Chuo student takes part in largest student-led conference in Asia




Naoto Fujibayashi (middle) and his friend Joshua  Rasay (left)
Naoto Fujibayashi (middle) and his friend Joshua Rasay (left)

Naoto Fujibayashi, a fourth grader of the Faculty of Law of Chuo University, took part in Harvard Project for Asian and International Relationship (HPAIR) held at Harvard University in February 2017. HPAIR is one of the world’s largest student-led international conferences, which takes place twice annually at Cambridge in Boston, Massachusetts and in an Asian country. Some 250 participants from 40 countries, mostly students and researchers from prestigious universities across the world and persons working at global business organizations, get engaged in close exchanges through seminars and case studies during a six-day session each year. Fujibayashi, who was then studying at a U.K. university, attended the spring session of HPAIR during his vacation. Hakumon Herald interviewed him to ask why he took part in HPAIR and what he did there.


昨年2月に米国の名門ハーバード大学で開かれた「ハーバード大学アジア国際関係会議」( Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations<HPAIR>)に中央大学法学部4年の藤林尚斗さんが参加した。HPAIRはアジア太平洋地域で最大規模の学生主催の国際会議として、年2回、同大学のあるマサチューセッツ州ケンブリッジとアジア地域で開催されている。世界40カ国から、トップレベルの大学に所属している学生や研究者、グローバル企業で働く参加者ら約250人が6日間にわたりセミナーやケーススタディを通して密な交流を重ねる。当時、英国留学中だった藤林さんは春休みの合間をぬって参加した。藤林さんにHPAIR参加理由、会議の模様などを語ってもらった。

Strict selection criteria for participation


Members of Fujibayashi's team share their desire to win a prize
Members of Fujibayashi's team share their desire to win a prize


 -What motivated you to take part in HPAIR?


Fujibayashi: I was studying at University of Manchester in an exchange program called Tobitate Ryugaku Japan, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. While I was there, a senior colleague introduced HPAIR to me, saying, “Talented persons from various countries gather there.” I made up my mind to take part in it because I was hoping to do business all over the world in the future.

藤林 当時、英国マンチェスター大学に留学中だった私は「トビタテ留学!ジャパン日本代表プログラム」(文部科学省と民間機関が共同で取り組む海外留学支援制度)の先輩から「世界中の優秀な人材が集まる」と、HPAIRを紹介されました。将来、世界を股にかけたビジネスをしたいと考えていた私は参加を決意しました。


-What sort of people did you find at HPAIR?



Fujibayashi: I found there many students from top-ranking universities and young employees from global businesses. What was striking to me was that they were not only studying solutions to the issues in their own countries and communities but were actually taking actions to implement them.

   藤林 世界トップレベル大学からの学生やグローバル企業で働いている方が大勢集まっていました。さらに彼らは生まれ育った国や地域の問題を解決するための方法を検討するだけでなく、実際にその解決のためのアクションを起こしていました。


   -What selection process did you go through for your participation?



Fujibayashi: First, you must submit three essays to the selection panel. If you clear that, you will sit for an interview. One of intriguing questions put to me during my interview was: “What policy would you practice if you became prime minister of your country?” I felt I was being tested if I had an insight as head of state.

藤林 まず、エッセイを3つ提出する選考があり、通過後には面接も受けました。面白かったのは「あなたがもし、自国の総理大臣になったら、どのような政策を実施しますか」という設問です。まるで、国家元首の視座を持っていることが試されているようでした。

Skill to lead diversified team



-Did you have any memorable encounter at HPAIR?



Fujibayashi: Particularly invaluable was my meeting with Joshua Rasay from University of Hawaii at Manoa, which is one of top 100 state universities in the United States. He was one of teammates in our case study. We often had heated discussions. He turned out to be a good partner to lead our team.

藤林 ケーススタディのチームメイトで、米国の州立大学トップ100にも入るハワイ大学マノア校のジョシュア・ラセイさんとの出会いはかけがえのないものとなりました。彼とは時に激しい議論をしながらもチームをともに率いた仲間です。


   -What was the theme for your case study?



   Fujibayashi: Our theme was “Suggestions to rebuild a staggering American company”. We had little time to spare for it because of a packed schedule for seminars and socialization events that often lasted from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

藤林 ケーススタディのテーマは「事業が停滞しつつある、ある米国企業の再生計画の立案」でした。朝8時から夜9時まで、活動の大半をセミナーや交流会が占め、ケーススタディに割ける時間は限られていました。


   -How did you work on your case study in such a busy environment?



  Fujibayashi: Joshua and I had repeated discussions without sparing time for sleep. Our talk was so heated that people around us often said to us, “You look to be fighting!” Anyway, we displayed our commitments to our case study with actions. I think this helped to create a culture in which team members diverse in age and nationality cooperate with each other in a short period of time.

  藤林    ジョシュアとは寝る間も惜しんで毎日、徹底的に議論をしていました。周りからは「まるでけんかをしているようだ」と思われるほど激しかったです。とにかくケーススタディへのコミットを行動で示し、年齢、国籍が異なるメンバーが集うチームでも互いに協力し合うチームカルチャーを短期間で醸成しました。


-How did it come out in the end?



Fujibayashi: We won the first prize among the 15 teams that had taken part in the presentation competition. All that was thanks to the seriousness of both Joshua and me and efforts made by other teammates who shared our desire to win a prize. We were overjoyed when the result was announced. Even now, we often keep contact with each other.


藤林 私とジョシュアの本気、勝利への執念に共感してくれたチームメイトのおかげで15チームからなる分科会のプレゼンテーション審査で最優秀賞を獲得しました。結果が発表されたときは心から喜びました。チームのメンバーとは今でも頻繁に連絡を取りあっています。


Contributing to society as earthian



   -What are you working on right now?



    Fujibayashi: I’m learning how to live in society while serving my internship at a consulting firm as a right-hand man of our president. Despite being an intern, I get involved in preparing business proposals and midterm management plans for our clients like real estate funds and developers in Japan and overseas. I enjoy dealing with any hardships and challenges, as I did at HPAIR, by setting higher goals without sticking to ready-made ideas.

    藤林 今はコンサルティング会社社長の右腕としてインターンをしながら社会経験を積んでいます。学生インターンながら不動産ファンド、不動産ディベロッパーといった国内外のクライアントに対してゼロからの事業立案や中期経営計画の策定などの実務に従事しています。HPAIRに参加していた時のように、既成概念にとらわれず、目標を高く設定し、どんな困難や挑戦も楽しみながら取り組んでいます。


-What would you like to do in the future?



   Fujibayashi: I earnestly hope to contribute to the development of global society together with globally active people who work beyond the framework of countries and regions.

 藤林 国や地域といった枠組みを超えてグローバルに活動する人とともに地球社会の発展に寄与したいと本気で考えています。


-Thank you.

(Interviewed by: Hideki Kato)