Issue/WT foundation news2012.03.20 16:44

The 12th Open Forum for Social Entrepreneurship


What is Necessary for Revitalizing Cities?

- Cultural arts, governance, and possible options social enterprises could take -

The 12th Open Forum, entitled ‘The Five W’s and one H of Social Enterprises,’ was held at the auditorium of the Work Together Foundation for three hours starting at 14:00 on March 18, 2009. 

  The key words of the forum, in which 130 persons participated, were urban regeneration, cultural arts and social enterprises.


Presentations on each of the key words were delivered by Mr. LEE, Wang Geon, a researcher of the Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS), Mr. KIM, Youn Hoan, the Head of Arts Space Utilization TFT, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, the Director KWEN, Gu Hyoung of the South Seoul Employment Information Service, and Mr. LEE, Won Jae, the managing director of the Cultural Action.


Mr. KIM from the Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture once worked establishing social enterprises with young artists having the same vision in ‘Creation Village’, Mullae-dong. He introduced foreign cases to explain how cultural arts can improve negative aspects in existing new towns and redevelopment projects and how powerfully it would work, especially with various stakeholders constituting governance to take part in urban regeneration.


He showed a new model of community development by introducing the case of a European arts village built around a collapsed industrial city, also suggesting the possibility of job creation in various areas such as space management, as well as space creation in the process of community development.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kim emphasized ‘the governance system by various stakeholders’ as a way to settle the Creation Village of Mullae-dong, making the main point of artists’ recognizing the process and having a wider view for their positioning as hosts.

The second speaker, Mr. LEE, Wang Geon from KRIHS, showed the whole picture of urban regeneration. Based on his work experience in the Presidential Committee on Balanced National Development of the former Participatory Government, he explained characteristics of local development in Korea, the background of the advent of the concept ‘urban regeneration,’ the necessity of a new type of city urban regeneration, and the meaning and significance of job creation generated in the process of urban regeneration.


He also mentioned basic principles in nurturing social enterprises through urban regeneration, which include job creation for local residents, improvement of economic, social and cultural conditions as well as physical circumstances, and maintenance and strengthening of a living community.




Mr. KWEN from the South Seoul Employment Information Service made a blueprint of social enterprises in consideration of the current related policies, stressing that social enterprises could contribute in other areas for urban regeneration besides cultural arts or construction, and suggesting that if they do, the achievement would be even greater. He also said that the government plans to promote social enterprises mainly in strategic fields, one of which is community development, discussing action plans with the Ministry of Labor and the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Maritime Affairs, and the like.


He also gave a positive opinion on the Creation Village of Mullae-dong in that it is a good model to suggest items and new governance, hoping that it will grow to be another good example of a social enterprise.

The last speaker, Mr. LEE,Won Jae, expressed concerns about the current focus on results rather than sufficient discussion over such popular but controversial subjects as urban regeneration and social enterprises. In addition, he pointed out the lack of attention to the preparation of a foundation for artists to display activities sustainably because of the instrumental approach to cultural arts in the process of urban regeneration.


He also stressed the necessity of a deep intellectual approach to job creation in associating urban regeneration with social entrepreneurship, explaining the importance of seeking sustainable development focused on people, eco-culture, and local communities linking alternative economies, local values, and eco-cultural paradigms with each other.


In the wake of recently escalating interest in urban regeneration, the speakers and participants had a variety of social backgrounds and expressed colorful opinions according to each different business interest. The 180 minutes went very fast, full of opinions and questions about topics like possible methodologies to bring urban-regenerating effects in new town and redevelopment projects and create jobs for local people as well as artists and cultural programmers as a result of urban regeneration.


The forum this time provided opportunities to share new possible items social enterprises could choose and priorities to consider in the urban regeneration process directly related to the lives of city residents.


The forum has supported an on-going networking platform between practitioners and researchers to allow them to raise issues about social enterprises since 2007. It is believed that the forum has contributed to expanding the social base for social enterprise issues, with about 100 participants from academics, social enterprises, and students involved in each forum. Under the 'Let's Give Wings to Social Entrepreneurs!’ project, the foundation also promotes the International Study Tour Program for Social Entrepreneurs along with the Open Forum sponsored by SK and Community Chest Korea, cooperating with a variety of social enterprises and organizations.

March 23, 2009  

Translated by CHOI, Eun Young

Edited by Patrick Ferraro & Marie LEE


Posted by hamkke