KBC Member Steven Lajeunesse and a couple of his co-workers invited me for lunch last week to introduce the Tech+ Forum, which is being hosted November 9-10 at Kyunghee University next month. I was amazed to hear about this event since not only was it completely off my radar, but managed to attract around 4,000 people last year, and not just a bunch of students, either... Mostly professor, public services and other high-level folks...
And the speaker list included an amazingly diverse and impressive group of both Koreans and international thought leaders. Not only that, the presentations are current viewable online, including English and Korean subtitles for everything, (Click here for list of speakers, topics and links to videos.)
Here's just one of the presentations from last year by Roberto Verganti discussing how to create great innovations for customers:
I also shared a pertinent video about the contribution of Korean culture to innov... to the recent Korea Economic Slice by Dr. Emanuel Pastreich (and KBC member!).
It's a little late in the schedule for KBC to get too involved for this year, but having discussed the vision of the event with Steven Lajeunesse and his colleague Senior Researcher Yoon, the creator of the vision for the event, I understand what they're trying to do and I wanted to get feedback from others on KBC about it.
Steven introduced tech+ as a Korean version of TED, and also kind of like the World Economic Forum. But having seen the young demographic at the TED events in Korea, never having been to the World Economic Forum, and knowing how tech+ is really a culmination of the research into industry and innovation by the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology, as well as the high-level attendance and speaker list, it seems to me like something interesting. Here's the program for November 9-10:
So, what do you think? Is this the kind of event you'd be interested in attending as a non-Korean living in Korea? And have you noticed the event posting on KBC?
I attended the event last year and found Prof.Verganti's presentation to be the best (most inspiring, eyes opening, etc). The other presenters (except maybe few) were a bit lost in format, so to speak - without TED like strong messages,insights or food for thought. And, yes, it was huge - with lots of students attending ^^
Generally I think such events are great to push for Korean creativity and out-of-box thinking, yet I think it would benefit from greater speaker (and contents) screening (smart "conductor" needed) to make sure it flows like a real "concert"
I am very happy to hear that you were able to attend the forum last year. Some changes have been made to the format this year that are very much in aligned to your wise suggestions. One of the reasons for hosting it at Grand Peace Palace, albeit more expensive, was to improve the screening control and make it more "concert-like". I am assuming that you weren't contacted after last years forum to follow-up on your experience. That is one of the new additions this year as well. The secretariat, rather KIAT, is planning to follow-up with attendees such as yourself to hear your creative ideas, opinions, likes and dislikes about the forum. We've also tried to invite speakers that fit our storyline which intends to inspire creativity and convergence "out-side the box", as you mentioned.
We would sure love to have you attend again, if you are available. Please contact me if you are interested in giving tech+ another go. Thanks so much for the comment.
I'm happy to hear that you are familiar with Richard Florida. We had a bit of a hard time selling him in some circles but the reason he was invited this year is because of his inspirational and sometimes radical, but definately thought-provoking views on innovative space. I really appreciate your opinion and feedback, even the one from the other discussion. To be honest, the first time I watched that video I reacted similarly to you. I have changed my opinion a little and kind of came to some understanding that what he is trying to imply is that there are many arts and innovations that can lead to great technological convergence and benefit us all. I guess that's just how I choose to inturpret it.
Anyway, I will really like to invite you to attend this year's forum. I would sincerely appreciate your candid and honest opinion on what we are presenting. If you are available and currently in Korea, please contact me and let's talk about getting you there. Thanks a lot!
We can discuss offline in detail. Best of luck with this event!
Vince - What's your take on Richard Florida juxtaposed onto Songdo? As someone who's not a big fan of Songdo but finds Florida inspiring, do think Songdo is just using him for window dressing? What are some of his ideas that you'd like to see them implement there? (Here's his website: http://www.creativeclass.com/)
BTW, I'm going to be at Tech+ on Thursday; any chance you'll be there for the Florida presentation?
Just to clarify, even though I take issues with some of the development strategies, I'm not anti-Songdo.
Meanwhile, what I know about Songdo and Richard Florida is that IFEZ published a piece he wrote in their monthly promotional magazine in 2008 or 2009. This more or less coincided with a speaking engagement I did not attend that was covered here: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2011/06/281_51889.html
As I recall the IFEZ magazine piece was his usual material but focused on how city design and access to amenities are critical factors in attracting the diverse, sought after professionals that drive innovation, the group he dubs "the creative class". But in ways that I think bureaucrats all over the world operate, they only hear what they want to hear and I doubt any of them dug any deeper to discover where their strategy may be lacking. Songdo has been in existence for almost 10 years and is somewhat of a success as the latest Korean city. Personally, I think the best we can expect is that Songdo will be a quieter and cheaper alternative to Seoul.
First of all, I'd like to publically express my sincere thanks to Steven for taking the time to hear about our event and giving it an opportunity to impact the entire KBC community. It is my sincere belief that the tech+ Forum has a lot to offer, especially in Asia, with regard to its unique attempt to spread knowledge, inspire people and ultimately cultivate more creativity and convergence across fields (economy, culture, arts and humanities) in the development of technology and technology-related policy by government and the private sector. While the tech+ Forum has attracted quite a remarkably sized viewing audience in Korea, it is still in its infancy (only in its 3rd year) and is constantly evolving each year.
Thus, I really appreciate Steven and the KBC community opening up to the tech+ Forum. I've been in Korea for quite some time and I know that some forums and events are questing for or claiming to be global. But all that really means is that they want or have non-Koreans lining the seats. Let me assure you that the team behind the tech+ Forum is composed of some very smart and open-minded people who really want to have a positive impact on future technological development, convergence and creativity for the betterment of all, domestically and abroad. As such, tech+ is listening and really wants to hear feedback and opinions from the international community on how it can effectivly influence a paradigm shift with regard technological development and its increasingly interconnectiveness with humanity. I feel as though tech+ is fortunate to have been received by Steven and into this community of successful professionals, intelligent opinion holders and creative innovators.
So, thanks in advance for all of your comments. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this discussion now and post-forum and hope to be able to assimilate your views into a bigger and better tech+ Forum. Please feel free to contact me here or at techplus<at>kiat<dot>or<dot>kr with any questions concerns or opinions. Thanks a lot!
Stephane's review of Day 2 of the Tech+ Forum really nails it. If you want to know what it was like, check this link out: