March 17, 2016 heralded a milestone in the Earth Citizen Movement spearheaded by Ilchi Lee. Korean dignitaries and representatives from sixteen other countries gathered at the Plaza Hotel in Seoul, South Korea to inaugurate the World Earth Citizen Movement Alliance and welcome Ilchi Lee's new Korean book, which he co-authored with Harvard PhD Emanuel Pastreich, associate professor at Kyung Hee University and director of The Asia Institute in Seoul. The book, called Earth Management: Finding Answers in Hongik, underscored the theme of the night, which was that by making the well-being of the earth the central value around which our decisions and actions revolve, we can change human consciousness. By doing so, we can see and manage humankind's problems from a wider, global scale, rather than competing for power and resources. Ilchi Lee calls this Earth Management. People who engage in Earth Management and have this wider consciousness are Earth Citizens.
The three-hour, evening event consisted of a conference, book launch, dinner, and special lecture in the hotel's Grand Ballroom Annex. It was attended by approximately 470 people, including former South Korean Secretary of Labor Sangsoo Lee, Sekyoon Jeong and Jangshil Kim of the South Korean National Assembly, Professor Emeritus Jeongil Yoon of Seoul University, Chairman of the Korean Olympic Committee Jeonghaeng Kim, co-author Prof. Emanuel Pastreich, Asian Institute President Hyeongryul Kim, and others from various fields.
Prior to the dinner, videos were shown explaining the history of the Earth Citizen Movement Alliance.
Mr. Hwang, head of the Korean chapter of the Alliance, also went over how the alliance had arrived at this occasion. Then, representatives of the seventeen countries forming this new global partnership, including the US, China, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, Kuwait, Belgium, the UK, and Qatar, read the Earth Citizens Declaration in their native language.
Next, a speech was given by Prof. Emanuel Pastreich in which he said that he believes Earth Management offers hope for solving our economic and environmental problems.
Then, a video was shown with a special message from Ilchi Lee about the Earth Citizen dream. It included the Prayer of Peace that Ilchi Lee read at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders in 2000.
Ilchi Lee gave his own congratulatory speech after the video.
Following Ilchi Lee's speech, Prof. Jeongil Yoon, professor emeritus at Seoul University, also spoke and explained the contents of the new book in detail.
After the speeches, students from the Benjamin School for Character Education, which Ilchi Lee founded in 2014 and which grows future Earth Citizen leaders, gave a qigong and handstand walking performance.
They declared that their dreams are not impossible, but, "I'm Possible!"
The alliance also stated their goal to expand the movement to at least 100 countries this year and to 100 million Earth Citizens by 2020.
The dinner followed, and then Ilchi Lee gave a special address to the Earth Citizen leaders who had come from around the world.
This event was broadcast live online in Korean at www.changetv.kr.