Wishing you continued “heisei” in 2019
As the chilliest winter breezes give way to sprightly saplings signaling the coming of spring, we kick off the spring semester with a new class schedule and a fresh array of opportunities. At the Harbus, too, the new year is a time of transition. On this auspicious occasion, we would like to introduce ourselves as your newly appointed editors-in-chief for 2019.
We are Gabriel Ellsworth (New Section C) and Ryo Takahashi (New Section D), and we are honored and excited to be serving you in our positions at this newspaper. Coincidentally, your new editorial leadership team is five-eighths Japanese (Ryo is from Tokyo, and Gabriel’s grandmother is from Yokohama), so we thought we would use this occasion to pay homage to a timely Japanese word, heisei (平成), as the point of departure for this note.
When Emperor Akihito of Japan abdicates this April, the Heisei era, which has spanned 30 peaceful years, will come to an end. As Japan reflects upon the final moments of an era and the dawn of the next, all of us at HBS would do well to ponder the idea of heisei, which can be translated as “achieving peace” or “peace and growth.”
First, we hope that the winter break has afforded you an opportunity to recharge and reexamine your priorities for the year. Whatever those may be, let us strive to cultivate a sense of inner peace as we return to this incredibly busy campus.
Second, we should consider how our time at HBS might enable us to promote peace in our local communities and the larger world. Does that notion seem too lofty? Consider us. In February 1944, the two countries that we call home were locked in a terrible war. Our grandparents can still recall the conflict vividly. They could not then have predicted that 75 years later, their grandsons would be friends, classmates, and co-editors at Harvard, yet another sign of reconciliation and how peace can be forged through the courageous effort of like-minded people.
How did such bitter enemies as Japan and the United States become such strong allies? Many factors contributed to the forging of harmony between our nations, but we would submit that leaders played a pivotal role by creating the ties that bind us together. Recognizing the difference that our forebears in business made in the world, we must ask ourselves: How will our careers promote peace?
That question is relevant for all of us at the Harbus. With more timely, accurate, and sensitive reporting comes better understanding, and with understanding comes peace between individuals, groups, and countries.
We ask you to join us in our mission of promoting understanding. This newspaper can and should be a platform for making our campus stronger, but we cannot achieve that goal without your help. We welcome your content submissions and invite you to contact us anytime with your ideas for the Harbus. This newspaper needs your voices.
Welcome back to campus!
Gabriel Ellsworth (MBA ’20) came to HBS from HBS, where he worked for five years as a research associate, most recently as a casewriter with a faculty member in the Strategy Unit. Before working at Harvard, he managed grants at Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya. He read English literature as an undergraduate at Yale, where he also studied Japanese and French. He is co-editor-in-chief of the Harbus and a performer in the HBS Show. As a young boy, he fantasized about becoming a novelist, but he quickly realized that he did not actually have any ideas for novels.
Ryo Takahashi (MBA ’20), originally from Japan, is a management consultant and writer. Prior to Harvard Business School, he worked as a Project Manager at the World Economic Forum (WEF) and was a Senior Associate at McKinsey & Company. Prior to these roles, he worked at the Economist and the Japan Times. His writing has appeared in Time magazine, the Economist, the Japan Times, and the World Economic Forum, among other outlets. He received his B.A. in Economics (with Distinction) from The University of Tokyo and was also a Rotary Scholar to the London School of Economics.