S&S in Korea: Round Two
Sense & Sustainability is back in South Korea! From April 23rd – 24th, a group of S&S fellows and affiliates are attending the K.E.Y. Platform held at the Conrad Hotel in Seoul, the nation’s capital. S&S will be among the ranks of roughly 1,000 other participants, most of whom will be representing government organizations and Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, SK, Kia, POSCO, and more.
The K.E.Y. Platform is a global conference hosted by Money Today – essentially the Bloomberg of Korea – that aims to provide a space for entrepreneurs, scholars, and experts to share their ideas regarding successful and sustainable business practices. This year’s main themes are education, innovation, organizational behavior, and strategy execution. The first day of the conference will consist of plenaries and breakout panel sessions, while the second day will be devoted to more interactive explorations.
This is the second year in a row that S&S is participating in K.E.Y. Platform as program partners. At last year’s conference, we played a central, administrative role, organizing and running panels directly related to sustainability from the academic perspective. Our speakers presented on topics like ecosystem monetization, application of big data in energy systems, and generation of social value. Using case studies as springboards into discussion, we showed some of the ways that businesses can meaningfully impact these spheres.
This year, we have a more supportive role to play – our main contribution will be as conference attendants, discussants, and moderators. We look to participate in the discussions that emerge from the various panels and to ultimately bring a sustainability perspective to these events. In particular, look out for S&S team members on panels regarding Education Systems and in a large interaction session called “Plug and Play.” More details to come in the following days.
Members of the S&S Team also presented at an informal seminar today at the Seoul National University, in collaboration with Professor Jong Ho Hong of the Graduate School of Environmental Studies. Jisung Park, executive director of S&S, presented his current research regarding heat-related stress and damages to productivity. Writing Fellow Sam Stolper followed up with his own research on the relationship between energy taxes and refinery competition, and the resulting distributional effects on consumers. Lastly, Lucas Merrill-Brown, co-founder of S&S, finished up the seminar with a presentation on how big data helped Barack Obama win the 2012 re-election. While the topics ranged in style and content, each presentation was well-received by the audience, which consisted of Seoul National University students and members of S&S.
Meanwhile, the K.E.Y. Platform also gives S&S the opportunity to explore Seoul, one of the booming and bustling economic hubs of Asia. The landscape of Seoul tells the story of two Koreas – among the towering skyscrapers and flashing neon lights, there are many remnants of Korea’s rich and ancient history. From the royal palace to the local fish market, the S&S team has gotten a glimpse of the unique culture that still thrives in Seoul, despite the rapid modernization that the nation has seen over the past few decades. For some members on the trip, this is their first taste of Korea; for others, who came to the K.E.Y. Platform last year, this is a warm welcome back.