The Research Institute for Social Technology and Innovation (RISTI) at KAIST hosted the Social Technology Innovation Symposium on November 4, 2015 in KI building, to which 100 social business entrepreneurs and experts in the field were invited.
Social businesses refer to activities of companies, which strive to resolve social problems such as environmental issues, income inequality, and aging societies while seeking profit at the same time. This is different from companies taking social responsibility and non-profit organization serving the community in that they attempt to solve social problems through a sustainable business model.
Held under the theme of “technology capabilities of companies and social business strategies,” this symposium was the first to gather representatives from social venture companies, medium-sized enterprises, and major companies at one place to share their experiences in a social business and to discuss future tasks.
The symposium was divided into sessions with three different topics ranging from social business strategies using information technology, a social business and its business model, and social business strategies of major companies.
The symposium started with keynote speeches delivered by Professor HongKyu Lee, RISTI, and Professor Hong-Tak Lim, RISTI, who discussed the role of technology in a social business. It was followed by plenary sessions led by CEOs who are running social businesses such as the Sharing and Technologies Incorporated Project, Simwon Technology, Ecojun Company, Underdogs, and the Farming Fund as well as by representatives from a social responsibility section of CJ management team and the social responsibility council of SK. In the future, these talks will serve as a medium to share their experiences in social businesses and to discuss the role of technology in the business. Some talks touched upon topics such as development of platforms for social innovation, social businesses employing disabled workers, and crowd funding for farming.
The Director of RISTI, Professor HongKyu Lee said, “The symposium will be the first to have people from leading companies in social businesses in Korea in one place.” He added, “This will be a great opportunity for anyone to know what will be the future of social businesses, which were created to solve the social problems caused by capitalism.”
The symposium was sponsored by the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy of Korea.