Global Human Resource Forum

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Global HR Forum
GHR Forum Emblem.jpg
Motto Global Talent, Global Prosperity!
Formation 2006
Type Non-profit
Headquarters Seoul, South Korea
Region served

The Global Human Resources Forum (aka. Global HR Forum and GHR Forum) is a non-profit foundation best known for its annual international conference in Seoul, South Korea, which brings together opinion leaders, business executives, policy makers, intellectuals and journalists to discuss pressing issues facing the world, especially education, human resources development and talent management.

Throughout the forum, the Global HR Forum produces a series of meetings, workshops and closed roundtables. For examples, International Education Minister Roundtables, University President Roundtables, Higher-Education Collaboration Meeting, Regional SME Meeting, UNESCO Ministerial Workshop, World Bank Policy-maker Workshop, UNESCO Technical and Vocational Education & Training Expert Meeting, Global HR/Education Index Reports, Global HR/Education Media Campaign, etc.[1]


As globalization has rapidly changed our lives, the boundaries between countries have disappeared and movement of human resources from one country to another has become commonplace. Accordingly, international organizations, governments, corporations, and individuals are required to be globally competitive. The reason global competitiveness of human resources is a key issue is that now everyone, and not just a small number of elites in specialized fields, must compete to survive in the world. Because human resources are the foundation where the prosperity of individuals, businesses, society, and the world is built upon, the governments, businesses, and educational institutions must join efforts to improve the education, training, and utilization of human resources. Due to this, the Korea Economic Daily, Korean Ministry of Education, and Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training recognized the needs for international cooperation and collaboration, and initiated the Global HR Forum in collaboration with the private sector in 2006.


The Korean government recognized the need for international cooperation and collaboration, and as a result initiated the Global HR forum 2006 in collaboration with the private sector. Over 3,000 people attended the 1st Global HR Forum and including the heads of renowned universities and leaders of private, public, and international institutions. Notable speakers include entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, the founder and chairman of Microsoft; Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank with heads of OECD, UNESCO, and other related international organizations; high ranking government officials such as Bertel Haarder, the education minister of Denmark; and scholars such as Robert Barro, professor at Harvard University.

The Global HR Forum 2007 started off with video lectures by Bill Clinton, former President of U.S.A., Óscar Arias Sánchez, former President of Costa Rica, and Ki-Moon Ban, Secretary-General of the UN. Over 4000 participants gathered to hear the messages from more than 150 prominent global leaders from 35 countries. Speakers include Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Francis Fukuyama, Professor of Johns Hopkins University, Ben Verwaayen, President of British Telecom, as well as the CEOs and CHOs of companies such as Goldman Sachs, BMW, Boeing, and Walt Disney Studios. Representatives of governments such as the Minister of Culture of Sudan, the Minister of Education of Iraq, Bulgaria's Vice Minister for Education and other high-ranking officials from involved with Education and Culture were present, and representatives of the OECD, World Bank, and ALECSO also participated as speakers.

The 3rd Global HR Forum held in 2008, kicked off with video speeches by Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, and Craig R. Barrett, CEO of Intel. Other participants include Martin Feldstein, former Chairman of the NBER, Jean Robert Pitte, president of the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Jozef M. Ritzen, president of the University of Maastricht, Nicolas R. Burnett, Assistant Director-General of Education for UNESCO, and the CEOs and CHOs of companies such as Pfizer, HP, IBM, Motorola, Dupont and Corning.

The Global HR Forum in 2009 began with a video presentation by the President of the Republic of Korea, Myung-Bak Lee. Other speakers include, Former German Prime Minister Gerhard Schroeder known for leading Germany to an economic boom post reunification; Fred Bergsten, Director of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, leading authority on the global economic outlook; the world's leading HR theorist Dave Ulrich, Professor at the University of Michigan; David Skorton, President of Cornell University; Tan Chorh Chuan, President of the National University of Singapore; Atsushi Seike, President of Keio University, senior government officials of education, science and technology, and culture from over 65 countries; major university presidents; globally recognized scholars; as well as the CEOs of multinational firms presented at the forum.

The slogan for the 5th Global HR Forum held in October 26–28, 2010 was "Open and Ready for Tomorrow." 200 speakers from 52 countries participated in the forum and notable speakers include Allan Greenspan, former Chairman of the FRB; Jacque Attali, President of PlaNet Finance; Joseph Polisi, President of the Juilliard School; Tony Little, Headmaster of Eton College; Nobel Economics Prize Laureate Robert Mundell, Professor of Economics at the University of Columbia; Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford University; and Franci Phelan, CHRO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. World-class scholars and global CEOs discussed issues such as the new world economic order post-crisis, balanced growth, development of creative talent, and management of a just society. The responses from participants of the forum were very positive and many of the participating companies found the forum helpful in establishing vision and gaining the insight needed to finding a solution for human resource development. In particular, financial support from the World Bank and UNESCO made it possible to invite 50 state level officials from 12 Asia-Pacific region countries to hold a forum for Education Ministers of developing countries together with a training program for policy makers in the East Asia and the Pacific region. The two events opened a channel to extensively discuss the ways in which governments could harness education and develop human resources to combat problems such as hunger, disease, income disparities, high elderly population, low economic growth, climate change, and energy supply issues in order to improve the quality of life.

"Smart Education: Reinventing the future" was the theme of the 6th Global HR Forum, which was held on the first three days of November in 2011. More than 120 speakers from 60 countries attended, and notable speakers who participated in the forum include Yukio Hatoyama (The 93rd Prime Minister of Japan), Paul Volcker (Former Chairman, US Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board), Steve Coll (President, New America Foundation), Russ Hagey (Vice-President, Bain & Company), Ian White (Vice-Chancellor, Cambridge University), Lars Pallesion (President, DTU), Francis Fukuyama (Professor, Stanford University), Santiago Iniguez (Dean, IE Business School), Judy Olian (Dean, UCLA Anderson School of Management) and Milton Chen (Executive Director, George Lucas Education Foundation). This year, renowned world scholars and CEOs of global companies noted that increasingly rapid social change has made predicting the future more difficult, and consequently it is necessary to abandon hidebound practices and ways of thought. Instead, they discussed ways to develop human resources, prepare for the future, and identify global economic trends and prospects. The potential talent development based solutions for dealing with future uncertainties proposed by participants of the last forum were collected and distilled into seven articles and published as the “Seoul Initiative,” to further promote human resource development. The “Seoul Initiative” contains ways to develop talent through close collaboration between government, institutions of higher learning, and businesses, and details several approaches to increase global cooperation by utilizing talent and information sharing. During the forum, major universities and institutions of learning around the world expressed their interest in participating in the 'Global Leadership Program (GLP),' a program initiated by the Korean Economic Daily. Furthermore, a policymaker training program, funded by World Bank and UNESCO, was offered to 80 senior ranking officials of developing nations from 18 Asian and African states. During this portion of the forum, participants discussed how to utilize education to develop the human capital needed to solve problems that will face all of mankind in the future, such as hunger, disease, income disparity, low growth, aging, climate change, and dwindling natural resources.

During the 7th Global HR Forum, interesting discussions and presentations were made under the theme of “Better Education, the Best Welfare”. We live in the midst of a global economic downturn and increased polarization of wealth. And our organizers believed that the best way for the socially and economically disadvantaged group to escape poverty was equipping them with the means to survive on their own and the best form of welfare could be achieved by better education policies and practices. In order to share the experiences and discuss the solutions, we invited renowned experts and head of organizations from various fields including Gordon Brown (Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Daniel Shapiro (Professor, Harvard University), Anne Krueger (Professor, Johns Hopkins University/ First Female Deputy Managing Director, IMF), Elisabet Dahle (Deputy Minister, Norwegian Ministry of Education), Feridun Hamdullahpur (President, University of Waterloo), Roger H. Brown (President, Berklee College of Music), André J. Cointreau (President, Le Cordon Bleu International), Sujitha Karnad (Senior Vice President, Tech Mahindra) and Toyohiko Aoki (President, Aoki Co., LTD) and Mmantsetsa Marope (Director of Basic to Higher Education and Leaning, UNESCO).

Last year’s main theme was “Beyond Walls”. At this 8th Global HR Forum, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak delivered a keynote speech, and Francis Fukuyama - one of the most influential social & political philosophers of our time - joined as a special speaker and shared his thoughts and perspectives on the future of Northeast Asia and the World. Celebrating 130th anniversary of Korea-United Kingdom amity, Paul Thompson(Rector, Royal College of Art) and six other top U.K. college vice-chancellors and rectors visited Korea and participated in open forum discussion on how U.K. universities lead creative industries by converging art and science and cooperating closely with the companies. Besides, many other brilliant speakers from the worldwide joined our forum and shared their knowledge and experience: Hans Paul Buerkner(Chairman, Boston Consulting Group), Lazlo Bock(Senior Vice President of People Operations, Google), Madan Nagaldinne(Asia-Pacific Head of HR, Facebook), Eric Alexander(Vice President, Flipboard), Regis Kelly(Director, California Institute for Quantitative Bioscience(QB3)), Pradeep Khosla(President, University of California-San Diego), Timothy Trainor(Brigadier General & Dean, U.S. Military Academy at West Point), Christian Lettmayr(Director, European Center for the Development of Vocational Training(CEDEFOP)).


  1. Find solutions for the major on-going global issues that the entire human race is facing
  2. Share creative, valuable experiences and cases of human resources development in government, public and private sectors
  3. Discuss significant factors of human resources development for the future generations in terms of global perspectives

Historic Themes[edit]

  • 2015 "(To Be Announced)" (Nov 3~5, Grande InterContinental Seoul Parnas, Seoul, South Korea)[2]
  • 2014 "Human Resources for Trust and Integration" (Nov 4~6, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[3]
  • 2013 "Beyond Walls" (Nov 5~7, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[4]
  • 2012 "Better Education, The Best Welfare" (Oct 23~25, Lotte Hotel Seoul, Seoul, South Korea)[5][6]
  • 2011 "Smart Education: Reinventing the future" (Nov 1~3, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[7][8]
  • 2010 "Open and Ready for Tomorrow" (Oct 26~28, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[9]
  • 2009 "Creative Education for All" (Nov 3~5, Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[10]
  • 2008 "Creative Talents for Global Collaboration" (Nov 4~6, Grande InterContinental Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[11]
  • 2007 "HR Solutions for the Next Generation" (Oct 23~25, Grande InterContinental Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)[12]
  • 2006 "Global Talent, Global Prosperity" (Nov 8~10, Grande InterContinental Hotel, Seoul, South Korea)

Forum Composition[edit]

  1. The 1st day of the forum has education tour programs and invitation-only welcome reception (18:00~20:00).
  2. The 2nd day consists of: (a) an opening ceremony; (b) keynote speech; (c) plenary sessions; and (d) special sessions.
  3. The 3rd day consists of four tracks, each with four breakout sessions. The four tracks are classified as follow: (a) Track A: School Education and HR; (b) Track B: Corporate Education and HR; and (c) Track C: Vocational Capacity Development and HR, and (d) Track D: independent sessions on Specialized Education and HR.


There are three co-organizers for the Global HR Forum:

  1. The Korea Economic Daily(KED)[13]
  2. Ministry of Education[14]
  3. The Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education and Training(KRIVET)[15]

Content Contributors[edit]

International organizations such as World Bank, UNESCO, and OECD partner up with the Global HR Forum.

From academics and associations, for examples, British Council, Asia-Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE), Korea Student Aid Foundation, Korea Council for University Education, Korea Council for University College Education, Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), National Institute for Lifelong Education (NILE), Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS), Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI), Korea Council for University Education, and Korea Education Research Association (KERA) participate as content partners.

Private firms such as McKinsey & Company, Mercer, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, IBM, Deloitte, Accenture, Towers Watson, Mercer, AON Hewitt, Hay Group, Korn Ferry International, Heidrick & Struggles etc. make recommendations on the latest issues with regards to human resources development and talent management.

Former Speakers[edit]

Some 200+ speakers from 60+ countries participate in the Global HR Forum each year.

Some 1000 speakers participated in the Global HR Forum since 2006. They include Ban Ki-moon (United Nations Secretary-General), Park Geun-hye (President of the Republic of Korea), Lee Myung-Bak (former President of the Republic of Korea), Bill Clinton (former President of the United States), Oscar Arias Sanchez (former President of Costa Rica), Gerhard Schroeder (former Chancellor of Germany), Yukio Hatoyama (former Prime Minister of Japan), Gordon Brown (former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom), Ehud Barak (former Prime Minister of Israel), Jim Yong Kim (President, World Bank Group), Jacques Attali (President of PlaNet Finance), Jack Welch (Former CEO of GE), Bill Gates (Chairman of Microsoft), Ben Verwaayen (CEO of British Telecom), Craig Barrett (Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation), Hans Paul Buerkner (Chairman of Boston Consulting Group), Yigal Erlich (Chairman of The Yozma Group), C. Fred Bergsten (Director of Peterson Institute for International Economics), Alan Greenspan (former Chairman of Federal Reserv Board), Paul Volcker (former Chairman of U.S. President's Economic Advisory Board), Mark S. Wrighton (Chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis), Jean Robert Pitte (former President of University of Paris-Sorbonne), David J. Skorton (President of Cornell University), Richard K. Miller (President of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering), Ralph A. Eichler (President of ETH Zurich), Tan Chorh Chuan (President of National University of Singapore), Atsushi Seike (President of Keio University), Joseph Polisi (President of the Juilliard School), Tony Little (Headmaster of Eton College), Roger H. Brown (President of Berklee College of Music), Feridun Hamdullahpur (President of University of Waterloo), Martin Feldstein (Professor, Harvard University), Pradeep Khosla (Chancellor, University of California-San Diego), Paul Thompson (Rector, Royall College of Art), Nigel Carrington (Vice Chancellor, University of the Arts London), Robert Brown (President, Boston University), Atsushi Seike (President, Keio University), Timothy O’Shea (Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of Edinburgh), Eric Kaler (President, University of Minnesota), Ralph Alexander Eichler (President, ETH Zürich, Switzerland), Robert J. Barro (Professor of Harvard University), Robert Mundell (Professor of Economics, University of Columbia), Anne Krueger (former First Deputy Managing Director of IMF), Dave Ulrich (Professor of Business, University of Michigan), Harry C. Katz (Dean of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University), Jeffrey Pfeffer (Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University), Daniel Shapiro (Founder of Harvard International Negotiation Program), Richard Holbrooke (Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations), Francis Fukuyama (Professor of Johns Hopkins University), Steve Coll (President of New America Foundation), Michele Wucker (President of World Policy Institute), Milton Chen (Executive Director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation), Regis Kelly (Director, California Institute for Quantitative Bioscience(QB3)), Timothy Trainor (Brigadier General & Dean of the Academic Board, United States Military Academy, West Point. US Army), Thomas Frey (Executive Director, DaVinci Institute), Kenneth Weinstein (President & CEO, Hudson Institute), John Gottman (Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Washington), Phil Rosenzweig (Professor, International Institute for Management Development (IMD)), Michael Karnjanaprakorn (CEO & Founder, Skillshare), Sangeet Chowfla (President & CEO, Graduate Management Admission Council(GMAC)), Janina Kugel (Corporate Vice-President of Human Resources, Siemens), Youngsuk Chi (Chairman, Elsevier), Kevin Sneader (Chairman, Asia, McKinsey & Company), Eli Collins (Chief Technologist, Cloudera), Gordon Zeilstra (VP Product Strategy, SAP)


Audience for Global HR Forum is by invitation-only and they include largely business leaders and some cabinet ministers, senior officials of international organizations, leaders from academic institutions and think thanks, diplomats, heads of states or government, doctorate students, and alike.

Some 2,000+ attended in the first year of Global HR Forum 2006 and 3,000 in the 2nd year of 2007. Since the year of 2008, some 5,000+ people have attended the Global HR Forum each year.

The Global HR Forum is a non-profit event and attendance is mostly by invitation and pre-approval only. There are no fees involved to attend the Global HR Forum for which include the keynote address, plenary sessions, breakout sessions and special lectures. For attendees who are not invited to the forum submit applications to the secretariat in order to obtain a pre-approved complementary pass to attend the forum.


  2. ^ [1] Brochure of Global HR Forum 2015
  3. ^ [2] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2014
  4. ^ [3] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2013
  5. ^ [4] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2012
  6. ^ [5] Special Edition of Global HR Forum 2012
  7. ^ [6] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2011
  8. ^ [7] Special Edition of Global HR Forum 2011
  9. ^ [8] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2010
  10. ^ [9] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2009
  11. ^ [10] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2008
  12. ^ [11] Program Book of Global HR Forum 2007
  13. ^ [12] The Korea Economic Daily
  14. ^ [13] Ministry of Education
  15. ^ [14] Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training

External links[edit]