Noboru Konno describes himself as a knowledge ecologist and an “amphibia” as he belongs to both academic and practice worlds, and design and management fields. His background is architecture (B.A. of Architecture, Waseda University). Previously he has worked as a planner and marketing director at Hakuhodo, Inc., for global clients, urban projects, etc. Parallel to his business career, he taught design economics at Graduate School of Engineering of Chiba University and knowledge science at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) as Adjunct Professor. He has received a Ph.D. (Management Information Science) from Tama Graduate School (2007). He has been Professor at Tama Graduate School of Management (MBA) since 2007. His recent studies and projects include workplace for knowledge creation (concept of “ba”), Future Center studies and Purpose Engineering. He also has been a juror of Good Design Award (The Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organization, JIDPO) for 2004-2011 and other design awards. He now sits as President of Japan Innovation Network (JIN) and Future Center Alliance Japan (FCAJ), both are groups of large Japanese enterprises and ministries who have interest in innovation management and its environment. He has been an advisor for Nikken Sekkei, the Japanese largest architectural practice. His books include: Intellectualizing Capability (co-author with I. Nonaka, 1995, Global Best Business Book Award by Financial Times); An Encouragement of Knowledge-based Management (co-author, 2000); and Methodology of Knowledge Creation (co-author, 2003, Toyo Keizai), Design Thinking For Business (2010), The Principles of Knowledge Creation Management (co-author, 2012), “Purpose Engineering” (2013), Drawing a Big Picture–Methodology of Structural Imagination (co-author, 2018).
As a knowledge ecologist, he has been involved in numerous consulting projects including knowledge strategy projects, scenario projects, change management for design organizations and professional service firms, workplace design for knowledge industries and development of research labs.
He is Professor of Tama Graduate School of Management (Tokyo) and Specially-appointed Professor of Graduate School of System Design and Management (SDM) of Keio University.