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KAIST to host online forum on global cooperation on COVID-19

Speakers at the KAIST forum. From left: Arnaud Bernaert, head of Global Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum. Jerome H. Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute.Edward Yoon-jae Choi, professor of graduate school of artificial intelligence, KAIST. Alexandros Papaspyridis, director of the Asia region, Microsoft. Yong Hong-taek, deputy minister, Ministry of Science and ICT. (KAIST)
Speakers at the KAIST forum. From left: Arnaud Bernaert, head of Global Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum. Jerome H. Kim, director general of the International Vaccine Institute.Edward Yoon-jae Choi, professor of graduate school of artificial intelligence, KAIST. Alexandros Papaspyridis, director of the Asia region, Microsoft. Yong Hong-taek, deputy minister, Ministry of Science and ICT. (KAIST)

An international online forum on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on political, economic and educational systems will held Wednesday, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology said Monday.

Organized by KAIST’s Global Strategy Institute, the forum will start at 9 a.m. at KAIST’s main campus in Daejeon.

“The forum’s theme is ‘global cooperation in the coronavirus era,’ and it was organized by KAIST to predict the crisis faced by the international society beyond quarantine and medical issues to politics, economy, industry and education systems,” KAIST said in a statement.

“And to seek international cooperation and multidirectional responses to efficiently overcome the crisis.”

The forum includes keynote speeches and panel discussions from experts from diverse fields ranging from vaccines to artificial intelligence and government policies.

“The forum was arranged to gain insight into the global social and economic impact of COVID-19, and to predict the future that will unfold,” Prof. Kim Jung-ho, the head of KAIST’s Global Strategy Institute, said.

“International cooperation not only in developing vaccines and treatments, but a scientific approach including (the use of) artificial intelligence will be put forward.”

The forum will start with opening remarks from Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun; KAIST President Shin Sung-chul; Uri Sivan, president of Technion – Israel Institute of Technology; and Peter Lee, head of Microsoft Research.

Chung’s speech is to focus on South Korea’s response to the outbreak, which has drawn attention around the world, and on its efforts to assist and cooperate with other countries.

As the virus spreads across the globe, a large number of leaders have spoken with President Moon Jae-in, seeking the Korean government’s cooperation to secure key supplies such as test kits for the novel strain of coronavirus responsible for the pandemic.

Seoul is also said to be considering lifting export regulations on protective masks to help other nations deal with shortages.

According to KAIST, its president will stress the importance of international cooperation in dealing with the crisis in today’s hyperconnected society.

In his speech, Shin will highlight the importance of “international cooperation based on science and technology” as the only means to bring about a breakthrough in the crisis, and pledge to focus KAIST’s capabilities on finding a “new norm” in the political, social and economic spheres, KAIST said.

The remarks will be followed by keynote speeches from leading experts in the fields of vaccine research and health care, as well as representatives of businesses and government organizations.

Keynote speakers include International Vaccine Institute Director General Jerome Kim; Arnaud Bernaert, head of global health and health care at the World Economic Forum; and Yong Hong-taek from Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT.

Kim’s speech will deal with the establishment of a global cooperation network to speed up the development of vaccines and treatments when faced with a new disease. Bernaert will talk about the World Economic Forum’s newly established COVID Action Platform and about cooperation among nations, businesses and international organizations.

According to KAIST, Microsoft’s Higher Education Industry Solutions Director Alexandros Papaspyridis will give a speech titled “There is no turning back: Preparing for the new normal.” In the speech, Papaspyridis will discuss the changes COVID-19 has brought to the education sector across the globe, and the innovations required for the “new normal” after the pandemic.

The keynote speeches will be followed by two panel discussions. The first will deal with the impact the pandemic is having on the global economy, and on education systems.

Experts taking part in the first discussion are David Dollar and Rebecca Winthrop of the Brookings Institution, Korea Development Institute Director Suh Joong-hae and Ra Young-sun, head of the Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training.

Winthrop is a co-director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Universal Education, and Dollar is a senior fellow at the institution.

In the second, the roles of health care systems, artificial intelligence and information technology will be discussed.

Speakers will include Ryu Wang-shik, CEO of Institute Pasteur Korea, and KAIST artificial intelligence professor Shin Jin-woo.

According to KAIST, the forum is the first to deal with international cooperation in the “post-coronavirus era.” The forum will be streamed live on the YouTube channels of KAIST and the state-funded broadcaster Korea TV. The forum will also be streamed live by the local portal operator Naver.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)
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