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Mimmo Cangiano Belcuore

Founder and CEO of genuine

Hometown: Naples, Italy

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 7 (as of February 2020)

Mimmo Cangiano Belcuore
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

It was during summer in 2012, but I was already connected with Japan as I had many Japanese friends whom I met in Milan and London — places I used to live. Moreover, my house in Italy was full of Japanese postcards, photos and objects that my uncle sent us back in 1965 during one of his trips to Japan. I've always questioned if there was a place in the world where everybody respects each other with compassion and kindness, where life can be lived securely. Japan is that and more!

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

As Steve Jobs once said, the world we see has been made by people no smarter than us. If you stop for a moment and act upon it, you realize you can change it, shape it based on your ethics and philosophy. So don’t take things for granted. Another one of my favorite statements comes from Charles Darwin: “Is not the strongest ... nor either the most intelligent that survive, but the most adaptable to change.” Our world is not static; we should relearn what we have forgotten and be more dynamic, adaptable and knowledgeable. We should keep learning to survive.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I have been working independently as a design and innovation consultant in Milan, London and Tokyo, helping organizations of all sizes to adapt to new markets and adopt new technologies. At the moment, I am focusing on helping startups, grown-ups and company spin-offs to succeed by reducing their risks and accelerate growth through business design, as well as (provide) research and development support. It seems to me we don’t have much time left and a positive evolution through revolutions in civic and industrial society is absolutely needed. I am committed to this.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Personally, I am fulfilled as I share my life every day with my wife and two daughters. I still have a lot to give, and hope I can use my talents to make the world a better place. The business environment here can be challenging and definitely, I believe change is needed. Since I work in Japan, I have really appreciated the way of doing business toward cooperation and shared value, rather than competition. Although I do see both approaches failing, as it seems to create value just for the organizations involved and not for citizens and consumers who are often left behind. My work focuses on creating value and empowerment for people despite the approach or method.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Change your point of view; be curious! Despite stereotypes, Japan is really diverse. It’s up to you to discover this and see behind the surface. But as my New Yorker grandma once said: “No matter where you go, the world is all the same. There are the rich and the poor, the happy and the sad, the realistic and the dreamers — it’s up to you and how you choose to live your life.”

Last updated: Feb 14, 2020