We are so grateful to attend and cover Milken Institute’s 25th Global Conference, with the central theme “Celebrating the Power of Connection.” Milken Institute Asia fellow and former U.S. ambassador to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Curtis Chin, highlighted the important mission of the #MilkenInstitute which is to focus on providing access to capital, healthcare, and education while strengthening bonds between communities.
Chin, who is also an advisory board member of the Asian American Federation, and a media presence and voice on where East meets West—from business, trade & culture to issues facing the Asian American community, moderated a panel discussing the undeniable rise to fame of Kpop culture and how it gives its people the platform to weigh in on issues about representation, mental health, community-building, and so much more.
On the panel, Hae Joo Kim, the Assistant Chair of Professional Music at Berklee College of Music, noted one of the biggest South Korean boy bands, BTS or the Bangtan Boys, and its effect on the community. Hae Joo stressed the importance of building a community, not just a fanbase, and connecting with fans deeper.
#EricNam, GQ Korea’s Man of the Year and Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia and a multi-faceted singer, songwriter, TV personality, and entrepreneur – raised the issue of representation of Asian-American people in popular media and how building a community can help address mental health issues. he also discussed Mindset – the app he created with his brother Eddie – which gives people access to a library of audio and video content from artists communities look up to, connect on a deeper level, understand that mental health issues can happen to anyone, and relate how their idols are navigating life with it.
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