The World Science Summit kicked off in Daejeon City on Oct. 19 with about 3,000 policymakers, scholars, and Nobel Prize winners from 57 countries around the world, as well as the heads of 12 international organizations sought various solutions to pending issues such as climate change, wealth divide, and infectious diseases.
The World Science & Technology Forum took place on the first day of the five-day conference. Foundation on Economic Trends founder and director Jeremy Rifkin, who is the author of the End of Work and the Zero Marginal Cost Society, delivered the keynote speech.
“A decline in productivity and inequality are becoming more and more severe across the world, but science and technological innovation can be a solution to the matters,” he remarked, adding, “Throughout history, industrial paradigms changed when telecommunications, energy and transportation underwent individual or comprehensive changes, and the upcoming third industrial revolution, characterized by digitalization, close-to-zero marginal cost, and an economy based on sharing will be led by the Internet of Things, alternative energy, and self-driving vehicles.”
He also spoke highly of Korea’s potential in the digital sharing economy. “Korea can get the inside track in terms of the creation of industrial and business models, because it is specialized in various manufacturing sectors such as electronics and ICT-based transportation,” he explained, continuing, “Korea is already showing positive signs relating to the sharing economy in the form of car sharing and home sharing.”
A meeting of the science and technology ministers of OECD member countries is scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21. There, the participants are to set the directions of science and technology policy and adopt a declaration for policy directions for 10 years to come.