Speakers and program schedule may be changed.
In Geumak (Forbidden Music), music is a medium that connects the internal and external experience of humanity, life, and existence. From early on in human history, sound and music have been understood as having the power to transform the listener at an emotional level. A core principle in Korean music is that the music should give natural expression to the changes that occur as a part of the cycle of nature.
In Geumak, the protagonist Seongyul embarks on a path towards destruction when she taps into the sounds within her to create music full of rage and hatred, which she seeks to use to exact revenge. Along the way, however, she meets the crown prince Yi Yeong, through whom she comes to realize that music is connected to everything in nature, and that it is more important to listen to the sounds of her heart, whatever form they may take, than follow the sounds of desire.
The main motif that runs through Geumak - “everything that makes a sound does so because it is alive” - speaks to the importance of not trying to contain or suppress either the sounds within us or the sounds we hear, but rather, letting ourselves listen to them as they are, without judgments of right or wrong, good or evil, better or worse, as the key to gaining the wisdom to understand both ourselves and the world.
**Geumak, an original musical performed by the Gyeonggi Sinawi Orchestra for the SDF2021 opening ceremony, is a work of fantasy that imagines the existence during the Joseon Kingdom of a forbidden work of music that had the power to completely transform the listener.
The main characters in the musical are Seongyul, a genius musician who can hear all sounds; the crown prince Yi Yeong, who yearns to hear all the sounds of the world; Gal, the embodiment of forbidden music, that feeds on human desire; and the politician Kim Josun, who schemes against Yi Yeong. Their story is set against the backdrop of Jangakwon, the royal court institute of music, where strange, unexplainable events start to take place, during the later years of the reign of King Sunjo, when the Crown Prince Hyomyeong (born Yi Yeong) was serving as regent in his father’s stead.
The unprecedented crises of the coronavirus pandemic and imminent climate risks have given rise to widespread uncertainty in our world today. In such conditions, what kind of leader and what kind of leadership do our societies need? What qualities must global leaders possess? In this session, we engage with the internationally renowned scholar of global politics and leadership studies Professor Joseph Samuel Nye, Jr., who introduced the concept of soft power, on the question of the conditions for leadership in our times.
The work of the SDF Research Team builds on a clear understanding that three, closely interrelated issues are most critical in discussions and deliberations on the future of Korean society, and most demanding of our attention: climate risk, generational inequalities - the intra - generational inequalities that alienate young people from each other as well as the inter-generational inequalities that alienate them from their elders - and regional disparities. The SDF2021 Research Team Session takes a probing look at the multitude of challenges that young people in Korea face today and offers a fresh take on potential solutions.
In the face of transformative changes that have brought the future much closer than we could have anticipated, SDF 2021 asks Korea’s political leaders an important question: “Who, and what, do you represent?”
What must change for our economies to function for the public good? And how should the role of the state be redefined to this end?
In this session, we meet Professor Mariana Mazzucato. Posing questions that strike at the core of what has brought capitalism to its current state of crisis, Professor Mazzucato argues that our economies must be transformed to become value-driven and mission-oriented.
Covid-19 has ushered in the Era of Uncertainty: a time when climate change, globalization, and social inequalities are converging to make every crisis bigger and more interconnected to the next crisis. This Era is unprecedented globally, but not locally. From leaders and businesses in conflict zones, we’ve gleaned some of the most important lessons from these places to help understand how to survive in thrive. We’ll describe how deeper relationships, more community involvement, and principled political stances are the key to the new Era of Uncertainty.
About half a century has passed since Professor Peter Singer initiated the Animal Liberation movement. In the beginning, there was prejudice. People criticized him for his “unnecessary” interests about fighting against “speciesism” and for rights of nonhuman beings. But today, it has become the mainstream agenda with abundant shared interests from people all over the world extending their concern to all sentient beings. More people are turning away from a diet of animal products, in protest against the cruelty that factory farms inflict on tens of billions of animals every year and the waste of grains and soybeans that it involves.
Moreover, this diet is a threat to our climate, and to our own health. Professor Singer reminds us of the fact that 3 out of every 4 new infectious diseases today originate from animals. The old ways of doing things by humans, including fossil fuel based economy and factory farming, are now seriously threatening the future of all living beings. How should we assess and understand these overwhelming issues most correctly and what should we do to live more ethically in the 21st century? Reducing risks has now become one of the most important agendas for our future. What should we do and how can we stop inflicting so much suffering on animals, avoid catastrophic climate change, and protect the remaining areas of biodiversity? Also, how should political leaders understand and approach these life-threatening issues? Professor Singer sits with us and discusses what we should do.
It has been 35 years since the political democratization of South Korea, and five years since the peaceful protests of the so-called “candlelight revolution.” The country’s democracy has been shaped over an arduous journey. But Lee argues that the nation’s democracy is again facing a crisis - one driven primarily by hatred toward other people and extreme conflicts among members of society. Hate is dangerous not only because it is morally and ethically wrong, but because it drives us to work harder to deny the rights of others than to fully exercise our own, and compromises diversity and free speech, values that buttress democracy. This is why Lee uses the term “emotional power” and ascribes it as much significance as political and economic power.
Lee seeks to convey how the problems of emotion are complicatedly interwoven into the fabric of our communities by sharing real-life stories from his experience as a journalist. As he puts it, “Journalists are at the frontlines of the manufacture, distribution, and consumption of emotion within a community.” It may very well be that the current “crisis” of emotion cannot be properly explained without the reflection of journalists and media outlets on their modus operandi.
Reports of crime in the media are understood differently by different people. Our reaction to the victim or victims, our judgment of the perpetrator, and our overall perceptions of the crime are shaped by our respective cognitive frameworks. What causes individual perceptions of crime to vary so widely, and what psychological mechanisms can help explain this phenomenon? This talk will explore the prejudices and attitudes that affect our individual perceptions of crime through the lens of psychological mechanisms, examine the implicit discrimination and even violence that may be hidden in our perceptions without our knowing, and reflect on what the approach and aim of media should be in reporting on crime.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has become a prolonged uncertainty, virtual realities are fast becoming a part of the new normal for life. The terms such as “Metaverse” and “Avatar” are changing the way we live, communicate, and think. 2022 marks the 30th anniversary of Neal Stephenson’s classic cyberpunk novel Snow Crash where he coined and popularized these two game-changing terms. Locked down in a world of chaos, we are trying to find new common ground where we can adapt and live differently, but in a way without losing a sense of togetherness. We see that science fiction can serve as one of the guiding lights that may show us a way forward.
What really is the Metaverse and what impact will it have on the future of our world? What implications does it have for our society? For instance, what kind of a reciprocal relationship shall we create between science and politics? Also, what strength and goodness can we derive from the genre of science fiction and how can we keep nurturing the sci-fi-inspired innovation culture? Hailed as a pioneering voice behind a revolution in the virtual world, Neal Stephenson, a bestselling writer of many boundary-breaking novels, shares his vision and insights. We welcome you to enjoy his first interview with Korean media.
“I wanted to create something that would resonate not just for Korean people but globally.”
No. 1 on Netflix’s Top 10 list in 94 countries. Watched by 111 million viewers around the world. These are just a few of the records that have been set by the smash hit Netflix series Squid Game since its release on the streaming platform on September 17. In this session, we talk with the show’s writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk. What has the runaway success of Squid Game meant for him personally? What was he seeking to convey through the different types of characters that feature in the story? What are his thoughts on the overwhelming response of global audiences to the show’s themes of social inequality? What are the problems around which he hoped to foster a greater collective consciousness, and what action should we as viewers feel impelled to after watching?
Is eradication of disease and disability imminent? Has the human body begun to resemble the all-powerful cyborgs of the movies? Buzzwords like the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the Metaverse may be capturing the popular imagination, but the experiences of our bodies - pain-ridden, aging, marked by disability - tell a different story. We will not improve our futures by becoming cyborgs, outfitting ourselves in cutting-edge future technologies. Progress toward a better future will be possible only when we use the range of technology available to us today in wise, just ways and embrace a new understanding of both human ability and inability.