Graduate School of
Leadership and Innovation
Shizenkan University

Revolutionary New Business School Opens in Tokyo

Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation (henceforth Shizenkan) opened in Tokyo in August 2018. The school’s mission is bold and ambitious. It aims to present a new “whole-person” leadership approach and is committed to developing authentic risk-taking, innovative leaders with high aspirations, creativity and strength of character.

By integrating Western rationalism with Asian spiritual traditions, and leveraging innovation in science and technology for the betterment of humanity, it strives for a paradigm shift in leadership and management education, and aspires to contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive society.

Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation builds on the legacy of the Tokyo-based Institute for Strategic Leadership (hereinafter ISL), which has educated more than 1,400 top business and social leaders since 2001. In partnering with like-minded institutions in Asia, Europe and the rest of the world, we want to help transform the prevailing global standard of management and leadership education that was developed in the U.S. over the course of 20th century, to help businesses and society confront the challenges in this century and the next millennium.

Shizenkan combines the US business school model, which excels at quantitative, logical and strategic analyses, with the design school approach that harnesses creativity and emerging ideas to empower people to sketch out a better world. We incorporate liberal arts education in an attempt to give students deeper insights into humanity and history in order to drive transformational initiatives. At Shizenkan, self-reflection and deep-seated Asian philosophies will help students to discover their inner voices, develop sensitivities to people and society, and instill a pride and passion that will encourage them to seek challenges for a better future.

Shizenkan opened to its first class of graduate students on August 20th 2018 and offers a master’s degree. The part-time, 22-month program is designed for professionals in their mid-20s to late-30s. Classes take place basically twice a week, in the evenings and weekends. The first intake was 84 students. Half the students will complete the program exclusively in English, and the other half basically in Japanese. Most courses are offered in both languages, which makes Shizenkan a truly bilingual school.

The diversity of the students, who come from the business, civic and government sectors – will help create an atmosphere where they can inspire and collaborate with each other across the boundaries of all three. Shizenkan has 60 faculty members from equally diverse backgrounds, including business and design schools, the liberal arts, psychology and coaching. The faculty consists of 15 full-time and 45 adjunct professors. The master’s degree, officially titled “MBA in Design and Leadership for Societal Innovation,” is accredited by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) of Japan, and symbolizes our aspiration to inherit the strengths of traditional MBA management education and at the same time go beyond that to prepare for the future.

Application Guide

Admissions for the 2019 academic year has been closed.


About Shizenkan



President Monte CASSIM*(Advisor for Board, Ritsumeikan Trust / Former Dean, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University)
Full-time Faculty Minoru NODA(Professor, Graduate School of Business Administration, Meiji University)
Junko EDAHIRO(President, ISHES)
Hidetake ENOMOTO (Founder, Coaches Training Institute in Japan)
Daisaburo HASHIZUME(Sociologist / Honorary Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Hiroyuki MITANI(Former President, Novartis Holding Japan K.K.)
Patrick NEWELL(Co-Founder, TEDxTokyo / Founder, Singularity University Japan)
Tomoyoshi NODA(Founder, Institute for Strategic Leadership / Former faculty member of LBS & INSEAD)
Seiichi OHTAKI(Former Professor and Dean of Faculty of Economics, Tohoku University)
Kunitake SASO(Founder and CEO, BIOTOPE)
Tetsuya SHIOKAWA(Representative in Japan, Xerox Corporation)
Seiji TAKEDA(Western Philosopher / Professor Emeritus of Waseda University)
Mikio YAMAMOTO(Former Principal, A.T Kearney)
Yuichi YATSUHASHI(Senior Advisor, ACA / Research Professor, Academy for Global Leadership Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Katsuhiko YOSHIKAWA(Former Assistant Professor, Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University)etc.
Adjunct-Faculty Paul R.H. Duerloo (Partner & Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group)
Kazuhiro FUJIHARA(Reformist for public education / Principal, Nara Ichijo High School)
Shoshu HIRAI(Buddhist monk / Chief Priest, Zenshoan Temple)
Oriza HIRATA(Playwright / Director, leader of Seinendan / Artistic director of Komaba Agora Theater / Professor, Osaka University)
Hironori IWASAKI (Director, Brand & Innovation Design Division, Hakuhodo inc.)
Shinji MIYADAI(Sociologist / Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Keisuke SEYA (Chairman CTO, Zero to one)
Yoshifumi TAGUCHI(Chinese philosopher / CEO, Image Plan Co. Ltd.,)
Kazuhiko TOYAMA(CEO, Industrial Growth Platform, Inc.)
Masataka UO(President and CEO, Japan Fundraising Association)
Hirokazu YAMANASHI (Founder Partner, Mckinsey & Co.) etc.
Affiliated-Faculty Heang Chhor(Founder & Managing Partner, Qualgro Asean Fund / Former Head of the Tokyo office, McKinsey & Company)
Penny Low(Founder, Social Innovation Park / Former a Member of Parliament, Singapore’s People's Action Party(PAP))
Yih-teen Lee(Associate Professor, IESE Business School)
Edson Kenji Kondo(Vice-Dean, National School of Management and Economics, Fundação Getulio Vargas(FGV))
Wong Lai Wong (Founder & Chief, First Penguin Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia) etc.


Board of Trustees

Chair Tomoyoshi NODA(Founder, ISL)
Information Sciences Deputy Managing Director, Center For Social Investment / Auditor, UWC ISAK japan)
Takehiko OGI(President, Japan Human Resources)
Seiichi OHTAKI(Professor and Former Dean of Faculty of Economics, Tohoku University)
Tetsuya SHIOKAWA(Representative in Japan, Xerox Corporation)
Sandra Wu, Wen-Hsiu(Chairperson and CEO Kokusai Kogyo Co.,Ltd.
Executive Director Japan Asia Group Limited)
Seiji YASUBUCHI(Representative Director, Visa Worldwide (Japan) Co Ltd.) etc.
Auditor Shuichi MATSUDA(Honorary professor, Waseda University)
Ryoko NAGATA(Standing Audit & Supervisory Board Member of the Company, JAPAN TOBACCO INC.)

Board of Councilors

Chair Yasuchika HASEGAWA(Former Chairman, Takeda Pharmaceuticals)
Member Yoshiaki FUJIMORI(Chairman, Oracle Corporation Japan)
Nobuaki KOGA(Former President, The Japanese Trade Union Confederation (JTUC-RENGO))
Jesper Koll(CEO, Wisdom Tree Japan)
Yoshinori KOMAMURA(Former Executive Vice President, Komatsu Ltd.)
Kakutaro KITASHIRO(Executive Advisor, IBM Japan / Former Chair of the Board Trustee of ICU)
Osamu NAGAYAMA(Chairman and CEO, Chugai Pharmaceuticals)
Kiyoyuki SEGUCHI(Research Director, the Canon Institute for Global Studies)
Liling ZHANG(President, Daifu(CCTV) in Japan) etc.

Advisory Board

André Andonian(Managing Partner Japan and Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company)
Ole Mølskov Bech(President & Representative Director, Novo Nordisk Pharma Ltd. / Chairman, EFPIA Japan)
Fulvio Guarneri(President & CEO, Unilever Japan K.K.)
Yan HAO(Chairman, EPS Holdings / Chairman, Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Japan[CCCJ])
Nobuyuki HIRANO (Member of the Board of Directors, Chairman, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group)
Yoshimitsu KOBAYASHI(Chairman, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings / Chairman, Keizai Doyukai)
Manabu MIYASAKA(Former Chairman, Yahoo Japan Co.)
Takeshi NIINAMI(President, Suntory Holdings)etc.

Global Board

Anil Sachdev(Founder & CEO, School of Inspired Leadership)[India]
Choelsoon Park(Dean, Graduate School of Business, Seoul National University)[South Korea]
Daiel I. Okimoto(Stanford University, Professor Emeritus; Silicon Valley Japan Plartform, Co-chairman)[USA]
Philippe Haspeslagh(Professor and Honorary Dean, Vleric Business School)[Belgium]
Henry Mintzberg(John Cleghorn Professor, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University)[Canada]
Clayton M. Christensen(Kim B. Clark Professor, Harvard Business School)[USA]
Ralf Boscheck(Dean, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (UAI) Business School)[Chile] etc.


Shizenkan is located on the 17th floor of the Nihonbashi Takashimaya Building, immediately above the Nihonbashi subway station, and a short five-minute walk from Tokyo Station. ISL, Shizenkan’s mother institution and partner, is situated on the same floor.
Nihonbashi is in the center of metropolitan Tokyo, and home of some of Japan’s oldest, most venerable firms. Shizenkan philosophy of “glocalization” means we encourage co-existing with, partnering with and co-prospering with the local community and learning from its management philosophy of balancing tradition with continuous innovation.

Information Disclosure

contact information

Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation, Shizenkan University

Addres Nihonbashi Takashimaya Mitsui Bldg 17F, 5-1, Nihonbashi 2-Chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 103 - 6117
Contact Tel 03-6281-9012 

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