Seoul Humanities Forum
Date January 14th, 2015 | Venue Yeong Bin Gwan, Shilla Hotel
It is a great pleasure to be here today. I am the mayor of Seoul, Park Won-soon. Happy New Year.
Welcome to the Seoul Humanities Forum. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Chairman Bae Yang-sook for inviting me to this meaningful event, where great scholars and intellects from all over the world share their thoughts, and I would like to thank those taking part in Wednesday’s Humanities Forum for preparing this top-class humanities forum.
I had a keen interest in humanities even before I became mayor. I attended various events to have discussions and deliver lectures, and I published books on the humanities. After I took office, my interest, passion, and love for the humanities grew even stronger, because I wanted to make Seoul people-oriented. I am striving to apply the humanities to my administration by establishing the 2030 Seoul Urban Plan, using elements of humanities, such as people, history, and culture, as its center. We are also reorganizing the Seoul Citizen College, which conducts life-long education programs focused on the humanities, and we are opening humanities sessions in the Seoul Human Resource Development Center.
At the moment, fierce competition and economic success-oriented views are prevailing in our society. You are well aware that Korea has the highest suicide rate and lowest birth rate among the OECD countries. The values that tell us not to care about anyone else but ourselves are making our society inhumane and cold, without consideration and communication, devastating our life.
We should therefore take this moment to open the door wide to a new age, with new values. We have achieved unprecedented rapid industrialization and democratization, but now we should create new values based on that progress. We have to move forwards to the age of “humanization,” where all people live happily together. We should enjoy life in a community where we cherish the value of all human beings, keep our lives humane, and live together. The foundation of all of these is the humanities. Humanities should be an advanced guard for opening the age of humanization. That is why humanities exist, and why I love the humanities.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government would like to open the door leading to humanization of our city, a place where every citizen is protected from danger, discrimination, and enjoys humane happiness. You can help us on this road. I believe you will.
I hope today’s Seoul Humanities Form will be a great opportunity to raise social awareness and interest in the humanities. I wish every one of you and your family great luck for this year. Happy New Year. Thank you very much.