My name is Yun Jeaung Chung from Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea studying urban planning and design. In my six months in New York City, I have experienced a great deal of interesting and meaningful events. My internship at Wf360 is one of the most memorable. I met great people here and was able to be part of creative projects and brilliant ideas. The Inner Circle is one of Wf360’s programs that engage senior executives to discuss timely business topics. I’ve seen how many great ideas come out of it. It is not just a simple breakfast meeting; I now realize that the ideas and thoughts shared among the attendees could affect their employees, colleagues and businesses.
As a current student majoring in urban planning, one of my study subjects is how to revitalize the communities in big, modern, cities. It is a big issue not only in the field but also in our society. We’ve seen that the more urbanized a city gets, the people in those cities are less likely to interact with each other and actually prefer solitude. Sadly in Korea, you often hear about people dying and not having their bodies discovered until days later. This is because no one knows about their death. There is no communication among neighbors. This has become a serious problem in Korean cities.
When I worked on this study, I spoke with many people - from government officials, to residents in these cities - that were disturbed by this problem. This is clearly a rising issue and something needs to be done about it. Sure, many people “communicate” on social networking sites but that isn’t true conversation. We learned that something we could do as urban planners and designers is to create a community and allow for neighbors to physically get together and talk. Face-to-face. Communicating and interacting with others can result in a more lively community. It allows these people to feel like they are part of something important in their village and it has a positive effect on them as a whole.
Since I have been in New York City, I’ve found it impressive that New Yorkers are less hesitant than Koreans to talk to others. I feel like I am more alive and friendly here because of that and thereby, I would like to stay in NYC longer. Every time I get on a subway, I hear random yet interesting dialogue between strangers. I’m not used to that but it is very refreshing. They talk about different things- from the books they are reading to the clothes there are wearing… they talk about anything. Yes, I do eavesdrop on these strangers and listen to what they are talking about. It’s interesting for me and a great way to improve my English. At times they can get pretty loud and be very chatty but I prefer that over silence!
It is great to see that people are willing to talk to each other. Through this exchange, not only will this individual be vitalized, but their communities will be as well. I think that is the power of Wf360's Inner Circle and why I am inspired by it. Not only does it bring smart people together to discuss business topics but it creates an important interaction that is clearly much needed in our society. There should be Inner Circles everywhere! Who knew that conversation could be such a powerful thing and change lives for the better.