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Young Cultural Innovators Present at Better Together Challenge 2018

Rebecca Chan and Yu Nakamura discuss culture, cuisine and equitable development in Daejeon, the Republic of Korea

Salzburg Global Fellows Rebecca Chan and Yu Nakamura have expressed their delight after appearing at an international conference in the Republic of Korea.

Chan, a program officer at LISC National Creative Placemaking Program, delivered a <C!talk Global> presentation on arts, culture, and equitable development at Better Together Challenge 2018.

Yu Nakamura also delivered a <C!talk Global> talk about her current project, Grandma’s Happy Recipes Storybook, a book in which Nakamura gathers recipes from octogenarians who lived through the Second World War and other significant events.

This event was organized by World Culture Open and the Presidential Committee on National Balanced Development of Korea. It took place in Daejeon at the beginning of September.

Nakamura has recently published a Korean edition of her book and produced a 10-part YouTube series featuring some of the grandmas she spoke to. She was invited to talk about her project and how her experiences in an earthquake in 2011 led to its creation.

She said, "I was in Tokyo [during the earthquake] and of course I was scared but what made me more scared was the fact that we cannot eat anything if logistics didn’t work… If we consider innovation as evolution, then people who [have relied] on systems, have they really evolved since [our] grandmas’ era?"

She concluded her talk by challenging the audience to think about how “our world now is so convenient thanks to technology but our lives [are] relying on a visible system too much, and we are not good at dealing with contingence."

Speaking about the conference, Nakamura said, “It was [such a] fruitful event where I [got] to know [what] Korean young people were passionate about, and talking to other global speakers, includ[ing] Rebecca was super inspiring.”

Rebecca Chan, who lives in Baltimore, Maryland, said, “My work at LISC is usually hyper-local, yet there are so many parallels between US community development and what I heard and saw presented in Daejeon; challenges of gentrification, urban/rural divides, waning civic engagement, and how to leverage cross-sector partnerships.

“I am so thankful for the opportunity to share and learn, and to witness the dynamism and rigor with which these challenges are being tackled in Korea. I am ever more inspired by and grateful for all the intrepid local leaders I encounter in this work. [They] are the real deal.

“Thank you to World Culture Open, in particular, Joo Im Moon, [and] Salzburg Global Seminar for building an international network of cultural innovators, and of course, my Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) colleagues for constant inspiration. Finally, [I would like to give a] shout out to my fellow <C!talk Global> presenters, Ivan Mitin, Yu Nakamura, & Thomas Cavanagh.”

Chan attended the second program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in October 2015. At the time, she was a program officer at the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, a Baltimore-based philanthropic organization which promotes innovation in science and technology, arts, education, and social justice. Chan has also served as the program director of Station North Arts & Entertainment Inc.

Nakamura attended the third program of the Salzburg Global Forum for Young Cultural Innovators in 2016. She is the co-founder of 40creations, which amongst other things sells local hand-made wine, and she currently working on a project that introduces European wine and Japanese sake to Thailand.

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