Session Theme

PLENARY SESSION

Realigning strategies for a new 100 years

As complex changes including geopolitical tensions, economic instability, industrial and technological evolutions, and rapid cultural changes are taking place in the environment around us, we need to be equipped with diverse forms of strategies. In times of uncertainty, accurate diagnoses and vision are required, above all things, in order to support the strategies.

As we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea this year, we should make sure now through new changes and strategies that we open a better future for the next 100 years. When we were thrown into a crisis by the strong powers surrounding us 100 years ago, we failed to make strategic responses and consequently had to go through a painful experience in our history. Now, however, is the time when we should rise up to the changing times through strategic responses based on a cool-headed analysis and awareness of the situation.

The K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 team sought strategic solutions aggressively in the course of research on the conference theme. Our solutions start with paradigm shifts. The experts that we have met point out that our biggest challenge is, unlike the past," how can we secure external strategic flexibility" in the Trump and Xi Jinping era, amid the strategic competition between the two countries.

US president Donald Trump has a clear-cut principle: America first. He believes that his and his country's interests should always come first. Not only for Korea but also for any countries that need to win the United States and President Trump over to their sides, it has become important to figure out what they will bring to the diplomatic and negotiating table, individually or as a group, and how they will convince the US and prove that it will serve the US interests.

In preparation for prolonged US-China conflicts, experts advise that Korea needs to realign its strategies: It should cooperate strategically with China on the agenda that meets global standards while continuing to work together with the US. In addition to this, recent improvements in South-North Korea and North Korea-US relationships are helping to remove the "Korea Discount," which will not only become a great strength for us but also contribute to enhancing strategic flexibility.

The opening plenary session is a time when you can take the most strategic learning in all the K.E.Y. PLATFORM sessions. In this session, we will realign the strategies to be executed under the global circumstances fraught with diverse risk factors, such as hegemonic war between the US and China and slowing growth of the global economy including the Chinese economy. We will also try to find together with you "new markets" that will open a better tomorrow for the next 100 years.

Disruption in the financial industry

We remember the global financial crisis that hit the whole world in 2008. Greed for more money and the absence of a system to control it gave rise to devastating results. For the following years, humanity had to make many sacrifices, while engaged in endless self-examination, in order to normalize the finance market.

The finance market, which appeared to have been stabilizing in about 10 years, is now facing the possibility of another time of global turbulence. The Global G2, America and China, are engaged in a war for hegemony, drawing "trade" out as a weapon. The EU, another massive economic bloc, is standing at the crossroads of whether an unprecedented event called Brexit will become a reality or not. The "pandemonium" that we forecast and feared in K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2017 may actually be taking place.

These changes in the international situation and economic environment are expected to bring about many changes across all aspects of our life. Finance is not an exception especially because it is closely connected with all of them.

The rapid transition into digital economy is also shaking up the nature of the finance business. Today when mobile banking is the norm, people no longer "go to the bank." Once AI and blockchain technologies are fully invigorated, new financial services that you have never seen before may emerge.

"Every crisis is an opportunity." This may be a clich?, but it can be said to be close to truth as it has been proven by human history. K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 plans to invite leading experts from countries advanced in the field of financial services and professionals working out in the field to listen to their thoughts on how financial services should change at a time of major upheavals, how the business world should respond, and which road the finance industry should take. You are invited to participate in the K.E.Y. PLATFORM where you will find yourself wiser with insights on how to turn a crisis into an opportunity.

◆ The Smarter City: NEO Paradigm

Ten years has passed since the "age of smartphones" was ushered in. The history of smarthpones is a history of innovation in itself. The everyday life of humanity is smarter than ever.

Now people are looking for the next "smart" thing. Automobiles have emerged as the strongest candidate to succeed smartphones. AI-enabled speakers and wearable devices have already been permeating into our lives, with the Internet of Things enhancing the values of data. These technological advances are bringing a smarter future closer.

The journey of innovation for a smarter future does not end here. Now the world is opening up the era of "smart cities," which can be said to be an aggregation of smart technologies or to "complete smartness." Innovative countries and companies are quickly moving to build smart cities as they have already found new possibilities in smart cities.

At the Smart City Innovative Strategy Presentation held early this year, President Moon Jae-in emphasized that a "smart city is not only a safe and convenient future city but also a platform for the Republic of Korea's innovative growth. As a leading smart city builder, the Korean government has been putting in a lot of efforts to create smart cities, including the implementation of a plan to develop Busan and Sejong into pilot smart cities.

Smart cities will introduce to us a new "smartness" that we have not seen in the age of smartphones. At the K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 Conference, you will pre-experience "life in a smart city" together with leading experts from "smart powers" that are leading the global smart city market.

◆ Open innovation for national science and technology

A race for global leadership in autonomous cars is fierce all across the world. However, Korea is slow in joining in the race. There are few mid- to high-level developers who can design software. Moreover, budgets and institutional support for large-scale proof-of-concept testing are far from being enough to test-drive on real roads.

As the advent of digital economy accelerates technological innovation, we have proposed post-catch-up growth models as alternatives. But we have done so because our technological innovation activities have continued to remain similar to our past practices.

In effect, if we look just at main export products?semiconductors, automobiles, ships/marine structures and components, petroleum products, flat panel displays, wireless communication devices, steel sheets and synthetic resins? there have been few changes for the past 20 years. Market shares have fallen even for smartphones and automobiles, Korea's flagship export products. A sense of crisis is mounting, along with concerns that innovative products to drive new growth are nowhere to be seen.

If this is the case, does it mean that there are no fundamental solutions to resolve these problems?

K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2019 will invite policy and administration experts in science and technology to seek to find solutions. It will provide an arena for redesigning the national innovation system to achieve new innovative growth where participants will discuss new paradigms combining manufacturing with data economy, changes in the roles of innovation actors including the government and the private sector and their connections, improvements of regulations hindering commercialization, talent nurturing tailored to industrial demand, and science and technology's pursuits for social values by scientific and technological circles.

In the "Science Session," you can meet an innovation investment platform that provides comprehensive support in terms of "technology, human resources, systems, and policies"- a platform that you have never seen before.

◆ Plug-in & Talk : Meet the Tomorrows

"Plug-in & Talk" is a special session unique to K.E.Y. PLATFORM that takes place on the second day of the Conference. Korean and foreign experts in various fields engage in "interactive talk" with the audience. Entrepreneurs, professors, and policy leaders who are rarely seen at conferences in Korea take the stage and talk freely about realistic, practical, original, and emotional ideas.

Last year, leading experts from the US and China, two of the most advanced countries in the global blockchain market, were invited to the Plug-in & Talk session, which was held under the theme of decentralization. Blockchain experts from Silicon Valley in the US and Zhongguancun in China, two prominent centers of innovation-who have not been seen together so far-gathered at the Conference for a heated discussion on the future of blockchain as they see it.

In this year's Plug & Talk session, we will look into a decentralized world once again.

Some experts offer a darker outlook on the blockchain and cryptocurrency market on account of recent cryptocurrency price drops. However, the stories that the K.E.Y. PLATFORM team covered out in the field are different. The embers of blockchain have not burned out yet. Rather, fraudulent or poorly-performing projects eager only to make money through an initial coin offering (ICO) based on an unclear business model and technology have been cleaned out, and those equipped with true skills and visions have survived to continue to take the challenge of creating new values.

This time, we will not simply talk about blockchain and cryptocurrency but also concentrate on new opportunities that a decentralized world will create, such as a new future for electronic commerce between Korea and China, token capitalism, and startups proven for innovativeness and potential to grow into unicorns.

Every year, speakers breathe with the audience, unfolding heavy topics into simple and interesting experiences. This year, you will find yourself wiser with insights on how to live in a new world as participants share their thoughts and experiences on diverse topics with you.