Science and Technology in Cultural Context
Innovations Forum

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About The Innovation Forum

This is a conference event that takes a novel approach to presenting innovation. Focusing on the creative impulse that drives innovation, the forum invites presenters from all disciplines who acknowledge that “a need for change” is the key-driving factor behind all forms of innovation. Exercising openness in participation and including all possible categories of knowledge and practice, the Innovations Forum pushes forward by embracing counter factual thinking to support ideas outside the realm of common expectations, lending attention not only to possible possibilities but also acknowledging the impossible possibilities. The Innovations Forum this year takes the form of a three day conference spread over the duration of an exhibition focusing on innovations in both art and technology and it is where all things meet and mix informally and where appreciation and support for art and science find their meeting point culturally. The Innovation Forum is organized by Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich and Seoul National University SNU


Saturday, 11th October 2014:
On SCIENCE: Hybridity and Convergence
Saturday, 8th November 2014:
On ARTS: Creativity and Ingenuity
Saturday, 15th November 2014:
On SOCIETY : Innovation, Opportunity, Entrepreneurship


Auditorium, Museum of Arts Seoul National University → more info

Conference Organizers

Arthur Clay (USA/CHE)
Monika Rut (POL)

Conference Committee

Arthur Clay (USA/CHE), Sogang University Seoul
Bernhard Egger (CHE), Seoul National University
Haru Ji (KOR), Sogang Unversity Seoul
Prof. Raymond Saner (CHE), Professor Emeritus of International Management
Lichia Saner Yiu (TWN/CHE), CSEND Co-Founder
Graham Wakefield (GBR), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology(KAIST)
Timothy Senior, University of Bristol Gabriel Gaudi, Milano Polytechnic

Society Day: Innovation, Opportunity and Social Entrepreneurship

History has taught us that during times when maintaining the status quo failed, people long for change and for ways to get out of an experience of impasse. Today, more and more of us believe that the real linchpin of successful change will be brought about solely by practices that are socially, economically and ecologically sustainable. Observing individuals, groups and organizations in this context, a trend has emerged towards experimentation and reconfiguration of socio-economic conditions of living. Individual, group or institutional actors are reshaping the social, political and economic landscapes with their imagination, energy and empathy. Such social entrepreneurship is the result of “innovative thinking” in concurrence with an “opportunity for change” where both opportunity and innovation are not only about solving known problems, but about tackling novel and the unknown challenges ahead. Social entrepreneurship is also a result of “shared interests” in concurrence with an “opportunity to participate in co-producing public goods”. Incubators, spin-off and social initiatives have not only challenged aging organizations but also give rise to the new “hybrid equilibrium” or “ecosystem of re-alignment” in the new economic landscape.


Saturday, 15th November, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm


Keynote: Raphael Cohen, Serial entrepreneur and business booster, Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Geneva

Title: How NGO’s and social organization can leverage partnerships to generate more impactful outcomes

Abstract: The potential of cooperation between social enterprises or NGO’s on one side and private as well as public sector organizations on the other is vastly underexploited. A better mutual understanding of the governance and decision-making process of each stakeholder could significantly improve the cooperation opportunities while expanding the scope of Public Private Social Partnerships (PPSP’s). To make best use of this potential the teaching of entrepreneurship has to be adapted while the interaction between stakeholders should be managed more efficiently and more effectively (with rigorous governance). Studies have shown that in the private sector about 30% of the projects are terminated before completion. These projects that should not have been launched translate into a huge amount of wasted resources. Similar failure rates have been reported concerning the social sector. Any such waste in the social sector means depriving the target beneficiaries of the benefits that should improve their quality of life. Furthermore if private sector projects were evaluated with a more rigorous process some of these “non-wasted” resources could then even be used to achieve other goals, particularly social goals.

Simple and robust tools to evaluate projects now exist but are not known well enough. Their deployment in social, public, not-for-profit as well as private sector would bring healthier governance that delivers much more socially responsible outcomes. These tools can also help raise money and convince stakeholders to sponsor projects and promote PPSP’s. Equally important is the fact that potential innovations - products or services- remain undiscovered or under-utilized in private sector. A similar situation exists in NGOs-SCOs sector where new ideas often get shelved and hence not used resulting in losses on all sides-depressed staff motivation, missed opportunity to serve society better and faster.

Morning Panel Discussion

Title: Social Creativity and Entrepreneurial Incubation

Moderator: Lichia Yiu Saner, Co-founder of CSEND, Geneva

Abstract: There are many unmet demands in the social sector of our societies, such as caring for the aged, the handicapped and the marginalised groups including immigrants, minorities, and down trodden. Solutions to provide equitable services need to come from innovative ways to use existing financial and other immaterial resources to meet these demands. Since the publication of “The Bottom Billion”, the general public has become more aware of the costs of unfettered capitalism and of the market failures resulting in misallocation of resources and crowding out of opportunities to grow by the whole population. A generation of entrepreneurs with insights into the underbelly of the capitalism toiled to create different forms of “social” services and goods to meet the needs of the underserved population.

Social entrepreneurs work in the “real” economy and compete on the basis of quality, cost and speed of producing their goods and services without charging a high profit margin. Like all entrepreneurs, starting up a business with or without a social mission requires creativity, innovation and stamina to succeed. This panel brings together Swiss management professors with the Korean entrepreneurs in a conversation to review the entrepreneurial journey in capturing opportunities, overcoming challenges and leveraging enabling factors for social enterprises and social impact. This conversation will conducted from two different perspectives; one from coaching and mentoring perspective, the other personal.


Byung Tae Lee, Professor of MIS, College of Business Administration, KAIST Institute

Jun Seo Lee, CEO, Ecojun

Susan Schneider, Professor Emeritus, University of Geneva

Peter Lee, CEO, Nolgong


Keynote: Chong Soo Lee, CEO of the Korean Social Investment Fund

Title: Nouvelle Vague Toward Sustainable Future: Social Investment and Social Economy

Abstract: A remarkable achievement in technology and economy for the last few decades left us enormous challenges threatening the sustainability of our society. But conventional approaches have failed to stop the vicious cycle of the problems. The traditional welfare system is not sufficient in dealing with the social challenges which become more complicated and diverse. A paradigm shift is inevitable. New solutions and models need to be adopted. Why are people talking about social economic and social investment? Are they really the answer for the sustainable future? Social enterprise is an entrepreneurial undertaking creating social values for a sustainable future. It is an organization that applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in human and environmental well-being rather than maximizing profits for external shareholders. It uses the converged and innovative tools to create social values as well as financial values. Social investment and social finance are being emerged in our society as a new trend to tackle social issues supporting social enterprise and economy.

Afternoon Panel Discussion

Title: Culture, Art and Social Economy: Different currencies and social innovations

Moderator: Prof. em. Susan Schneider, University of Geneva, Business and

Abstract: As the world becomes more and more integrated, social and economic problems become more and more complex. We need a new way to approach solving these interdependent issues. We need to design processes that best utilize resources in a sustainable and inclusive manner and to explore the role of culture, art and technology in finding solutions. This panel will address what is needed to enable and support social entrepreneurship. This requires convergence of business, society, culture, technology and a new mindset, a multidisciplinary approach involving multiple stakeholders. How can this be promoted in the digital context given the new tools, the new space, and virtual reality? What are the possible alternatives we might imagine? New forms of organizing social and economic activities are emerging. Grassroots innovations are changing the quality of relationships at the local level, the distribution of economic opportunities and encouraging self-reliance. The panelists will share their experiences and observations on how new forms of social economy can function and what is need to promote it. Examples will be given of how various Swiss initiatives created new “currencies” through cultural “events” and how these events represent a collaborative effort at the community level to promote identity, solidarity as well as employment. Another example is that of how the Seoul government created the social space and incentives, through collaborative budgeting, to promote social innovation. Social entrepreneurs, D.Camp and Playplanet, will provide concrete examples of supporting young entrepreneurs and promoting eco-tourism and advise us as to what is needed to support these efforts. Discussion will also focus on how to scale up these initiatives in order to have sustainable, or more importantly flourishing, societal impact.

Panel Presenters

Raymond Saner, Professor Emeritus, International Management and Organisations, Basel University; Co-Founder, Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development

Naree Lee, Managing Director, D.Camp, DreamBank

Sun Mi Seo, Founder & CEO, playplanet

SOCIETY DAY: Program Schedule

10:00 - 10:15 Welcome Addresses

Nicolas Descoeudres, Counsellor Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea

10:15 - 11:15 Keynote by Raphael Cohen

How NGO’s and social organization can leverage partnerships to generate more impactful outcomes

11:15 - 13:15 Panel Discussion Social Creativity and Entrepreneurial Incubation

13:15 - 14:00 Networking Lunch hosted by Nicolas Descoeudres, Counsellor Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea

14:00 - 14:45 Violin Concert by Hyung Joon Won

 Flights and Furies and Dances of Death

14:45 - 15:00 Coffee Break

15:00 - 16:00 Keynote by Chong Soo Lee

Nouvelle Vague Toward Sustainable Future: Social Investment and Social Economy

16:00 - 17:45 Panel Discussion

Culture, Art and Social Economy: Different currencies and social innovations

17:45 - 18:00 Closing Words Chong Soo Lee, CEO of the Korean Social Investment Fund

Raymond Saner, Professor Emeritus, International Management and Organisations, Basel


Science Day: On Convergence and Hybridization

DATES: Saturday, 11 October, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

ABOUT: Interdisciplinary research that converges ideas from two or more different fields has the potential to provide the igniting spark necessary to give rise to novel areas of research and to spawn entire new industries. The near future will bring exiting new possibilities based on fruitful convergence of technologies such as Augmented Reality that link the virtual to the real, or new innovative models for personalized health care which tailor medical management and patient care to the individual characteristics of each patient. The convergence of digital appliances with the Internet to give “smart ability” to almost any device or the interdisciplinary scientific field of bio-informatics where software tools are developed to generate biological knowledge are two prime examples. The conference focuses on approaching the concept of convergence from various angles to discuss the difficulties, benefits and the potential of emerging convergence practices in order to expand and to stimulate approaches to convergence. Under the umbrella of the guiding main themes of the conference, presenters will cover a diverse range of topics, in order to nurture the interaction between different speakers and their topics of choice, while providing fertile ground for conveying diverse thoughts and letting them converge in the context of the conference audience.

PROGRAM: more info

Arts Day: On Creativity and Ingenuity

DATES: Saturday, 8 November, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm

ABOUT: Creativity may well be the survival skill for the 21st century human. From rare and metaphysical origins, creativity has become a near-ubiquitous virtue. Once only gods and nature could create, yet over three millennia this status has spread to poets, then to artists, composers, scientists, designers, architects, engineers, inventors, entrepreneurs, and to almost everyone else; yet despite the obvious ubiquity, the claim that we are more creative than ever can be challenged. Creativity remains stubbornly mysterious: resisting practical measurement and often standing in for what we cannot rationally automate. The mind that is creative enjoys accident, embraces open-ended play, and is entranced by paradox. The ancient Greeks understood it as poïesis: rather than the praxis of a willful action that finds its own completion, poïesis ‘unveils’ the real through continuation and leads a new world into being. Where combinatorics works within in a pre-defined system, transformative creativity changes the system itself; making the unreal by going beyond the principles in which it begins, like revolutions of speciation. All organisms must adapt creatively to the abrupt challenges of an unpredictable environment, yet by doing so they also change this environment. Moreover, without immediately measurable benefit, life engages in open-ended exploration, rewriting itself along strange new lines. We have hands to carry, but we also sculpt; minds to calculate, but we also imagine. A world devoid of creativity could be imagined, but must be creatively opposed.

PROGRAM: more info

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Page last modified on August 31, 2015, at 11:38 PM