22 July 2022

The 2022 OWHC-AP Online Youth Forum Presented a Promising Future for Tomorrow’s World Heritage!

The Organization of World Heritage Cities Asia-Pacific Regional Secretariat (OWHC-AP), located in Gyeongju, Republic of Korea, has successfully completed the final round of the 2022 OWHC-AP Online Youth Forum, a thesis contest designed to inspire future World Heritage experts from current undergraduate/graduate university students.

Under the theme of World Heritage Cities: where we want to live, where we want to visit, the 2022 OWHC-AP Online Youth Forum focused on, in alignment with the upcoming OWHC World Congress scheduled to take place in Quebec City, Canada, this September, “Enhancing livability in World Heritage Cities” for the residents in the World Heritage Cities who are currently facing various problems, such as the pandemic, climate change, depopulation, imminent recession – all of which negatively impact the quality of life in World Heritage Cities.

The OWHC-AP Online Youth Forum commenced in March this year as a project in the form of an academic forum and contest that consisted of proposal for research theses, evaluation of them, and experts’ consultations, before culminating in the presentation (conducted in English) in the final round of the contest on 21 July 2022. The step-by-step structure of the Forum was detailed to help the youth participants to further clarify, specify, and strengthen their ideas for each phase.

Hosted by Ji-eun Lee, the Cultural Heritage Culture, the final round of the Youth Form opened with congratulatory messages from Mayor Nakyoung Joo, the Mayor of Gyeongju, and Mikhail De Thyse, the Secretary General of the OWHC. 6 (six) theses that made through the rigorous process of evaluation and consultation were presented, each being judged by Jae-hun Choi, Professor of Konkuk University and World Heritage Expert; Fergus Maclaren, President of the ICOMOS International Cultural Tourism Committee; Leonid Kondrashev, the President of the National Committee of ICOMOS Russia.

The Grand Prix of the 2022 OWHC-AP went to the team of Zhekai Zhu, Yan Tong (the London School of Economics), and Ziwei Kang (Hangzhou Normal University) whose thesis was titled Examining the emotional perspective of youth volunteers’ heritage participation: a Case Study of West Lake Ambassador, West lake Cultural landscape of Hangzhou China). Minjoo Chong (Yonsei University) and Ju Yeong Son(Kongju University) was the runner-up with their presentation on Development of a Field Trip Program to World Heritage Through Roblox.

One member of the Grand-Prix winning team will be selected to participate in the upcoming OWHC World Congress as a prize. In addition, the final 6 (six) teams will be presented with awards, prizes, and souvenirs.