JEONJU (COR): Conclusion of ‘Jeonju World Slowness Forum & Awards 2018’

South Korean National Network

Jeonju World Slowness Forum & Awards 2018” was held in the National Intangible Heritage Center in Cittaslow Jeonju, Corea on October 24-25 of 2018 under the theme “Slowness & The Quality of Life”. It was organized the Cittaslow Corea and supported by the National Assembly of Korea and the Cittaslow Supporters of Taepyung Salt Farm, Maeil Dairies, and evezary.

Participants at Jeonju Slowness Forum & Awards 2018

PRESENTATION 1 : Dr. Franz Alt, journalist GERMANY

New Ethical Approach : Solar Energy Revolution and Green Economy

In his presentation, Dr. Franz Alt said that world's economy and energy policies are on their last legs and our economic program is a suicidal program, so we consume the future of our children and grandchildren. He suggests that in the 21st century, the solar world economy only can solve our problems. Although the biggest threat in history, climate collapse is right in front of us and we are in serious danger, people today cannot take action to scrap old and outdated energy policies boldly, so they are lost in serious insensitivity. If we don't change our habits of using traditional energy sources, such as coal, oil, and natural gas to tackle climate change that may increase the number of heat waves, floods, big wildfire, earthquakes, droughts and others, the global temperature is likely to rise more than 8 degrees Celsius by 2100. 

According to Professor O-Bong Yang, the panelist for Dr. Alt’s presentation, 86.2% of respondents of a public awareness survey on renewable energy agreed to the expansion of renewable energy. The biggest hurdle of tackling global warming is that we cannot throw away old energy policies while energy monopolistic force and many politicians depend too much on the existing energy industry. Climate warming is closely related with survival of humanity, so the whole world must make shift to renewable energy by 2040. In 2018, currently 42% of eclectic power in Germany is being produced through green electricity and environment experts are sure that by 2030 it will be accomplished 100%. It is sure that now we are moving from being mere energy consumers to be energy producers. We should prepare to shift from existing energy sources to 100 percent renewable energy and convert the world agriculture to 100 percent organic, taking responsibility for our children and grandchildren. It is a responsibility we all share, especially all families. In German, 80% of energy is being produced by general citizens and homeowners, environment-conscious business owners who installed solar panels on their factory’s roof, farm owners using bioenergy, energy cooperatives, and municipalities while 20% being by existing energy producers. As you can see, smallness is beautiful and has strong power. 

In Dr. Alt’s book, Ecological Jesus, Jesus says “The Father makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good” in the Sermon on the Mount and it means that the sun shines on all life on the earth. The world is full of renewable energy, so we can meet 100 percent of our energy demand. Every day, the sun comes up and other types of renewable energies like wind, water, geothermal, biomass can replace it during hours without sun. However, the largest share of energy consumption for electricity generation by source in Korea is oil followed by natural gas and coal and the share of renewable energy is still low. Solar energy is a comprehensive cultural revolution. Sun and wind don't send us an invoice and they are free of charge. The sun shines itself, the wind blows itself, and water flows itself; the way of nature is a gift from nature and the solar energy sector can employ more people. By 2030, one million jobs are expected to be created in Germany and five million jobs in Europe in renewable energy industry. It is really “O Sole Mio.”

Germany made an economic miracle after the country was miserably destructed by World War II. Now it is time to make a worldwide ecological miracle, so Dr. Alt supports a leading renewable energy project of Cittaslow Jeonju and suggests that Cittaslow Jeonju be a model for all municipalities in Korea. Our future depends on renewable energy and the future is the very now here. Korea and Germany should work together to protect the planet and that's possible. Both countries have enough economic and technical power for successful change. It is the law of nature to have high hopes of the nature and learn from the wisdom of the nature. Now, it is desirable to pursue ecologically home, ecological farming and ecological transportation using natural resources and sustainable ecological community with solar energy. We hope to live a slower, smaller and simpler life like a decent human being to move to green and ecological economy with solar energy revolution by developing ecological conscience to follow the flow of life from the flow of death mankind faces.

Now the key to success for sustainable energy development is who first actively participates in renewable energy sector. The other panelist Gauti Jóhannesson, a mayor of Cittaslow Djúpivogur in Iceland stresses the way to live a slower, smaller and simpler life that adopts a new ethical approach of developed countries as reducing energy consumption, for example allowing only public transportation within particular areas in big cities.


PRESENTATION 2 : Ulrik Goos Iversen, Principal of Baunehøj Efterskole DENMARK

Danish Efterskole: Messages from Baunehøj Efterskole Case

Among the 10 elements to make the Danish men the happiest in the world, the first is trust and the second is education. Efterskole (afterschool in English), the unique school system of Denmark, gives students an opportunity to design his or her own life during a year before entering high schools after graduating from middle schools. This one-year program is called as ‘a free school.’ The secret to make the Danish people the happiest in the world is the education system such as Efterskole, a long tradition in Denmark. Seung-Kwan Chung, the panelist for Mr. Ulrik Goos Iversen’ presentation, points out the education philosophy of Baunehøj Efterskole as ‘common good’ and ‘good life.’ 

The value of common good is ‘togetherness.’ The Baunehøj advocates the spirit of common good and teaches students that they are not alone, and they have to be someone who can help others. Under the value of ‘togetherness’, students at Baunehøj are not competitors or enemies, but friends and allies. Students learn the community spirit of ‘togetherness’ by cooking meals three times a day, eating together, cleaning up after breakfast, attending morning assemblies, and singing two or three times a week. In addition, the value ‘co-citizenship’ takes deep roots in all school activities and it functions as the basis for democratic education. Democracy is a way of life and for true democracy, citizens must actively participate in all areas from social clubs and organizations to political parties, trade unions, communities of neighbors, workplace, and schools. However, community life and political activities are all based on ethical values such as equality, trust, faith, truth, honesty and courage. It is not a desirable education to make human beings material resources for the creation of economic wealth.

Character building is the first step toward a good life. Character building allows young people to be free, to develop their own identity and to be themselves, and finally to find a good life. Another important thing is that individual students maintain their own pace by taking personal differences into consideration. This is the rhythm of maturity. The education of the mind, the hand and the spirit is basically about the education of “the whole human.” The idea is that to become happy, to become whole as a character or person, one must have experiences with many different aspects of life. Students must have historical, poetical, mathematical and philosophical education and these are examples of education of the spirit. But students also must have basic skills in cleaning, cooking, gardening and mending your own things, and furthermore they should experience that at least one of these practical skills is something that they are good at. To have faith in themselves “because I can do this, I can use these tools” is the education of the hand. But students also need education of the heart, which means that they have social skills and can connect with other people. It also means that they can stay true to their own values when they are tempted to go along with wrongdoers of one or the other kind. Professor Michel Lamblin of Yeungnam University, the other panelist stresses that we need to inject an element of slowness into the rigid and breathless pace of the competitive education system in Korea, especially much dreaded college entrance exams. He also proposes that we should incorporate ‘key-day’ at Baunehøj in all avenues of education. It is a more participatory approach, where student figure out how they should be (and ultimately who they should be) together in freer settings with minimal oversight from teachers would better facilitate character development.

Life is a “Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art)” that comes from the heart as well as the head, so schools should offer graduates a certificate of a human being rather than a diploma with too much emphasis on professional skills and knowledge. For a good life, we should be careful not to “educate for happiness” because there is no way you can try to be happy. Happiness happens while you are doing other things. Mr. Iversen hopes that Koreans make schools inspired by the Danish efterskole and will deserve leaders with a strong character.

Summarized and concluded by Prof. bon sohn Coordinator, Cittaslow Corea Network 

Photo: Participants at Jeonju Slowness Forum & Awards 2018