About Us

WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR

The Asia Institute represents a new era. No longer can think tanks merely dispense wisdom from the advanced West to a developing Asia. Today Asia has a wide range of assets and wisdom that the world needs and the time has come for a dialog between equals about the future of humanity. No longer are research institutes solely concerned with a single national agenda. The Asia Institute is truly international in perspective and actively seeks out the opinions and support of individuals and institutions across Asia and the world. Over the last five years the Asia Institute has offered a new space for honest dialog across the world on topics such as technology and society, integration and the emergence of new partnerships across Asia and the environment–critical topics that are often overlooked in fuss about Six Party Talks and Free Trade Agreements.

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INTRODUCTION

The Asia Institute is the first truly pan-Asian think tank. A research institution that addresses global issues with a focus on Asia, the Asia Institute is committed to presenting a balanced perspective that takes into account the concerns of the entire region. The Asia Institute provides an objective space wherein a significant discussion on current trends in technology, international relations, the economy, and the environment can be carried out.

In terms of trade, technology, and finance, Asia is integrating at a remarkably quick pace these days. Although Asia is the intellectual, technological and financial hub of the world, the gap between the integration of Asia in terms of logistics, energy and finance and its slow emergence as a cultural and intellectual continuum is striking.

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OUR GOALS

THE ASIA INSTITUTE COVERS ASIA NOT ONLY IN ITS SEMINARS AND REPORTS, BUT ENGAGES AT A MUCH MORE DEEPER LEVEL BY CONSTANT DISCUSSION WITH STAKEHOLDERS AT ALL LEVELS ACROSS ASIA ABOUT THE CRITICAL ISSUES OF OUR TIME: THE ENVIRONMENT, THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON SOCIETY, THE FUTURE THAT OUR YOUTH FACE AND THE CHANGING NATURE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS. THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS INDEED A TRULY PAN-ASIAN THINK TANK.

THE ASIA INSTITUTE CONSIDERS MAINTAINING A BALANCED PERSPECTIVE ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES AS ITS HIGHEST PRIORITY WHILE TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE CONCERNS OF THE ENTIRE REGION AND THE INTERESTS OF ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS WHICH SPANS ACROSS GENDER, CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS. THESE INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO TECHNICAL EXPERTS, POLICY MAKERS, LOCAL AND REGIONAL COMMUNITIES AND EVEN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.

WE PROVIDE AN OBJECTIVE SPACE WHEREIN A SIGNIFICANT DISCUSSION ON CURRENT TRENDS IN TECHNOLOGY, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, THE ECONOMY AND THE ENVIRONMENT IS CARRIED OUT. THE ‘OBJECTIVE SPACE’ ACTS AS AN OPEN PLATFORM THAT ALLOWS ANY AND EVERY ONE TO PARTICIPATE.

THE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND INTEGRATION IN ASIA IS INCREASING AT A REMARKABLE PACE IN TERMS OF TRADE, TECHNOLOGY AND FINANCE. ASIA IS NO LONGER SIMPLY A HUB FOR MANUFACTURING, BUT ALSO A CULTURAL, INTELLECTUAL AND A STRATEGIC CENTER FOR THE WORLD. HOWEVER, DESPITE ASIA’S INCREASING ROLE IN ON THE GEOPOLITICAL STAGE, A SERIOUS GAP REMAINS BETWEEN THE STRIKING SPEED OF INTEGRATION IN TERMS OF LOGISTICS, ENERGY AND FINANCE AND THE MUCH RETARDED GROWTH OF INTELLECTUAL COMMUNITIES AND CULTURAL EXCHANGE THAT ADDRESS LONG-TERM COMMON PRIORITIES.

THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS DEDICATED TO INCREASING THE IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE CITIZENS OF ASIA ON THE IMPORTANT ISSUES OF OUR AGE SO THAT IT PARALLELS THE LEVEL OF PROMINENCE AND ATTENTION OF TRADE AND FINANCE. THERE IS A DESPERATE NEED FOR OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS AND RIGOROUS DEBATE THAT GOES BEYOND NATIONAL BORDERS AND INCLUDES ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN ASIA.

OUR PRINCIPLES

THE ASIA INSTITUTE FOCUSES ON THESE FOUR INTERRELATED ISSUES WHICH IMPACT THE ENTIRE WORLD. WE SEEK TO INTERPRET THEIR SIGNIFICANCE AND PLAN FOR A GLOBAL RESPONSE THROUGH A COLLABORATIVE DIALOG THAT INVOLVES A BROAD RANGE OF EXPERTS IN MANY COUNTRIES.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF OUR SOCIETY, AND OUR ECONOMY, BY THE UNPRECEDENTED RATE OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE.

ALTHOUGH THE BRICK AND MORTAR BUILDINGS AROUND US ARE UNCHANGED AND THE BORDERS OF COUNTRIES REMAIN ESSENTIALLY THE SAME, OUR WORLD HAS BEEN AND UTTERLY TRANSFORMED BY TECHNOLOGY. COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY BRINGS TOGETHER LIKES WITH LIKES ACROSS THE GLOBE IN UNPREDICTABLE COMBINATIONS. THE VERY PROCESS OF DETERMINING TRUTH FROM FICTION IS MADE ULTIMATELY MORE PROBLEMATIC AS TECHNOLOGY CHANGES HOW WE KNOW AND WHAT WE KNOW, OR DO NOT KNOW.

SO ALSO 3D PRINTING MAKES IT POSSIBLE TO CREATE VIRTUALLY ANYTHING WITHOUT ANY NEED FOR MANUFACTURING. RESPONDING TO THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE ON SOCIETY WILL BE THE MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR OUR AGE, MADE MORE DIFFICULT BECAUSE THE MANY TRANSFORMATIONS ARE INVISIBLE FOR MOST PEOPLE.THE IMPACT OF THE NEW SOCIOECONOMIC SYSTEMS ON OUR CLIMATE AT THE LOCAL, REGIONAL AND GLOBAL LEVELS.

CLIMATE CHANGE IS BY FAR THE GREATEST SECURITY THREAT THAT WE FACE TODAY. ALTHOUGH IT HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A PROFOUND DANGER FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS, OUR ECONOMIC SYSTEM AND OUR SOCIAL AND CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS ARE INCAPABLE OF FORMULATING AND IMPLEMENTING A RESPONSE. WE MUST UNDERSTAND HOW OUR CURRENT GLOBAL ECONOMIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL REGIME CONTRIBUTES TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND FORMULATE CONCRETE STEPS FOR ADAPTATION TO, AND MITIGATION OF, CLIMATE CHANGE ON A GLOBAL SCALE.

THE TRANSFORMATION OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS BY TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE, SPECIFICALLY CHANGES IN DIPLOMACY, SECURITY, EDUCATION, FINANCE AND TRADE.

ALTHOUGH WE USE THE SAME TERMS TO DESCRIBE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS THAT WE EMPLOYED 100 YEARS AGO, THE NATURE OF DIPLOMACY, SECURITY AND TRADE HAVE BEEN ALTERED BEYOND RECOGNITION BY TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE. IMAGES, TEXTS AND VIDEOS CAN BE TRANSPORTED AROUND THE WORLD INSTANTANEOUSLY, AFFECTING A TRUE “DEATH OF DISTANCE,” AND INCREASINGLY THEY CAN BE FABRICATED JUST AS EASILY.

PEOPLE AND GOODS ARE TRANSPORTED WITH GREAT EASE AS WELL OVER VAST DISTANCES, AND GLOBALIZATION HAS CREATED ENORMOUS DISPLACED POPULATIONS. SO ALSO GOODS CAN BE PROCESSED AND SHIPPED AROUND THE WORLD IN AN ENTIRELY AUTOMATED MANNER—PART OF THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. WE MUST ENTIRELY RETHINK THE CONCEPT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS IN LIGHT OF THESE TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGES, MOVING BEYOND A VAGUE ANXIETY ABOUT GLOBALIZATION AND RATHER IDENTIFYING THE DISTINCT IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGIES ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS.

THE RISE OF ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM AND THE DECLINE OF THE APPLICATION OF RIGOROUS SCIENTIFIC APPROACHES TO ANALYSIS AND PROBLEM SOLVING, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF RAPID TECHNOLOGICAL EVOLUTION.

THE WORLD FACES A TERRIBLE WAVE OF ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM, FROM CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL TO RACIST ESSENTIALISM, WHICH UNDERMINES OUR ABILITY TO RESPOND TO THE PRESSING ISSUES OF OUR AGE AND ENCOURAGES A SELF-INDULGENT ATTITUDE BORN OF IGNORANCE AND INDIFFERENCE. THIS DEVELOPMENT IS A PRODUCT OF THE DEBASEMENT OF EDUCATION INTO A COMMERCIAL PRODUCT AND THE RESULTING DECLINE IN THE INTELLECTUAL RIGOR IN THE MEDIA AND OTHER FORMS OF EXPRESSION. THIS NEW CULTURE IS INHERENTLY ANTI-SCIENCE, EVEN AS IT EMBRACES GLITZY TECHNOLOGIES.

WE MUST AVOID EMOTIONAL RESPONSES DRIVEN BY TECHNOLOGICAL BELLS AND WHISTLES, RATHER APPLYING A RATIONAL SCIENTIFIC APPROACH IN POLICY, IN TECHNOLOGY AND IN STRATEGY. WE MUST AVOID THE ANTI-SCIENCE, “BREAD AND CIRCUSES” APPROACH TO POLITICAL DISCOURSE THAT WE SEE SPREADING AROUND THE WORLD. ABOVE ALL, INTELLECTUALS MUST HAVE A STRONG SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS ESSENTIAL FIGURES IN SOCIETY.

A NEW VISION FOR ASIA

THE ASIA INSTITUTE BELIEVES THAT A DIFFERENT APPROACH IS REQUIRED TO RESOLVE THE LONG-STANDING PROBLEMS THAT PLAGUE THE MOST RAPIDLY GROWING REGION IN THE WORLD. ALTHOUGH ASIA, AND PARTICULARLY NORTHEAST ASIA, IS BECOMING THE ECONOMIC AND INTELLECTUAL CENTER OF THE WORLD, ITS IMMENSE POTENTIAL IS UNDERCUT BY UNJUSTIFIED MILITARY BUILD-UPS, MISCONCEIVED CONCEPTS OF GROWTH, ECOLOGICAL DEGRADATION, THE MISUSE OF TECHNOLOGY AND THE DECAY OF TRADITIONAL CULTURES INTO THOUGHTLESS CONSUMERISM. THE ASIA INSTITUTE PRESENTS A VISION OF A GREATER ASIA THAT CAN INSPIRE OUR AGE.

 

IMPLEMENTATION-ORIENTED APPROACH 

THE ASIA INSTITUTE PRODUCES REPORTS, PROPOSALS ARTICLES THAT ARE IMMEDIATELY RELEVANT AND THAT CAN BE READILY IMPLEMENTED AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. WE STRIVE TO LOCALIZE OUR IDEAS AND ENGAGE IN A DEEP DIALOG WITH BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS ABOUT HOW WE CAN RESPOND TO GLOBAL CHALLENGES. WHEN WE PROPOSE IMPROVED ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS IN VIETNAM, FOR EXAMPLE, WE PREPARE MATERIALS IN VIETNAMESE THAT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND LOCAL CITIZENS CAN READILY EMPLOY AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. WE WORK WITH YOUTH AROUND THE WORLD AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO COOPERATE WITH EACH OTHER TO ADDRESS COMMON ISSUES AS A TEAM. MANY OF OUR PROPOSALS ARE BOTH BROAD IN IMPLICATION AND EXTREMELY CONCRETE IN TERMS OF THEIR IMPLEMENTATION.

 

MULTICULTURAL & MULTILINGUAL

ALTHOUGH ENGLISH, THE LINGUA FRANCA OF ASIA, IS CENTRAL FOR OUR WORK, THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS A MULTILINGUAL INSTITUTION, CONDUCTING RESEARCH AND ACTIVITIES IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES FOR MULTIPLE AUDIENCES. WE IMAGINE A FUTURE IN WHICH THE MAJOR PROJECTS OF THE ASIA INSTITUTE ARE CONDUCTED IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES AND PRODUCE OUR MATERIALS IN MULTIPLE ASIAN AND EUROPEAN LANGUAGES.

 

YOUTH PARTICIPATION

WE BELIEVE THAT POLICY MAKERS CAN LEARN FROM YOUTH AND THAT YOUTH MUST BE INVOLVED IN THE POLICY DEBATE AT THE LOCAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL LEVELS. THE ASIA INSTITUTE INVOLVES YOUNG PEOPLE IN ALL OF OUR ACTIVITIES: AS INTERNS, AS MEMBERS OF SEMINARS, AND AS WRITERS. ASIA INSTITUTE SEMINARS ALLOW YOUTH TO ENGAGE DIRECTLY WITH LEADING FIGURES IN RESEARCH, GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS. THE ASIA INSTITUTE BELIEVES THAT YOUNG PEOPLE MUST HAVE A VOICE IN THE DEBATE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ASIA. MANY OF OUR SEMINARS INVOLVE HIGH SCHOOL, COLLEGE, GRADUATE SCHOOL STUDENTS ALONGSIDE PROFESSORS AND OTHER PROFESSIONALS.

 

NEW PARADIGMS OF COLLABORATION

THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS COMMITTED TO CREATING NEW PARADIGMS FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. WE BUILD ALLIANCES BETWEEN NGOS, RESEARCH INSTITUTES, GOVERNMENTS AND BUSINESSES ACROSS ASIA, ENCOURAGE INTERACTION BETWEEN PEOPLE IN DIFFERENT ASIAN NATIONS, AND EXPLORE NEW APPROACHES TO BRINGING TOGETHER STAKEHOLDERS. WE ARE EXPLORING THE POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET TO FOSTER COOPERATION BETWEEN LOCAL GROUPS ACROSS THE GLOBE.

 

POSITIVE USE OF TECHNOLOGY

THE RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES THAT GO BEYOND THE CAPABILITY OF HUMAN SOCIETY TO RAPIDLY ADAPT IS ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES OF OUR AGE. THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS COMMITTED TO FINDING POSITIVE USES FOR NEW TECHNOLOGIES AND HONESTLY ADDRESSING NEGATIVE IMPLICATIONS OF SUCH TECHNOLOGIES.

OUR ACTIVITIES

THE ASIA INSTITUTE HAS CONDUCTED A WIDE RANGE OF PROGRAMS ON CULTURE, SOCIETY, INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND SECURITY OVER THE LAST SEVEN YEARS, BUT OUR FOCUS RESTS ON THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, THE CONCERNS OF YOUTH AND WOMEN AND THE SHIFTING NATURE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR EDUCATION, COMMUNICATIONS AND BUSINESS.

THE ASIA INSTITUTE IS COMMITTED TO PROMOTING MEANINGFUL COOPERATION ACROSS THE WHOLE OF ASIA, AND WE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISCUSSION. WE POSSESS IN-DEPTH EXPERIENCE AND KNOWLEDGE ON REPUBLIC OF KOREA, JAPAN, THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND THE UNITED STATES. IN ADDITION, WE HAVE CONDUCTED PROGRAMS INVOLVING THE NATIONS OF SOUTH ASIA, THE MIDDLE EAST, CENTRAL ASIA, SOUTHEAST ASIA, AFRICA AND SOUTH AMERICA.

WE ARE NOT JUST COMMITTED TO ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSIONS; IT IS MAINLY ABOUT DELIVERING A NEW VISION FOR AN INTEGRATED AND PEACEFUL ASIA THAT IS ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE AND CONTRIBUTES TO GLOBAL CIVILIZATION THROUGH ITS INNOVATIVE MODEL OF GOVERNANCE.

WE BELIEVE IN PROMOTING MEANINGFUL LONG-TERM COOPERATION TO RESPOND TO THE CHALLENGES OF OUR TIMES. WE HAVE ALWAYS BROUGHT TOGETHER INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES TO WORK AS A TEAM THAT CAN APPRAISE NEW ISSUE, COME UP WITH CREATIVE AND VIABLE SOLUTIONS AND IMPLEMENT THEM AROUND THE WORLD THROUGH ROBUST NETWORKS. WE, AT THE ASIA INSTITUTE ARE DEDICATED TO CREATING A NEW DISCURSIVE SPACE IN WHICH WE CAN COME TO A CONSENSUS ON COMMON THEMES AND BRING TOGETHER SHAREHOLDERS FROM ACROSS THE ASIAN REGION.

THE ASIA INSTITUTE ALWAYS INVOLVES THE YOUTH AT EVERY STAGE IN ITS PROGRAMS, GIVING THEM A CHANCE TO SET OUR PRIORITIES, CONVEY THEIR CONCERNS DIRECTLY TO POLICYMAKERS AND EXPERTS THROUGH OUR EVENTS AND OUR REPORTS, AND TO ENGAGE IN A MEANINGFUL ADVOCACY. IT IS A SAD TRUTH THAT ALTHOUGH THE EXPERT HAS MUCH TO LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF YOUTH AS YOUTH HAVE TO LEARN FROM HIM, THE DIALOG IS INEVITABLY ONE WAY. MOREOVER, WE ARE BUILDING BRIDGES ACROSS ASIA THAT LINK YOUTH WITH DECISION MAKERS AND EXPERTS.

ASIA INSTITUTE HAS PREPARED REPORTS FOR THE KOREA RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR BIOSCIENCE AND BIOTECHNOLOGY (KRIBB), KOREA INSTITUTE FOR GEOSCIENCE AND MATERIALS (KIGAM), KOREA INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR SAFETY (KINS), SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY AND THE KOREA RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR STANDARDS AND SCIENCE (KRISS). WE HAVE CONDUCTED SEMINARS AND PREPARED PAPERS AND HELD SEMINARS FOR THE KOREAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, THE UNIFICATION MINISTRY (KOREA) THE UNIVERSITY OF TSUKUBA, KAIST, ETRI (ELECTRONIC TELECOMMUNICATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE), YALE UNIVERSITY’S WEST CAMPUS AND OTHER EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, NGOS AND GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS.

THE ASIA INSTITUTE WORKS WITH ITS SENIOR RESEARCHERS, SENIOR ASSOCIATES AND PARTNER INSTITUTIONS TO ENGAGE EXPERTS AND STAKEHOLDERS AROUND THE WORLD AS WE EXAMINE CRITICAL CURRENT ISSUES AND SUGGEST POSSIBLE RESPONSES. OUR RESEARCH IS AIMED AT PRODUCING ACCESSIBLE, OBJECTIVE EVALUATIONS AND MEANINGFUL SUGGESTIONS AND PROPOSALS TO POLICY MAKERS AND CITIZENS. OUR RESEARCH TAKES THE FORM OF REPORTS, PRESENTATIONS, ARTICLES, SEMINAR AND VIDEOS. OUR RESEARCH ENCOMPASSES MATERIALS AIMED AT THE SPECIALIST AND EXPLANATIONS FOR GENERALISTS THAT ASSURE THAT WE CAN BUILD A MEANINGFUL CONSENSUS ABOUT SOLUTIONS. THE POSITION PAPERS, WHITE PAPERS AND SHORT ARTICLES ON CONTEMPORARY ISSUES PRODUCED BY THE ASIA INSTITUTE ARE OFTEN TRANSLATED INTO MULTIPLE LANGUAGES TO ASSURE A WIDE READERSHIP IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AT THE INTERNATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVEL.

RESEARCH & ANALYSIS

The Asia Institute works with its senior researchers, senior associates and partner institutions to engage experts and stakeholders around the world as we examine critical current issues. Our research is aimed at producing accessible, objective evaluations and meaningful suggestions and proposals to policymakers and citizens around the world.

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DIALOGUE

The Asia Institute hosts small-scale seminars that engage stake holders and experts at the local level throughout Asia to discuss critical issues and propose concrete solutions. Larger international conferences and webinar events bring together experts and stakeholders from around the world.

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ACCESSIBILITY

AT THE SAME TIME THAT THE ASIA INSTITUTE CONDUCTS SEMINARS INVOLVING HIGH-LEVEL OFFICIALS AND EXPERTS, WE MAKE SURE THAT CONCERNED INDIVIDUALS FROM THE LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY ARE INVOLVED IN THE DEBATE. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE HAS A RIGHT TO MAKE A MEANINGFUL CONTRIBUTION TO THE DISCUSSION.

OUR LONGTERM COMMITMENT

THE ASIA INSTITUTE STRIVES TO MAKE LONG-TERM COMMITMENTS TO WORKING WITH INSTITUTIONS AND COMMUNITIES ACROSS ASIA TO BUILD A BETTER TOMORROW. WE ARE NOT INTERESTED IN SHORT-TERM, HIGH-PROFILE, SOLUTIONS THAT ARE NOT SUSTAINABLE. WE BELIEVE AND ARE QUITE AWARE THAT THE RESPONSES REGARDING THE ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY WILL TAKE DECADES OR CENTURIES. MOREOVER, MOVING THE WORLD’S ECONOMIES TOWARDS MORE SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS NEED TO BE MEASURED IN DECADES AND IS ENVISAGED TO BRING NEW STABILITY TO A GLOBAL ECONOMY DEVASTATED BY THE ONGOING FINANCIAL AND MORAL CRISES.

Offices

The Asia Institute Locations

Seoul

Seoul, South Korea

Washington D.C.,
U.S.A.

Washington
Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan

Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi