It is with great pleasure that I invite you to the eighth annual Kyunghyang Forum.
I am KIM Seok-jong, CEO of The Kyunghyang Shinmun. Since our founding in 1946, The Kyunghyang Shinmun has been a champion of Korean journalism for nearly 80 years. In 1998, we embraced the ideal of media independence by becoming the first employee-owned news company in Korea, and in subsequent years have become a balanced and impartial mainstream voice among Korean media companies.
The Kyunghyang Forum was first established by The Kyunghyang Shinmun back in 2016 with the theme of “innovation in the new normal era.” Since then, the Forum has differentiated itself from others by way of penetrating topics, such as “challenges and opportunities during the Fourth Industrial Revolution (2017),” “structural inequality in society (2018),” “North-South coexistence for peaceful cooperation in Northeast Asia (2019),” “changes brought upon by COVID-19 (2020),” “Korea's role in responding to climate change (2021),” and “promoting sustainability during a period of transition (2022).”
This year, the title of our Forum is Beyond Growth - New Paradigms for Common Prosperity. It is no secret that many are voicing concern about the global economy possibly entering a prolonged period of low growth figures. The International Monetary Fund forecasts the global economy’s medium-term growth to be the lowest in 43 years. In addition, major advanced economies around the world are expected to grow by less than 1%, while South Korea's growth rate is expected to remain at 1.5%. Increasing protectionism and de-globalization trends are also encouraging nations to adopt an “every man for himself” mindset as opposed to that of “coexistence.” Meanwhile, years of reckless worldwide resource exploitation has now birthed a climate crisis that poses an immediate threat to human survival. In effect, we have now reached a point where the conventional wisdom of relying upon “growth” is no longer sufficient to ensure our future prosperity.
Just as we begin to ponder the limitations of relying upon growth, the Kyunghyang Forum has invited esteemed experts from various fields to seek ideas on what roads we must travel. This year, we have with us distinguished international and domestic scholars, such as Professor Emeritus Nouriel ROUBINI of New York University, Dr. Vandana SHIVA, Professor SAITO Kohei of the University of Tokyo, and Professor Raj PATEL of the University of Texas. They have all gathered here to assess our current situation and discuss solutions for our future.
I have faith that this year's Kyunghyang Forum will become a meaningful occasion to explore the path to coexistence and prosperity for not only Korea but also the global community. Meanwhile, The Kyunghyang Shinmun will continue to work diligently to seek a sustainable future and a fair society for everyone. We look forward to your interest and participation. Thank you.