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[Herald Interview] ‘Huge amount of future will be happening through Asia’

Richard Yonck, founder of Intelligent Future Consulting, says S. Korea will play major role in shaping future

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Sept. 13, 2022 - 08:55

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Futurist Richard Yonck (Richard Yonck) Futurist Richard Yonck (Richard Yonck)
Grand plans laid out by Seoul and Busan show how South Korea will play a major role as Asia's influence grows, according to futurist Richard Yonck.

“One of the things that are very apparent to me is that a huge amount of the future is going to be happening through Asia,” Yonck, founder of Intelligent Future Consulting, told The Korea Herald in Seoul on Sept. 5.

Mentioning the Seoul Vision 2030 plan and the government efforts to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan, the futurist said there was a lot of dynamism in terms of how South Korea is approaching the future.

The Seoul Vision 2030 plan, which was laid out by mayor Oh Se-hoon last year, aims to increase its global competitiveness to the world's top 5. The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced that the city would invest 48 trillion won ($34 billion) through 2030, with a focus on revitalization.

The Korean government on Wednesday submitted an official bid to host the World Expo 2030 in Busan to the Bureau International des Expositions. The bidding campaign has been a collective project as nationwide efforts come have from not only government officials, but also business leaders and K-pop stars.

“It’s not just saying we’re interested or we’re doing this. These initiatives show that the country is actually exploring what kind of a future (it) wants to build,” said Yonck.

The futurist highlighted the importance of countries like S. Korea having a clear direction as a range of technologies, including artificial intelligence, are very powerful and are rapidly changing the global landscape.

Yonck also pointed to S. Korea playing a major role in preventing the world from overtaxing the Earth in moving toward circular economies where there is much more consideration about using eco-friendly energy sources.

Emphasizing “huge R&D from LG and Samsung in displays and interfaces, Yonck underlined how they can impact the way that people engage with technologies and vice versa.

“I think that’s going to be such an important part of every country and culture,” said Yonck.

The futurist also noted the growth of technology-based companies -- Naver and Kakao. He said the IT giants were showing a focus on incorporating new technologies into existing infrastructures.

“These companies are definitely pushing ahead with technologies that are really connecting people in very important, useful and functional ways. So I could anticipate that it’s going to continue to develop,” said Yonck.