The video clip below provides excerpts from a conversation with executive and former diplomat Mark Davidson.

In a wide-ranging interview, executive Mark Davidson surveys the society and business world of Japan, pinpointing its key strengths and challenges. With the benefit of extensive diplomatic service worldwide and in-country, Davidson does not hold back on recommendations as to how Japan can "tool up" and speed up in its quest for "global standard" excellence.

Mark Davidson is Director of Government & External Affairs for Amway Japan, a US$ 1-billion company based in Tokyo. Previously, he was a Senior Foreign Service Officer (career diplomat) with the U.S. Department of State, with a rank equivalent to a two-star general in the military. As a diplomat, Mark served four times in Japan, as well as in Islamabad, Asuncion, Madrid, Caracas, and Washington, DC. He taught U.S.-Japan relations and strategic leadership at the U.S. National Defense University, worked on Capitol Hill as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, and has published numerous articles, columns, and book chapters on U.S. domestic politics and foreign policy. He serves on several educational and charitable boards in Japan and the United States. Fluent in Japanese, Spanish, and French, Mark holds an A.B. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. (Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Meaning of “Global Jinzai” and global competence with Mark Davidson <Set A>

Set A, Clip 1:
Mark Davidson on the meaning of "Global Jinzai"

Set A, Clip 2:
On promoting global competence through international study

In clip Set A, Mark Davidson describes his vision of the meaning and attributes of "global jinzai." The value of English, resilience, and willingness to speak one's mind all play a role in global workplace competence, Davidson asserts. As to how today's youth may achieve such skills, Davidson recounts his interactions with Japan's lawmakers in promotion of international educational exchange, with the goal of reversing declining overseas study by the Japanese. Davidson also addresses living abroad as a "practical training ground" and formative experience to galvanize creative, globally oriented habits of mind. Further, he discusses the value of the diverse workplace as a forum for the emergence of new business ideas and approaches.

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