Innovating The 2020 Tokyo Olympics:

Implementation of The Intellectual Olympics

Overcoming Crisis and Catastrophe


by Dr. Akira Ishikawa

Former Dean and Senior Research Fellow

Aoyama Gakuin University/The University of Texas at Austin

Supreme Advisor, Innovation Fusion Society of Japan




The author has published numerous papers, including the framework for the Intellectual Olympics (2001, 2002), Reinventing Evaluation (1999), Theater Olympics: A Case of Intellectual Olympics (2000), Intellectual Olympics: Harnessing Human Intelligence (2000), The Intellectual Mathematical Olympiad, Another Case of The Intellectual Olympics (2001), The Application of the Intellectual Olympics-Still Another Case: ROBCUP World Games (2002), and an Updated Proposal for the Intellectual Olympics (2003) at the InterSymp in Baden-Baden, Japan, PR China, Singapore among other places.


Moreover, additional papers include: Regional Systems and Administrative Management: Issues and Prospects at the Japanese Society of Administrative Management, The Implementation of Experimental Intellectual Olympics (2003), The Framework and Applications of the Intellectual Olympics (2006), The Framework and Applications of the Intellectual Olympics (Revised Edition) (2008), The Framework and Applications of the Intellectual Olympics (The Third, Fourth, and Fifth Editions) (2009), (2013), (2014). In the meantime, Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the IOC, responded to study the author’s proposal before his retirement.


Very fortunately, in 2020 the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Japan. In the capacity as a Supreme Advisor, Innovation Fusion Society of Japan, the author intends to innovate the coming Olympics by introducing the Intellectual Olympics.


Keywords: Innovation, Intellectual Olympics, International Science Olympiads

(, ROBCUP, The Intellectual Mathematical Olympiad, Theater Olympics, Administrative Management, Crisis and Catastrophe Management.


1. Introduction

As shown in the Abstract, the author has published more than a dozen papers, including the framework for the Intellectual Olympics (IO) in 2001 and 2002, varied cases of IO, such as The Intellectual Mathematical Olympiad, ROBCUP World Games, and Experimental IO, evaluation issues of IO, how to institute the IO, and future prospects of the IO among other subject matters.


Because the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Japan, it is a great opportunity to innovate this commemorative event, focusing also on how to avoid and overcome crises, catastrophes and contingencies.


The emphasis will be placed on how to innovate traditional Olympics and Paralympics by incorporating The International Scientific Olympiads on an integrated basis as well as other various Intellectual Olympics independently held so that the Olympics and Paralympics may not be only physics-oriented but also intellectual games as well.


The history of traditional Olympics will be overviewed and show the signs of the Intellectual Olympics in the previous events and how to avoid a real war by simulating war games.


2. Retrospect

My initial paper was presented more than 50 years ago. At that time, the US and Soviet Union confronted each other and the development of nuclear weapons was on-going.  As a result, the number of nuclear weapons produced were enough to wipe out the global human population more than ten times over.


In the era of the Korean War, Douglas McArthur insisted on using nuclear weapons, but was rejected by President Harry Truman. In the era of the Cuban Missile Crisis, we were at the brink of using the nuclear weapons, which was very fortunately again avoided. In the recent Crimean crisis, preparing and using nuclear weapons was recommended by the top military officers to President Putin in the case of emergency.


In fact, nowadays numerous countries besides the US and Russia possess nuclear weapons and the risk of use of nuclear weapons by terrorists is increasing day by day. At this time, the Intellectual Olympics need to be carried out to cope with and to decrease the risk of such calamities and contingencies.


As the festival and religious service of human beings, the ancient Olympics took place in an era before the birth of Christ. Both ancient and modern Olympics have been held over a span of 3000 years, except for periods of pause between ancient and modern times and during times of world war.


The author defines the ancient Olympics as the first generation Olympics. The reason why the Olympics have been held for such a long time is due to the firm Constitution and doctrine and means of evading and avoiding unnecessary conflicts and wars for the sake of gods and goddesses.


Thus, the ancient Olympics commenced for some eight or nine centuries before the birth of Christ and have been successful in succeeding to the WorldSkills Competition, i.e., Skills Competing Olympics sponsored by WorldSkills International, the first event of which started in Spain in 1954, that is called by the author, the second-generation Olympics in his terminology.


Thinking of the revolution of the Olympics, however, this is not enough. Not only the physical powers and skills of human beings, but also intellectual powers, such as creativity, directorship, comprehension, communication, intuition, to name a few, should be incorporated into the Olympics, should we try to innovate the traditional Olympics, as the next-generation Olympics.


In the present world, such Olympics have begun to be held independently. Illustrations include International Science Olympiads, international contests for middle school and high school students, consisting of the International Mathematical Olympiad, the International Physics Olympiad, the International Chemistry Olympiad, the International Biology Olympiad, the International Olympiad in Informatics, the International Astronomy Olympiad, the International Geography Olympiad, and the International Linguistic Olympiad.


In addition, the Theater Olympics started in Athens in 1994, the Game Olympic, Data Mining Olympic, International Abilympics comparable with Paralympics in the WorldSkills Competition held in Tokyo in 1981, and Imagine Cup by Information and Communication professionals and specialists sponsored by Microsoft should also be mentioned.


Note that the during the 1900 World’s Fair (Exposition Universelle) in Paris, the Olympic Games were the subsidiary event, rather than the main event. In planning the previous 1889 Exposition Universelle, also in Paris, whether or not the Eiffel Tower should be built was publicly argued. While some architects opposed the construction, other artists agreed. As a result of serious debates, finally, its construction was determined.


In the more recent case of the World Exhibition in Hanover, designing the Fair was involved with hundreds of research projects which helped develop related research areas later.


3. How to Implement and Introduce the Intellectual Olympics

One of the most realistic approaches of how to implement the Intellectual Olympics is to incorporate, for example, the part or the whole of the International Science Olympiads presently separately held as a subsidiary or parallel events when the Tokyo Olympics will be held.


Very fortunately, the International Biology Olympiad will be held in Japan in 2020.  This event may be arranged as a preliminary event for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.  Moreover, the International Chemistry and Physics Olympiads are planned to be held in Japan in 2021 and 2022, respectively, which may be arranged as post-Olympics events.  The Innovation Fusion Society of Japan is in a position to sponsor or contribute in some way or another to these events.


Of course, some or all of the Intellectual Olympics as aforementioned may be added as required so that the scale and depth of the Intellectual Olympics will be extended.


The second approach will identify, for instance, the ten most important issues to be resolved in the world, and major international conferences such as the United Nations, conferences in major (or minor) scholastic societies, associations, groups will seek solutions in their annual gatherings, the results of which need to be reflected upon the Summit Meetings and other globally important conferences later. To establish working mechanisms for realization is most important.


It is also important to determine how to organize the Issues Evaluation Committee internationally, which may come up with feasible solutions on a mid- and long-term basis. In the case of the International Science Olympiads, more consolidated referee members need to be organized so that more linked or broader and deeper problems may be solved, which may affect later competitions.


4. Concluding Remarks

Taking the limitation of the pages of this paper, how to realize the framework of the

Intellectual Olympics will be tentatively and repetitively summarized.


First of all, we have to identify a firm belief, in which the traditional Olympics now need to be innovated radically so that the outcome of the events should be related directly to the peace, welfare, happiness, and constructive world order, in order to minimize or terminate the energy of war into the energy of just peace.


Secondly, we have to recognize that, in addition to Physical Olympics, the Intellectual Olympics as aforementioned are flourishing.  If we will be successful in organizing them and realize them successfully, the outcome will help develop and innovate peace, justice, and happiness, including lessening the number of the extremely poor people, now exceeding 500 million, saving more than 300 million people from starvation, achieve radical progress of healthcare for more than 30 million infants and 2 million pregnant women, the acquisition of safe drinking water for more than 350 million people, implementation of sanitary conditions for 650 million people, and gaining safe and equal opportunities for 100 million women.


Thirdly, how to organize and develop a realization assessment and evaluation organization so that the results may be fairly and adequately evaluated, and appropriate enhancement endeavors may be sustainably accomplished.


It is ideal that the people of the world should proactively participate in this worldwide event by using all varieties of technological, communication, and intellectual means to the full extent.  Ideas, opinions, suggestions, discoveries, and inventions of all kinds need to be most appropriately adopted and realized.



Ishikawa, A. (1999); Reinventing Evaluation: Judgment Systems and The Intellectual Olympics, a Keynote Address delivered at the 3rd International Symposium on a Culture of Peace and the Dialogue of Civilizations for the 3rd Millennium, Germany, August 2-7.  Research-In-Progress, Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies on Systems Research and Cybernetics, Vol. 8, edited by George E. Lasker (pp. 31-39).


Ishikawa, A. (2000); Intellectual Olympics: Harnessing Human Intelligence for Worthwhile Applications, A Keynote Address presented at Executive World Sympofair, 2000, Singapore, September 1-3. The address is included in the Proceedings.


Ishikawa, A. (2001); The Framework of Intellectual Olympics, Annals of Knowledge Management Research, Vol. 3 (pp. 59-66).


Ishikawa, A. (2002); The Intellectual Olympics, The Journal of the BWW Society and The Institute for Positive Global Solutions, Volume II, No. 1, January/February 2002 (pp. 71-80).


Ishikawa, A. (2009); The Framework and Applications of Intellectual Olympics, The Third Edition.


Ishikawa, A. (2014); The Framework and Applications of Intellectual Olympics, The Seventh Edition.


Ishikawa, A. (2015); Keynote Address, 27th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, August 3-8, 2015, Germany.

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