Dprk Entrepreneurship & Tech Scene Update W/ Will Scott

Tue Dec 10 7 PM until 9 PM , The Embassy, 399 Webster Street, San Francisco

Organized by Jukka-Pekka Heikkila, Lou de Kerhuelvez

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is a hot topic in the media. The peninsula is changing rapidly, but how is that reflected in life on the ground? What is it like to live in Pyongyang? Are the externally reported societal changes in terms of entrepreneurship and technology also visible in everyday life? This talk will describe modern urban life in Pyongyang, and the recent forces driving change.

The talk will particularly focus on observations around the state of entrepreneurship and technology. What are the future elites attitudes towards entrepreneurship in an officially communist country? What small signal of changing attitudes can we observe that might influence the opening on the county? The realities of entrepreneurial environment leads us to the discussion of tech in the DPRK. In addition to presenting country's intranet, mobile phone environment, we will demo some consumer technology, and show that opportunities within the country for creating businesses and technological development are broader than we often see. We will present a deep dive from the perspective of two foreigners who have been spending months at a time in Pyongyang, and have been studying it since 2012 - 2017. Content is beyond what is heard in the media. Discussion is based on personal views and on latest research. Event is not aimed to drive political changes.

Type of event: Presentation + Q&A, 2 hours

Academic journal article about this work
Will Scott: Computer Science in the DPRK - CCC Germany
Financial Times video about this work


Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä is an impact-driven scholar who focuses on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship education in extreme settings. His work has been supported by the Royal Society (UK), British Academy and Academy of Finland. Jukka-Pekka is currently a visiting scholar in Stanford with the purpose of developing his projects. He used to teach entrepreneurship in Pyongyang between 2012-2017 as a professor of management.

Dr. Will Scott
Under the auspice of making the internet better, my research focus is on access to genuine online services. Internet access is hampered by explicit censorship from government and corporate entities, by integrity failures in online services, and by services that are not yet implemented. He was teaching in Pyongyang 2013-2015. https://wills.co.tt/research

As always, these salons are free and open to all. Feel free to bring a snacks and drinks to share.

This event has limited RSVPs

8 of 35 spots remaining
Anders Krabbe
Armani Ferrante
Avi Zajac
Christine Danner
Dan Aronson
David Falk
Jack Ma
Jean Fan
Lou de Kerhuelvez
Marcela Mogilska
Mark Graham
Mark Xie
Martin Kalthaus
Matthew Goodman
Meredith Nadler
Michael Mager
Nagy Hakim
Petya Burneva
Primavera De Filippi
Raymond Cheng
Sari Stenfors
Sasha Iatsenia
Shane Skikne
Shen Qiu
Sophie Cappelen
Susan Mernit
William Putnam