Speaking at the Herald Design Forum, where I met Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. He blogged about my speech here. :-)
I've just got back from an incredible trip to Seoul, South Korea.
It was one of the most exciting cities I have been to - and although I shouldn't make generalisations about a country based on a 2-week crash course - Koreans have an incredibly fast culture and an amazingly futuristic society, are as polite and almost as clean as the Japanese but perhaps more open to ideas from outside.
Their hospitality and kindness surpassed anything i've experienced in the 50+ countries i've visited over the past few years. My Korean business partners organised an exhilarating schedule, making use of every minute of my time in the country - whether to promote our business, teach me their language and culture or enjoy their amazing food.
It is a country that values amazing design - their fashion and packaging is world-class, has one of the best cuisines in the world (I discovered Pat Bing Su, Naing Mjong and $300 mushrooms) and more than anything, an amazing amount of energy and ambition - a Korean school year is almost 300 days, compared to around 180 in the US, and it's not unusual to see kids studying in coffee shops at midnight...
Probably the biggest piece of media coverage my visit received was a feature on the MBN TV News. You can see the clip here.
We spent some time promoting SuperJam, with my amazing colleagues at SuperJam Korea - we're on sale in the beautiful Shinsagae Department Stores (above, with store manager).
Speaking at the World Knowledge Forum.
Behind me is North Korea.
We ate at a few North Korean restaurants. Despite the fact that North Koreans are mostly starving to death these days, their traditional cuisine is delicious - buckwheat noodles in a spicy sauce - so spicy in fact that you need to add ice to cool it down!
My story was covered by most of the major newspapers, even making it to the front page a few times.. gave people a break from the usual apocalyptic news about North Korea I guess...
I visited the really cool Momot Paper Toy Company.
I taught a jam-making class at SK Foundation, a cookery school for disadvantaged young people.
And another class at one of the best cook-schools in the country, for local bakers,pâtissiers and restauranteurs - a big part of our strategy for launching SuperJam in Asia is to supply bakeries - the market for bread is growing, in countries that traditionally eat rice for breakfast..
I gave a lecture about packaging design at Sookmyung women's university - one of the top design schools in Korea.
Street food market..
The 2nd Edition of my book in Korean - The SuperJam Story.
I can't wait to go back in a few month's time!