KO-SEA Partnership for Innovation

On Friday, 11th September 2020, the United Nations Development Programme regional offices in Thailand, Japan and South Korea co — organized the second session of its “Impact Venture Dialogue” webinar series. This webinar session invited numerous speakers to share their entrepreneurial experiences, and how the public and private sectors can cooperate to work towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Panelists included leading social entrepreneurs and start — up ecosystem supports from Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand who shared insights on how their businesses focus on sustainable, solution — based innovation to address the SDGs. Moreover, the session also emphasizes on how to make use of existing networks to build connections and upscale projects for wider reach.

I was incredibly impressed by the sharing by Enuma, a South Korean — based social venture that focuses on education. From my perspective, Enuma recognizes the voices of those who are overlooked in mainstream society. The company addresses the problem of language barriers to education in the Korean educational system, particularly for migrant children.

Enuma works with schools and organizations to develop bilingual schooling materials, and provide additional support for struggling learners, including helping migrant children to overcome culture shock. Inspired by the pandemic, Enuma also leverages technology to make learning accessible by everyone no matter where they are.

What struck me the most was the company founders’ passion for spreading education to those who need it most. This highlights the importance of partnership, not just within Korea but also in the ASEAN region and beyond in order to create sustainable waves of change.

Cultural exchange between the two regions has been on the rise in addition to the increased economic partnership. Korean food, Kpop, K-dramas and the like have almost become household names across ASEAN given their massive popularity, especially with the younger generations.

With the high economic and sociocultural potential of ASEAN and increased interactions with South Korea, such as through the New Southern Policy, there is so much to expect from the future of Korean-ASEAN relations.

Therefore, government to government, business to business and people to people exchanges between South Korea and ASEAN are crucial to the development of the Asian region. Among these areas, innovation plays an important role in helping organizations respond to rapidly changing trends and preferences and to anticipate arising challenges.

The friendship between ASEAN and South Korea is a mutually — benefitting relationship, and can be regarded as a springboard for the region to navigate its path for the future!

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Korea.net Honorary Reporter. Full time foodie and earth-explorer. Would travel the galaxy if I could.

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Suthida C.

Suthida C.

Korea.net Honorary Reporter. Full time foodie and earth-explorer. Would travel the galaxy if I could.

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