Hakuba Forum Festival of Learning

Calling all educators, lifelong learners, and changemakers!

Join us this summer in Hakuba for the free Hakuba Forum Festival of Learning, a one-day event to ignite positive action in education. Explore Global Citizenship, Recovery and Regeneration, and Human Education in the AI Era as we envision how schools can become centers of well-being committed to helping learners flourish.

The Hakuba Festival of Learning is your opportunity to join a vibrant exchange of ideas among educators and thought leaders from around the world. Bringing together a global mix of educators and Japanese peers, this festival offers a diverse program featuring three engaging streams, each designed to explore various topics while fostering meaningful connections among attendees.

Key Information

  • When: Sunday, June 23.
  • Time:  1:00pm – 5:00pm
  • Where: Hakuba Tokyu Hotel
  • Who Is It For: Everyone – open to both Japanese and international guests – educators, students and innovators.
  • What to Expect: Join a diverse group of around 100 attendees in conversations conducted in both English and Japanese. Translation support is readily available to ensure you can fully participate and connect with fellow participants.


Here is Sneak Peek at the Agenda

In collaboration with the Nagano Prefecture Government
  • A warm Hakuba welcome: Hear opening remarks from Mayor Toshiro Maruyama himself.
  • Inspiring keynotes and talks: Learn from AI leader Dr. Hiroaki Kitano, education advocate Sabba Quidwai, and global citizenship champion Nicholas Martino.
  • Interactive sessions: Delve into discussions on education’s future, facilitated by esteemed figures like Governor Abe.
  • Unforgettable networking: Connect with a global community of educators and changemakers. Mingle with representatives from Hakuba International School, THINK Learning Studio, and many more. Meet education pioneers from U.A.E., Australia, Singapore, the United States, and beyond!
Beyond Boundaries: Crafting Future Learning, Together.

Our Principles

  1. Human-Centric Education: Education should nurture our humanity, emphasizing qualities like empathy, creativity, and self-awareness, rather than promoting unhealthy competition.
  2. Ecosystem, Not Production Line: Schools should be diverse, interconnected ecosystems tailored to individual student needs, departing from the industrial-age ‘production line’ mentality.
  3. Well-being First: Prioritizing well-being as the foundation for academic success, reversing the traditional emphasis on academics at the cost of mental health.
  4. Celebrating Diversity: Diversity is a source of richness, not division, fostering a sense of community and interconnectedness.

Key Questions

  • How can we re-imagine education to prioritize holistic well-being for students, educators, and communities in a rapidly changing world?
  • What innovative strategies can we adopt to foster a global network of schools committed to cultivating human flourishing and environmental sustainability?
  • How can we create a more inclusive, equitable, and empowering educational landscape that nurtures diverse talents, perspectives, and values in all?

The Experience

This unique gathering offers participants the opportunity to step back from their daily concerns and immerse themselves in an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. During the Hakuba Festival of Learning, you will:

  • Refuel Your Passion: Take a break from the usual routine and recharge your enthusiasm for education. Hakuba’s serene surroundings and the inspiring company of fellow educators will reignite your passion for teaching and learning.
  • Reimagine Possibilities: Connect with visionaries who approach education from diverse perspectives. The festival encourages attendees to challenge the status quo, explore unconventional ideas, and collectively imagine new possibilities for education.
  • Collaborate with Difference: Embrace the power of collaboration with individuals who think and lead differently. By engaging in discussions and activities, you’ll gain fresh insights and innovative strategies to take back to your own school.
  • Inspire and Be Inspired: Share your unique experiences and insights while gaining inspiration from others. This festival is a two-way street where you can contribute to the conversation and leave with new perspectives that can transform your approach to education.
  • Reconnect with Purpose: Rediscover the fundamental purpose of education – to empower students and create a better future, a goal shared by Hakuba International School. The Hakuba Forum Festival is a space where educators can realign with their core values and motivations.

In this Festival experience, you’ll find a supportive and collaborative environment that encourages reflection, innovation, and a renewed commitment to creating positive change in education.

Hakuba Village

Focused on festival innovation and wellness, our forum finds its perfect setting in the transformative summer landscape of Hakuba. Nestled in Nagano Prefecture, famed for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hakuba sheds its winter coat and explodes with vibrant life in the warmer months. Here, amidst breathtaking scenery, you’ll discover a multitude of outdoor activities that echo the spirit of our forum. From the invigorating mountain air to the tranquility of nature, Hakuba fosters a sense of connection and rejuvenation, perfectly aligning with the goals of our forum.

Book Your Seat

Join us for an exciting event! Admission is free, but please make sure to reserve your ticket in advance so we can confirm your attendance.

Seats are selling out fast, so don’t miss out! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us directly..


Further Information

Get ready for a day of invigorating learning and inspiration at The Festival. While we’re putting the finishing touches on the perfect location, expect thought-provoking workshops, engaging activities, and networking opportunities in an environment designed for innovation. Join us for a transformative experience at The Festival, where knowledge and celebration unite in a unique setting. Don’t miss this chance to be part of something extraordinary.

Meet the Team

  • Russell Cailey

    Russell Cailey

    CEO of THINK Learning Studio

    Russell Cailey, CEO of THINK Learning Studio and co-founder of the Hakuba Forum, is shaping education’s future with innovation and empowerment.

  • Emi (Miller) Takemura

    Emi (Miller) Takemura

    Representative Director of Learn by Creation

    Emi Takemura, Representative Director of Learn by Creation, pioneers student-centered learning at the intersection of art, science, and technology.

  • Akiko Horii

    Akiko Horii

    Administrator & Director, Hakuba International School

    Akiko Horii, Administrator & Director at Hakuba International School, blends corporate expertise with innovative education, fostering lifelong learners.

  • Tomoko Kusamoto

    Tomoko Kusamoto

    Founder of Hakuba International School

    Tomoko Kusamoto, founder of Hakuba International School, combines finance acumen with a passion for sustainability and educational excellence.

  • Christopher Balme

    Christopher Balme

    Founding Principal of Hakuba International School

    Christopher Balme, Education Leader at Hakuba International School, champions human potential through innovative education and philanthropy.

  • Raïsa Mirza

    Raïsa Mirza

    Head of Social Impact Initiatives at UWC Atlantic College

    Head of Social Impact Initiatives at UWC Atlantic College

    Raïsa Mirza stands as a catalyst for change, propelling human potential forward through visionary leadership and transformative education.

  • Chung Man Chan

    Chung Man Chan

    Managing Director of THINK Learning Studio

    Chung Man, a global educator, advocates project-based learning and futures thinking, having developed over 1500 educational projects worldwide.

See the Hakuba Forum in Action

Check out photos of some of our activities from last year .

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