"Hello Kitty: The Global Brand with Nine Lives," a lecture and book-signing with author and The New York Times Business Reporter Ken Belson. Hello Kitty was Japan's brilliant answer to Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse. As author of "Hello Kitty; The Remarkable Story of Sanrio and the Billion Dollar Feline Phenomenon," Belson will discuss how Japan's most famous cartoon kitten and other Sanrio characters have become a global cultural phenomenon, beginning in the 1970s with the Japanese concept of kawaii or "cute." Belson will also talk about the inner workings of Sanrio, the company that created Hello Kitty, and how it succeeded in positioning products to appeal to consumers of all ages. Sanrio characters are now found not only on toys, notebooks and backpacks, but also on mobile phones, toasters and even cars!