Opening Ceremony for Seoul Innovation Park
Date June 26, 2015 Venue Seoul Innovation Park, Eunpyeong-gu
Good morning. I am very pleased to meet the citizens and innovators of Seoul. I am Park Won Soon, mayor of the ‘Innovation Metropolitan City.’ I would like to say thank you to our citizens for coming to this historical opening ceremony of Seoul Innovation Park. I am truly delighted to see that the Park has finally opened to the public after all the time we have spent preparing for it.
We cannot be happy, however, considering that society is still suffering from the chaos and distress caused by the MERS crisis. The Sewol Ferry tragedy last year and the recent MERS outbreak have sparked deep concerns over the lack of capabilities to deal with social issues, and have offered insight into fundamental underlying issues that need to be addressed. What is the first thing that we need to do to resolve this series of difficult issues and conflicts that our society is facing today? How can we address these new, unprecedented social problems and usher in a more sustainable future? The answer is innovation. We need to change.
I believe that the answer to this question and the questions of our future lie in innovation based on humans and trust. We will be able to create a new society only when we work to remove social issues, conflicts, mistrust, and unrest through innovation. Seoul Innovation Park will become a lighthouse leading our generation in the right direction.
The SMG has changed many things through innovation. We have proposed alternative measures to prop up the economy, for example neighborhood community businesses; social economy and sharing economy; and we have worked towards creating a living environment where all citizens can live together. In particular, the ‘Youth Hub’ and ‘Life Double Cropping Center’ are providing youngsters and the middle-aged with opportunities to get started on a new life. Thanks to these diverse and creative activities, the city of Seoul is rapidly becoming an innovation mecca and a symbolic city of innovation gaining the international spotlight.
Do you mind if I tell you what I am very proud of? Recently, I was elected as the 5th most innovative mayor in the world by the Guardian, a British national daily, followed by Klaus Wowereit from Berlin, Bertrand Delanoë from Paris, Michael Bloomberg from New York, and Sergio Fajardo Valderrama from Medellín, Colombia. I was the only incumbent mayor among them. Isn’t that great?
I believe that the ultimate goal of innovation is to work together to make the world a happier place. For that reason we gathered together here to proclaim the goal of Seoul Innovation Park: to dream a new world, share ideas and wisdom, and create a new future of the city along with a number of innovators. That is why I am confident that Seoul Innovation Park will become the first, the largest, and the best social innovation cluster in the world. I am hoping you all agree with me.
Above all, I sincerely hope that you always remember what Steve Jobs said: “Innovation can never be achieved alone. It comes from excellent people meeting up in the hallways.” I hope you constantly seek new challenges and explore a bold experiment of convergence, crossing over different fields in collaboration with the world’s innovators. I would like to ask you to lead the future of the city and become pioneering innovators who play a crucial role in global innovation trends. The SMG will always support you and be with you. Let’s do our best so that this meaningful event can long be remembered as a historical moment that will open the gate for bold innovation and a new Seoul. Thank you.