[Domestic News] Invigorating Sharing Economy Forum held on Oct 21

On Wednesday Oct 21st, Mayor Won-Soon Park of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, sharing economy entrepreneurs, journalists and interested citizens gathered at Space Noah for a forum held under the theme of “Invigorating Sharing Economy.” This forum was a meaningful event where various parties share opinions about the role of the Seoul City Government in nurturing global sharing companies while reviewing various activities Seoul has engaged for the past 3 years in its efforts to promote Sharing City Seoul.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0
Director Jennifer Kang of CC Korea opened the forum as the moderator with high expectations and a lot of interest from citizens and reporters who were eager to cover the event.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



Doo-Won Cha, the head of the Division of Strategy Planning of the Korea Institute of Science & Technology Evaluation and Planning, and Seung-Ho Shin, the Director of Marketing at SOCAR, each gave a presentation to open the day’s discussion.

Cha began his talk by introducing the concept of “Connected Life” where individuals, physical things and spaces are all connected each other. He said that  Sharing Economy, the Internet of Things, and (New) User Experience are the core values of the Connected Society and sharing economy will create new values and opportunities in this society.

He also suggested that we think about how to create an Internet environment which encompasses all generations considering the fact that most sharing companies who are fast growing today are based on IT. It is hoped that the government as well as many sharing economy businesses and organisations can work together to close the digital divide across generations and to make sure people have better access to Internet services.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



The next speaker was Seung-Ho Shin, the Marketing Director at SOCAR, who explained how his company was designated by the Seoul City Government as a sharing company in 2013 and since then how it has expanded its business with the support of the city government. His presentation gave the audience a chance to see how NANUM CAR were helping people enjoy a better living environment by providing services in the areas where the public transportation and taxi services were hard to cover.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



After the talks, the two speakers were joined by several experts in the sharing economy for a panel discussion session: CEO Young-Hwa Jang of OEC, CEO Jun-Cheol Yang of Onoffmix; CEO Hyun-Ho Park of Kmong; CEO Jeong-Hyeon Lee of Quriously; CEO Yo Namgung of BuskingTV; Manager Seok-Won Yang of D.CAMP; CEO Seung-Yong Seong of Hayden  Angel Club.

During the discussion, one of the major feedback from the panelists was that Seoul’s support in terms of infrastructure and resources was not sufficient although the Seoul City Government has run the sharing company designation program since 2013. It was also pointed out that there needed to be more efforts by the authorities to engage more sharing companies in the administration process and to play a more practical role in building diverse network. In addition, there were other useful ideas including: more flexibility in the legal institutions and regulations in order to grow sharing companies into a global scale; and more support from the Seoul government to help start-up sharing companies compete with large corporations or global sharing companies on a level playing field.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



Following the discussion was a Q&A session.

Among many comments and feedback, there was a suggestion that the authorities need to make more efforts to expand the base among the public by explaining what sharing is and why people need to share while introducing examples of various sharing practices considering that ordinary citizens are still not familiar with sharing and have little knowledge about sharing economy. Enhancing the awareness of sharing among the public is truly the basis as well as the core in promoting sharing economy because public participation is necessary for growing sharing businesses. In that sense, Share Hub has a critical role to play towards this goal.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



Last but not least, Mayor Park who was constantly taking notes during the whole time of the event took the microphone. Park said that it was a great opportunity for him to hear various practical opinions about sharing economy while he also acknowledged that his government had been behind in providing substantial support to sharing companies designated by Seoul and would come up with measures to provide more aggressive support to those companies. Moreover, while Seoul had already been growing to become a globally recognized Sharing City, there were still a lot more to do to improve its content to live up to its international reputation. In this regard, he promised he would make more efforts to help grow and expand sharing companies so as to realise the goal of Sharing City 3.0.
In the future, the Seoul City Government plans to open an institution called Sharing Economy Academy to incubate new sharing businesses and to provide as much support as possible to next year’s Sharing Seoul Expo so that it could show how Sharing City Seoul has developed and earned its reputation to the world.



Photo by SHAREHUB, CC-BY 2.0



If you are interested in learning more about the event, watch the video below!

The excitement of the forum lasted during the light dining that wound up the official program, which once again demonstrates interests and enthusiasm not only of the Seoul government but also of related organizations and companies towards Sharing City Seoul. With such an active participation and initiative by Mayor Park and participants, can’t wait to see how much Sharing City Seoul grows by next year!