• Program Director

Message from the Program Director

Christina Ahmadjian, Ph.D Program Director Shibusawa Scholar Program

Christina Ahmadjian, Ph.D
Program Director
Shibusawa Scholar Program

What is a global leader? These two words are very popular these days. Companies all want to hire global leaders. Universities are starting programs designed to train global leaders. But, what do these words really mean? Some of you who are reading this might have some obvious questions: Why should I become a global leader? How can I become a global leader? What does being a global leader mean for my career? And what does Shibusawa Eiichi, a historical figure from long-ago Japan, have to do with global leadership?

“Global” is not just about communicating in English or visiting other countries. “Global” is about the connections, the interdependencies, and the complexity of the world today. Thanks to IT, rapid economic development, air travel, and mass media, we have all become closer. Open your iPhone and you will find that it was designed in California, manufactured in China, filled with Japanese parts and materials. The plane you travel on is a built from parts from all over the world. The movie you watch may be written by an Australian, produced by an American, set on location in Africa and filmed with Japanese equipment.

At the same time that the world is becoming more connected and interdependent, there is much that remains very local. While Starbucks and Apple may look the same everywhere, life in Tokyo is very different from that in New York or Paris. The world is more exciting and interesting because of it. Local differences give us diverse ideas and diverse dreams. But local differences also start wars. How do we use differences to create something better? That is the job of a global leader. Global leaders must bridge differences, create synergy from diverse views, identify problems and mobilize people from around the world to create solutions.

The Shibusawa Scholar Program will educate outstanding Hitotsubashi students to be this kind of catalyst and community builder who can effectively use diversity to innovate in an interdependent and complex world. Our role model is Shibusawa Eiichi, one of the founding fathers of Japanese business and someone who greatly contributed to the development of Hitotsubashi University. Though Shibusawa was born over 100 years ago, he embodies many of the characteristics necessary for a global leader for the 21st century. He was a catalyst for change—someone who identified what needed to be done and then brought people and resources together to create communities to do it. He saw the interdependence between Japan and the West, and between the traditional and the modern. Most importantly, he understood the interdependence between business and society and the role of business in creating a better society for us all.

We invite you to learn more about the Shibusawa Scholar Program, and to become a member of our community, as a student or a friend.