The Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold a unique policy discussion festival titled ‘Policy Expo for Seoul of Hope’, which has been conceived to allow not only Seoul City citizens but also foreigners and anyone who loves Seoul to freely suggest policies to the City administration. The event will take place in Seoul New City Hall and the Seoul Plaza from October 13 ~ 14, 2012 (Sat-Sun).
The ‘Policy Expo for Seoul City of Hope’ is inspired by Sweden’s democratic discussion culture, known as Almedalen Politics Week, a historic event that celebrated its 45th anniversary this year and in which some 14,000 people participate in 1,500 debates each year. It has been modified for the situation in Seoul. Under the main theme “Occupy Seoul,” the exposition will comprise seven different categories of policy debate subdivided into three different areas: Policy Sharing, Communication, and Political Participation. In addition, a further six events related to the environment, welfare, and culture will be held altogether. The city is providing event information and accepting applications for participation in advance at the following website (ideaexpo.seoul.go.kr).
During the ‘Administrative Policy Debate’, citizens’ opinions will be heard and certain policies that need to be publicized will be selected for sharing. Administrative staff, experts, and citizens will discuss and share their opinions through debates, seminars, and other methods.
Citizens are welcome to participate in communicative events such as the ‘Policy Concert’ and the ‘2012 Village Story’, at which citizens can introduce their joyful village lives and community activities, and the ‘Open Discussion for Small Enterprises.
The ‘Citizens Political Ideas Market’ is an open political space where administrative staff, including the chief director, will receive political ideas suggested by citizens. Among the political ideas incorporated into Seoul’s policy, citizens who suggest outstanding ideas will become candidates for the “Creativity Award for Seoul of Hope” and will be considered for a prize of up to 3,000,000 won.
‘Citizen Participation Hanmadang’ is a forum where citizens can freely present various opinions and new policy agendas and ask for people’s interest and support. Any individual or group wishing to participate in this event can apply on the “Policy Expo” website (ideaexpo.seoul.go.kr.) This event is open for anyone who would like to lead debates as long as the topics are related to the policies of Seoul City. All discussion of racist or inhumane topics, or slandering or advertising of a particular candidate or political party is strictly prohibited.
If there are too many applicants wishing to lead the debates, the leaders will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, and the decisions will be posted on the website. There is no regulation on how the debates should be led or on the participants’ qualifications, but the leaders will be prohibited from charging entrance fees or any other fees.
The ‘Citizens Have a Voice’ event, which is normally held in Cheonggye Plaza every Saturday, will take place in the Seoul Plaza only on Saturday, October 13, 2012. Anyone can speak freely for up to ten minutes on any topic, and no qualification is required for the speaker. It will be broadcast live on the Internet TV and tbsFM.
▲ Related Events
Diverse events will be held in the Seoul Plaza and other nearby venues during the Policy Expo, including the ‘New City Hall Opening Ceremony’, the ‘Eco-friendly Food Festival’ in Gwanghwamun Square, the ‘Walking Through 600 Years of Seoul in One Day Walking Game’, ‘Making Eco-notes’, the ‘Big Dream’ event in the Cheonggye Plaza, and the ‘NBA 3X Street Basketball Competition’ and the ‘Seoul Race’ hosted by Seoul City, Dong-Ah Newspaper, and NBA.