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[KIM MOON-SOO] To ensure success for the Korean New Deal

[KIM MOON-SOO’s Token Biz] Recently announced by the government, the Korean new deal is at the center of public and media attention for its ambitious goals and scale. But the civic society should be prepared to review this plan in detail. If national wealth isn’t just something that’s passed on by the former administration, but one that can be newly created, everybody should be in this discussion to find the best strategy and mechanism applicable to this country. Mechanism is an important concept in business management theory. Professor Cho Dong-sung of Seoul National University is a renowned academic in mechanism studies. His research discovered that a company’s success is not only decided by basic elements like the manager, business environment, assets but by principles and mechanisms of how a company operates, accumulated over time. Mechanism design is also a rising theme in economics. Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson won the 2007 Nobel Prize for their contribution to the mechanism design theory. In economics, the mechanism design is at the reverse end to game theory. If game theory anticipates other people’s choice using a set of rules, mechanism design is aimed to establish policies and regulations to incur certain behavior. Therefore in order to ensure the Korean New Deal actually works, it shouldn’t just be about the plans but also about designing an internal mechanism to make those plans operate. According to the blue print, the president will head a Korean New Deal strategy meeting and establish a discussion table between political parties and the administration. The Ministry of Economy and Finance would take charge of offering back-office support for those sessions. On top of that I would like to make the following suggestions: First, the Ministry of Education should reform its audit system to realize digital education. This is a must to realize digital innovation. Under the current system where the ministry sends top-down orders to schools each day, it’s easy for staff to be captivated in trivial rules and orders rather than move or think for innovation. Second, the current plan lacks of vision and action plans for digitization of farming. This keyword should be included to increase focus on Gwangju and South Jeolla which was designated as AI special zones. Third, the citizens need more roles to play in the Korea New Deal. An innovative and inclusive nation should be more than offering welfare, but giving its people leadership for a national innovation. Fourth, digital education should be made obligatory for leaders of government organizations. Even if citizens offer good ideas, there will be high obstacles for realization if government offices remain soaked in bureaucracy, Fifth, there should be a clear mention that the Korean New Deal is aimed for the country to climb up the ranks in national competitiveness. As he announced the Korean New Deal, President Moon Jae-in made it clear that if we do fall behind now, we’ll never be able to rise higher than a “Second-tier” country. Since the Korean War, there have been decades of poverty and hard work before Korea rose to its current position. But the efforts required for a second-tier to jump up to top notch will be incomparable from what we’ve done until now. It will ask for change of thoughts and perception. We need to make sure that unconscious thinking and habits of the past should not block the way to our new journey. And to do so, I advise that the Korean new deal include habits and philosophy of advanced countries from the very start. BY KIM MOON-SOO, professor of Crypto MBA at aSSIST Business School.

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