Kaoru Sunada

Executive Research Fellow
Master (Sociology)

■Research Area
Human-oriented Information Systems, Historical research on Japanese Information industry and its policies, Nordic Digitalization and Innovation System

While many technologies disappear from society in a short to medium period of time, there are technologies called “General Purpose Technology (GPT)” that penetrate widely and deeply into society over a long period of time and significantly change the structure of economy and society. Typical GPTs include printing technology in the 16th century, steam engines in the 18th century, electricity and railroads in the 19th century, automobiles in the 20th century, and information and communication technology (ICT) in the form of computers and the Internet.

In the 21st century, ICT has evolved further, and the spread of IoT, AI, and 5G has begun to have an increasingly large impact on industrial structures and people’s work. What is particularly important for us living in such an era is to deepen our insight into human nature and create “human-oriented information systems (HIS)” that contribute to “IKIGAI”(what gives value and meaning to life) for a diverse range of people. From this point of view, I would like to deepen my research on HIS considering the history of digitization in Japan, and at the same time, benchmark Scandinavian countries which are advanced digital societies.

Brief History

After working as an editor of a business IT magazine, I studied information technology and social evolution at a graduate school. I have been involved in research activities at GLOCOM, International University of Japan since 2003. My current main roles include: President / Representative Director of the Information Systems Society of Japan, Program Officer of the “Research Promotion Project for AI and IoT Systems for Dementia” of the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, Auditor of Digital Society Design Council, Advisor of the “Human-Information Technology Ecosystem” area of Research Institute of Science and Technology for Society (RISTEX), Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), and Councilor of the Automotive Information Network Association.

Major Works

  • “Serialization: Human-oriented Information Systems,” starting with the June 2020 issue of “Government & Information Systems” Magazine
  • “Digital Future Series 38: Information Management,” Kyoritsu Shuppan (2019, joint author)
  • “An Introduction to New Information Systems”(2014, authored chapter 4 and 5), Information Systems Society of Japan
  • “The Paradigm Shift by the Information Revolution: The Importance of Use-Radical and Human-Centered Perspectives,” AD STUDIES (2014)
  • “The Value of Information Systems Enhanced by Users: A Case Study of Danish e-Government,” Journal of the Information Systems Society of Japan (2012)
  • “Japanese are losing out on the use of My Number – Let’s learn from the innovation happening in Scandinavia” Toyo Keizai Online (2018)
  • “Entrepreneur Bill Totten”, Computer Age (2003)

Major Lectures

  • Keynote Speech “Human oriented Digital Transformation challenged by Venture companies” Information Systems Society of Japan, 2021
  • Keynote Speech “Human oriented Information Systems created by 5G×IoT×Design” 4th 5G・IoT Design Girls Online Event, 2020
  • Keynote Speech “Industrial Megatrends Toward an Ultra-Smart Society,” Seminar hosted by BCN Corporation, “IT Trend Seminar for SIers and Resellers,” 2020
  • Lecture “Advanced Digital Society: Welfare and Administrative Reform in Northern Europe,” Mitaka City Civic University Lecture, 2018
  • Presentation “Digital Transformation from the Perspective of Technological Evolution” National Conference of Information Systems Society of Japan, 2018
  • Presentation “Estonia’s National IT Strategy and e-Government” National Conference of Information Systems Society of Japan, 2014
  • Presentation “Informatization and User-Driven Innovation in Denmark” International CIO Society 2011 Fall Conference

Major Achievements

  • Member of “Universal Service Committee”, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2021)
  • Member of the Working Group for the “Beyond 5G Promotion Strategy Roundtable”, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2020)
  • Member of “Meeting on Empirical Collaborative Research on Methods for Understanding and Analyzing Policy Effects”, Administrative Evaluation Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2018-2019)
  • Member of IoT Policy Committee, Information and Communications Council, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2016-2017)
  • Member of “Distributed Strategy Working Group”, Subcommittee on Information Economy, Industrial Structure Council, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (2016)
  • Member of the Editorial Board, “White Paper on Information and Communications”, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (2010-2016)

Major Awards

  • November 2010: The Information Systems Society of Japan, 1st Best Presentation Award
  • November 2015: The Society of Information Systems Engineers, Japan 10th Anniversary Commendation “Achievement Award”

Educational Background

March 1979: Graduated with a degree in Physics, Faculty of Science, Chiba University
March 1997: M.A. in Social Informatics, Department of Social and Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology, The University of Tokyo
April 1997: Entered the doctoral course at the University of Tokyo
March 2002: Withdrew from the doctoral course


1982 – 2003: writing for business IT magazines. Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “weekly COMPUTERWORLD” and Editor-in-Chief of “Monthly Computopia” magazine, etc.
2003 – present: Researcher, GLOCOM, International University of Japan
2005 – 2020: Part-time lecturer at Kokushikan University, Faculty of Political Science and Economics, “International Information Theory” and “Information Policy Theory”
2007 – present: Part-time Lecturer, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Chuo University, “Information and Communication Industry Theory / Information Business”
2018 – 2019: Part-time lecturer, School of Culture, Media and Society, Waseda University


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