Future Today Institute Open Lab: Reverend Takafumi Kawakami

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Future Today Institute Open Lab: Reverend Takafumi Kawakami

February 18, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST


FTI Open Lab: “What Zen can teach us about confronting deep uncertainty and the future.”

We are living in an era of tremendous uncertainty. Our anxiety stems from information overload and the onslaught of new technologies. A great wave of disruption—anchored in pandemics, climate change, trade wars, geopolitical shifts, artificial intelligence, automation, robotics, self-driving cars, genomic editing and population migration—is underway. It might feel as though we’ve lost our ability to control the future. But should “control” be our goal? In this Open Lab session, Rev. Takafumi Kawakami, Deputy Head Priest at Kyoto’s Shunkoin Temple, will teach us how to confront deep uncertainty and what Zen tells us about long-term planning.

Tickets Available Now  →

About Rev. Takafumi Zenryu Kawakami

Rev. Kawakami is the deputy head priest of Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto. He has been a researcher at the Well-being Research Center at Doshisha University and at Keio Media Design (KMD) at Keio University. Kawakami has lectured at MIT and Brown University, and he has led meditation classes for INSEAD, MIT, Harvard Business School, MIT Sloan School of Business and others at Shunkoin. He teaches Japanese hospitality classes to employees from the sales and marketing departments from Toyota’s global offices and hold corporate wellness seminars and workshops for several corporations in Japan and the U.S., and he also co-organizes and co-hosts long-term study abroad programs in Kyoto with various universities from the U.S. Kawakami is Fellow in the U.S.- Japan Leadership Program.

About FTI’s Open Lab

The Future Today Institute’s Open Lab is an opportunity to learn from long-term thinkers. We bring together extraordinary physicists, mathematicians, strategists, economists, designers, historians, biologists, cultural anthropologists, computer scientists, philosophers and theologians and ask them to share their visions—optimistic and catastrophic—for the farther future. Our goal is catalyze a new generation of futurists.


Open Lab Agenda

6:00pm   Welcome, conversation

6:30pm   Lecture and workshop with Rev. Kawakami

7:45pm   Q&A

8:00pm   Japanese appetizers and drinks (vegetarian)

8:30pm   Concluding remarks


Recommended Pre-Reading, Watching and Listening

  • Kyoto monk on a mission opens his doors to diversity (link)
  • I Spoke to a Zen Priest About Meditation in the Digitized World (link)
  • Rev. Kawakami’s lecture at Brown University: “Bringing Zen into the 21st Century: One Zen Priest’s Perspective” (video)


Register Here →


Video and audio for this Open Lab will be recorded. A podcast and video will be published at a later date.


February 18, 2020
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm EST
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Future Today Institute


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