The COVID-19 pandemic put the humanity under the challenge of great transformation.
The great transformation out of the custom, culture and values that we are used to include changes in our perspectives for economic growth and ecological transition from the fossil-fuel-centric views.
Only such transformation can guarantee the very survival and happiness of the humanity which is currently under a great threat caused by climate emergency and collapse of ecosystem. The Seoul Metropolitan Government has been developing a driving force behind a new transition by applying methodologies of social innovation such as sharing, regeneration, cycle and democracy to city administration.
In particular, the city introduced the ‘Seoul-specific Green New Deal’ policy this year to make a great transition to carbon-free economy and society aiming to become a city with zero greenhouse gas by 2050.
We hope 2020 Seoul Innovation Week will be a meaningful venue where stakeholders of transition such as governments, businesses, civic groups and academia get together and share innovative ideas and experiences in order to overcome the crisis and seek sustainable future for everyone.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government will reflect the strategies, insights and declarations from this significant event into the city administration to become a stepping stone for transition of civilization.
In the world with limited resources, we live as if everything were limitless.
But our way of life pursuing constant growth and excessive consumption is now threatening the very survival of the humankind.
Climate change and its consequences in the eco-system are putting our lives in danger in increasingly unpredictable ways.
Inequality deepens and the gap between the haves and have-nots widens.
Now we need a new system or narrative, totally different from existing one.
We need to make a transition from focusing on wealth for selected few to prosperity for all, and from people abusing the nature to people enjoying balanced and harmonious life with the nature.
Making a smooth transition is not easy as it should be radical enough to break the ideology of the society, vested interest and existing values and ways of life.
However, we are witnessing the budding possibility of transition throughout the world.
People around the world start to discuss basic income and a green new deal publicly.
Beyond the false idea of ‘perfect market‘, more people are now asking for a new economic system in this era of inequality and climate emergency.
In the new trends toward the transition, cities around the world are taking tangible actions.
Last year, Seoul declared its transition toward ‘a city of ecological civilization’.
This year, when the deadly virus puts the entire world on hold, Seoul is holding 2020 Seoul Innovation Week where we discuss how to make transition.
This will be where we clear the way toward the transition, discuss concrete strategies, have a grand discourse and share our insight, commitment and declarations.
That is because the process of transition cannot be made by one party.
It will be realized only when multiple parties share the same idea and take actions where they are.