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The Evolution of Stakeholder Capitalism from Eiichi Shibusawa’s Gapponshugi to the B-Corp Movement in the US

October 8, 2020 @ 4:30 pm

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It has been just over a year since some 180 CEOs of Business Roundtable signed an open letter titled “Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation,” a commitment to promote the interests of not just shareholders, but all stakeholders, including customers, employees, suppliers and communities.

Thirteen years earlier, a small group of entrepreneurs launched a B Corporation movement* and took a first step of changing “the system” to use business as a force for good. They founded B Lab, which certifies companies as Certified B Corporations. There are now over 3,500 Certified B Corporations in the US and globally, and the movement is lately getting more attention from major corporations. Jay Coen Gilbert, one of the co-founders of the B Corporation movement will share his story about leading the B Corporation movement and how he is trying to engage major businesses to adopt a stakeholder model.

In Japan over 100 years ago, Eiichi Shibusawa**, a Meiji era banker, industrialist and entrepreneur widely known as the “father of Japanese capitalism,” advocated for “gapponshugi” (合本主義), in which a new form of joint stock company would address social issues. Ken Shibusawa, a fifth-generation grandson of Eiichi Shibusawa will talk about “gapponshugi” and how he is practicing it today in his asset management business, Commons Asset Management Company.

We will learn how Shibusawa’s “gapponshugi” 100 years ago in Japan and the current B Corporation movement can join forces to promote the shift from shareholders to stakeholder capitalism.

(*B stands for Benefit. **Eiichi Shibusawa’s portrait will appear on the 10,000 yen notes from 2024 and he will be the main character in NHK’s year-long drama “Taiga (Big River) Drama” on Sundays in 2021)


Date and Time:

Thursday October 8th, 2020 @ 4:30 PM (Pacific Time)

Friday October 9th, 2020 @ 8:30 AM (Japan)



4:28 PM — Zoom tutorial Kendra De Nike | Office Administrator, Japan Society of Northern California
4:30 PM — Opening Remarks Takahide Akiyama | President, Japan Society of Northern California
4:35 PM — Ken Shibusawa |  Founder, Shibusawa and Company, Inc.
4:57 PM — Jay Coen Gilbert |  Co-Founder, B Lab
5:15 PM — Discussion between speakers moderated by Tracy Gopal | Member of the Board, Japan Society of Northern California and Founder, Third Arrow Strategies
5:30 PM — Q&A
5:37 PM — Closing Remarks Takahide Akiyama


Pricing: FREE! Please consider making a donation to the Japan Society.


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Jay Coen Gilbert PhotoJay Coen Gilbert

Jay Coen Gilbert is cofounder of B Lab, the nonprofit behind the global B Corporation movement. Its vision is an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy for all people and the planet. Along with his B Lab cofounders, Jay is the recipient of the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship and the McNulty Prize at the Aspen Institute, where he is a Henry Crown Fellow. To build the broad coalition necessary for economic system change, Jay serves as executive co-chair of Imperative 21, a business-led cross-sector network of coalitions that believes the imperative of the 21st century is to reimagine and redesign our economic system so its purpose is to create value for all stakeholders, while stewarding the natural and social systems on which healthy markets and all life depends. Prior to co-founding B Lab, Jay co-founded and sold AND 1, a $250M basketball footwear, apparel and entertainment company. Prior, Jay worked for McKinsey & Co and several organizations in NYC’s public and nonprofit sectors. Jay grew up in New York City and graduated from Stanford University with a degree in East Asian Studies. Jay and his wife Randi live in Berwyn, PA.


Ken Shibusawa PhotoKen Shibusawa

Ken Shibusawa founded in 2001, Shibusawa and Company, Inc., a strategic advisory firm for alternative investments, ESG/SDGs alignment and human resource development. He also founded in 2008, Commons Asset Management, a mutual fund dedicated to deliver long term investment opportunities to the Japanese household. Currently, he is working on a project to launch an impact fund to generate a new flow of capital to the emerging countries from Japan. He has extensive market experience at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs as well as Moore Capital, a global macro hedge fund, where he was the representative managing director of the Tokyo Office. He is also director of Keizai Doyukai (Japan Association of Corporate Executives) and a steering committee member of UNDP SDG Impact. He is a fifth-generation grandson of First Viscount Eiichi Shibusawa, a Meiji era industrialist and entrepreneur widely known as the “father of Japanese capitalism”.


Tracy Gopal PhotoModerator, Tracy Gopal | Member of the Board, Japan Society of Northern California & Founder, Third Arrow Strategies

Tracy Gopal, member of the Board of the Japan Society of Northern California, is the founder of Third Arrow Strategies, a corporate governance consultancy which facilitates communications between Japanese companies and foreign investors on ESG issues. She is a frequent speaker on the importance of board composition and the merits of board diversity. She previously spent 15 years in transaction advisory and proxy advisory, predominantly with Ernst & Young and Institutional Shareholder Services. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Honors Economics Program at the University of Michigan and earned her MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She holds a certificate from the Board of Directors Institute in Japan and is fluent in Japanese.


October 8, 2020
4:30 pm
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