Now that it has almost been half a year since the outbreak of novel coronavirus that changed our everyday lives, wearing masks may feel like breathing air. In this situation that presents us with the first infectious disease since the beginning of the 21st century, what should we be prepared for?
On June 20 at 3 p.m., the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) held the 1st Online Discussion of the Seoul Citizen Conference under the theme, “What should we be prepared for if the COVID-19 situation continues?” and operates online/offline discussions in earnest in which 3,000 Seoulites can participate in deciding policies through deliberation and argument.
The topic of this year’s Seoul Citizen Conference is “The New Normal of Seoul in the Post-COVID-19 Era.” By conducting surveys with 3,000 members of Seoul Citizen Conference and listening to opinions of experts through five different meetings, the SMG selected three topics within three categories: ① What should we be prepared for if the COVID-19 situation continues? ② What should we be prepared for in the life changes due to COVID-19? and ③ Democracy and human rights in the era of COVID-19.
The online meeting was the first debate of the Seoul Citizen Conference that took place without an audience, and it will have followed by two more online debates.
The speaker will be Park Jin-yeong, Head of the Public Communications Bureau of the Seoul Metropolitan Government, who will explain “the overall administration, including disinfection, economic support, and communication with citizens, that the SMG has pursued to tackle COVID-19” under the theme, “Responding to COVID-19 Together with Citizens.”
The conversation between participants will unfold under the control of the host to seek direction for future development. Two participants of the discussion, professor Kim Chang-yeop and doctor Woo Seok-hun, will diagnose the merits and demerits of the current policies of Seoul and introduce the issues on which the citizen members should concentrate to discuss.
In order for more citizens to be able to participate in the online discussion, the whole discussion will be broadcast on TBS TV and YouTube (TBS, Seoul) based on cooperation with TBS. 3,000 citizens can pose questions in real time to take part in the discussion. The SMG will also collect inquiries from citizen members through pre-surveys and vlogs to reflect them in discussions.
On the other hand, the SMG will be holding meetings on separate discussion topics in which 3,000 citizen members will directly participate (June 28-August 9) so that the citizens can lead the meetings, suggest their opinions, and draw conclusions on the theme of each category through deliberation and public debate. The online discussions, which will be held before the meetings on each subtopic, will be used as the catalyst for deliberation that will help the understanding of citizen members on each subtopic.