Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ Co-chair Ban Ki-moon delivered keynote address at the World Knowledge Forum (WKF) that took place on October 10-12th, 2018 in Seoul, Korea. After the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the WKF was launched in October 2000 with the ambition to transform Korea into a knowledge driven nation. Since then, the World Knowledge Forum has taken on the role as a platform for discussions to reduce knowledge gaps through knowledge sharing, and promote balanced global economic growth and prosperity. A total of over 4,000 global speakers and 43,000 audiences have participated since the first forum with the theme of “Shaping the New Millennium with Knowledge” in 2000, and the forum has now become the biggest knowledge festival in the world. Since last year, BKMC Co-chair Ban has also served as Co-chair of the WKF.
This year the forum adopted “Collective Intelligence: Overcoming Global Pandemonium” as its theme to reflect the situation we are in now and our effort to survive it with collective intelligence. ‘Pandemonium’ refers to the devil’s den featured in renowned English poet John Milton’s epic poem titled ‘Paradise Lost’. In other words, the term is used to depict situations that are chaotic like hell. As such, ‘Pandemonium’ can be utilized to describe the chaos brought about by global challenges such as geopolitical conflicts and trade war. To tackle the global challenges, high-level speakers including Chair Jenet Yellen of Federal Reserve System, President Kersti Kaljulaid of Estonia, H. R. McMaster, the 26th Advisor to National Security Council, and President Rajeev Suri of Nokia were featured at the WKF 2018.