Local Particularities in Regional Social Innovation: A Case Study of Rural Stay Program in Mungyeong, South Korea


  • Punyotai Thamjamrassri
  • Hoyong Kang
  • Yong-Ki Lee




Rural Stay, Regional Revitalization, Social Innovation, Cultural Dimensions


Rural decline threatens sustainable development, leading to lower life quality and environmental degradation. To revitalize regional areas and address youth unemployment problems, the Korean government established a Youth Village program to attract young people to rural towns and set up new businesses. A rural town, Mungyeong, was chosen as a case study to investigate its rural stay program, motivations, and outcomes. Based on the report review and preliminary interview with the program organizer, we identify the program’s strengths, weaknesses, and critical success factors. The issues are then examined through a cultural lens to identify cultural and regional differences that may act as enablers or barriers to social innovation. The paper contributes an in-depth understanding of local challenges to develop an appropriate social innovation strategy. We anticipate that Mungyeong’s lessons will apply to other regional social innovation projects.