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Celebrating NEC's 123rd anniversary: Embracing change and choosing to be the "first penguin"

NEC celebrated its 123rd anniversary on July 17, 2022. NEC Way Day, an annual event held in commemoration of the founding of NEC, provides each and every NEC employee with an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the NEC Way (a common set of values that form the basis for how the entire NEC Group conducts itself), reflect on it, and take a step toward the future.

The theme for NEC Way Day 2022 (held on July 15, 2022) was "This is NEC." Based on this theme, each and every member of the NEC Group was given the chance to not only visualize the reality that matters to them and consider what they can do, what they want to do, and what makes them who they are but also refine their own "My Way" (i.e., their aspirations) for the future. This time, in addition to the event held in Japan, NEC Way Day was celebrated in regions across the globe under this common theme, enabling all members of the NEC Group to celebrate the company's 123rd anniversary together.

In addition to Takayuki Morita, President and CEO of NEC, Chairperson Kumi Fujisawa (newly appointed as of April 2022) and Executive Chief Fellow Soichi Noguchi (newly appointed as of July 2022) of the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies (IISE), the think tank of the NEC Group, were on hand for this event. The following is an introduction to NEC Way Day in Japan.

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A discussion on the future featuring a CEO and an astronaut: It's ok to fail. What's important is accepting the challenges put before you!

NEC Way Day 2022 was once again held completely online with Ayako Kisa, a freelance television presenter, serving as MC. The program began with a panel session focused on the future of NEC featuring President Morita, Kumi Fujisawa (Chairperson of IISE), and Soichi Noguchi (Executive Chief Fellow at IISE).

To fulfill its pledge to "create a shared vision for a brighter future with customers," which was set forth in the Mid-term Management Plan 2025, NEC has embarked on the full-scale launch of Thought Leadership activities. As part of these efforts, NEC brought Chairperson Fujisawa and Executive Chief Fellow Noguchi on board at IISE to bolster its social advocacy function and broaden the scope of its activities.

During this session, Chairperson Fujisawa shared her aspirations, saying, "I want IISE to pave the way for NEC, the world, and the future," and "My goal is for IISE to strive to be a think tank that not only conveys its vision for the future but also unites as one to boost our business success."

Many employees were able to get a real feel for NEC's commitment to embracing change as a result of the passionate enthusiasm of Chairperson Fujisawa, who has always emphasized the importance of action.

Executive Chief Fellow Noguchi, who shared his goal of presenting a new vision for the future in the area of carbon neutrality with a focus on the global environment, elicited laughter from start to finish as he delivered his message of encouragement, saying, "Even though I am now in a leadership position, I remain committed to working closely with employees in their day-to-day activities to ensure that I don't become detached from what is actually going on. I also want all of you to take on every challenge that comes your way."

As the program came to a close, President Morita shared his own thoughts, saying, "Preparations are already under way to create a shared vision for a brighter future. To create business opportunities beyond that, NEC needs to be 'the first penguin.' It's ok to fail. What's important is accepting the challenges put before you. That's why I would like to call on all of our employees to be that 'first penguin.'"

In this panel session, President Morita encouraged employees to not only understand NEC's future but also "take on challenges without fear of failure."

Pictured left to right: Kumi Fujisawa, Chairperson of IISE, and Soichi Noguchi, Executive Chief Fellow at IISE

Bringing together members of the NEC Group from around the globe to celebrate this momentous occasion for the first time in NEC history

NEC Way Day 2022—an event that had up until now been primarily focused on Japan—also went global for the very first time with original NEC Way Day events being held in regions worldwide. Meanwhile, in Japan, a Global Virtual Roundtable was held in which members in Australia, Switzerland, South Africa, and Japan were connected via a live broadcast, creating a truly global experience.

During this Global Virtual Roundtable, five employees with different nationalities and occupations discussed their understanding of the NEC Way in their respective work environments as well as their own "My Way" and the challenges they face on a daily basis. This roundtable discussion provided an excellent opportunity for all of the employees who participated to really think about the NEC Way and "My Way."

NEC Way Day 2022 proved to be an excellent opportunity for members of the NEC Group to realize that they have many peers working hard to ensure not only the growth of the NEC Group but also their own personal growth based on the NEC Way, which transcends both national borders and corporate barriers.

Having marked its 123rd anniversary, NEC is now focused on paving the way to a new future as a social value creation company by continuing to embrace change and put the NEC Way into practice.