CCF 2021: Cultural experts underline significance of diversity, egalitarianism

CCF 2021: Cultural experts underline significance of diversity, egalitarianism

France’s Secretary of State for Digital, Cedric O, speaks during the 2021 Culture Communication Forum at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of CICI

By Dong Sun-hwaDigital platforms like Google and YouTube have facilitated communication among people, but now is time to take action to regulate them properly to promote cultural diversity and egalitarianism, cultural experts say.”Digital platforms are very interesting in many ways, but we cannot say they are protecting the public good,” France’s Secretary of State for Digital, Cedric O, said in his congratulatory address for the 2021 Culture Communication Forum (CCF), Tuesday, at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. The main themes of this year’s event were culture, fairness and communication.”In fact, the companies controlling these platforms hold power, which leads the minority to control economic values, among others. Companies are profit-driven by nature and they often do not self-limit themselves to make more profits, sometimes to an extent that contradicts the public good. This is why they should be subject to regulations.”He underscored that governments around the world need to think more about whether the platform giants are sincerely trying to keep their promise of “bringing people together.””Most platforms comply with the regulations set by the U.S. or China, without considering regional identity or particularity,” he remarked. “For more effective cultural communication, global citizens should have opportunities to share and exchange different views… And as the platform users, they need to learn why Google and YouTube are recommending them certain content and try to combat the spread of ‘fake news.'”

CCF 2021: Cultural experts underline significance of diversity, egalitarianism

The 2021 Culture Communication Forum took place at the Grand Hyatt Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of CICI

International Advisory Board of the Future Consensus Institute Chair Kim Won-soo, another speaker of the evening, also stressed the value of cultural diversity.”Without respecting different cultures, even powerful digital platforms cannot provide any meaningful content,” he said.Generation Equality Forum Secretary General Delphine O underlined the significance of promoting gender equality in the creative industry, saying women’s leadership and representation in culture and communication are crucial to building a more equal world.”Today, only 25 percent of people represented in the media and 21 percent of filmmakers globally are women,” she pointed out. To promote egalitarianism, Mexican Ambassador Bruno Figueroa said cultural content could be an effective tool as it unites people like no others regardless of their language or background.Other panelists, including German Ambassador Michael Reiffenstuel, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) President Lee Kwang-hyung, Jeju Research Institute President Kim Sang-hyup and photographer MJ Kim also echoed these sentiments. So did Beppe Severgnini, an editor at Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Alicia De Arteaga, an Argentinian journalist, Sohn Jie-ae, a visiting professor at Ewha Womans University and Sebastien Falletti, an Asia correspondent for Le Figaro. During the event, one of its organizers, the Corea Image Communication Institute (CICI), unveiled interesting survey results showing a discrepancy of perception between Koreans and non-Koreans.”Some 80 percent of the Korean respondents said ‘competition’ is the first thing that comes to their mind when thinking about ‘fairness,'” it said. “In contrast, more than 90 percent of the foreigners related ‘fairness’ to ‘justice.'” On Tuesday, cultural experts such as Mark Lippert, former U.S. ambassador and current Asia-Pacific policy chief of YouTube, and Canadian filmmaker Scott Miller Berry had an in-depth discussion over the same topics with Singaporean Ambassador Eric Teo and Mexican Ambassador Bruno Figueroa, among others. Dinesh Patnaik, the director general of Indian Council for Cultural Relations, made closing remarks. The CCF was launched in 2011 to promote cultural exchange and development by bringing together cultural leaders across the globe. It is co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korean Culture and Information Service, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and CICI.

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