Cooperation, Why now?
The program committee of the 2nd SKKU International Conference has chosen the theme for this year’s conference: “Cooperation, Why Now?.” The goal is to reflect on the origins and vicissitudes of human cooperation, uncover the current states of human cooperation, and to offer solutions to push society and the world beyond conflicts and to make cooperation continue and prevail.
South Korea and other parts of the world are experiencing a regressive or even reactionary trend imbued with deepening conflicts and excessive competition in myriad spheres: vulnerable populations being denied access to resources, the limits of merits with increased status differentiation, ever increasing political polarization, the trade war between the US and China, and Russia-Ukraine war with the crippling effects on global supply chain and human livelihood.
Hatred, unprincipled competition, and fear seem to motivate individuals and communities to erect social and psychological walls, limit the sharing of resources, and to question the real possibilities of human cooperation we and our ancestors have witnessed for millions of years. Technological advancements have enhanced prosperity and human possibilities yet are poised to present new social problems, such as the overreliance on technology, surveillance, and the rise of new forms of biases and disparities.
Why are individuals, communities, and nations drawn into increased and intensified conflicts? Does cooperation go into reverse or come to a halt? Are altruistic human motivations trapped in danger? How can we recover the sense of collaboration and communication from all the skeptical signs of human conditions? Should there be considerations when putting in perspective cooperation for the East and the West.
The program committee brought together a group of world-renowned scholars and leading researchers to engage in innovative discussions that enable us to address diverse dimensions of human cooperation and take us beyond the conflict-laden reality to theorize and debate models of cooperation. The participants will think through what facilitates and impedes human cooperation and revisit international commerce and public health in propelling cooperation among nations.
The committee firmly recognizes the responsibility of higher education and/or the university to inform society, government, and the world about a balanced understanding of what shapes our time and pressing agendas ahead of us, and to offer solutions for improving human conditions. The program committee welcomes members of the Sungkyunkwan University community as well as researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and citizens who aspire to seek and convey knowledge, promote cooperation, and are willing to make our world a better place.
The Program Committee of the SKKU International Conference