A technologist who’s as comfortable in the boardroom as he is in the lab, William H. Saito is an entrepreneurial evangelist, business energizer, policy advisor and educator whose multi-faceted activities elude attempts at categorization. An authority in the fields of encryption, authentication and biometric technology, he has spent the past two decades shaping information security policy, establishing and selling companies, and managing public corporations. While still in medical school, he founded I/O Software in 1991 and built it into a global leader in information security and first came to prominence in 1998 when he was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, NASDAQ and USA Today. Most recently, he was honored by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader in 2011 and is a member of the Global Agenda Council.
His first company, I/O Software, became a global leader in security software. He led the development of the world’s first biometric authentication system and licensed the core technology to over 160 companies, including Microsoft, which included it in the Windows operating system. In 2004, he sold his firm in order to concentrate on two personal interests: advising governments around the world on technology and security issues, and helping venture companies, particularly in Japan, to overcome both internal and external obstacles in order to achieve success.
In 2005, he moved to Tokyo and founded InTecur, a consultancy that helps companies worldwide to identify and market innovative technologies. He has consulted for national governments of the U.S., U.K., Russia, UAE and Botswana. In Japan, he serves as an advisor on the topic of innovation and entrepreneurship to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC), Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and the Information Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) of Japan.
He devotes much of his time these days to writing, teaching and lecturing. In addition to his popular course on innovation at Keio University, he is a visiting professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, guest lecturer at the University of Tokyo and a fellow at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).
Helping innovation and entrepreneurship spread across this increasingly flat, borderless world.
Volunteering to help people instills the idea that “giving back” to society is a natural part of life. People discover that volunteering pays rich dividends in community appreciation, self-esteem, compassion, humility, and gratitude. Equally important, they learn that asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. The effects of a wide-scale volunteer program would certainly be an increase in personal empathy, a greater feeling of kinship with and responsibility to help others who need help. And that would include businesspeople feeling more inclined to help rather than hinder others, both within their companies and in the business community at large. In this sense, the growth of venture business---which I see as essential to invigorating this economy---will rely at least as much on individual and corporate assistance as on government support. So, as volunteerism promotes empathy, it not only “humanizes” society but indirectly helps to energize the economy.
Asia, Japan, information security, innovation, anything technology, education, cooking and wine.
Deep sea as well as fly fishing, French cooking, wine and photography. Okay, maybe not so good at the last one.
I was a very early attendee of TED and believed in its purpose and mission. Therefore, I became an early advisor in the formation of TEDxTokyo in 2009 - one of the first TEDx events. This year, TEDxTokyo 2010 was an even bigger success receiving tremedous acclaim from around the Asia region. I was also honored by being selected as a speaker for TEDxRyukyu (Naha, Okinawa, Japan) in February 2010, giving back to my ancestry there in a small way (I hope).
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