Unveiling Tomorrow: KGGTF interns dive into World Bank’s expertise, empowered for global impact



By: Na Yoon Kang, KGGTF 2024 Youth Intern

On February 6, 2024, KGGTF interns visited the World Bank office for a transformative learning journey. Four specialized experts welcomed the interns and shared their knowledge and experiences on critical aspects of Energy, Environment, Digital, and Urban Development. Senior Energy Specialist Inchul Hwang led the lecture by highlighting the pivotal role of energy in development as well as its interconnection with various Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He introduced the World Bank’s mission to “Green energy to more people” and outlined the Korea office’s phase 4 EEX Work Program. During this phase, it aims to address barriers to renewable energy scale-up, accelerate energy transitions in partner countries, foster innovation in hard-to-abate sectors like green hydrogen, unlock the potential of carbon finance, and facilitate knowledge sharing. It also focuses on capacity-building workshops facilitated with the K-Partners. To conclude the lecture, Inchul Hwang shed light on the dynamic nature of the green energy landscape, stressing the need for adaptability and continuous effort across all sectors.

Senior Environmental Specialist Junu Shrestha, with 15 years of expertise in climate change and adaptation financing, underlined the World Bank’s endeavors in addressing pollution, especially in East Asia. She addressed the significance of inviting Korean knowledge and partnerships to regions encountering environmental challenges, particularly in air pollution and plastic waste management. She explained that the focus was on development and implementation, coupled with policy, multi-stakeholder, and government dialogues, underscoring the World Bank’s commitment to sustainable solutions.

Senior Digital Development Specialist Zaki Khoury attracted interns’ interest in the digital realm, emphasizing how digital is embedded in our lives. He emphasized the scarcity of technical resources to turn data into economic value amid a data explosion, which leads people to the opportunity to invest in skills and capacities for data analytics. He also provided the 2024 digital landscape, highlighting the opportunities of digital in building resilience, closing the digital divide, and fostering green innovation. However, he also delved into the risks of financing gaps and digital fragmentation that people need to note. As he introduced the World Bank’s new digital transformation framework, he generously shared his career journey, encouraging interns to pursue passion and values.

Senior Urban Specialist Narae Choi shared her unique career journey, starting with a background in sociology and an interest in understanding diverse perspectives on the ground. Offering valuable advice to interns, she urged them to become Korean experts through learning and analyzing in-depth. Maintaining and sharpening critical thinking skills is key in the pursuit of innovative solutions, she emphasized while encouraging interns to follow their interests and forge their paths.

To sum up, KGGTF Interns’ day at the World Bank Korea office proved to be an enriching session where they could foster a deep understanding of global contexts, trends, challenges, and projects within the energy, environment, digital, and urban sectors. The day not only provided valuable knowledge about the World Bank's role in tackling issues within these sectors but also served as an inspiration for interns to cultivate critical thinking, pursue their passions, and actively contribute to the ongoing pursuit of sustainable development.