Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Chairman Chey Tae-won speaks during a press conference at the organization’s office in central Seoul on June 7. During the briefing, Chey announced the KCCI’s plan to hold a nationwide campaign of pooling creative potential of people in order to deal with the aftermaths of the virus pandemic. Photo courtesy of KCCI

KCCI encourages people to join national campaign

The Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) announced on June 7 its plan to carry out a nationwide campaign of encouraging people to come up with ideas to make a better country.

KCCI Chairman Chey Tae-won held a press conference to explain the campaign aimed at advancing Korea and dealing with the aftermaths of the virus pandemic.

“Due to COVID-19, the economy is languishing, and folks are suffering. I agonized over ways how corporations can do to grapple with the situation through the energy of the private sector,” Chey said.

“I concluded that the collective intelligence would lead to better solutions. Hence, the KCCI decided to start a campaign of pooling creative ideas within the civil society.”

To attract the brisk participation of citizens, the KCCI will conduct a prize competition where the eventual winner will get 100 million won ($90,000) while nine others will also be recognized.

Anybody can become a public problem solver by presenting his or her ideas to a dedicated KCCI website so as to tackle real-world challenges, improve society and boost the economy.

Idea registrations will continue through Sept. 24 this year so that jury members screen them in October. Then, mentors from companies, including KCCI leaders, will help applicants develop their ideas.

In late November, the KCCI will make ordinary people adopt the best ideas through a televised audition program comparable to the famous talent show Superstar K.

“As this is an unprecedented event, it is difficult to predict how much effect it will have. But people’s participation itself means something,” said Chey who took charge of the business group early this year.

“The KCCI strives to hold this kind of event every year.”

Prof. Jeong Hyeok at Seoul National University pointed out that the corporate sector is expanding its roles.

“In the past, a company was a producer. But by now, it has become a player to bridge capital and labor as well as ideas and production,” Jeong said.

“It is desirable for the KCCI to create a communication channel, which involves consumers, investors, workers, the government, and the National Assembly.”