Theme of 2023
See topics of the past events.
Supercompensation: Restoring Global Prosperity & Freedom
Terra Incognita: Redesigning the Global Architecture
- Shaping New Global Symbiosis
Knowledge Revolution 5.0
- Perspicacity Towards Prosperity for All
Collective Intelligence: Overcoming Global Pandemonium
Inflection Point: Towards New Prosperity
Aiming for GREAT INSTAURATION
MAPPING THE ZEITGEIST
INVIGORATING The GLOBAL ECONOMY
The One Asia Metamorphosis
The Great Breakthrough: New Solutions for Global Crisis.
The New Economic Crisis:Reforming Global Leadership and Asia's Challenge
One Asia Momentum, G20 Leadership & Creatinnovation
One Asia : New Economic Order & Recovery
Collabonomics & Greater Asia
Wealth Creation & Asia
Creativity and Collaboration : Foundation for the New Era
Partnership for Renewed Growth
Creating a New World Order and Economy
Knowledge in a World of Risk : A Compass towards New Prosperity
Drawing the Roadmap for Knowledge Economy and Global Prosperity
Shaping the New Millennium with Knowledge
The global community is facing a critical turning point in history. Russia's invasion of Ukraine facilitated reorganizing of the international order, forming a confrontation between the two powers: democratic and authoritarian states. For the past few decades, the international order has been connected as a value chain based on economic cooperation. But now, the new Cold War is beginning as it enters the era of division.
Aside from these political aspects, the Russo-Ukrainian War is also becoming a ‘trigger’ of transition in terms of the global economy. The war-triggered rise in food and energy prices has broken the balance the world economy has maintained. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have injected massive liquidity through fiscal and monetary policies for the past two years. The combined shock, which is leading to inflation and an increase in interest rates, is raising the uncertainties in the financial markets.
Countries around the world that are reorganizing their product supply chains after the pandemic are prioritizing geopolitical and security aspects rather than economics. They are accelerating their actions on creating blocs politically and economically. Response to climate change is also becoming a 'game changer' in global politics and the economy. This is expected to become a 'requirement for alliance' in today's divided world.
The world is on the verge of 'anti-globalization,' but people are more connected than ever due to the remarkable development of technology since the pandemic. A good case in point is that people worldwide participated in practical campaigns to support Ukraine online after the Ukrainian War. People, who are more closely connected than ever, are watching, enjoying, and sharing the same content.
The 23rd World Knowledge Forum will be held under the theme of ‘Supercompensation: Restoring Global Prosperity & Freedom’ to find solutions to overcome the global political, economic, and social challenges facing the world and move forward toward a better world. ‘Supercompensation’ refers to the theory that the body recovers above and beyond pre-training levels after intensive training.
The ultimate goal is to achieve freedom and prosperity. The pandemic and the ongoing war are undermining the value of freedom, and sustainable prosperity is also facing challenges. The 23rd World Knowledge Forum will not simply restore the past state but seeks ways to advance toward a better future.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we are heading towards a world we have never experienced before. The expansionary fiscal and monetary policies that governments and central banks have been carrying out as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the wealth formula in the global financial markets. The decline in real purchasing power is causing surge in non-monetary assets while the rise of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum is shifting the financial market.
The multilateral trade-based world economic order is also facing a turning point in the wake of the pandemic. The widening wealth gap and the apparent deficiencies of the social security systems that are revealed through the pandemic are creating skepticism on the existing system of capitalism. The world is facing more complex challenges. The competition for global hegemony between the United States and China is steadily intensifying, showing little room for improvement in the Biden administration. The tension between the two powers is expanding beyond security competition, further influencing the fields of economy, business, and society.
Climate restoration has become a key agenda among states while technological competitions in the semiconductor industry are shifting trends in the global economy and politics. Technological advancement has accelerated since the pandemic, and the developments of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technologies are changing human lifestyle.
The World Knowledge Forum 2021 will be held under the theme “Terra Incognita: Redesigning the Global Architecture.” “Terra Incognita“ is a cartographic term for regions that have not been mapped. It symbolizes the post-COVID world that we have never been before.
The unknown land that we are moving towards can possibly be a land of opportunity to us, but can equally turn into risks of failure if we do not manage to address the changes at hand. Following the pandemic, the world is recognizing the importance of its connectedness more than ever. As we enter the new world, the global community must seek for solutions through the spirit of coexistence. What could be the solutions for the issues ahead and what would be the potential opportunities for us in the future? The World Knowledge Forum 2021 seeks a new zeitgeist at this critical juncture.
The 21st World Knowledge Forum proposes ‘Pandenomics Perspective: Shaping New Global Symbiosis’ as a solution to save the world in chaos by COVID-19.
Pandenomics is a coined word with ‘Pandenomics’ and ‘economics.’ It is designed to offer a new survival paradigm over the pandemic based on an in-depth analysis on it. In particular, Pandenomics aims for common prosperity through the coexistence of the world, not through nationalism or specific national interest.
As seen in this pandemic, the symbiosis strategy is indispensable in such a highly connected world. Since COVID-19 broke out early in 2020 and became pandemic worldwide, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented ‘New Normal.’ Global public healthcare system is in crisis.
Existing systems in all fields like politics and economics are falling down without responding properly. Patients are emerging everywhere without medicines or vaccines for COVID-19. COVID-19 death toll of the world surpassed half a million. Global recession has already begun. Another Depression is concerned to arise. Global government debt has already reached its highest in peacetime. The world economy is sure to shrink this year.
As the U.S.-China conflict rekindled amid COVID-19, a New Cold War revisited the world. The absence of global leadership even more aggravates the current situation, which can lead to a sudden explosion in the geopolitically unstable regions such as the Korean peninsula and Middle East.
However, opportunities always come with crises. For example, COVID-19 opened wide the ‘untact’ market. Online logistics and education grew exponentially, bringing in digital transformation way faster than expected. At the same time, the world realized its connectedness like never before and found it imperative to cooperate.
The world will be divided before and after COVID-19. Those who want to be a winner must make the right choice. The 21st World Knowledge Forum suggests Pandenomics that will be the right solution for the future winners.
Knowledge has been with the mankind since the birth of humanity and has served as the basis for decision-making in our society until now. The importance of knowledge in decision-making has further increased with the advancement of our society. The knowledge capacity has been the deciding factor in defining a prestige of a society as well as its whole identity.
Humanity has experienced four explosive knowledge expansions known as the revolutions so far. Knowledge Revolution 1.0 started out with the Cognitive Revolution (circa 70,000 B.C.), which Yuval Harari has explained in his book, Sapiens as a period when humans first began to recognize and imagine. As humans began to think and communicate freely with each other, they acquired a trait that differentiated them from animals. Knowledge Revolution 2.0 has manifested itself as the First Agricultural Revolution circa 10,000 B.C. Humans who relied on hunting and gathering began to settle and use various techniques to farm. Knowledge Revolution 3.0 is the Scientific Revolution. With the emergence of modern science, major countries have entered the overseas market more freely. Knowledge Revolution 4.0 is the Industrial Revolution. Through a new technology, steam engine, productivity expanded rapidly and capitalism based on market system took its form. Furthermore, as internet and data communications have developed, the connectivity between people and mass production has become common.
Now, we are on the verge of entering another new society. As all the transitional periods are tumultuous, world’s current economy, politics, and society all face uncertainties.
Therefore, the 20th World Knowledge Forum suggests the following theme: Knowledge Revolution 5.0: Perspicacity Towards Prosperity for All. The Knowledge Revolution 5.0 refers to an entirely new approach in which the entire human race can advance with the proper technological development. To make the Knowledge Revolution 5.0 succeed, a strong perspicacity is needed. The 20th World Knowledge Forum has invited the best experts in each field to set the stage for candid discussions with perspicacity that can open the door to a new world for the mankind.
Humanity is living in a nebulous state at present, thrown into an ocean of uncertainties politically, economically, and socially. Global trade war is merely one amongst many dilemmas at hand along with the denuclearization of North Korea, unrest in Syria, fast growing refugee population, and climate change.
‘Pandemonium’ refers to the devil’s den featured in renowned English poet John Milton’s epic poem titled ‘Paradise Lost’. In other words, the term is used to depict situations that are chaotic like hell. As such, ‘Pandemonium’ can be utilized to describe the chaos brought about by global challenges such as geopolitical conflicts and trade war. In order to tide over these hurdles, sharing proper knowledge and wisdom is necessary. The 19th World Knowledge Forum’s theme, “Collective Intelligence: Overcoming Global Pandemonium” was chosen to reflect the situation we are in now and our effort to survive it with collective intelligence.
The advancement of technology is removing the barriers between the states rapidly. In succession to the internet, the advent of block chain technology has led to a hyper-connected society. Amidst these changes, how we share knowledge will be the key that affect the competitiveness of states and enterprises. Block chain technology, often referred to as the 2nd internet, is on the verge of creating a new ecosystem. Thus, searching for a sagacious solution through collective knowledge is becoming increasingly crucial.
The history of mankind has met several inflection points. The first was when humans, unlike animals, went through Cognitive Revolution that developed human ability to abstract objects and understand them.
The Agricultural Revolution, which has transformed people’s way of living from hunting and gathering to planting seeds and growing crops was the next important inflection point that changed human history. The following inflection point was the First Industrial Revolution of the 18th century which has fueled a rapid increase in productivity and the establishment of market-based capitalistic politics, economy and social order. Thanks to the First Industrial Revolution, people were able to enjoy unparalleled affluence, but on the downside, both individuals and countries had to pay the cost of wealth polarization and rising international conflicts. Every time the inflection point was met, people’s quality of life greatly improved to a whole new level but it clearly divided the winners and losers. Countries and individuals that understood and prepared well for the new era have survived and succeeded, while those who failed to do so have taken the path of degeneration.
In 2017, we face another inflection point. The so called Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), driven by the technological innovation and advancement of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) is bringing about a very destructive change to the whole world. The human history will definitely be distinguished before and after the 4IR, as this revolution becomes the new inflection point.
The advent of AI, the disruptor of the existing technology, gives various benefits to humans but it is a double-edged sword which can break down the existing order if not used properly. The changes that the 4IR would bring to various fields such as politics, economy and society are beyond imagination. In the economic sector, large-scale unemployment is very likely to occur as a result of AI replacing human labor. Such unemployment can lead to political and social unrest. Thus, if there’s no preceding consideration for humans, no matter how well you develop new technologies, they can be more of a disaster than benefit to mankind.
Important moments are approaching us every minute, but our response remains to be disappointing. The US-led trade protectionism, which only focuses on pursuing its own national interest, is quickly expanding to other parts of the world. Moreover, indiscriminant terrorism from minority groups is striking fear and horror into people’s hearts and minds. The situation surrounding the Korean peninsula is no different. In this very crucial period, North Korea is escalating tensions by constantly threatening the world with its missiles and nuclear tests. Also, even though 4IR has become one of the most popular keywords of today’s world, not many individuals, companies and governments are properly preparing to meet the challenges it poses.
The world is changing very rapidly, making it difficult to predict what’s to come. Now we are standing on the edge of a cliff. With just one wrong step, anyone can fall endlessly. Therefore, without proper response to change, anyone can end up walking down the inescapable path of the vanquished for a very long time. The 18th World Knowledge Forum is organized to seek ways to respond more wisely to the challenges we face at the inflection point. We hope many people join in this meaningful event where the best experts from diverse fields including politics, economics, science and technologies gather to discuss about the new world.
Francis Bacon, an English Philosopher from the 17th century, proposed the idea that innovation is based on the knowledge of a society. In order to overcome the prejudices and preconceived ideas of the dark Medieval Age, acquiring knowledge was more important than ever before. He believed that the society will reach The Great Instauration when everybody equips oneself with knowledge. He claimed this reformation will create the ideal and prosperous society.
Four hundred years have passed and we now live in 2016. The world is full of many different extreme ideologies. Issues such as Brexit, protectionism, which stemmed from U.S. and now spreading to China, Islamic State, and nationalism is stirring up confusion around the world. The gap between the rich and poor is intensifying and populism ideologies can be found in many parts around the globe. History evolves by repeating itself. Today’s world makes us look back at the medieval era when Bacon called for advancements in science and knowledge. Without reforming the current state, future is never fully guaranteed.
The starting point is knowledge. Only logical and practical knowledge can change the world. The way to acquire knowledge is engaging in through observations and experiences, that is, science. The world is transforming drastically by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In times of change, leadership is a critical factor. The gateway for innovation will open when leaders lead with innovative but logical ideas. With the U.S. Presidential Elections coming up and the Korean Presidential Elections taking place the year after, new leadership is undoubtedly a timely topic to examine.
The 17th World Knowledge Forum will explore the value of knowledge sharing and the importance of new leadership. Experts in politics, economics, and sciences will come together to evaluate today’s world and we hope many people will join us in these essential discussions.
The world we live in today cannot be explained by the existing framework. We have entered a new era.
Effectiveness of Capitalism and democracy which were the two fundamental pillars of spectacular growth of world economy and prosperity for a long time is now being questioned. Ever rising inequality due to income polarization, extreme confrontations and divisions resulting from lack of compromising spirit and ever spreading geopolitical risks are making some people doubt the ideologies. The expectation that G2 powers, the United States and China, will open new era of substantial growth across the world has tumbled as they confront each other for global hegemony and are faced with various challenges of sluggish economy and social discord at home. The political environment of the United States is paralyzed and its somewhat isolationistic diplomacy is being challenged.
China which has finally found it unrealistic to achieve double digit growth of the past is trying to rebalance its economy focusing on expanding domestic base for consumption. But in the course of transition from heavily export and investment dependent economic system to more domestic consumption based economy, weak growth of 6~7% is becoming new norm for Chinese economy. Russian ambition for reviving glorious old Soviet Empire has heightened the fear of new cold war. And due to the terrifying rise of the IS there have been dramatic increase of geopolitical tension and volatility in the Middle East.
As we can see, the global paradigm which has kept the world in order is now clearly outdated. To adapt to the fast changing environment, corporations are also seeking for new morals and management methods to stand out and succeed in the competitive environment. Without properly analyzing the zeitgeist of today, our understanding and adaptability of new developments will slow down. In order to survive, we need to find a brand-new zeitgeist of today. By disrupting the old methods and creating new and innovative ideas, we will be able to find the spirit of today’s age. This is why we have chosen “Mapping the Zeitgeist” as this year’s theme.
With the goal of spreading knowledge, the WKF is ready to search for the zeitgeist of the 21st century. At the 16th World Knowledge Forum, top experts will help us discover the meaning of zeitgeist of the present age. With this new zeitgeist, we will be able to surmount the existing uncertainties, insecurities, and complexities of today.
Upon exiting the long tunnel of the global financial crisis, the world economy is bogged down by stagnant growth. Various risks scattered throughout the globe are hindering economic growth and prosperity.
The absence of global leadership in 2014 has caused sounds of discord around the world. Russia’s annexing of Crimea, the revival of Japanese militarism, intensifying tensions between China and her neighbors, and the Iraqi civil war are clear examples of how geo-political threats have escalated more than ever before.
Each nation faces growing internal social dissonance as the discontent populace sound concerns on income and wealth inequality. As growth stands still, many of the middle class who have lost their jobs are heading to the streets, and populists are taking advantage to make their voices heard.
Technological innovations, represented by robotics and the Internet of Things, forewarn a grand transition to a new digital era. The adaptation to massive changes will determine the fate of nations, firms, and individuals.
If we cannot seek a solution to overcome this era of growing uncertainty, the current lethargy will worsen. This year’s World Knowledge Forum chose the theme “Invigorating the Global Economy” as its topic to focus on solutions to revive and reform the bogged down world economy.
Having gone through the European financial crisis that immediately followed the broader global financial crisis, the world economy is now experiencing a vast unprecedented shift. Emerging nations are raising their voices and the world power structure is changing as well. Already the once leading leadership headed by the United States and Europe has weakened. As such, there are even claims that we are entering an era without a strong leadership, also called the G-Zero era.
Despite the rise of disputes due to the absence of leadership, it is difficult to find a center figure that would mediate and resolve the conflicts. Developed nations like the United States are struggling from low growth rates and China, once the global growth hub, is in risk of falling into depression. We are currently facing multiple issues ranging from territorial disputes to Middle East conflicts and currency war in the international financial market.
Problems are intensifying and the existing paradigms seem no longer applicable as their limits are showing due to the mass production of inequality and discord. Now is the time for a new system that would not only result in steady growth but would also implement continuous dynamics. We are in need of a solution that would minimize risks and maximize opportunities.
This is the very reason the World Knowledge Forum has chosen as its main theme "One Asia Metamorphosis" this year with the aim of re-illuminating Asian values as a starting point for addressing the limits of the current capitalist system. Since it first shined the spotlight on Asia in 2007, the World Knowledge Forum has drawn attention to Asia's growing presence and has striven to foster collaborative efforts to achieve shared prosperity. As a result, more and more forum attendees have started to agree on the notion of "One Asia" over the years. As a leader of change and innovation, Asia is now serving a vital role in finding solutions to the crisis we are facing today. The World Knowledge Forum therefore proposes "One Asia Metamorphosis" as a follow-up to last year's "The Great Breakthrough," which aimed to reflect our hopes for new growth under new leadership.
In order to overcome challenges, it is critical to adopt a progressive mindset that transcends the conventional wisdom. We have to move away from our dichotomous way of thinking, which strictly divides the market and government, or capital and labor, and search for solutions that would promise efficiency and equity. The new coalescence is well in keeping with the Forum's mission of narrowing the rich-poor divide through the sharing of knowledge.
(Leadership, Integrity, Creativity and Happiness)
The world economy is hard to predict even to the nearest future. There were not many who predicted the European crisis before. Simultaneously, emerging countries reorganized the world order. Empowered by fresh perspective, emerging countries challenge the established global economic governance.
2012 also brings more than 30 elections throughout the world. Ultimately, countries with creative leadership armed by new imaginative solutions in economics will be welcomed in the new paradigm of the world.
Creative leadership is not only central to national leaders but also to business executives. How should they revise corporate management? How should we utilize the opportunities and where should we find the engine for new growth? What could be the pre-requisite for creative leadership, and what kind of strategies and imaginations do we need?
The World Knowledge Forum is going to find answers to these questions from October 9th to 11th 2012 under the theme of ‘The Great Breakthrough: New Solutions for Global Crisis(Leadership, Integrity, Creativity and Happiness).’
A breakthrough is imperative. We need to see beyond the current global economic hardship. We need to use our creative imagination to find alternative for capitalism and appropriate systems. We need to revisit our fundamentals and establish response in social and economic issues.
Find your breakthrough solution at the 13th World Knowledge Forum. Globally renowned professors and business leaders are to share their thoughts with us. This October is going to be filled with knowledge which evokes your idea and insight toward your future.
The 12th World Knowledge Forum(11th ~13th October 2011, Seoul, Korea)
As we face an unforeseen crisis in 2011, the World Knowledge Forum will focus on finding solutions to overcoming the crisis. The theme for World Knowledge Forum 2011 is "The New Economic Crisis: Reforming Global Leadership & Asia's Challenge."
At the beginning of this year, the global economy seemed to be leading a rosy path showing signs of growth. However, with the US default risk that spurred in July which then gave birth to the degrading of the US credit rating by S&P coupled together with the eurozone’s financial crisis made the global economy nosedive to its fall. Liquidity providers US and Europe were unable to produce a fruitful outcome with their financial policies and the gloomy clouds of double dip were evident in the global economy. The inflation whirlwind that began from the US and Europe quickly advanced to Latin America and is spreading in all directions.
The 1998 Asia economic crisis was singled out to the Asian nations only. The 2008 global financial crisis began in the US and quickly spread to other regions but could be overcome by the determined emerging economies including Asia and Latin America. However, the most recent economic situation poses as a tougher problem without an easy way out. The World Knowledge Forum defines this unheard-of phenomenon as ‘The New Economic Crisis.’
But let us remember that with crisis comes opportunity. The World Knowledge Forum will bring forth ‘reforming global leadership’ and ‘Asia’s role’ as solutions for the ‘The New Economic Crisis.’
‘Reforming global leadership’ is the answer for recovering from the global leadership stalemate that surfaced with ‘The New Economic Crisis’ which experienced the dichotomy of global leadership by the US and Europe. Who will take over the US hegemony is an issue to be tackled, with hopes that this new power will be the answer for our way out of ‘The New Economic Crisis.’ Global leaders will discuss how Asia and the emerging countries will provide to be the answer to fulfill its role in the global agenda.
For the last two years, the World Knowledge Forum has suggested the ‘One Asia’ spirit as the direction for Asia’s path in these times of global turmoil. The One Asia spirit is expected to lead the world out from the ‘The New Economic Crisis.’ Japan’s lost decade will serve as the poster child of the global economic crisis. China, which was the solution to the 2008 crisis, will boast its power once again in this time of vacuum in global leadership. Asia is faced with a new challenge in this time of ‘The New Economic Crisis’ and the World Knowledge Forum will serve as the venue for discussion possible solutions.
The World Knowledge Forum 2011 will seek to find global solutions for this newly born crisis and the challenges Asia must meet in order to improve its strength. This coming October will be an opportunity to gain knowledge and insights.
In the year of growth and challenge, the 2010 World Knowledge Forum (WKF) will be held under the theme of "One Asia Momentum, G20 Leadership & Creatinnovation."
The global economy has been hit hard for the last two years by the US-induced global economic crisis-set off by the bankruptcy of the country's fourth largest investment bank Lehman Brothers on September 15,2008 after 158 years of operation-and by the fear of Greece-triggered sovereign default spreading all across the euro zone in 2010. The world economy has gone through numerous economic downturns in history, but this is the very first time that a string of massive economic shockwaves were caused by advanced economies.
In the midst of chaos, Asian economies bounced back robustly from the global economic crisis induced by advanced countries thanks to their solid manufacturing base. It was the resilience and strong recovery of Asia that prevented the worst-case scenario-destruction of the global economic system-from being materialized. Just a few years back, Asia would often be disparaged as the epicenter of local economic crisis, but now it is serving as a critical pillar of the global economy. The recently popular buzzword of "LUV" economic recovery is another evidence that the economic outlook for Asia is relatively more optimistic than for the rest of the world. (LUV is a coinage suggesting that Europe, the United States and Asia will experience L-, U- and V-shaped economic recoveries respectively.
Now you cannot explain the global economy without considering Asia, which is a gigantic market with the population of 3.2 billion-or over a half of the entire world population. Having grown into one of the world's top 3 economic blocs along with the United States and the European Union, Asia is projected to see its regional GDP exceeding that of Europe for the first time this year. More than half of the global foreign reserves (7.8 trillion dollars) are concentrated in Asia. Indeed, seven out of the world's top 10 foreign reserve holders are Asian countries.
Growing in line with Asia's economic prowess is their political say. Five Asian countries-Korea, Japan, China, India and Indonesia-are taking part in the Group of 20 (G20), which is increasingly replacing the Group of 8 (G8) to lead the global governance structure, playing an integral role in rebuilding the global order for the post-crisis era. The growth of Asia's economic and political clout is widely expected to further accelerate the grand shift of global order, which has long been led by Western countries to their Asian counterparts.
As the dream of "One Asia"-bringing all Asian countries into one through regional economic integration and cooperation/exchange-finally comes into reality, the Asia momentum leading the global order will be further reinforced. With this regard, the Chiang Mai Initiative(CMI) launched last March is an important first step toward more cooperation among Asian countries and regional economic integration, and it can be further expanded into the Asian Monetary Fund (AMF), an Asian version of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). When the One Asia momentum grows stronger, Asia will be able to transform itself from a rule follower simply sticking to the rules set by advanced Western countries into a rule setter that takes the initiative in establishing a new global order. This will give a greater boost to the Asian paradigm that incorporates Asia's values.
Another issue drawing keen attention is the leadership of G20 as the first global governance system reflecting the voices of not just developed countries but also emerging economies.
The G20 membership fully represents key players in the global economy, taking up 80% of global trade volume and 90% of GDP worldwide. Against this backdrop, G20 has successfully established itself as a premium forum with greater representativeness than the Group of 8(G8), taking the lead in introducing economic stimulus packages and low-interest policies around the world and catalyzing prompt recovery of the global economy.
This has fuelled high expectations on the leadership roles of G20 in the reform of the global financial governance and system and other future challenges. With Korea hosting this year's G20 Summit in Seoul on November 11 -12 as the chair country, WKF 2010 will have in-depth discussions as to what kind of global leadership it should play.
WKF 2010 will also discuss new growth opportunities driven by creatinnovation.
As the global paradigm changes in this era of grand transformation, we will be witnessing the emergence of a new global economic order and business environment that are totally different from before the crisis.
Once the crisis is over, everything will change as fast as light, and the existing #1 players will be brought down by innovative new contenders emerging everywhere. To survive in this era of rapid change and innovation requires more than the existing business strategies and practices like cost cutting and efficiency improvement; you need to evolve and change faster than your existing competitors. In the post-crisis world, a creativity-based economy, where creatinnovation proves effective, will become the new normal. As the rule of the game changes, the existing competitive strategy also needs to undergo transformation. Now is the time for businesses to embrace creatinnovation, which can create blue oceans, as their new competitive strategy.
The theme of the 2009 World Knowledge Forum, which marks its 10th anniversary, is “One Asia, New Economic Order & Recovery.”
Just a little over a decade ago, the 1997 Asian financial crisis laid most Asian economies low. Beset by a liquidity crunch, many of the region' s once highly profitable businesses saw themselves being taken over by Western enterprises. Back then, Asia was the economic inferior on the global stage. But. like the turning of a crank handle, it is now the "advanced" economies that are on the bottom, pushed downward by the 2008 financial meltdown stemming from the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis. This time, it is the Asian economies that are on top; a role reversal made possible by the hard-won knowledge from their own economic emergencies, along with sizable cash reserves built up ever since. Today, Asian companies are taking over their Western counterparts.
Indeed, Asia is emerging as the transcendent player of the global economy. That means the building blocks of the world' s recovery may not depend solely upon the so-called BRICs of Brazil, Russia, India and China. Rather, the job might very well be accomplished by ICK (India, China and Korea).
Heightened economic power comes with heightened responsibilities. In other words, Asia will likely gain not only economic hegemony but will also have a greater say in the post-crisis reshuffling of the world order. How well prepared is the region for this role? How united are its aims? Since the demise of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the U.S. has been the world' s uncontested superpower. Under the aegis of America's neo-liberalistic economic system, the global economy grew rapidly, with minimal government intervention and free-market abandonment.
The recent bursting of asset bubbles worldwide, however, wrecked that free-wheeling economic order. The world, in the aftermath, is becoming multi-polarized. Many argue that Asia-with its wealth and still -growing economies-must step into this power vacuum to help create a new global economic system. The coming trend even has a name: Asianization. But can India. China and Korea find common purpose?
One voice, one currency, one fiscal policy
In order for Asia to fill this role, it needs to speak with one voice through radically increased regional economic integration. For example. Korean President Lee Myung-bak, in his “New Asia Initiative," called for the development of an Asian Bond Market and other forms of regional cooperation to open the era of “New Asia.”
Former Japanese Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro has also stressed the need for a stronger regional body for economic cooperation, to stabilize the exchange rates of Asian currencies and ensure further economic development in the region. One key step along that path will be the successful conclusion of t he Free Trade Agreements (FTA) being negotiated among Asian countries. In the future, such a regional body may become a comprehensive organization for economic cooperation; one that includes not just Asian states but also Australia, New Zealand, Russia and even the U.S.
Beyond trade cooperation, it is urgent to launch an Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) that can utilize around five trillion dollars horded by Asian states, thereby keeping regional exchange rates under control and complementing the role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). A discussion on creating a Single Currency for Asia is also needed to be accelerated. Some also assert that an Asian Credit Rating Agency and an Asian Bond Market should be established to guarantee the independence of Asian economies.
As the dream of building One Asia through regional cooperation gets real as fast as it can, the Asian region will play a pivotal role of ensuring a global economic recovery and establishing a new world order. The concept of One Asia which strengthens regional integration through mutual respect and cooperation among Asian countries will definitely lead to more cooperation in the region.
Understanding where we are today
In addition to One Asia concept, another important theme of the 10th World Knowledge Forum is dealing with the ongoing worldwide economic crisis and prospect for recovery.
Set off by America' s financial crisis, the recent global downturn has had no rival in severity since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Keynesian ideas from that era-of the activism of “Big Government” -have returned with a vengeance, as policy makers in the world' s advanced economies seek to jump start their systems with massive infusions of public money.
Against this backdrop, the 10th World Knowledge Forum is bringing together more than 200 of the world’ s most influential financial and business experts to share their insights about the future of the world economy. Providing industry-specific outlooks, they will debate the intensity and pace of economic recovery. Discussion on whether Green Industry will be playing a role of new growth engine for global economic recovery will also be progressed.
And global leaders participating in the Forum will provide their own thoughts and expectations on a newly emerging New World Order. At a time when the old paradigm of world order is passing away, business leaders need to understand the road ahead and their starting line in order to survive. Crisis and Opportunity coexists in the meaning of ‘Crisis' in Chinese Character. We hope all of you get the first-hand knowledge of the new global economic trend and get a hold of secret strategy helping you overcome crisis by taking part in the 10th World Knowledge Forum.
The theme for the 9th World Knowledge Forum is “Collabonomics and Greater Asia.”
Collabonomic (Collaboration + Economics) signifies the new equation to create wealth in the 21st-century era of collaboration. Endless competition without collaboration cannot generate synergy of win-win relations in management. Businesses cannot maintain competitiveness with a simple one-plus-one-equals-two equation.
They have to synergize in ways where one plus one equals three. And Collabonomics is the means.
Individuals, corporations and even governments need to get out of ultra-competition because in the 21st century only collaboration stimulates innovation. Collaboration among individuals, corporations and governments is not a matter of choice but a necessity. Only through collaboration can the world overcome imminent uncertainties and find the solutions for sustainable growth.
To deal with economic issues, including the global credit crunch, instability in the financial markets in the aftermath of the U.S sub-prime mortgage crisis, and environmental issues such as global warming and natural disasters, the world should look for solutions based on collective wisdom.
In the business area, collaboration is necessary, too. Their survival strategy is to build an open, efficient knowledge network with competitors, customers, central/local governments, industrial associations, universities, civil societies and research institutes as well as business partners. The idea of closed innovation attributable to a single company is outdated; open innovation through collaboration with various institutions is becoming a new source of competitiveness. In particular, collaboration generates new growth engines and innovations. We see many cases of synergy through collaboration in the business field.
For example, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple, and Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, had long been rivals in the IT industry. However, the two parties are now more cooperative. Jobs, who had clung to Apple’s own operating system and ignored Windows - the mainstream for the past 30 years - finally adopted Microsoft-compatible application for the Macintosh.
IBM and Apple also transformed from being rivals to collaborators. The two companies decided to load e-mail software developed by IBM on Apple’s i-Phone and i-Pod Touch. The alliance between the two reminds us of the reality of business: no eternal rivals; no eternal friends. IBM and Apple had been rivals for 20 years and they had never collaborated. However, when confronted by Microsoft, a mutual rival, they became partners.
Two German rivals in the auto industry, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, generate synergy by jointly manufacturing and using engines for compact cars. Samsung Electronics decided to develop a memory card for mobile phones and digital cameras hand in hand with competitors like Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, and Micron Technology.
Even though a certain industry enjoys high growth now, we cannot expect it to maintain such a trend in the future.
To sustain growth, synergy must be created via hybridization beyond the existing framework of a certain industry.
That is why ‘convergence’ has become the buzzword in major industries.
Business collaboration models go beyond industrial borderlines. Combination between IT companies and designers is a good example. Samsung Electronics outsourced designs for mobile phones and LCD TVs to the Italian fashion brand, Armani.
In the collaboration era, the role of Asian countries is very critical. As Asia becomes the symbol of rapid growth and emerges as the growth engine for the world economy, more responsibilities are accompanied to the changing status.
The 9th World Knowledge Forum will highlight the equation for wealth creation that is vital to the era of collaboration. We hope you will get valuable insights on future business management models which collabonomics will create.
The World Knowledge Forum 2007 main theme, Wealth Creation & Asia, reflects the new reality which shapes new global power equation.
Global economic competition is fiercer than ever, and new challenges are hindering future growth of companies. The growing prominence of emerging economies, increasing power of fund capitalism, emergence of new consumers, technology evolution and the network economy based on Web 2.0 are making the environment more unpredictable. In particular, global risks, say climate change, are threatening world development.
Along with rapid emergence of China and India, now the world is pinning their eyes on Asian countries. This region accounts one- third of world economy, replacing global growth engine, However, on the other side of the coin, serious problems have appeared, such as widening gaps between the developed and under -developed, regional conflicts and environmental damages.
Now global companies should consider creative knowledge and innovation as a must factor in order to create new wealth, So in World Knowledge Forum 2007, we will have the chance to share knowledge on how to turn the tables of chaotic changes around, and how to overcome global challenges including environmental and security issues.
The World Knowledge Forum has blossomed into an international venue where first-class academics, businesspeople and public- and private-sector administrators convene to explore ideas that promote human welfare. The theme of the 7th WKF(Oct. 17th-19th) is “Creative Economy”.
The creative economy is based on the knowledge and ideas that society’s “intellectual capital” - its skilled thinkers - generate. Their trained minds produce in-depth concepts that drive invention and innovation and fuel the engine of the creative economy. Our world needs such people and their breakthroughs to tackle various issues that squander human potential: political conflicts, disease, poverty and environmental pollution.
The World Knowledge Forum seeks to make society all that it can be: peaceful, prosperous and educated. Specifically, we looked at the effects of the Digital Economy, Growth, Finance, Brand and Asia. Reflecting the wider world, Asian countries either expedite or hinder their much desired social, economic and political evolution. The WKF especially focus on Asia’s sustainable growth strategies, because an expanding - yet socially just - economy is often the bedrock for comprehensive progress. We also looked at how innovations in information technology can promote a better future for all of us.
The World Knowledge Forum in 2005 convened for the sixth time at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Seoul, Korea between October 10th-12th, indicating that the event is now a permanent fixture on the international scene. The theme for the 6th World Knowledge Forum was "Creativity and Collaboration: Foundation for the New Era". Over 2,300 people from at least two dozen countries converged at the world class Sheraton Grande Walker Hill, where they listened to major addresses given by 135 speakers.
The keynote speech was delivered by "the world's best businessman", Mr. Jack Welch, the ex-CEO of GE. Other luminaries who shared their ideas were Professor Paul Kennedy, the renowned Yale historian; Robert Kagan, the influential strategist; Donald Johnston, the OECD General Secretary; Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, the world famous geneticist at Seoul National University; Professor Edward Prescott, the 2004 Nobel Prize laureate in Economics at Arizona State University; and Professor Arnoud De Meyer, the deputy dean of INSEAD.
The World Knowledge Forum in 2006 will again open its doors to thousands of participants and edifying speakers from our ever shrinking world, building upon its past successes and exploring new horizons in the exciting and important area of applied knowledge.
WKF2004 Top Agenda
- Terrorism and World Economy
- China Business Review
- Regionalism vs Globalism
- Asian Uniform Currency
- Yuan and Hot Money
- Financial Convergence : Next Wave Restructuring in Korea
- Role of Regulators in Convergence Age
- Focusing on the Core : Art of Outsourcing
- Global Leading Brand
- Successful Private Equity Firms
- Asia’s Most Admired Knowledge Enterprises
- Best Practices of Knowledge Management
- Future of Semicon Technology
- Wireless War in China
- Alternative Energy : Fuel Cell
- Building A High Performance Culture
- Leading Change: Managing Transformation
- Effective Boards of Directors: Right Corporate Governance
- Executive Compensation: Money for Results
- How to Make Your Star Work with Team
We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your interest in the World Knowledge Forum 2003. Your support and participation added value to the success of the annual global conference.
We do believe the forum helped the world get more attentive and more comprehensive in knowledge sharing for global prosperity.
Internal survey of over 1,000 participants showed that many from industries, governments and academies benefited from every time of meetings from lectures to workshops and to dialogues at the right time and in the right place.
We, however, should not be content with what we achieved now because there are always room for improvement. As we are preparing a conference for next year, we think any frank advice is critical and indispensable.
We will keep you informed with our progress in the arrangement of the World Knowledge Forum 2004, and if you have any suggestions or anything you felt inconvenient in relation with the forum, please feel free to let us know.
The World Knowledge Forum 2002 has ended in great success with more than a thousand people attending. The four-day jubilee of human knowledge which took place at Grand Hilton Seoul drew been attention from 100 journalists both at home and abroad as they sought tips for futher business in uncertain economic situations.
The World Knowledge Forum which marks its third year featured special lectures and intensive discussions on world economy forecast, futher technologies. CEO leadership and many other provided timely and interesting topics for the industry, academia and government participants.
This global conference's mission is to let all kinds of knowledge to be shared and utilized in a search for ways to cure the so-called digital divides in the information economy and to march towards new global prosperity.
The World Knowledge Forum will continue until this mission is completed.
We count on your strong support and participation.
The 2nd World Knowledge Forum, originally aimed at raising the importance of knowledge in the new economy and helping catalyze the process of value creation, will show you how to design enriched knowledge critical to well-being for all. We are pursuing global prosperity by sharing knowledge of the world and our efforts will be materialized under the theme of "Drawing Roadmap for Knowledge Economy and Global Prosperity."
Knowledge management is anything but a fad, while the knowledge workers and the knowledge community have become household names. What matters, however, is not the concentration on management theory but our practice to encourage individuals, companies and countries to move shoulder to shoulder toward prosperity of the world.
During the three-day forum, we will explore into changing directions in our perceptive work such as 'from teaching to learning' and 'from men to women' in the knowledge-based society. Our select knowledge design professionals will also delve into financial and technological fronts facing the new economy.
[ Main Theme ]
Drawing Roadmap for Knowledge Economy and Global Prosperity Facing globalization of knowledge-driven economy, it becomes ever more critical for a nation and a corporation to be equipped with the capability of "knowledge use." It encompasses the whole process of knowledge creation, acquisition, dissemination and utilization through which we can build our future.
21st century is described as the Era of Knowledge by many prominent scholars including Peter Drucker, Lester Thurow, Paul Romer, etc. It will be a great challenge for policy makers and CEO's around the world to survive the emerging knowledge economy. The World Knowledge Forum is designed to give knowledge leaders in the world an opportunity to enjoy an insightful knowledge sharing meeting concerning their strategies on how to shape the knowledge era. Knowledge leaders will exchange their insight on ways of doing business in the knowledge era both at national and corporate level. In the Forum, you will be able to meet top Northeast Asian policy leaders coming from China, Japan and Korea and stretch your knowledge on Asian managers and Asian culture. About 100 honored guests and 600 attendees around the world will attend; potential partners with whom you can build your personal knowledge sharing network.
1. To invite global knowledge leaders including heads of states, international firms and bodies, specialists and present 'Knowledge Vision for the 21st century'.
2. To show knowledge development is the unique source for the mutual prosperity of mankind in the 21st century.
3. To become a bridge for the knowledge gap between developed countries and developing ones, and to suggest that the knowledge-driven economy is the sole way for a country to become more advanced one.
4. To establish Global Knowledge Sharing "Ba (Place)" in which global knowledge leaders take a participation and share their knowledge and create new knowledge by interaction.