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Business must take more social responsibility: SK Group chairman file -
Social responsibility has become a must for corporate viability and companies must join forces with the public sector to address unprecedented challenges from fast transitions fueled by new technologies, said Chey Tae-won, chairman of South Korean conglomerate SK Group. 

“Gone are the days when companies merely seek profit. For-profit companies would strategically fail if they do not contribute to social value," he said during a session titled ‘Social Value and the Role of An Enterprise’ at the 18th World Knowledge Forum (WKF) in Seoul on Tuesday. 

Digitalization and advancement in network technology have turned net transaction cost to zero, accelerating a shift of focus from economic values to social values, said Chey. Commitment to social values has become more important as social problems brought forth by the acceleration in technological advancement have come faster before people can find solutions for them, he said. 

He said Korean companies are still “amateurish” in social contribution. 

A social enterprise, he said, could easily go out of business when unattended. SK Group has developed various programs including a system that can measure social value, accounting tools, and cash incentives to nurture social enterprises and social entrepreneurs, said Chey. 

He said creating 100,000 additional social enterprises would help reduce youth unemployment and ensure job security at the age when machines increasingly are replacing human labor. 

The annual forum hosted by Maekyung Media Group in Seoul ends on Thursday.

By Moon Ji-woong and Cho Jeehyun 

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