In line with our mandate from the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Seoul Digital Foundation conducts research and consultation on information and communication technology (ICT) to perform our core responsibilities, which includes: fostering a digital economy, solving urban issues through innovative technologies, assisting information technology (IT) startups in Seoul, developing and providing digital literacy education for residents of Seoul, managing the Gaepo Digital Innovation Park, and hosting the annual Seoul International Digital Festival.

Tackling urban issues with digital

With a growing demand for new economic policies due to the expansion of industries based on new digital technologies, Seoul faces drastic changes in its economic structure with the emergence of a shared economy, online-to-online commerce (O2O), and big data. The global market size for the shared economy is projected to grow more than 20 times, from approximately KRW 16 trillion in 2014 to KRW 367 trillion in 2024 (PwC, 2015). There is a need to introduce a new system statistical measurement for GDP and the value of the digital economy, including taxation and regulation strategies to promote industrial growth with a focus on conversion/transition of traditional industries into high-value added digital industries. The accelerated convergence of digital technologies and traditional industries (e.g. healthcare, education technology, financial technology) is expediting efforts to revitalize the industry. A comprehensive and integrated regulatory system is needed to shape policies and regulations to promote convergence between businesses and industries in the age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Building infrastructure for digital innovation

Understanding the potential of digital technologies and their potential for unprecedented societal transformation are crucial for living in today's world. Digital technologies and knowledge-based capital investment and expansion have emerged as key elements to bring about social transformation (OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2015). There is a growing need to promote early software education to foster the next generation of leaders in the digital economy. Korea's digital education system for future generations is not on par with that of major countries around the world. The country is in urgent need of innovative digital literacy education. There is an increasing need for early digital education to foster next-generation leaders in the digital economy. A wide range of creative programs is needed to encourage digital innovation. Although numerous facilities were provided to digital businesses across the nation in a short period of time, most of the facilities were not fully utilized (less than 10 people/day) because the characteristics of the businesses were not taken into account. There is a need for comprehensive facilities and programs designed to help people share and exchange innovative ideas to create new inventions.

Global Digital Innovation Alliance(GDIA)

• Mission: Creating a better urban ecosystem based on cooperation to resolve urban issues and strengthen sustainable development

• Secretariat: Seoul Digital Foundation, Members: Innovation Institutes and Organizations

• Main Activities

- The alliance will hold 1 annual conference or seminars to share and learn best practices

- It will cooperate with joint programs among members to resolve urban problems

- It will support innovative activities of citizen, start-ups, NGOs for better urban ecosystem

• Structure (TBD)

  • Structure

    • Secretariat

      Seoul Digital Foundation

    • Members

      Innovation institutes and

    • Advisory Body

      International organizations dealing
      with smart city and innovation

  • Agenda

    • Strengthening innovation

      •Supporting innovative citizen,
      start-ups, NGOs for bottom-up
      digital innovation

    • Solving urban issues

      •Building sustainable smart cities and
      solving urban problems with digital

•Plan for the first year(2018)

  • May-Sep


  • Oct.


  • Oct.-Dec.

    Planning for the next phase
    Release of annual report

  • • Recruiting members

    • Organizing the Alliance and conference

  • • Inauguration Ceremony

    • Preparation of conference

    *aligned with the `Smart Seoul Conference`

  • • Operation of GDIA programs

[GDIA Program Schedule]


Oct 29.(Mon)

Oct 30.(Tue), Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Oct 31.(Wed), Heyground


Arrival to Korea

Conference Registration

Breakfast Dialogue

`Technology, Innovation & Inclusion’



[Smart City Conference]

`City as Innovation Sandbox`

[Session 1] 

  Experimental CITY-TO-CITY

[Session 2]

  First Aid for Failure

[Session 3]

  Mapping the Outcomes of Citizen Response


Citypreneurs Policy Interface 1



Citypreneurs Policy Interface 2



Move to Tour Place and Lunch


Tour to Seoul Innovation Centers 

- Digital Reality and Smart City Experience Programme

- Digital Innovation and R&D Center


GDIA Round Table(15:00~16:30)


Inauguration Ceremony(16:40~17:00)


Orientation and Welcoming Dinner for GDIA Members

Networking Party of Conference

Farewell Dinner for GDIA Members


*Nov.1(Thu): Departure from airport to home country

GDIA Member Cities(To be updated)

1. Open & Agile Smart Cities (Belgium)

2. Instituto Brasileiro De Cidades Inteligentes, Humanas E Sustentáveis (Brazil)

3. Sina-Korea Innovation and Startup Park (China)

4. JSC Astana Innovations (Kazakhstan)

5. Cyberview Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)

6. Associação Porto Digital (Portugal)

8. National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics ICI Bucharest (Romania)

9. Centre for Liveable Cities Singapore (Singapore, *Observer Status)

10. Urban Tech Hub (USA)