Cutting Edge Internet Technology and its Emerging Businesses

THE NEW CONTEXT CONFERENCE, an annual conference hosted by Digital Garage co-founder and Director of MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito, will be held this year on July 25-26 in Tokyo, Japan. Held since 2005 the conference is aimed at those interested Internet Technology and the businesses which emerges from it. Since 2011, the conference has been held annually in both Tokyo and San Francisco, Digital Garage’s US branch.
Marking its fifteenth edition, DG Lab (Digital Garage’s R&D innovation center) will cover upcoming technologies: Biotechnology (Day 1) and Blockchain (Day 2). Globally acclaimed leading researchers, entrepreneurs, and experts of the field will come together to discuss and debate on these cutting edge trends.

Digital Garage, Inc., Inc.
Credit Saison Co., Ltd.

Daiwa Securities Group Inc.
TIS Inc.

Media Sponsors
Nikkei FinTech
Nikkei Biotechnology & Business
MIT Technology Review

Special Cooperation
Mori Building Co., Ltd.

Co-hosts: Digital Garage, Inc.;, Inc.; Credit Saison Co., Ltd.
Co-sponsors: Daiwa Securities Group Inc.; TIS Inc.
Host: Joi Ito
Location: Toranomon Hills Forum
Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 5th Floor, 1-23-3 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo

July 25, 2017(Tue): Biotechnology
July 26, 2017(Wed) : Blockchain

View Speakers

What's new

7/14: Eric Lombrozo, Greg Li, Ian Miers and Cory Fields have been added to our list of speakers for Day 2 ”Real Power and Evolution of Blockchain”.

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DAY1 Intersections Between IT and Biotechnology and the Future They Foretell

Based on the development of AI and sensor technology in recent years, discussions on the future of biotechnology will be held through the perspectives of coming innovations in the field, the environment in the US, where ecosystems focused on incubation centers specialized in the biotechnology field are evolving, trends in Japan, and the latest news from startup corporations who are leading the technological revolution through innovative approaches.

DAY2 Real Power and Evolution of Blockchain

2017 is the year of transition from early adoption to construction of social ecosystem for blockchain technology. Recently, the idea of related business and various derivative technologies have appeared one after another and it is sometimes expressed as a technological revolution since the Internet. Is it a suddenly emerging new technology?
In this conference, we aim to learn from past history then re-think real power and desirable evolution of blockchain technology. NCC 2017 Tokyo gives audience understandings of historical view, lessons from the first wave, roadmap toward social ecosystem, upcoming disruptions and blockchain x AI.

NCC will start in


* In the evening of each day, we will be hosting a reception party at the location of the conference.
All attendees Day 1 and Day 2 are cordially invited for purposes of networking. The price is included in the ticket.
* Please note that conference agenda and speakers may change
  • Day 1 7/25

    Intersections Between IT and Biotechnology and the Future They Foretell

  • Kaoru Hayashi
    By Kaoru Hayashi
    Representative Director, President Executive Officer and Group CEO, Digital Garage, Inc.

  • We will discuss about the background, the current status, and the future of the new innovations that are arising in the present digital age through the combination of biotechnology and information technology.

  • Hiroaki Kitano
    Keynote 2.
    Nobel Turing Challenge
    By Hiroaki Kitano
    President and CEO, Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.

  • In the future, we may be able to design all kinds of things through synthetic biology and AI. There will be “Digital Medicine,” which has the same effects for specific illnesses as current medicines. We will examine the current innovations in development.
    Talk Patrick Boyle (Ginkgo Bioworks)
    Talk LeRoux Jooste (Akili Interactive Labs Inc.)
    Talk Eli Lyons (Tupac Bio)
    Hiroaki Kitano (Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc.)
    Patrick Boyle
    LeRoux Jooste
    Eli Lyons
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • 11:45
    (Lunch Time)

  • The new wave of “DIY Bio” or “Kitchen Bio” is coming. People from industries such as computer science and hardware have started spending their time in biotechnology during the weekends. In this session, we will introduce NPOs and VCs who support these people and their ideas as DIY bio-hackers.
    Talk Tito Jankowski (Impossible Labs)
    Talk Takayuki Ito (YCAM InterLab)
    Talk Ron Shigeta (IndieBio)
    Tito Jankowski
    Ron Shigeta
    Takayuki Ito
    Georg Tremmel (BioClub)
    Phil Libin (All Turtles)
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • For entrepreneurship in the biotech field, there are many cases where wet laboratories are needed, and the need for large initial investments causes a bottleneck situation. In the US, bio-incubation centers are established to support for equipment and capital in order to solve these problems, so these obstacles to entrepreneurship are overcome. The leading people who are building these kind of ecosystems will talk about these situations.
    Talk Masaru Tomita (Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University)
    Talk Toru Seo (Pfizer Inc.)
    Talk Douglas Crawford (QB3@953)
    Masaru Tomita
    Toru Seo
    Douglas Crawford
    Shinobu Suzuki (Nippon Boehringer Ingelheim Co., Ltd.)
    <Moderator> Bharatt Chowrira

  • Data related to healthcare, intestinal bacteria, and genetic information (which could also considered as the ultimate kind type of personal information) is being collected through various methods. We have invited Japan’s leaders in this field and they will speak about the usefulness of this data and the novel services arising through its use.
    Talk Shinji Fukuda (Metagen, Inc.)
    Talk Shoko Takahashi (Genequest Inc.)
    Talk Takeru Hiki (Welby, Inc.)
    Shinji Fukuda
    Shoko Takahashi
    Takeru Hiki
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • Eric Elenko, Ph.D. from PureTech, a future of pharmaceutical company that develops services and creates new technologies by combining different fields, will speak about the ways of nurturing leading startups.

  • By examining the wide variety of biotech’s applications and the next generation technology, we bring together experts to debate about how our everyday lives will change in the future and consider the social ethics of these technologies.
    Talk Toshiyuki Iwata (PeptiDream Inc.)
    Talk Marko Ahtisaari (Sync Project)
    Talk Eric Elenko(Sonde Health)
    Eric Elenko
    Marko Ahtisaari
    Toshiyuki Iwata
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • 18:30
    Reception Party

  • Day 2 7/26

    Real Power and Evolution of Blockchain

  • Kaoru Hayashi
    By Kaoru Hayashi
    Representative Director, President Executive Officer and Group CEO, Digital Garage, Inc.

  • Joi Ito
    Opening Remarks
    By Joi Ito
    Director and Co-Founder, Digital Garage, Inc./ Director, MIT Media Lab

  • Rusty Russell
    Symmetries between Linux and Bitcoin(Blockchain): The First 8 years
    By Rusty Russell
    Infrastructure Tech Engineer, Blockstream

  • Blockchain technology is a great combination of past technologies and the result of past continuous developments of information technologies. We can learn real power and meaning of Blockchain from history of technology development. At the first session, we study the real power and meanings of blockchain technology.
    Talk Shin’ichiro Matsuo (MIT Media Lab)
    Talk Hideki Sunahara (Graduate School of Keio University)
    Hideki Sunahara
    Naoyuki Iwashita (Kyoto University)
    Shin’ichiro Matsuo
    Rusty Russell
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • 11:50
    (Lunch Time)

  • The development, deployment and distribution of Bitcoin opened our eyes to decentralized economy and ecosystem. On the other hand, recent chaos in governance of cryptocurrency indicates immaturity of decentralized governance. We also encounter over estimation of the word of blockchain. In this session, we discuss what the first wave of the blockchain teaches us: the merit of decentralization, what is the current benefits and future benefits, problems to be solved and future issues.
    Talk Cory Fields (Bitcoin Core Developer)
    Talk Eric Lombrozo (Bitcoin Core Developer)
    Cory Fields
    Eric Lombrozo
    Atsushi Santo (Japan Exchange Group)
    Greg Li (The Bitfury Group)
    Ian Miers (Zcash)
    <Moderator> Meltem Demirors (Digital Currency Group)

  • Blockchain technology needs to be a part of sustainable social ecosystem to come into its own.
    In this session, we will enlarge scope of discussion to social view point and discuss how we make larger and firm engineer community, maintain open-source community in neutral way, what is the good economic model and what kind of standardization activities are needed to give trust to blockchain ecosystem.
    Talk Jeremy Rubin (MIT Digital Currency Initiative)
    Talk Angela Walch (St. Mary's University School of Law)
    Jeremy Rubin
    Angela Walch
    Kanta Matsuura (The University of Tokyo)
    Kazue Sako (NEC Security Research Labs.,)
    <Moderator> Shin'ichiro Matsuo (MIT Media Lab)

  • With considering fruits from decentralization, we should see innovation from edge and general citizens, and how this way improves our citizens experience (CX) like the Internet. In this session, we discuss about real power and potential of blockchain to enhance our CX and how further oprn innovation lead by DG Lab contribute this innovation.
    Talk George Li (
    Talk Nat Sakimura (Nomura Research Institute)
    George Li
    Koichiro Eto (AIST)
    Izumi Okoshi (DENTSU INC.)
    <Moderator> Nat Sakimura

  • Blockchain is a foundation of trust of information and it does not solely produce new business, and combination of Blockchain and new advanced technology is the next topics to be discussed. In this session, we discuss how AI can collaborate with blockchain and provide enhancement to our experiences.
    Talk Koichi Nakamura (Idein Inc.)
    Phil Libin (All Turtles)
    Tatsuya Kurosaka (Keio University, Graduate School of Media and Governance)
    Koichi Nakamura
    Meltem Demirors (Digital Currency Group)
    Ian Miers (Zcash)
    <Moderator> Joi Ito

  • 18:30
    Reception Party


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Toranomon Hills Forum
Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 5th Floor, 1-23-3 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo

5-minute walk from No. 1 Exit of Toranomon Stn.
6-minute walk from Exit 3 of Kamiyacho Stn.
8-minute walk from Exit A12 of Kasumigaseki Stn.
11-minute walk from the Karasumoriguchi Exit of Shimbashi Stn.


  • Blockchain

    7/26 1Day Pass
  • ¥30,000
  • Sold Out

Student Tickets Available

Purchase from here
* University (vocational, undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. programs) and high school students only
* Student attendees must present their student ID at the reception desk, otherwise we kindly request them to purchase the full-priced ticket.