|▲ Korea Sinzisikin Association / President Kim Jong-baek|
Led by the government, South Korea experienced a boom in sinzisikin (new intellectual) movement from 1998. The Korea Sinzisikin Association rolled up sleeves to spread the movement to entire country as a way to promote quality of lives and to introduce new policies. The association announced Sinzisikin Day in 2007 to strengthen status of the members, fact-based researches and professionalism, and is working on finding new intellectuals, publishing case books and bringing necessary laws. <PowerKorea> met Kim Jong-baek, President of the Korea Sinzisikin Association.
Everybody can be sinzisikin
"The association started as an alliance. But we took over the new intellectual finding project from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety in 2006 with launching of the association November the same year. It's been 23 years since the movement was first introduced and I feel deeply moved playing the president's role" says Kim.
In addition to the existing concept of sinzisikin, the association is focusing on its social roles, social values and public interests. As a non-profit organization, it has engaged in various social service activities that covers from donation to environmental campaign.
The association has signed various cooperation agreements with various organizations including disabled as well as collaboration with the Ministry of National Defense.
"We have long time engaged in sending consolatory letters to soldiers alongside visiting the camps though it's a little bit slowed down recently. In an effort to resume the activity, we recently celebrated a biography of lieutenant Kim Poong-ik who is received as a hero of the Korean War. The book is titled <My Blood to My County>. We also recently listed sergeant Ha Jae-hun who lost both of his legs to PMD series mines in 2015 as he showed a great courage to overcome the bad luck and touched many hearts of the Korean people. This has strengthened bond between the association and the defense ministry."
Kim adds "We are living in a world where things are changing fast due to tech-driven IT devices and social networking platforms. I think it is good for people to share their own contents with hundreds of other people in the world within just a few minutes. To make the most of its advantages, the association also is using the tools and platforms as ways to promote our members. People talk about 'sharing economy' when it comes to new mobility industry. But I think the precise meaning of it is more like innovation in creation, innovation in methods and innovation in sharing the values. In other words, it is 10 people making 1 step instead of 1 person making 10 steps."
Sinzisikin for stronger root and autonomous
"Korea Sinzisikin Association is in the process of strengthening its root and autogenic power. The association is the sole organization run without support of the government but membership fee and we are proud of this. Sinzisikin Movement opened a new era for value at global level and it focused on 'people' which might be unprecedented. However, the government-led campaign disappeared in many countries but we turned it successfully to private-led with 'people' in the center and 'fairness' in driving engine."
35th Sinzisikin Accreditation
Finding and issuing sinzisikin certificates takes place twice a year in 21 categories that covers almost all areas from traditional industries to venture, education, culture and art as well as women and youth. To mark the 35th Sinzisikin Accreditation in July, Kim delivers his message to new intellectuals:
"The accreditation ceremony will not only about issuing the certification but spreading the story of hope to the people. For this reason, the ceremony will focus on the role of new intellectuals and successful cases. I think the words 'new intellectuals' start from positive mind. I call it 'positive virus' and I mean it as 'hope virus' in this time of global spread of COVID-19 that is tiring both body and mind of the people on earth."
The number of the membership of the association is around 6,000 and some of them are active in the US, Japan, China, Russia and many parts of the world. Timor-Leste and Rwanda especially are benchmarking Korean sinzisikin movement as a role model to follow.
With its proactive exchange programs, Korea Sinzisikin Association is pushing forward the spread of its excellence to the world over Korea regardless their political stance.
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