SEOUL, South Korea – The 21st World Knowledge Forum or WKF 2020, one of Asia’s largest business forums, is scheduled to take place on September 16-18 at the Jangchung Arena and Hotel Shilla in Seoul with world-class distinguished speakers and delegates.
Under the theme of ‘Pandemics Perspective: Shaping New Global Symbiosis’, the forum consists of more than 100 sessions classified by seven tracks: Pandenomics, Better Tech and Business, New Capitalism, Reshaping Global Governance, Asian roles and responsibilities, Start-up Festival, and Live Green, Healthy, and Happy.
The forum will be held in a hybrid way that combines online and offline sessions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. A total of 240 speakers will attend the forum online and offline.
This year’s key speakers at the WKF include: Theresa May, the 76th Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; John L. Hennessy, Alphabet Chairman; Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone Chairman & CEO; Angel Gurria, the Secretary General of the OECD; Laurence D. Fink, BlackRock Chairman & CEO; Enrico Letta, the 55th Prime Minister of Italy; Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum; Audrey Tang, Taiwan Digital Minister; Seo Jung-jin, Celltrion Chairman; Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO; Cedric O, France Minister of State for Digital Affairs; Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency; Jerome H. Kim, Director General of the International Vaccine Institute; Seth Berkley, The Vaccine Alliance CEO, Yves Perrier, Amundi CEO; Niklas Ostberg, Delivery Hero Co-founder & CEO; Daron Acemogle, Author of ‘Why Nations Fail’; and George Friedman, Geopolitical Futures Founder & Chairman.
The WKF follows strict quarantine guidelines set by the South Korean government to minimize the risk of infection. All participants including journalists are required to wear masks, check temperature, use hand sanitizer and keep a social distance. Ventilation and disinfection will take place at the venue every break. If the guidelines are shifted to phase 3 as the strictest, all sessions will be held online.
The following are the sessions during the forum:
- A Conversation with Theresa May who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2016 to 2019. She will share her thoughts on the current state and prospects of domestic and international politics. She will discuss leadership in these times of crisis and necessary measures in winning the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also speak about the global economy and the significance of Britain’s exit from the EU for Europe and the world as a whole.
- Post COVID, World Economic Diagnosis by Wall Street. The speakers are Stephen Schwarzman (Blackstone,Chairman &CEO), Laurence Fink (BlackRock, Chairman &CEO), and Robert Lovelace (Capital Group, Co-president). The prolonged COVID-19 has started the unprecedented recession and the concerns about the second Great Depression. This session will include global economic recovery, US-China dispute and the trend of global equity market, directions that the US will take according to the upcoming Presidential Election.
- China Economic Outlook after COVID-19: The speakers are Justin Yifu Lin (National School of Development Peking University, Professor), and Min Zhu (National Institute of Financial Research, Tsinghua University, Chairman). The year 2020 came with the fierce spread of COVID-19. Some say there will be a V-shaped recovery in China. However, doubts remain over whether the Chinese economy is sustainable. During the session, speakers will discuss the following questions: How will Chinese companies overcome the western countries inhibiting progress of Chinese technologies? How will they break through de-globalization trend where protective trade policies, investment protection, technology protection are rampant? How will the Chinese government push for globalization and internationalize the Yuan? How will China deal with substantial misgivings on their laws and ideologies? How will they take part in building the renewed global economic order and governance order?
-Digital social Innovation: Taiwan and France can Lead. The speakers are Audrey Tang (Taiwan, Digital Minister), and Cedric O (France, Minister of State for Digital Affairs). France and Taiwan are exemplary in their lead toward digital transformation. Behind the lead are two innovators: Audrey Tang and Cedric O. They are the heroes who transformed their governments into digital. Tang successfully introduced a “mask map” website so that people can easily find the place to buy facial masks in the face of COVID-19. O helped France advance into tech fields such as artificial intelligence. Both will share their vision for the digital world beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
- Crisis-Turned-Opportunity Innovation & Social Integration. The speaker is Seo Jung-Jin, chairman of Celltrion Group, which is developing the medicine and vaccine for COVID-19. As a leader of the global bio industry, Seo will share the solution to the COVID-19. In particular, he will deliver a message of innovative methods that transforms a crisis into an opportunity. In addition, he will propose a great social integration movement beyond COVID-19.
- Vaccine Without border. The speakers are Jerome Kim (Director General of the International Vaccine Institute), and Seth Berkley (The Vaccine Alliance CEO). The worldwide race is on to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Jerome Kim, the Director General of the International Vaccine Institute and Seth Berkley CEO of The Vaccine Alliance will share the latest developments and prospects for COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
- Innovations Blurring the Boundaries between Online platforms and Brick-and Mortar Economy. The speaker is Niklas Östberg (Delivery Hero, Co-founder and CEO). As more consumer transactions are moving online globally, online platforms are expanding their presence and influence as well. Together with this shift in consumer culture, the boundary between on- and offline world is blurring. In this session, he will speak about a fierce competition among global players in the global last-mile delivery services. He will also share his thoughts about the future distribution platform industries that will be shifting to more specialized, cutting-edge services built on high-tech innovations.