Hakuba Festival of Learning

A unique 2-day gathering of educators, innovators, and learners worldwide, envisioning how schools can become centers of well-being committed to helping the world flourish.

Key Information:

  • When: Saturday, June 22 – Sunday, June 23.
  • Who Is It For: Everyone – open to both international guests and Japanese educators.
  • 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.


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. Hosted by the Hakuba International School, during the Hakuba Forum Retreat 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 forum 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 forum 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 Retreat is a space where educators can realign with their core values and motivations.

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

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?

Hakuba Village

Nestled in the majestic Japanese Alps, Hakuba provides a backdrop like no other for our festival. Located just outside Nagano, the city famed for hosting the 1998 Winter Olympics, Hakuba serves as a haven for winter sports enthusiasts, offering world-class skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Hakuba is more than just a venue; it’s an experience that complements the innovative spirit of our forum. Come for the conference, stay for the adventure.

Festival of Learning

The Hakuba Festival of Learning, is your opportunity to join a vibrant exchange of ideas among educators and thought leaders.

The festival brings together a global mix of educators and Japanese peers. It offers a diverse program featuring three engaging streams. These streams provide you with the opportunity to explore various topics while connecting with fellow attendees.

Join us at the Hakuba Forum Festival, where educators from diverse backgrounds unite to share insights and inspire innovation.

Should you wish to inquire about The Festival, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Further Information

Get ready for two invigorating days of 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.


(Covers event participation and lunches)

The Festival – 2 Days: ¥40,000 (~$300 USD)

Secure Your Seat Today – Purchase Your Ticket Now for the Festival of Learning


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 u0026 Director, Hakuba International School

    Akiko Horii, Administrator u0026amp; 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 M

    Raïsa M

    Head of Social Impact Initiatives at UWC Atlantic College

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

See the Hakuba Forum in Action

Check out photos of some of our teacher trainings, workshops, and professional
development programs.

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