Everything But Nirvana: The Authentic Leadership Journey of a Japanese Buddhist, Shoukei MATSUMOTO

What I have learned in the global community


Last week, I have attended World Economic Forum on East Asia in Myanmer. The first three days in Yangon were the summit of Young Global Leaders(YGL), and the last three days were World Economic Forum(WEF). It was really my honor to join that great event. I would like to share my experience and learnings with you all.

*My experience

- Meditation session in Mahasi Meditation Center

- Dialogue with students in Myanmer Institute of Theology

- Study session with Buddhist monks in Sitagu Buddhist Academy

- YGL Meeting with President Thein Sein

- YGL Meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi

*Impressive people in YGLs (just to mention a few)

- Amit from India who launched a venture business of providing weather information from Reuter News to local farmers

- Teresa from the US who is teaching Yoga and spiritual methods in Manhattan

- Arnaud man from France who founded a world-class micro finance venture business which is headed by Jacques Attali

- Francis from Hong Kong who founded Green Monday to promote vegetarian diet in the world

- Bart from Belgium who founded NPO of training rats how to detect mines in the world

- John from Philippine who is leading a big insurance company in Philippine.

- Duke from Thailand who founded NPO to help rural people live independent.


I would like to share what I have learned in the following. 

1. The importance of management in religious institutions

As most people asked me "What are you doing in Japan?", I explained what I am doing in Japan saying "I teach management in Japanese Buddhist community". What was really impressive was that so many people seemed very much interested in my initiative. I guess there are a lot of research studies to be done in the field of management of religious institutions in the world. Though I cover only Buddhist temples within Japan, I see great opportunity to expand my study field to other countries as well as other religions. If anyone knows good cases to study, please let me know. 

2. The mindset of global leaders

In my life I have never experienced that diverse community like YGL. This experience was truly eye-opening to me to think what global leader is. Living in Japan, I am exposed to a lot of news articles which encourage people to study abroad, work in foreign company, or learn English. But those are just marginal. To become global leader, I don't have to live foreign country. Even though my life is pretty much limited within domestic community, as long as I am conscious of being a global citizen, I can be a global leader. It's not about where you live or what you do but how you see and take care of the world. After joining YGL, I see less national boundaries in my mind.

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>>Profile Born in 1979 in Hokkaido, after the graduation from The University of Tokyo, Keisuke Matsumoto has worked in Komyoji Temple Tokyo for 7 years. As a head of Young Buddhist Association of Komyoji Temple, he launched new initiatives like Temple Cafe Project and Twilight Music Festival. After studying MBA in India, he is teaching "Temple Management" in Japan.