Graduate School of
Leadership and Innovation
Shizenkan University

Revolutionary New Business School Opens in Tokyo

Shizenkan Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation (henceforth Shizenkan) will open 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 1,300 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 will open to its first class of graduate students on August 20th 2018 and offer 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 will be 80 students. Half the students will complete the program exclusively in English, and the other half basically in Japanese. Most courses will be 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 44 faculty members from equally diverse backgrounds, including business and design schools, the liberal arts, psychology and coaching. The faculty consists of 15 fulltime and 29 visiting 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

You can find the Application Guidelines for 2019 below

MBA Program in Design & Leadership for Societal Innovation

Application Guideline

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About Shizenkan



President Monte CASSIM*(Advisor for Board, Ritsumeikan Trust / Former Dean, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University)
Full-time Faculty Junko EDAHIRO(Professor, Tokyo City University)
Hidetake ENOMOTO (Founder, Coaches Training Institute in Japan)
Daisaburo HASHIZUME(Sociologist / Honorary Professor, Tokyo Institute of Technology)
Patrick NEWELL(Co-Founder, TEDxTokyo / Founder, Singularity University Japan)
Tomoyoshi NODA(Founder, Institute for Strategic Leadership / Former faculty member of LBS & INSEAD)
Seiichi OHTAKI(Professor and Former 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, Waseda University)
Yuichi YATSUHASHI(Senior Advisor, ACA / Research Professor, Academy for Global Leadership Tokyo Institute of Technology) etc.
Visiting-Faculty 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)
Hiroyuki MITANI(Former President, Novartis Holding Japan K.K.)
Shinji MIYADAI(Sociologist / Professor, Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Yoshifumi TAGUCHI(Chinese philosopher / CEO, Image Plan Co. Ltd.,)
Kazuhiko TOYAMA(CEO, Industrial Growth Platform, Inc.)
Masataka UO(President and CEO, Japan Fundraising Association) 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)) 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)
Kosuke NISHIMOTO(Chairman and CEO, Interworks, Inc.)

Board of Councilors

Chair Yasuchika HASEGAWA(Advisor, Takeda Pharmaceuticals)
Member Jesper Koll(CEO, Wisdom Tree Japan)
Kakutaro KITASHIRO(Executive Advisor, IBM Japan / Chair of the Board Trustee of ICU)
Osamu NAGAYAMA(Chairman and CEO, Chugai Pharmaceuticals)
Ken SHIBUSAWA(Chairman, Commons Asset Management)
Taito YAMAMOTO(Executive vice-president, Yamamoto-noriten Co., Ltd.)
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])
Yoshimitsu KOBAYASHI(Chairman, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings / Chairman, Keizai Doyukai)
Manabu MIYASAKA(President & Representative Director, Yahoo Japan)
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]
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] 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

Shizenkan Leadership School
(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