Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University, “Seoul’s Stiff Education, Can Easily Approach Global Economic City TOP 5 with a Change in Social Structure!”

Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University Department of Economics gives keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Try Everything 2022 on the 21st | Photo by AVING NEWS

The city of Seoul held the global startup festival, ‘Try Everything 2022’, at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) between September 21st(Wed) and the 23rd(Fri).

As the second keynote speech of the Try Everything 2022 opening ceremony on the 21st, the theme of Professor Tyler Cowen’s presentation was an emphasis on the autonomy of the private sector.

Currently receiving attention as an economist of the U.S., Professor Tyler Cowen said that Korea, and Seoul in particular, was an important source of talent, and used the ‘uniqueness’ he saw in global hits such as Parasite and Squid Games as the reason.

Professor Tyler Cowen used entertainment and cutting-edge technology as examples of merits of Seoul. In addition, he pointed out that these things were well integrated more than any other city and said that this was the biggest point of differentiation from American cities.

When it came to the environment of Seoul, he described it saying, “Many buildings and roads are tightly packed together, and there are numerous global franchises like Starbucks or Coffee Bean. However, just around the corners, there are smaller stores that make the city more interesting and add personality. Thus, Seoul is a city you can truly know only when you go through each alley yourself.” and expressed his fondness for Seoul.

In his keynote speech, he introduced a book called ‘Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World?’, and explained that creative talents were people who don’t obey existing learning or authorities and can disagree when everyone else agrees. He emphasized that Korea must make an effort to develop creative talents, and should become an attractive nation that creative talents from other nations want to work in.

Professor Tyler Cowen of George Mason University Department of Economics gives keynote speech at the opening ceremony of Try Everything 2022 on the 21st | Photo by AVING NEWS

Towards the end of the keynote speech, Professor Tyler Cowen mentioned parts of Korea that were currently concerning. “First, Korean schools give way too much homework and assignments to students. Second, Seoul is an international city, but there isn’t enough of an English-speaking population. Third, the utilization rate of the female workforce is still low.” He then went on to say, “If these areas can be improved, not only will Seoul’s startup ecosystem become much better, but will be able to become TOP5 in the future.”

Finally, he concluded his keynote speech with questions about what kind of efforts we were making to become talents, asking, “How hard are you trying to improve yourself? How many tabs are open on your internet browser on your laptop or phone, and do you know why you opened those? What do you do on the weekends? And finally, how ambitious are you?”

Meanwhile, the city of Seoul has been selected as a Global TOP 10 city to start a business. Various players of the startup ecosystem, such as global corporations, investment institutions, unicorn companies, and the media will attend to accelerate the invigoration of the Seoul startup ecosystem. Accordingly, over 40 programs, such as competitions, lectures, and seminars, will be held at Try Everything 2022, and various global institutions and Korean and foreign startup ecosystem experts, such as South Summit, Extreme Tech Challenge, Startup Genome, and the U.S. EMBASSY & CONSULATE, will be in attendance.

This year’s 2022 TRY EVERYTHING special articles were jointly planned and conducted by AVING NEWS and the Seoul Business Agency (sba), which contributes to the revitalization of the Seoul economy through comprehensive and systematic nurturing of medium and small-sized enterprises in Seoul.