Thank you Congressman Gerry Connolly, and Secretary Don Upson for the kind introduction. And thank you to the Institute of Corean-American Studies (ICAS) for this tremendous honor. I am at once humbled and inspired by this prestigious award and recognition.
I am humbled because I never imagined growing up as a child in Korea, that I would someday stand in this historic Cannon Caucus Room of the United States House of Representatives and be so honored. I am a Korean by birth and I love the country of my ancestors. I am an American by choice because I love this country and all that it represents in so many areas of human endeavor. With all the challenges that stand before us today, the United States still affords individuals the greatest opportunity of any country in the world to pursue the dreams of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Just as I did many years ago in Korea, men and women of all ages around the world, still look to the United States for example, inspiration and leadership. As a young man growing up in Korea, the decision to come to the United States and my choice to study computer science were two of the best early decisions I made.
While I am humbled standing before you today, I am also moved and energized because of what this award and the ICAS organization represents, a goal to improve cooperation, communication, and hence, opportunities for citizens of all countries. It is that intersection of cooperation, communication and opportunity between countries - the United States and Korea in particular - that motivated me to found UNICOM and build it from a single employee in a 1 room office in Los Angeles into what is today UNICOM Global, one of the fastest growing IT companies in the world with 25 corporate entities around the globe. This founding vision continues to inspire me both in my management of UNICOM Global and in my other activities of charity and mentorship. Today is a fast and ever changing world and information technology is at the forefront of the innovations to bring the world closer together. While IT and Green IT industries will continue to perform above average growth, we must be ever-mindful and vigilant about potential pitfalls that IT changes create especially related to geopolitical stability and the security of the planet. A recent IBM Global CEO study indicated that over 90% of CEOs plan to adopt cloud, cyber security, and smart computing application that correlate with the growing interest in Big Data Analytics and predictive forecasting solutions to capitalize new business opportunities. The term “Big Data” originated from within the open source community, to capture, manage, analytics processes and extract tangible value from the vast amounts of unstructured data produced daily by web users.
According to the World Bank, over 2.4 Billion users access the internet, and there are over 6.5 Billion mobile-phone subscriptions. Facebook handles 40 Billion photos from its user base, and Wal-Mart handles more than 1 Million customer transactions every hour. That volume equates to approximately 2.5 Petabytes of data - the equivalent of 167 times the information contained in all the books in the U.S. Library of Congress. Today IT spending has transformed into a global economy on its own. Gartner Group and Forrester Research forecast 2012 global IT spending at $3.8 Trillion. If it were its own country, “IT” would rank the 5th largest in terms of GDP. The U.S. government alone spent $490 Billion on goods and services in the fiscal year ended September 2011. The federal government is expected to spend $121 Billion in the IT market in fiscal year 2012. These staggering numbers should inspire technology industry leaders to understand the responsibility they face, and this is precisely what guides my leadership of UNICOM Global going forward. UNICOM Global is focused on creating new jobs, continued investments in research and development, and ensuring organizations around the world can count on UNICOM Global as a trusted IT partner.
It’s clear to me that Washington DC is different than any other place. The Beltway is full of people who are extremely sophisticated in information technology. But the vocabulary is different here. The Fiscal Cliff, the Fiscal cliff? Well, as a technician, no big deal. Order a Fiscal Firewall v2013 early edition from UNICOM for just $9.99, and problem solved. If you order today, you will receive both Republican and Democrat versions at absolutely no additional charge. But Wait, if you order tonight, you will receive a brand new DVD entitled “Taxpayers Gone Wild Kangnam Style” absolutely free!
America began with technology and cross cultural partnerships. John Smith got here because of technological innovations in shipbuilding, mapmaking and navigation. His relationship with Pocahontas was a cross cultural dividend. If John Smith had a Twitter account we might know more. But I think we know enough. If Pocahontas had been on Facebook, she would’ve had more hits than Kim Kardashian!
In the classical Korean culture, knowledge is conceived somewhat differently. Technology is not some permanent structure to be discovered behind a changing process, but a perceived intelligibility and continuity that can be mapped within the dynamic process itself. Therefore, “Technology” and “Innovation” are mutually shaping and being shaped, and exist as a dynamic calculus of contrasting form emerging in tension with each other. The most widely studied military classic in human history is the Sun-tzu, The Art of War . (403-221 B.C.) During this period in China, warfare was transformed from a gentlemanly art to an industry. Today, in the modern information age, Master Sun’s wisdom of words is studied by politicians, corporate executives and financial analysts. Master Sun Said: “Victory can be anticipated, but it cannot be forced.” Supplementary, Master Sun said:
“He who knows the enemy and himself, Will never be in a hundred battles be at risk. He who does not know the enemy but knows himself, Will sometimes win and sometimes lose; He who does not know the enemy nor himself, Will be at risk in every battle.”
Master Sun’s pearls of wisdom are both an inspiration and an ethos to guide the path forward for each of us, in all walks of life.
I want to thank my wife and my three sons, and the entire family of UNICOM Global employees, for their inspiration and support.
So, humbled, inspired and proud, I accept this Liberty Award 2012 with a solemn commitment to do all I can in support of that grand vision of enhanced cooperation, communication and opportunity between nations.
Thank you and God bless you!