The Kyunghyang Forum 2020
​The Kyunghyang Forum was conceived as a vehicle for discussing imminent issues in Korean society as well as the direction in which the nation would seek solutions. We are now in the fifth iteration of the Forum, with this year’s title being COVID19 and Its Aftermath: Roadmap for Navigating the Post-Pandemic World Order.

The new coronavirus infections that originated in China last year (COVID19) has grown to become a global pandemic that is creating shockwaves both within Korea as well as the rest of the world. On the flip side of this phenomena lies the indiscriminate economic activities carried out by mankind over the past decades or even centuries that have led to issues such as global warming. At this point, it is difficult to deny that COVID19’s effects will lead to a fundamental shift in the socioeconomic structures that we have been reliant upon for so long. In other words, our economic production and consumption patterns of the past will no longer be.

This year’s Forum will feature Dr. Paul Krugman, who is distinguished professor in the Graduate Center Economics Ph.D. program at the City University of New York as well as the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Krugman will share with us in his keynote address a review of our current model of economic growth that has been contingent upon global divisions of labor as well as the socioeconomic system it shaped, while also previewing of the direction of the economy in light of the COVID19 pandemic. We eagerly anticipate his solutions for achieving common prosperity among all members of international society amidst the new liberalism reaching its threshold and protectionism running rampant around the world.

The Forum is also proud to be featuring world-famous economist Ha-Joon Chang, who is professor of economics at the University of Cambridge. Professor Chang will evaluate the pros and cons of Korea’s social system that has been effective in responding to the COVID19 pandemic. He will compare Korea with the responses from Europe, The United States, and Japan to extract lessons be learned, while also discussing the means to cultivate an effective Korean model of development going forward. Afterwards, Professor Chang will partake in a special dialogue with Dr. Krugman on changes to the world order amidst the COVID19 pandemic.

We also have Thomas Frey who is among the world’s premier futurists and Executive Director of The DaVinci Institute. He will present in his special address an argument that COVID19 may enable a true online society which, coupled with the fourth industrial revolution’s acceleration, would result in a reboot of the world as we know it. The Forum looks forward to Mr. Frey’s insights on how to respond to COVID19’s effects.

The Forum will also feature a number of outstanding panelists who have most graciously decided to participate in our endeavor. Nathan Wolfe is a world renown virologist and author of the highly regarded book, The Viral Storm. He will be sharing insights into the reasons behind newly emerging viruses as well as the appropriate responses, all based upon firsthand research conducted in the farthest locations on our planet. Britt Wray is science storyteller, broadcaster, and author who has researched the correlation between climate change and mental health. She will be presenting on how issues such as global warming underlies the outbreak of COVID19, alongside how we may be able to live healthy lives in light of what has already taken place.

These presentations will be followed by talks from Robert Koopman, Chief Economist at the World Trade Organization, Gan Fan, President of the China Development Institute as well as Director of the National Economic Research Institute, and Motoshige Itoh, professor of international social sciences at Gakushuin University and architect of Abe-nomics under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Their discussion will center upon how the countries of the United States, China, and Japan, amongst others, would seek solutions and coexistence in the new coming era.

Finally, the panel discussion towards the end of the day will feature Executive Director Frey, Dr. Koopman, President Fan, and Professor Itoh discussing the highs and lows of the COVID19 era alongside new models for development for the future.

In view of all that is scheduled to take place at this year’s Kyunghyang Forum, there is little doubt that it shall become an important compass for charting the course of sustainable growth of humanity amidst the challenges of a fragile traditional world order.
Title The Kyunghyang Forum 2020
Theme COVID 19 and Its Aftermath : Roadmap for Navigating the Post-Pandemic World Order
Date Tuesday, August 25, 2020 (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)
Place Crystal Ballroom (2nd floor), Lotte Hotel Seoul
Languages Simultaneous interpretation provided in English & Korean
Host The Kyunghyang Shinmun
Sponsor Ministry of Economy and Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Interior and Safety, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Employment & Labor, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Financial Services Commission, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Korean Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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