Message from the Chairperson

Masaya Mori

Executive Comittee Chair

Thank you for your continued support, this is the 13th consecutive year we have held Rakuten Technology Conference since its launch in 2007. This conference is planned and executed by members of Rakuten’s Tech Community each year with a theme representing what’s in our mind.

In the last couple of decades, as we have moved through the advent of the internet and social networking services, technology has allowed people to express their diversity more clearly. Different people always have different interests, so internet services have been focusing on developing personalized functions, and we believe we should provide a variety of services more suitable for each individual.

The possible combinations of items and users are endless. So, we may want to develop big data platforms, enhance AI technologies such as machine learning, and analyze the details of customer behaviors by gathering data scientists and researchers. Besides, Rakuten Institute of Technology has conducted academic collaboration and contributed very much to satisfying user’s various needs in many terms. However, it’s not enough. We need to accelerate the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies and then think out of the box to re-design our business. We are always exploring novel ways.

Now we see new heroes coming. New generation is growing. They are called AI-Native, Cloud-Native, Digital-Native and so on. Groundbreaking services now are created based on their idea. Related to that, some internet companies in the world renewed or are renewing their strategy and company formation to promote brandnew businesses with, like driverless cars or pilotless drones, the sharing economy business, crypto-currencies, KYC or smart contracts on blockchain, etc. Along with it, you also see many trending words like FinTech, InsurTech, EdTech, AgriTech, Real Estate Tech, Sport Tech, and so on. We’re living in the dynamic age. And, Rakuten are starting MNO business this year.

We need to walk together with new heroes. We want to have new leaderships who are working with new generation or come from new generation.

That’s why we have chosen as our theme for this year:

“Leaders for the future”.

We will explore the leadership for the future in the sessions. Under that vision, we will cover topics on our variety of challenges, with excellent speakers, panels and tech leaders of Rakuten on E-Commerce, FinTech, MNO, Cloud, AI, Data Science, Education, Blockchain, Security, Global Development Team and more. Plus, we plan to have exhibitions for kids who are the future leaders.

Come to think of it, we have taken on lots of challenges for the future so far. Cloud computing has emerged. And as smart devices have become common and social network services have grown, big data with data science are spreading. Service development is becoming complicated. We have implemented globally-distributed development, agile methodologies and DevOps. Now, IoT is becoming increasingly popular. AI, deep learning and new technologies based on DNN are garnering attentions. They are enabling groundbreaking technologies such as various robots, UGV, autonomous drones, and transforming industries inside out. AR, VR and MR are also evolving. Just thinking about changes in the coming 10 years can be overwhelming.

However, it is not enough. It never ends. We should keep running. We would like to keep marching together with new generation and embody the venture spirit again for the future.

Join us to see the future and hopefully you will feel the excitement between Rakuten and startups. We are looking forward to seeing you!

Masaya Mori
Executive Committee Chair
Rakuten Technology Conference 2019