For the fourth year in a row, Sense & Sustainability can be found roaming the streets of South Korea’s bustling capital city. From April 27th to 28th, a group of seven Resident Fellows from Harvard University will be attending K.E.Y. Platform 2017, an international business conference hosted by media giant MoneyToday.
The K.E.Y. Platform brings together business leaders, government officials, experts, and entrepreneurs from across the world to share ideas about sustainable business practices. This year’s theme is Pandemonium, an appropriate choice given today’s rocky political climate. Speakers and panelists will contribute to the production of a Global Scenario for 2020; for this forecast, the K.E.Y. Platform will specifically focus on 1) geopolitical environment, 2) global economy (fiscal and exchange rate policies), 3) industrial and population structures, and 4) energy and climate change.
Aside from the Fellows group, two S&S affiliates will also be presenting as K.E.Y. speakers – Aaron Polhemus and Grace Xiao. Based in Mexico City, Aaron is directing data science and engineering for the fintech start-up, Credijusto.com. On the other side of the continent, Grace is working in Boston on Kynplex, an international platform for scientific communication that works with science companies and institutions to publicize cutting-edge scientific advances. Aaron and Grace will be presenting in sessions dedicated to innovation in the field of big data.
Throughout the conference, a key emphasis will also be on how South Korea can “re-master” its heritage to ensure sustainable development in democratic, economic, industrial, and cultural spheres. Accordingly, beyond conference duties, the S&S contingency will use this opportunity to explore and absorb the charming chaos of Seoul. Smelly fish markets, ancient palaces, and smoky street food stalls – our Fellows are excited to discover the countless pockets of culture nestled into Seoul’s skyscraper landscape. Bukhansan National Park, Gwang Jang Market, Myungdong, Itaewon, and Namsan Tower create the line-up of tourist stops for S&S. Lastly, a day-trip to JeonJu, one of Korea’s oldest cities, will round out what promises to be a truly immersive experience.
And in the backdrop of it all, S&S arrives at a very significant moment for South Korea. On March 10th, former President Park Geun-Hye was officially impeached, and the new presidential election is scheduled to take place on May 9th. During S&S’s stay in South Korea, the presidential campaigns will be at their peak, composing a dramatic and exciting backdrop to the conference.