Helping organizations create new value and new forms of competitive advantage
It was chilly Christmas night at Yokohama Port in 1968 when my parents set feet the first time on Japanese soil. They had no idea that Japan would be their home for the next 40 years. They settled in port of Kobe and I was born next summer in Tokyo. I would be living in this country for at least 20 years and it would be part of my identity, my story and my destiny.
My parents spent the first two years in Japanese language school learning to read, write, speak and behave like a Japanese. My nanny was Suzuki-san who took care of me during the day time for all those two years. She was like my Japanese mother.
It took few years and I got one sister and four brothers. We went to the local kinder garden and preschool, got bunch of Japanese friends and finally though that we were Japanese as well. The first trip abroad to Finland was a shock. I was five and I realized that I'm not Japanese but not Finnish either. I had hybrid identity and that would define my career in the future. I would be transferring intelligence between diverse cultures, communities, domains and industries.
I faced one of the most dramatic challenge in my life in 2004 when I got cancer, melanoma. That event started a new era in my life. Although I continued my extrepreneur daily life as usual, my physical situation got gradually worse. In the middle of my funeral arrangements I got a chance to participate a clinical trial and soon I heard the news that was too good to be true. I could cancel the funeral arrangements! The treatment worked dazzingly fast and I got suddenly a sequal to my life, kind of 2.0 life!
The sudden change was shock to me. I was ready to leave and now I had to rebuild my life motivation from the scrach. It took me more than six months and still I keep on asking myself every now then, why I'm here. Since then I have put an enfort to be a face and voice, a patient advocate for all cancer patients in Finland and in international forums.
I'm a happy husband, father of two children and a proud barley farmer with my wife. I know who I am, I know where I'm coming from and where I'm going, I work on things I enjoy and I live in Finland, the happiest nation on earth. What a grace.
"Life is short. Eat dessert first." - Jacques Torres