>   Future Research   >   Future Reports   >   Brief Reports

Brief Reports

Report that suggests the national future strategies based on the analysis of major future issues by the research team

[National Future Strategic Insight] Domestic Industry and Countermeasures upon Introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (No. 27)

According to Yeo Yeong-jun (Associate Research Fellow), Cho Hae-in (Associate Research Fellow) and Jeong Hoon (Research Fellow), the total burden of domestic industry in 2030 is projected to be about KRW 8,245.6B as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) will be fully operational in the European Commission, which is expected to decrease by about 11.7% to 15.0% in policy scenarios assuming technological development and efficient energy transition following the implementation of carbon neutral policies. Their proposal also includes potential CBAM responses including: (1) establishing a monitoring framework and relevant governance for overseas tread such as international CBAM; (2) protection and support for carbon-intensive industries expected to be most affected by the CBAM; (3) improving energy efficiency by encouraging alternative cleaner production processes; (4) expanding renewable energy access; and (5) investment in promising low- and zero-carbon technologies (LZCs) and expansion of technological innovation. They have also emphasized that the CBAM is not a trade restriction; it is a momentum for more effective implementation of the domestic responses in terms of industrial structure and energy system in the global trends of carbon neutrality. Emerging the carbon neutrality declarations and relevant policies around the world, in July 2021, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) ensuring that production of carbon-intensive goods does not shift to countries outside the EU to take advantage of less stringent climate policies while preventing loss of competitiveness of their domestic industries. In this report, the amount of CBAM burden in 2030 when the CBAM will be fully in place is projected by sectors using an environmentally extended input-output table (EEIO) model, in consideration of variances caused by Korea’s carbon neutral policies, thereby suggesting takeaways upon the establishment of mid- to long-term strategies in response to the EU CBAM. “The domestic industries expected to be most affected by the CBAM are backbones of South Korea; thus we must keep monitoring global policy trends, considering potentials of scaling up the CBAM, and establish pan-industry responses and decarbonization strategies for each industry against the CBAM,” said researchers. “It is necessary to actively respond to the global trend of carbon neutrality, and provide opportunities to discover new growth engines and to enhance industrial competitiveness, based on the comprehensive and structural CBMA strategies established and implemented.”

P.I : Yeo Yeong-jun,Cho Hae-in,Jeong Hoon

Date : 2021-09-16

[National Future Strategic Insight] Major Issues and Suggestions of Job Change Support Service for Aging Society (No. 26)

Associate Research Fellow Sung Moon-ju has proposed the policy direction based on issues derived from a support service framework for employment and lifelong learning, out of the mid- to long-term government plans for responding to the aging society, and outcomes obtained from metal-evaluation for such plans. Key policy issues in this report include: (1) levels of new jobs (quality, diversity and sustainability); (2) lack of interconnection between policies and policy governance; (3) effectiveness of the job change support service; (4) accessibility gap between the metropolitan area and the provinces for the job change support service. Based on those issues, she proposed four policy directions. First, “policies designed to increase decent jobs”: when establishing mid- to long-term strategies, labor market projection should be included, and policies should be designed on the basis of analyzed causes of problems in the job change support service and problem-generating mechanism. Second, “systemically-improved frameworks built up by interconnection between policies”: governance should be reorganized to enable comprehensive control and fine adjustment for improving quality of life and for developing new career and new talent of middle-aged population. Third, “appropriate policy goals and indices”: the government’s mid- and long-term plans for the job change support service should be linked with national vision, major policy goals of response to the aging society, deriving proper performance indicators. Last, “enhancing employment and job change support programs”: metrics should be found, such as a link between employment services and career development program, local service accessibility, and effectiveness of the job change support service. “Our country officially became an aged society in 2017, and is expected to be a super-aged society by 2025,” explains Seong. “Although the government is establishing mid- to long-term plans to respond to the aging society, but monitoring and feedback are needed to identify progressing and drawbacks of those policies.” * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI).

P.I : Sung Moon-ju

Date : 2021-09-02

[Futures Brief] Discussion on Progressing National SDGs Implementation: Transition from Segmentation to Integration (No.2)

Associate Research Fellow Cho Hae-in has alleged based on comparison of SDGs (sustainable development goals) implementation between advanced countries and South Korea. She has also asserted, in order for Korea to achieve inclusive growth and implement its global agenda, our society shall (1) identify a number of specific target for each goal, and (2) develop policies and institutions to ensure comprehensive control of economic, social and environmental values. According to this report, “development” in South Korea was equal to “economic growth” accompanying with income increase from the 1980s to the early 2000s. Even today, attention is still focused on economic growth-oriented development, which is exacerbating inequality, polarization, competition, and environmental problems. It is time to find the direction of “development” that we should pursue in order to improve the quality of life of the present and also future generations. She has conducted comparative study on trends and strategies for SGDs implementation and benchmarking cases referring to Voluntary National Review (VNR) reports of the G8 countries and South Korea. Consequently, Cho found that Korea was focused on “economy”, “society” and “environment” and a very weak link connecting those three sectors, while the advanced countries showed SDGs implementation across the various specific and detailed targets well-balanced and interconnected, rather than focusing on a few specific subjects. For example, “environment” has a high value in Korea, while “energy”, “climate”, “water resource” and “biodiversity” were found as high-value keywords in other countries, with which lower-ranked words such as “environment” and “economy” were associated; they were also related to “protection” and scaled up to “society”. “See, for example, SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure); Korea has high-level infrastructure and excellent R&D performance in a science and technology sector, but lack of inclusiveness is such a big challenge,” explains Cho. “If the domestic science and technology development infrastructure is connected with specific targets and other SDGs, such as gender equality and reduce inequality, we can get closer to realizing the global agenda of inclusive innovation.”

P.I : Cho Hae-in

Date : 2021-08-26

[National Future Strategic Insight] Happiness Depending on Where You Live (No. 25)

Min Bo-gyeong, the Head of Quality of Life Group, has concluded that it is necessary to prepare regional-centered strategies for enhancing people’s well-being in her study, because among “living conditions”, “health” and “leisure” were major factors positively affecting the quality of life (happiness) in urban areas, while “financial security” was in non-urban areas. With satisfaction (5-point scale) for living conditions of the residence for all respondents by sector, the “health” (3.70) was ranked #1, followed by safety (3.50), environment (3.44), social relationship (3.43), education (3.43), leisure (3.40), and financial security (3.31) in this order. Political takeaways considering the difference between urban and non-urban areas include (1) the need for strategies to enhance people’s well-being in response to the increasing population risk; (2) the need for region-oriented strategies reflecting regional characteristics; (3) the need for continuous studies on happiness from a regional point of view. “Region is a critical variable closely associated with people’s actual lives. When local extinction is concerned, in-depth studies regarding influence of local residency conditions and satisfaction on happiness are required,” explains Min. “Region-oriented strategies reflecting regional characteristics and policy demands may be useful solutions.” In this study, the nationwide satisfaction of living conditions was referred; difference in happiness factors between urban and non-urban areas was sought based on NAFI’s 2020 Korean Happiness Survey (respondents: males and females aged ≥ 15, n = 13,824); and residential regions of respondents were classified into urban and non-urban areas according to administrative districts defined by the Statistics Korea for finding out difference by region. * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI)

P.I : Min Bo-gyeong

Date : 2021-08-19

[International Strategic Foresight] U.S.-China Technological Hegemony & China’s National Strategies (No. 3)

Dr. Cha Jung-mi (Associate Research Fellow) has categorized China’s strategies to survive and overpower the rival in the era of the U.S-China tech war into two aspects, “technological innovation” and “technological solidarity”. She emphasized that Korea needs to seek independent strategies for innovation and solidarity since nowadays the U.S.-China conflict is not limited to technological innovation but expanded to technological alliance to build their own technology network. According to Dr. Cha’s opinion, China defines this era as the era of “Great Revolution of the Century (世界百年未有之大变局)” in which scientific and technological transformations take place at the same time; they see a prominent strategic opportunity to rise and are actively engaging in “technological innovation” and “technological solidarity”. In fact, the rise and fall of great powers in the history of mankind have always been linked with emerging and decline of new technology; it is why China is focusing on innovation and solidarity, believing that the rise of novel technologies gives it an opportunity to take the global leadership. China has been fostering especially artificial intelligence, space science, and quantum information as strategic nation-critical science and technology projects, while expanding its global network with initiatives such as “Digital Silk Road (数字丝绸之路)” and “Alliance of International Science Organizations (国际科学组织联盟). “The significant characteristic of this era is that the rise of new high-tech technologies and fierce competition to take the lead – this is an important transitional period for Korea to determine the economic and strategic status of Korea in the future of technological revolution,” said Dr. Cha. “Beyond merely forecasting and analyzing the future of the U.S.-China tech hegemony, we should address the very important task of the mid- to long-term strategy to seek the governance of integrated communication and cooperation among the governance, industry, academia and laboratory for establishing Korea’s strategies in the innovation and solidarity that will help us take a lead in the era of Industry 4.0.” Meanwhile, NAFI’s Center for International Strategy is conducting two projects under the 2021 agenda “the future of U.S.-China technological hegemony”: the “Global Collaboration Research” project together with scholars from 13 countries, which is a comparative study on perceptions and forecast strategies of major countries for U.S.-China tech war; and a project in cooperation with about 10 domestic scholars to determine Korea’s best diplomatic strategies and tasks under this hegemony.

P.I : Cha Jung-mi

Date : 2021-08-12

[National Future Strategic Insight] Overcoming Disaster toward Innovation (No. 24)

Dr. Jeon Jun (Associate Research Fellow) has explored the concepts of disaster and innovation from a new perspective, and presented (1) a future with more disasters and inequality, (2) a future with less disasters, and (3) a future with higher social acceptance of disasters as plausible future scenarios. Dr. Jeon predicted that it is highly likely that Korea will face the dark sides of both scenarios (1) and (2). This is because our society is recognizing “disasters” only as the Acts of God or unpredictable large-scale accidents, and innovative strategies to respond to them also tend to be temporary. The scenario (3) is presented as a preferred example to show the direction we should be heading rather than the scenarios (1) and (2), although it still includes several risk factors. In such a scenario, social conflict is not a mere problem, but can be a useful tool by which various public opinions can be collected. He also proposed future innovations that can respond to social crisis and disasters in a broad sense, which are categorized into “democratic innovation” and “flexible innovation”. They aim at ensuring that individuals facing everyday disasters give their specific opinions for innovation, diversifying the subject of innovation, and enhancing social and organizational resilience in crisis situations. “If we understand only COVID-19 as a representative disaster, what we can see is limited to a huge and visible disaster. Actually, the ‘disasters’ encompass a historical and sociological phenomenon that comes slowly, is structurally formed, and is always present in our lives,” explains Dr. Jeon. “For addressing the disasters in a true sense, we need to seek democratic and flexible innovations in order to face the current status of our society and change it for the better,” he emphasized. * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI).

P.I : Jeon Jun

Date : 2021-08-05

[Futures Brief] Emerging Issues and Global Trends (No. 1)

Park Seong-won, the Head of Innovative Growth Group, has introduced global emerging issues that might become great problems/opportunities: (1) anthropause, a global reduction in modern human activityl (2) social bubble, which refers to a having a small, clearly defined group; (3) zoom town, offline extension of the social bubble; (4) spatial computing, defined as human interaction with a machine in a 3D space around you; (5) splinternet; (6) bio-surveillance regime; (7) whole-genome synthesis; and (8) return of circular economy. Emerging issues mean issues (discoveries, events, or phenomenon) that have not been influential or important in the past but might be influential in the future. As pointed out by Park, the emerging issues analysis is intended to find potential social problems in advance and to make various efforts to address such problems without leading to major accidents. He also alleged that it is necessary to identify who and for what emerging issues are raised, and continuously monitor whether unintended negative consequences are caused by policy response and new conflicts arise, preventing a solution from becoming another challenge. In other words, Conventional studies on emerging issues have focused on discovering potentially influential issues, however nowadays it is required to specify intentions of those who make and spread with continuous monitoring. “This study covers the need for study on emerging issues, characteristics of issues sources, conventional researches, emerging issues being discussed recently, and policy responses for those issues,” explains Park. “We will try to discover issues that will ‘emerge’ due to social contradictions and conflicts in future research.”

P.I : Park Seong-won

Date : 2021-07-29

[National Future Strategic Insight] Literature Review to Derive Emerging Issues (No. 23)

Kim Yu-bean, the Director General of Research Support Office, has proposed an algorithm to derive issue candidates from a vast amount of literature data based on the definition of “emerging issues”, finding the literature with a pattern similar to such a definition. Emerging issues mean issues (discoveries, events, or phenomenon) that have not been influential or important in the past but might be influential in the future. In order to respond to future environmental changes, it is important to continuously identify emerging issues that are now negligibly influential but potentially turned into future or mega-trends, since the emerging issues are likely to become dominant in about 5-10 years and act as a driving force for social changes. Studies so far have mainly explored various issues through listening to opinions of experts, interviews, and brainstorming, but had limitations to discovery and evaluate issues from multiple perspectives due to expert bias and excessive amount of multidisciplinary information. In this study, Kim proposed a new methodology to search for issue candidates covering science, technology, humanities and society by using a vast amount of literatures, which is a literature-based algorithm to define entering issues and quickly derive candidates from literatures in consideration of novelty, fast-growth and impact, followed by selection of final issues through peer review on the candidates. Keywords from various perspectives were derived when applying the proposed algorithm to the digital transformation, including ICT-based technology, digital literacy, digital adaptation, and new opportunities. “We expect emerging issues analysis will be actively conducted if this algorithm is open online platform with the expanded function to enable general-purpose data input, contributing to enhancing our society’s future-proof capability,” explains Kim. * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI).

P.I : Kim Yu-bean

Date : 2021-07-22

[National Future Strategic Insight] Addressing the Rapidly Growing Suicide Rate (No. 22)

Park Sang-hoon (Head of Governance Group) et al. have alleged that proactive government effects to decrease the suicide rate have not shown significant effectives although a variety of indicatives aimed at suicide prevention have implemented, commencing from 5-year comprehensive plan (I) led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in 2004, and it is because that the limitations in existing solutions focusing on suicide prevention and alleviation of suicidal risk. As they pointed out, it is wrong to understand the suicide only as a social maladjustment or to leave the bereaved family feeling guilty; reform of the existing administrative-limited approach is demanded. According to Park’s opinion, approach to risk factors at the individual level has its limitations – we should focus on “social suicide rate” rather than vulnerable individuals. Suicide rates are defined as a representative social indicators from which the degree of “society capability” can read, i.e. solidarity and community support. In other words, the stronger society capability is, the lower the suicide rate will be. The extremely high suicide rate cannot be solved by reducing risk of suicide attempts and providing healthcare for mental disorder, i.e. focusing on those individuals in need. What the Korean society really needs is strategies to prevent suicide assisted by comprehensive governmental supports addressing social challenges from poorly-funded social safety net to unfair labor market. What countries experiencing success in suicide prevention strategies have in common is that they have encourage socially approaching the suicide ideation considering their own resources and environment. Finland has introduced the psychological autopsy as a comprehensive psychological assessment tool based on its social security framework; Demark has established a welfare system diversified from multiple perspectives; and Japan has implemented a PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Adjust) cycle grounded on systematic efforts and policy interest of the administrative authorities. Actually, there were 28.6 (#7) per 100,000 population in Demark in 1985, but drastically declined to 9.4 (#26) in 2017. Rates of suicide spiked heavily in the late 1990s in Japan, but have been gradually declining for 10 consecutive years, falling to the lowest on record in 2019 (“2020 Counter-Suicide Whitepaper”, Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (Japan)). Meanwhile, South Korea ranked #1 in 2017 with extremely high suicide rate of 23.0 deaths per 100,000, rapidly raising from 11.2 (#23) in 1985. “Although nowadays suicide is not viewed as a personal problem, but Korean society yet does not have sufficient social framework to support vulnerable groups and bereaved family suffering the most than anyone else,” explains Park. “We can suppress the suicide rate in the true sense only with a combination of proactive government intervention, social consensus, law revision, institutional reorganization, research, investigation, planning and practice.” * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI).

P.I : Park Sang-hoon

Date : 2021-07-07

[National Future Strategic Insight] Detour to the Desirable Future (No. 21)

Park Seong-won, the Head of Innovative Growth Group, proposed a detour strategy that could lead to the people’s desirable future based on the multi-dimension investigation and analysis of the prolonged conflicts in the Korean society. Based on the future perception surveys conducted over the past three years, he has concluded that the Korean society is suffering from conflicts and confrontations in national and economic growth, environmental preservation, efficiency and equity. Korean society has emphasized growth, efficiency, meritocracy so far, but recently calls for new social vision raises for personal growth, environmental conservation, fairness and equity, which is expected increase further in the future. In his opinion, the long-term desirable future striking a balance among economy, environment and personal achievement can only be accomplishment by a “detour”, a person-centric alternative to abandoning the blind obsession with economic growth. Korea should aim at new dimension (society II) different from the existing society (society I) which was a combination of growthism and environmental damage; the detour will show us new perspectives and opportunities to reconstruct a goal our society wants to build up. “The proposed alternative can be understood as a detour and stopover toward the desirable further that our society should pursue over a long period,” explains Park. “Although it takes time, a gentle road could be a preferred alternative to a steep shortcut.” * “National Future Strategic Insight” is a brief report which is issued every two weeks to provide strategic insights for our future based on in-depth analysis of major issues made by professional researchers at the National Assembly Futures Institute (NAFI).

P.I : Park Seong-won

Date : 2021-06-24