SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, October 14, 2019 — How will the “platform economy” that leads the fourth industrial revolution change the daily lives of Seoul citizens in the future? To celebrate the 27th anniversary of the opening of the Seoul Institute, a commemorative seminar will be held with the theme of “Platform Economy, Seoul’s Challenges for the Citizens”. The seminar will be attended by Mr. Kang Hong-bin, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Seoul Institute, Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon and Mr. Justin Kintz, the Vice President and the Head of Global Public Policy at Uber.
In his speech titled “The Future of Platform Economy in Terms of Future Urban Transportation,” Uber’s Justin Kintz says, “The important things to Korea for the development of the platform economy are win-win development through communication and cooperation among existing interested parties in the market and the government’s role.”
The Seoul Institute then makes a presentation on the impact of the mobility platform on future transportation in Seoul. In the presentation, it analyses, “the need to own the means of transportation will decrease, and the evolution to “Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)” through the mobility platform is expected to accelerate. In the near future, people will be able to search, reserve and pay for optimal mobile services on one integrated platform, which will be developed into MasS based on autonomous driving after self-driving cars are commercialized.”
It also says that the city government should link its role and direction that secure the public nature of transportation services and minimize social costs to policies it has been already implementing, explaining that it is important to open public data held by the city government to the private sector so that it can be used for the public good.
The Seoul Institute also makes a presentation on the characteristics of the shared workspaces under the theme of “The Potentials and Challenges of the Shared Office As A Space-Sharing Platform.” In this presentation, it explains, “Seoul has been developed as a remarkable market for the shared office business, increasing more than five times for the last five years. Now it is time to figure out its actual status of supply and occupancy and think about the role of it on the public.”
The Seoul Institute then explains the status of “platform labor” and its major issues under the theme of “The Increase of Platform Labor and the Role of Seoul.” In South Korea, people are already using labor platforms in their daily lives, such as services for designated driving, food delivery and housekeeping. Korea’s platform workers account for 1.7 to 2 percent of the total employed, with men working as designated drivers (26%) and drivers of freight trucks (15.6%), and women working as restaurant assistants (23.1%), and housekeepers or babysitters (17.4%).
The biggest issue of platform labor is whether platform workers are the ones protected under the labor laws, including the Labor Standards Act. The Seoul Institute suggests that the Seoul Metropolitan Government should clarify its position on platform labor and play a role in discovering and supporting unprotected platform workers.
Experts from various fields participate in the discussion session to talk about the “Challenges of Seoul,” presided by Son Sang-yeoung, a senior researcher at the Korea Information Society Development Institute.
The seminar is open to the citizens and experts who are interested. For more information, please visit the Seoul Institute’s Website at www.si.re.kr.