What is Connected Ink? Why is Creative Chaos so important? Why do we continue asking questions?
How Connected Ink is perceived differs among Wacom’s team members. Nobu Ide, President and CEO of Wacom, believes that each of our thoughts is one aspect of the Connected Ink polyhedron. Are you wondering what other aspects exist? Here is a peek into one of these elements, ignited by a spark among the team members.
The next team member is Yohei Himori who is involved in the planning and operation of Connected Ink together with Heidi Wang. Yohei is in charge of Corporate Engagement and intricately involved in various corporate events. We wanted to know: how does Yohei Himori see Connected Ink?
*Connected Ink is an event that Wacom has been organizing since 2016 for the purpose of exploring new directions in art, human expression, learning, and the technology that supports them by asking questions.
How did Connected Ink begin?
Yohei: The first Connected Ink was held in January 2016 as a mini-event to share Wacom’s digital ink vision while the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was happening. Until 2017, we held the event several times a year in conjunction with international trade fairs such as CES and International Consumer Electronics Show (IFA).
How did Connected Ink develop into what it is today?
Yohei: The first Connected Ink was limited in size as well as the number of participants. We also used the same content over and over again at first, and I felt that wasn’t the way forward for Connected Ink. To make it a meaningful, long-term event for the company, I thought it was important to evolve the content and novelty of the event. Throughout 2017, I proposed ways to make Connected Ink an event where Wacom could focus a lot of its energy. That's how the 2018 Connected Ink came to be. We narrowed the focus down to Tokyo and created a space where partners could come together. We did the same in 2019 and reached a turning point in 2020. According to Nobu Ide, it was channeled down through a higher force and the new idea of Creative Chaos was added as a key element. At the same time, we were required to change the form of the event due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Have there been any changes beyond your imagination?
Yohei: Yes, I can easily wrap my head around the Connected Ink up to 2019, but the Connected Ink that came after is not easy to explain. There are more and more things that have been emerging and overlapping over the last year that I couldn't have ever imagined. I think what I was aiming for in the past was all too easy to define. But I am pleased if the process I was part of led to making Connected Ink what it is today.
What do you think about Creative Chaos?
Yohei: I think Creative Chaos is just a term. At Connected Ink, various things are always happening, and different people cross each other’s paths, which leads to creating the unexpected on a regular basis. Each person can feel and interpret the dynamics as they like. Sometimes people are troubled or lost when they first enter the world of Creative Chaos, but I think these experiences are inherently embedded in the term, too.
How have employees, partners, and the community responded?
Yohei: I have the sense that they are beginning to recognize the limitless inclusiveness of Connected Ink. More and more people are getting involved because they feel that this is a place where they can express their different thoughts and ideas, whether that means a chance to bring their idea to life or using this space as a benchmark for their own process. I also think this is amplifying the intensity of the creative chaos.
What do you mean by “inclusiveness” at Connected Ink?
Yohei: I would say absorptive capacity instead. It is difficult to define, but it is a space where you can do whatever you want, where many things are happening, and each person feels free to express themselves. I think Connected Ink is a space where people are allowed to feel and be what they want.
What do the questions mean to Connected Ink?
Yohei: I think Nobu has strong intentions about the Connected Ink’s questions, but I am also gradually understanding it myself. With each of us having different values and preferences, I think that even if we define the content of the event, there will be people with whom it does not resonate. However, I believe that we can come up with something together. The answers that emerge will be different for everyone, but we will be able to enter into the same dimensions by thinking together. That is why Connected Ink has questions, and that is why we have responses to those questions. Of course, it is possible to draw conclusions to the questions asked at Connected Ink, but each person should come up with their own answer, their own unique spin. I believe this comes about when people first have a space where they can think about things together, if only for a moment.
What does Connected Ink mean to you?
Yohei: This may be an exaggeration, but I think I can live in alignment with myself as long as I have Connected Ink in my life. I don't think I can quit the company while we have Connected Ink. Also, if Connected Ink is what it is today partly because of my efforts, I don't want to invite anything in that would diminish its value. For example, legal improprieties may arise, team members may become demotivated, or Connected Ink may be used for something bad. I don't want to ruin Connected Ink, which has grown to the point where I’m almost speechless. I would like to be with Connected Ink and support it until the very end.