Member Monday: Laurent Bringuier

Published December 13, 2021

Member Monday December 13th, 2021

This week's Member Monday features Laurent Bringuier, Research Program Management Lead. Laurent has been with the Rakuten Mobile Innovation Studio from the very beginning. His optimism and a strong sense of commitment bring magic to our lab!  Here's a little bit about Laurent.

Q: Where are you based?

Laurent: Tokyo, Japan

Q: How long have you been at Rakuten? And why did you join the company?

Laurent: It's been about 5 years. Rakuten is an innovative company, with a global presence and an enormous ecosystem of different services.  

Q: What does your day look like at the Rakuten Mobile Innovation Studio?

Laurent: I do yoga before work begins; it's a great way to start the day. I usually reserve a little bit of quiet time in the morning to plan the day and read papers to keep up-to-date with the research community. If I am working from home, I have lunch with my family. If I am working from our downtown lab, I often go to the cool food trucks around the corner. Plenty of options to choose from! And throughout the day, I attend many meetings, collaborating with people from around the world!

Q: What is your favorite quote? 

Laurent: We rise by lifting others : )

Q: Do you have a favorite language? 

Laurent: Facial expressions, especially when everyone's smiling!

Q: How do you define automation and autonomy?

Laurent: For me, automation is like following a cooking recipe. Everything is clearly defined and the context is known. For example, you know all the ingredients to buy, the steps to follow, how long it would take, how many people it serves, etc.

Autonomy, on the other hand, is the capability to adapt to the unknown — to create a new recipe. Imagine five friends showing up unannounced and you have 15 minutes to cook something. You have to improvise based on existing ingredients in your kitchen and your existing knowledge of standard recipes.  This is where creativity and adaptation become crucial. 

Q: What is your role in research operations? 

Laurent: My role is to keep research projects and initiatives aligned with the big picture. My goal is to keep everyone in synchronization. Importantly, I think it is important to keep everyone motivated, as we progress towards a common goal.

Q: What's your proudest moment at the Rakuten Mobile Innovation Studio?

Laurent: The establishment of the ITU Focus Group on Autonomous Networks (FG-AN)!

Q: What's that? Could you tell us more? 

Laurent: FG-AN has a wide range of activities happening. Here is the website. But generally speaking, this is a productive space where ideas surrounding Autonomous Networks can grow.