, the same book is entitled “Our final century” in the UK, and “Our final hour” in the USA, reflecting the contrast of British understatement and American emphasis on urgency.

Martin Rees did not think that humanity would extinguish itself, but feared that humans would be lucky to avoid serious setbacks, and nuclear armageddon was closely avoided during the cold war.

Nuclear weapons are based on 20th century science, in the 21th century we have created new existential risks based on bio, cyber and AI.

Population growth, urbanization and food

World population was about 3 billion in 1960, now exceeds 7 billion, and is forecast to reach 9 billion by 2050.

Urbanization continues, predictions are that 70% of people will live in cities by 2050, requiring excellence of governance.

Discussing population growth has become taboo, as predictions in the 1970s by the Club of Rome and others have proven wrong. Food shortages were predicted, improvements in food production technology prevented disasters.

Can 9 billion people be fed? Yes they can, using improved and sustainable agriculture.

Famines do occur, but they are the result of wars and political causes, there is no overall food shortage on earth.

Projections of population growth out to the year 2100 vary between 6 billion and 16 billion depending on model assumptions, see Jeff Tollefson : “Seven billion and counting” Nature 478 300 (19 October 2011) doi:10.1038/478300a

Bio diversity: “mass extinction is the sin that future generations will least forgive us for”

Conserving our variety of species is not only about conserving food production and agriculture, there is also an ethical aspect. E O Wilson said: “mass extinction is the sin that future generations will least forgive us for”.

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation: https://eowilsonfoundation.org/

Johan Rockström argues that humanity must stay within “planetary boundaries” to avoid catastrophic environmental damage: Nature special on planetary boundaries (23 September 2009)

Climate change and the Keeling curve

Charles David Keeling measured atmospheric CO2 concentrations at Hawaii’s Mauna Loa Observatory starting in 1958 and showed that atmospheric CO2 at the Mauna Loa Observatory rose from around 320 ppm in 1960 to around 400 ppm around 2015, with oscillations due to plant growth cycles around the year.

For an overview discussion see: American Chemical Society ACS “The Keeling Curve: Carbon Dioxide Measurements at Mauna Loa”.
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/keeling-curve.html

There are some uncertainties in our knowledge of global warming, eg our uncertainty about future fossile fuel usage, or the impact of water vapor and clouds (see: the fifth Assessment Report AR5 by the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC).

Most agree on two messages:

  1. Regional disruptions to weather patterns within the next 20-30 years will aggravate pressures on food and water and engender migration
  2. Under “business as usual” scenarios we can’t rule out, later in the century, really catastrophic warming, and tipping points triggering long-term trends like the melting of the Greenland’s icecap

Science, economics, ethics, and our responsibility for future generations should we discriminate on the grounds of date of birth?

Some economists apply quasi-commercial discounting of the future, and essentially write off anything beyond 2050, see Bjørn Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus:

Economists Stern and Weizman argue that it is worth paying an insurance premium to protect future generations against worst-case scenarios, see the Stern Review.

Note that there are psychological factors: people generally don’t accept discounting the future where radioactivity is concerned: radioactive waste disposal is required to prevent leakage for 10,000 years.

The ethical question is: should we discriminate based on the date of birth?

Global warming: do we have a plan B?

CO2 levels will continue to rise, despite the Paris agreement. Pressure for panic measures might rise.

Geo-engineering measures (injecting aerosols into the stratosphere to cool the climate, carbon capture etc) are discussed, but are likely to lead to political nightmares: e.g. some cold areas in the world might actually want the climate to be warmer in their areas.

Two mitigation measures are politically realistic:

  1. Energy efficiency (building insulation, lighting etc)
  2. R&D into low carbon energy generation: renewables, grid technology, energy storage…

Bio risks and “gain of function”

“Gain of function”: in 2012 groups in Wisconsin and in Holland showed that it was relatively easy to make the influenza virus more virulent and more contagious, in 2014 the US Government decided to stop funding such “gain of function” experiments.

“Bio-hacking” is hard to control globally. Freeman Dyson asked, when children will be able to create new organisms and “play God on the kitchen table”.

Robotics and artificial intelligence

20 years ago IBM’s Deep Blue beat Kasparov, programmed by the world’s best chess players.

Last year Deep Mind (acquired by Google) beat the world champion of Go, however programed by machine learning.

Will robots and AI create more new employment than they eliminate – the old question of industrial revolutions, or a new paradigm?

Robots and AI machines could act orthogonal to the interests of human.

Are we responsible for the well being of intelligent robots?

Ray Kurzweil’s singularity. Ending your days in an English churchyard vs in a Californian refrigerator

Ray Kurzweil: The singularity is near – when humans transcend biology

Ray Kurzweil thinks that humans could transcend our biological limitations by fusing with machines. Humans could merge with computers.

For worry that this “singularity” transition might not come during his lifetime, Ray Kurzweil wants his body to be frozen to await the singularity to arrive, frozen by the “Society for the abolition of involuntary death”.

Lord Martin Rees prefers to end his days in an English churchyard rather than a Californian refrigerator, and has therefore been labeled an old fashioned “deathist”.

Lord Rees was amused to find out that at least three British academics are subscribing such a body freezing program, although one of these seems to have opted for the discount economy class option, where only the brain, not the whole body, is frozen…

Robots have a big future in space

Flotillas of miniaturized probes will explore the solar system eroding the case for human space flight.

Human space flight will be for adventurers, but there is no escape from earth. Space is too hostile for humans.

Life on other planets – we don’t even know how life started on our planet earth

There is no advanced life anywhere in our solar system. There might be freeze-dried bacteria on Mars, there might be creatures swimming under the ice on Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

Most stars in the sky are orbited by planets, like our Sun. Could there be “twins” with similar conditions as our planet earth? Some have been found, and there could be millions in our Milky Way.

Could there be life?

We don’t even know how life started on our planet earth, and we don’t know if there are other forms of life beyond our life based on DNA/RNA chemistry.

Searching for signals from life on far away planets is worthwhile. If we can actually identify such signals this would prove that mathematics, logic and physics can be done by others outside our human sculls and brains.

Lord Martin Rees is chairing an intensive search for radio and optical signals from extraterrestrial life funded by Yuri Milner:
Yuri Milner to Fund $100 Million Search for Intelligent Alien Life (Wall Street Journal, 20 July 2015)

Astronomers and the “far future”: “eternity is very long, especially towards the end”

Astronomers have one big difference to most people – they care for the “far future”.

Our Sun was formed 4.5 billion years ago, and has about 6 billion more years to go before the fuel runs out. And the universe will continue to expand.

As Woody Allen says (https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Talk:Woody_Allen): eternity is very long, especially towards the end.

We may not even be at the half-way stage of evolution.

Our wet organic brains may have reached close to their limits in evolution, but machines and robots are just at the beginning. Non-biological “brains” may develop beyond any expectation.

Facing global challenges

The most important challenges are global: global warming, energy, food, population.

Scientists can act globally, and can influence politics- if they do it right.

We need to change priorities and perspectives: we need to prioritize clean energy, sustainable agriculture, and need to manage the risks of new technologies.

To know more:

Martin Rees has written

see also the series of articles by Martin Rees in the Huffington Post

  1. There Could Be 11 Billion People on Earth in 2100. That Doesn’t Have to Scare You.
  2. The World Is Getting Warmer — But Here’s What We Can Do Now to Prepare
  3. The Dark Side of World-Changing Technologies
  4. Space Exploration Could Herald the Beginning of the Post-Human Era
  5. Why Science and Philosophy Should Guide Today’s Youth in Creating a More Sustainable World
Lord Martin Rees, former Master of Trinity College, Lecture
Lord Martin Rees, former Master of Trinity College, Lecture “The world in 2050 – and beyond”
Lord Martin Rees, former Master of Trinity College, Lecture
Lord Martin Rees, former Master of Trinity College, Lecture “The world in 2050 – and beyond”