Session Theme

Plenary Session

K.E.Y. PLATFORM demonstrates a great combination of its coverage, research and global knowledge network capabilities in the opening plenary session. This year, the plenary session will start with attempts to imagine how a “surrogate economy,” which will emerge slowly after the pandemonium, will unfold.

A surrogate economy – an evolution from an agent (or middle man)-oriented online-to-offline (O2O) economy – is an economy where people are not divided into consumers and producers but people with free will exchange “data trust capital,” with face-to-face sentiments on non-face-to-face platforms. The community activities of video influencers involving storytellers and fan groups, not consumers and producers, represent an early stage of this economy.

In order to draw up a bird’s-eye view on a surrogate economy, the 2020 K.E.Y. PLATFORM is set to check out and predict the global economic situation that will unfold right after the current pandemonium. Scenarios for the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy are highly unpredictable, but in terms of economic cycle, we expect one of the following scenarios to take place: △ L-shaped recession, △U-shaped limited slowdown, or △V-shaped fast recovery. In this respect, we will listen to private equity fund managers for their economic outlooks. These experts have in-depth insights that see through markets, and we intend to hear from them what types of economic results they think will be brought about by unlimited quantitative easing, which is being implemented by leading countries, mainly the US.

On the other hand, we will also listen to prestigious overseas think tanks for their insights on international order, which will be changed inevitably in the wake of the pandemonium. The global financial crisis of 2008 gave birth to a framework of “G2+G20” international order. Now, what will the geopolitical landscape look like after the 2020 pandemonium has changed it?

China has exerted a powerful influence in the global supply chain. Now, will it be able to maintain its status? The global supply chain, which used to be divided along the US axis and the China axis, is bound to be changed. Now, what impact will this change have on changes in international order? We have arranged a session to listen to researchers from think tanks that guide Washington DC.

Meanwhile, K.E.Y. PLATFORM, which has sought opportunities in a crisis, talked about hope rather than hardships, and presented diverse strategies rather than simple evaluations, will deliver solutions for seizing key opportunity areas in a surrogate economy through presentations. It also plans to propose how K-unicorns which will lead the future for the global industry can be discovered in the age of surrogate economy and how they can be developed into “exitcorns”.

Furthermore, we are planning to present strategies to strengthen global K-unicorn brands by utilizing YouTube influencers, who will lead the surrogate economy. In the process, we will propose a roadmap to globalize the brand of Korea as a digital manufacturing power.

◆ Special Session

Future of Infrastructure on the Korean Peninsula
- Joint initiative of the Korean Peninsula Infrastructure Forum and MoneyToday

A variety of efforts to rebuild the economy will ensue, in every corner of the world, after the global pandemonium in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Korea is tiding over the crisis through the wisest courses of action and therefore is expected to play a more important role in Asia in the future – the realization of Korean Peninsula Peace Economy.

The Korean Peninsula’s potential in terms of peace and economy is estimated to be staggering in value and size. There are numerous opportunities particularly in the construction of infrastructure in the North Korean region. In order to co-develop the economy on the Korean Peninsula as a whole through these opportunities, K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020 will seek to find a “Korean-Peninsula-style infrastructure strategy”.

Estimated costs of laying infrastructure in North Korea vary with who makes the estimation, but estimates on the costs of building roads, railways, power plants, ports, airports and industrial complexes run from as low as 14 trillion won to as high as 324 trillion won.

When infrastructure connecting South and North Korea is constructed, it will have great socioeconomic ripple effects. In this respect, we are at a critical moment in terms of how and in what directions the government will develop plans and how construction partnerships between South and North Korea will proceed.

Infrastructure development on the Korean Peninsula can be an important growth engine for Korean infrastructure companies. Faced with market saturation, the Korean infrastructure industry is focusing on maintenance, management and repair services rather than new construction projects, and it is in great need of entering not only North Korea but also its neighboring markets. The Korean construction industry is known to have made preparations, since 2015, for the time when they will be allowed to construct infrastructure on the Korean Peninsula.

K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020 will present a vision in preparation for the time when cooperation for constructing infrastructure across the Korean Peninsula will start in earnest. We will address △ issues expected to arise from participation in projects to develop infrastructure in the North Korean region and effective solutions, △ checks on policies and systems relevant to the resolution of major pending issues, △ development of a plan for laying the foundation for South-North Korean cooperation as well as a cooperation system, and △ ways of ensuring shared prosperity and sustainable development on the Korean Peninsula.

We also plan to invite global investors on stage to listen directly to their views on infrastructure investment in the Korean Peninsula and then draw policy implications from their insights. Furthermore, we will listen to case studies of Reunified Germany, Poland and the three countries in the Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia), which have the experience of opening far earlier than North Korea, as well as messages from local officials in those countries.

If we keep trying to accumulate unmatched wisdom of execution on South-North Korean infrastructure construction, opportunities that have been invisible so far will reveal themselves. At the K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020 Conference, diverse proposals will be offered on how South and North Korea can make up for their respective deficiencies and build a reciprocal relationship based on mutual trust.

The Korean Peninsula, the last divided nation on the planet, is still confined in the frame of the Cold War. If South and North Korea embark on the road to shared prosperity leading to win-win relationship and peace, the Korean Peninsula will be able to take off as one of the great powers in the world.

◆ Breakout Session

Paradigm Shift in the National Science and Open Science

Over the past half century, Korea has achieved economic growth unprecedented in world history. Korea is now one of the world’s Top 10 economic powers and the seventh country to join the so-called “30-50 Club,” a group of countries with a national income over 30 thousand dollars and a population of more than 50 million.

However, low birth rates (which remain among the lowest in the world), the global industrial structure that has been restructured since the global financial crisis, and limitations in growth for major industries as well as the absence of future growth engines are casting a shadow over the Korean economy.

Now is the time for Korea to develop a new growth formula that is different from what it applied in the past.

So far, Korea’s growth formula has been the “Fast Follower” strategy by which it accepts advanced technologies quickly and improves them further.

With paradigm shifts taking place across the entire spectrum of economy, including changes in the global value chain and transition into digital economy, the fast follower strategy is no longer valid. Now we can survive only by becoming the “First Mover” and creating and leading the markets ourselves.

The first step to becoming a First Mover should be taken in the field of science and technology. Hence K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020 seeks to find opportunities for making a paradigm shift to create a new national science and technology system.

In the K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020 Special Sessions, we will analyze and diagnose the process of how the Korean technology innovation system has evolved as well as look closely into changes in the science and technology policies of leading countries. For this purpose, professional speakers and panelists will discuss what efforts should be made to elaborate and diversify public R&D investment strategies and enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the innovation system.

The beginning of a new future for Korea – you can check it out at K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020.

Trend Conference O

“Plug-in & Talk,” a special session unique to K.E.Y. PLATFORM, will evolve into a Conference in Conference called “Trend Conference O” in K.E.Y. PLATFORM 2020.

While maintaining the strengths of Plug-in & Talk that allowed experts and leaders from all walks of life and the audience pour out practical and creative ideas on the one and same stage, Trend Conference O will address issues that are important but unnoticed, with an aim to serving as a platform for diagnosing fundamental issues, proposing solutions, and ensuring them to be executed.

Last year, the Plug & Talk session addressed the topic of a decentralized world. The participants looked into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency market – on which some people offered a bleak outlook due to falling cryptocurrency values after the craze fizzled – from various angles and sought new opportunities and possibilities.

This year’s Trend Conference O will pick up on the topics raised at the first day’s Plenary Session and share insights on a post-pandemic world.

The world has witnessed that the COVID-19 pandemic brought down the existing global market order completely. It could do nothing but just watch it helplessly at a global crisis beyond the scope of human prediction and existing response levels.

Even in this kind of crisis, there will be people who survive, turn the crisis into a new opportunity, and emerge as leaders in a “post-pandemonium” world.

In this year’s Plug & Talk, experts from global leading innovators will pour out insights on what kind of sustainable innovation can ensure survival under immense risks that have become routines as well as what capabilities are required for this purpose.

The COVID-19 outbreak has laid bare the vulnerabilities of the global value chain, which was close to completion with its efficiency brought up to maximum levels, making it inevitable to change the way we work. We will also share wisdom on changes in the way we work.

In addition to these, the Conference will present a vision on “surrogate economy”, which will emerge in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we are ushered into the age of digital economy, non-face-to-face platforms have been spreading fast, but COVID-19 is increasing the needs for new platforms that can go beyond the barriers of the non-face-to-face world. The Plug & Talk session will give you a preview into a new future, which will be unveiled by influencers who will play a part in the future surrogate economy.