The World Technopolis Association (WTA) in partnership with UNESCO welcomed leaders in academia, industry, and government from around the globe as the Global Innovation Forum convened in Daejeon yesterday.
The conference opened with remarks from WTA’s President and Daejeon mayor Kwon Sun-taik, who lauded the efforts behind the WTA-UNESCO initiative as having allowed developed countries to share their innovative accomplishments “for a truly sustainable global community.”
In his keynote address, KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) President Sung-Mo Steve Kang focused on how KAIST is using innovation to live up to its social responsibilities, especially in global issues such as the environment, energy, health, water, and sustainability by showing that university research can have real benefits on society.
KIDS (KI for Disaster Studies) for example, was created by faculty members, researchers, and graduate students in the wake of the Sewol Ferry accident to “predict, detect, and contain” such disasters.
As for how to nurture innovative ideas, Victor W. Hwang, CEO of T2 Venture Creation also gave a keynote speech on “why good ideas fail” – that is, why some communities flourish while others fail.
The key, he emphasized, is in the people themselves, as “sixty-five percent of startups fail due to people issues.” For this reason, he says, there is a need for an “evolution of design thinking” and spoke about how best to strategize ways to spur innovative thinking in the context of a design model that for the past 100 years has been quite specific. “Innovation is hard. People get afraid. That is innovation. But overcome fear with trust. Trust the group you’re with.”
In a world with ever-shrinking natural resources, this WTA-UNESCO initiative, then, is focused intently on cultivating scientific and technological innovation among developing countries in order to foster sustainable and responsible economic growth. The conference will be held until September 24th.