Hakuba Forum

A unique, invitation-only, 4-day gathering of
innovative education leaders envisioning how schools can become centers of well-being committed to helping the world flourish.

The Retreat 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 Forum,” 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. The “Hakuba Forum” 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.

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 forum. 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.

Hakuba Forum


Experience a unique, invitation-only, 4-day gathering of innovative education leaders in the heart of the North Japanese Alps, designed to envision how schools can become centers of well-being, respond to technological advancement and develop a commitment to helping the world flourish.

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, taking inspiration from Expo 2020 Dubai’s rich content diversity. 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. We look forward to creating meaningful connections and exchanging ideas that will shape the future of education.

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 creative, 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.

See THINK Learning Studio
in Action

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

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