In contemporary South Korea, generational differences have become a cause for serious concern. On the one hand, elderly citizens account for an ever-growing portion of the population, but rapid technological changes exclude many of them from the social sphere. On the other hand, more and more young South Koreans embody habits and beliefs that deviate from established social norms. They are tech-savvy and heavily invested in individual happiness; they also confess to an increasing feeling of distance from, if not outright hostility toward, generations that came before them.
Such problems of generational differences aren’t limited only to South Korea. After all, “Millennials” (those born between 1981 and 1996—according to conventional definitions) have prompted much hand-wringing in global media for seemingly rejecting lifestyles and values of their parents. Conflicts and lack of understanding between generations have been identified as possible threats to social and political harmony in countries as far away from South Korea as France and Germany.
To explore what this generational shift worldwide means and how we can respond to its challenges, Goethe-Institut Korea and Institut Français de Corée du Sud are jointly organizing a series of events titled “From X to Z: Generations in Dialogue,” in cooperation with Korea Exposé and with support from Franco-German Cultural Funds.
In three panel discussions and an open debate, spread over a period of four days from May 7 to 10, distinguished experts from South Korea, Germany and France will gather to discuss the issue with three distinct focuses: digital literacy, the meaning of happiness, and effects and responses to globalization.
All panel discussions will be moderated by Se-Woong KOO, founder and editor-in-chief of Korea Exposé.
All the events will be in English and Korean, with simultaneous interpretation. For the Dinner Conversation, participants can choose between Korean, English, French and German.
The events will be graphically recorded by JUNG Jaeyoon (South Korea) and TJ BECK/GRAPHICRECORDING.COOL (Germany).