Meet the team: Yasuhiro Karakawa, Cornell University, Japan

Yasu Karakawa, on location in El Nido (photo: G Sheehan)

Yasuhiro (Yasu) Karakawa has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world, helping them to reach and create new markets through the use of innovative branding, marketing and communications.

Before joining the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University, Yasu spent 15 years in marketing and branding at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Interbrand and Saatchi & Saatchi. His list of past clients includes Heineken, Starbucks, Nikon, and Novartis - Yasu now turns his attention to CCRES.

“At CCRES I discovered that I could use my knowledge and experience in broader community thinking to make a positive contribution to society, and to help reduce environmental impacts,” he said.

Yasu earned his MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management (Cornell University), majoring in Sustainable Global Enterprise with a focus on base of the pyramid (BoP) business strategies.

He is responsible for developing and implementing new sustainability projects that impact Japanese firms. The role sees Yasu forging links between the academic and business worlds in the Component 2 team.   

“I find the most interesting part of CCRES to be the collaboration between academics and business practitioners. People from a variety of backgrounds, both geographically and professionally, are working together to find holistic solutions.

“My work involves trying to understand people who have different motivations and interests - and concerns about the future. In the process of data collection, I try to determine how these different aspects fit together.”

Yasu also explores the ways in which different business sectors are attempting to transition to more sustainable practice, as well as the ways in which they are interacting with each other and impacting (positively and or negatively), on marine-based ecosystems.

In his spare time, Yasu enjoys listening to his 9-year-old daughter’s ideas about the future of education and practising Krav Maga (a contact-combat discipline).   

Contact Yasu Karakawa
Cornell University