2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum: Building the Future and Promotion of the Youth

October 12-13, 2023 | Jeonju – UCLG ASPAC was invited to attend the 2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum 2023, “Drawing the future in the Era of Grand Transition: Change and Innovation,” an event designed as a platform to showcase plans and ideas for creating future cities by Jeonju City. In this event, UCLG ASPAC and Jeonju City also co-organised the Youth Forum, an expression of Jeonju City’s commitment to promoting the role of youth under the city’s lead in UCLG ASPAC structure. UCLG ASPAC Secretary General attended the event and warmly welcomed the initiative.

The 2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum

Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC, congratulated the Jeonju City Government for successfully organising the inaugural Jeonju Future City Forum. The 2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum, attended by approximately 800 participants, was graced by distinguished experts and figures from diverse backgrounds.

During the Global City Roundtable, a key agenda item at The 2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum, Dr. Bernadia emphasised that local governments must foster innovation and adaptability, promote sustainable urban planning, and embrace technology and data-driven decision-making as internal strategies to navigate the grand transition era. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of collaboration with regional and global partners, advocating for supportive policies at higher government levels, engaging with stakeholders and communities, and diversifying economic bases as part of the external strategy.

The roundtable was also attended by various leaders, including Mayor Daicho Yoshiyuki of Shizuoka City, Honorary Ambassador Riccardo Gelli from Florence, and Ms. Noraini Ruslan, President of Klang Municipality. The Global City Roundtable concluded with the reading and signing of a declaration, resulting from insightful discussions, recognising the significance of global agendas such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This framework represents a shared initiative and vision to create sustainable, just, and better cities for everyone.

JEONJU-UCLG ASPAC Youth Forum 2023

On the second day of the 2023 Jeonju Future Cities Forum, UCLG ASPAC co-organised the Youth Forum in collaboration with the Jeonju City Government. The primary goal of this forum was to empower and involve young individuals in urban governance and innovation. This objective revolved around acknowledging youth as active participants in shaping the future of cities, harnessing their creativity, digital proficiency, and social awareness to foster positive transformations. The JEONJU-UCLG ASPAC Youth Forum 2023 comprised two sessions: “Empowering Tomorrow’s Urban Leaders: The Role of Local Government and Youth Collaboration” and “Empowering the Youth in the Era of Grand Transition with Mentors,” both moderated by Secretary General of UCLG ASPAC.

YouthForum #1 Session: “Empowering Tomorrow’s Urban Leaders: The Role of Local Government and Youth Collaboration”

In the first session of the Youth Forum, themed “Empowering Tomorrow’s Urban Leaders: The Role of Local Government and Youth Collaboration,” insightful discussions took centre stage. Ms. Yoo Eunrye, Head of the Youth Policy Division at Jeonju City Hall, highlighted the city’s commitment to addressing the evolving needs of today’s youth. She tackled crucial challenges, including education accessibility and affordable housing, outlining ambitious plans to support youth entrepreneurship, establish a comprehensive job information platform, and provide affordable housing options. The aim is to create a robust job market with accessible information and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit through mentorship and startup initiatives. The city has already taken significant strides, introduced new ordinances, and established a dedicated organisation to involve youth in activities actively.

Next, Mr. Kim Sehyeok, a Member of the Jeonju City Council, outlined The Jeonju City Youth Policies and Plans, aiming to transform the city into a youth-friendly hub. This comprehensive approach focuses on vital pillars, including Employment, Housing, Culture/Education, Welfare, and Participation/Rights. The objectives encompass expanding job opportunities, ensuring secure housing, supporting community engagement, ensuring educational access, and encouraging youth participation in policy formulation. The plan strongly emphasises involving youth in policy creation, budgeting, and capacity building for effective participation. Additionally, strategies are in place to counteract challenges posed by automation by creating jobs that align with youth’s strengths and aspirations.

Mr. Lim Teng Leng emphasised the pivotal role of educational institutions in preparing students for rapidly evolving industries. He shed light on their approach of crafting industry-aligned curricula in collaboration with professionals, ensuring students acquire skills essential for adaptable workplaces. Advanced technologies, including AI and cybersecurity, are integrated into the curriculum to familiarise students with tools crucial for the future job market. The focus extends to nurturing critical soft skills such as critical thinking and effective communication, which are highly sought after in today’s workplace. Additionally, institutions promoting global exposure and cross-cultural experiences equip graduates for effective collaboration in a globalised world. Continuous education and upskilling opportunities are also offered to ensure alumni remain competitive.

The CEO of the Seongnam City Youth Foundation underscored the need to redefine the relationship between young people and local government in the pursuit of an inclusive community. He advocated for a cultural shift and the establishment of conditions that make the community more appealing to youth. This transformation involves fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging the pursuit of contemporary values from an early age. The key lies in revitalising the sense of community within regions rather than solely addressing regional disparities.

YouthForum #2 Session: “Empowering the Youth in the Era of Grand Transition with Mentors”

In the second session, titled “Empowering the Youth in the Era of Grand Transition with Mentors,” notable guest Mr. Mickey Hyunyu Kim, CEO of Act Two Ventures, shared invaluable insights into the history and culture of Silicon Valley. He recounted his extensive career journey, emphasising the importance of bravery and personal challenge, particularly for young individuals. Mr. Kim highlighted technology’s transformative role in reshaping global values and businesses, singling out Artificial Intelligence as a prominent current trend and predicting intense competition in the future.

Following, Ms. Sara Jones shared a compelling personal narrative interwoven with reflections on identity, diversity, and wisdom gleaned from life experiences. Her history underscored the significance of cultural pride and understanding, emphasising the potential for individuals to make a substantial positive impact on the world through unity, resilience, and social responsibility.

Ambassador HaTae-youk, representing Local Diplomacy from the Governors Association of the Republic of Korea (GARoK), emphasised the pivotal role of local government in global affairs. He highlighted the emerging concept of regional diplomacy and urged nations to unite, akin to brothers, in the face of global challenges.

Lastly, Mr. Leesle Hwang, CEO of Modern Hanbok ‘LEESLE,’ underscored the profound impact of social media and its potential to influence people positively.

Secretary General UCLG ASPAC, Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi, hailed the forum as a game-changer, marking a transformative journey for Jeonju City and a significant step towards innovation and progress. She extended her gratitude to the city of Jeonju, the esteemed speakers, and the dedicated organisers for their hard work and dedication.