Jun 30, 2014


Ray Kurzweil, an American author, scientist, inventor, futurist, and a director of engineering at Google was quoted in Time Magazine in March 2012 saying: “A kid in Africa with a smart phone has access to more information than the president of the U.S. 15 years ago.” This is a powerful statement about the power of technology. However, that child in Africa will not be able to benefit from that wealth of information like a child in Silicon Valley. The reason for this is that the social infrastructure is not there to support that child in Africa as it is in Silicon Valley. Technology without social innovation and globalization will not advance civilization.


Since its founding in 1910, Hitachi has responded to significant societal challenges based on our mission of “contributing to society through the development of superior, original technology and products.”  Hitachi’s corporate strategy is built around social innovation. Working with IEEE, Hitachi is sponsoring an IEEE award for Innovation in Societal Infrastructure to promote the development of societal infrastructure through information technology. This award was established by Hitachi Ltd., in cooperation with the IEEE Computer Society, as an institute-level award within IEEE to recognize “significant technological achievements and contributions to the establishment, development, and proliferation of innovative societal infrastructure systems through the application of information technology with an emphasis on distributed computing systems.”  With this award Hitachi hopes to help realize a world that provides safety, comfort and convenience for people in every region, country and community.


Congratulations to Dr. Balaji Prabhakar, Professor, Stanford University, as the inaugural recipient of the IEEE Institute Level award for Innovation in Societal Infrastructure!


The award presentation is scheduled for Tuesday July 1, 2014, 13:00 at the 2014 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory, in Honolulu, Hawaii. This award is in recognition of “… his demonstration of the innovative use of information technology and distributed computing systems to solve longstanding societal problems, in areas ranging from transportation to healthcare to recycling.” Details of Dr. Prabhakar’s contribution can be found on the Stanford Center for Societal Networks website

Stanford University like Hitachi, recognizes the importance of social innovation in a technology driven world and has established centers like the Stanford Center for Societal Networking where Dr. Prabhakar worked on a joint project with the National University of Singapore.  This project was conducted in Singapore and Bangalore.

Social innovation is a global requirement and to address this Hitachi Ltd. is  undergoing a business transformation to be a global company.  Last year Jack Domme, our Hitachi Data Systems CEO, was appointed as a Corporate Officer of Hitachi Ltd. As the first non-Japanese corporate officer, Jack has assumed an expanded leadership role in further advancing the globalization efforts of Hitachi and accelerating the social innovation business through the development of strategies that bridge the Hitachi Group Companies.

Technology without social innovation will not advance civilization, and social innovation without globalization will not create a world of equal opportunity. For more information on Hitachi’s Social Innovation business, please see the following link. http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/innovation/