Park Won Soon (South Korea)
The sharing economy has been flourishing around the world in recent years. We have seen how information technology has made possible smart platforms that allow material assets to be used more efficiently by sharing resources and services. This gives more people access to resources, while at the same time reducing consumption of natural resources.
Sharing resources makes it possible, for instance, to transport goods more efficiently and to make public transport a more efficient way for people to travel. New ways of collaborating through open networks, the possibility of grassroots funding for projects, the ability to share information or even get free access to education online, are opening up new opportunities for global development to more and more people.
With this year’s theme the jury wants to highlight the opportunities that sharing ownership and information offer for sustainable development.
The Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Development goes this year to Park Won-Soon, Mayor of Seoul in South Korea, one of the world’s first sharing cities.
Under the leadership of Park Won-Soon, Seoul has taken a global lead in developing the “sharing city”. With his background as a human rights activist, Park Won-Soon has also integrated social issues into the project. As a pioneer in this area, Seoul has developed various forms of effective sharing by changing regulations, mobilising the city’s underused resources and making information readily accessible. The city has also raised public awareness and supported companies and initiatives in the sharing of information and assets. Won-Soon has been Mayor of Seoul since 2011 and is a prominent figure in the process of creating better opportunities for sharing resources and information.