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Mission and Vision

To facilitate design-based innovation and change management, including digital transformation, connecting business interests in Silicon Valley, Japan and Europe

To mobilize design thinking and strategic foresight (Design Foresight) to work on the challenges facing businesses and organizations today

To put people and their values first in managing innovation and change

Who we are

Kimi and Michael have been working together since 2016 asking and answering questions such as:

  • How do we develop a lasting culture of creative experiment and innovation in our businesses and organizations? 

  • How do we build an innovation-savvy leadership team? 

  • How should we understand who might be our future customer or community member? 

  • What are the skills needed for creative and flexible response to uncertain futures, and how do we learn and apply them now?


Kimi Iwamura

VBC Founder and Managing Director

Kimi is a leading Silicon Valley business and technology innovator and angel investor with expertise in evaluating new business and technology, identifying promising startup companies, and promoting US-Japan business creation. Drawing on decades of experience in innovation management, knowledge creation (Xerox PARC), project management, and strategic planning, he has come to focus on how to cultivate values of wellbeing at the intersection of our human needs and desires, business viability, technology, and social innovation. This also involves a vital dedication to delivery and execution.


Kimi’s unique profile combines mindset leadership, extensive networks through Silicon Valley and beyond, and playing the role of ambassador and mediator, bridging US, Japanese and European business culture, markets and customers. Working with the likes of Nissan, Aisin and Omron has involved cross fertilizing and integrating technology and key practices and values in the innovation culture of Silicon Valley.


Michael Shanks

Stanford University faculty and collaborating Consultant

One of the most original and influential of contemporary archaeologists and an award winning communicator, Michael’s research into change management and innovation across cultures and through history offers unique and actionable insights for organizations and corporations who seek the foresight to adapt and innovate in times of complex uncertainty.

Michael is a faculty leader of the Strategic Foresight and Innovation group in the Center for Design Research at Stanford University, researching, developing and applying tools, processes and competencies in design foresight — next-generation design thinking. As well as sharing design foresight with start-ups, corporations, organizations and communities for nearly 20 years, Michael deploys the tool kit in his archaeological studies of antiquity and prehistory.

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