Tech Solutions for Global Sustainability

Reflection of 2023 World Peace Forum in Busan

I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2023 World Peace Forum in Busan, South Korea, at the Westin Joseon Hotel Haeundae on November 1st. It was all about addressing global issues through the lens of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. The forum brought together brilliant minds from various fields to brainstorm solutions, and I was thrilled to be a part of it. It felt like a special opportunity to make a real impact on the world.

Introduction of Forum

This year's commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Armistice Agreement and the Korea-U.S. alliance took on a special significance in Busan, where the city hosted a ceremony to launch and promote the National Peace Unification Leading Network. This advisory organization aims to position Busan as the "World Peace Center City" by fostering cooperation among domestic peaceful unification agencies and exploring practical collaboration strategies.

The forum featured four insightful sessions covering coexistence, peace, empathy, and the future, with prominent speakers such as Lee In-bae, Philip Goldberg, Lim Ho-young, Jung Jae-hoon, Marina Simonenko, Park Eun-ha, Koo Hong-seok, and Ryu Chang-soo addressing key topics. Lawmaker Seo Byung-soo emphasized the global nature of today's crises, including climate change, infectious diseases, and conflicts, underscoring the importance of interdisciplinary solutions and sustainable development.

Hwang Ki-sik, CEO of the Busan Global City Foundation, highlighted the significance of global cooperation among various stakeholders for sustainable development and encouraged active participation in this forum, which took an innovative approach with a participatory talk format.

Busan Mayor Park Hyung-joon emphasized the city's commitment to peace, rooted in the shared history of conflict and recovery, and its aspiration to contribute to world peace through initiatives like the 2030 World Expo.

World Peace Forum 2023 First Session: Coexistence: Global Alliance for Peace

Unlocking the Potential of Metaverse: Transforming Education for a Better Future

During one of the sessions, focused on "Coexistence: Global Alliance for Peace," President Lee In-bae of the National Institute for Unification Education, in collaboration with the Leading Network for National Peaceful Unification, discussed the utilization of various Metaverse programs as a pivotal strategy in advancing our mission of promoting unification education. These virtual platforms have proven invaluable in bridging gaps and engaging diverse age groups, offering a unique opportunity for individuals of all generations to connect with the concept of unification. The success of this initiative underscores the paramount importance of embracing innovative and inclusive approaches to cultivate interest in unification education. By continuously exploring the potential of the metaverse and similar technologies, we can effectively sow the seeds of peace and unity, with a particular focus on the younger generation, ultimately ensuring a brighter future for Korea.

Bridging Generations for Peace: Unification Projects

On of the office head, Ha Kwang-min, joined forces with four local communities to kickstart regional projects centered on unification themes. The goal is to emphasize unification efforts and overcome the challenge of adults being occupied with neighboring district matters. We've streamlined our approach by coordinating with 122 unification education committees in Seoul, with nearly half of them being led by young people. To make unification more relevant to the younger generation, we've launched region-specific projects, such as the Unification Culture Festival in Gwanghwamun last year. These efforts highlight our commitment to promoting peace and unity with active participation from both young and older generations.

“They're totally up for it, but the problem is, opportunities are just not there”

Indeed, unification education holds significance for everyone. However, I believe it carries particular importance for our future generations, as they will be the ones shaping the path forward. With this in mind, I suggest concluding by hearing a brief message from one of our future leaders.

To build a sustainable future together, it's essential that the youth of the future unification battalion assume a prominent role in shaping the discourse on a new form of unification. Generations must take the initiative in defining the unification narrative. It’s a crucial tasks related to the importance of unification education and our roles in fostering it.