Mrs Rebecca CHOY YUNG
Chair, Organising Committee of Social Enterprise Summit
I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all of you who are joining the 13th Social Enterprise Summit. Due to the volatility of the pandemic and as a health and safety measure for all delegates, this signature International Symposium is being held online for the first time. Therefore, we are just a screen away from each other.
History will mark 2020 as one of the most disruptive years, a year of survival and change. Social issues have never been as complex as now, and this calls for a new way of thinking. It is not good enough to just react to crises; rather, we need to be innovative and gather our collective power to tackle and solve the entrenched social issues in this “new normal” era.
It is against this background that we will focus on the theme “new normal · collective power” this year. More than 80 heavy-weight speakers from different sectors around the world will bring to us thought-provoking ideas and dynamic discussions, covering topics ranging from the inspirational to the practical. We will soon be privileged to hear firsthand from our keynote speakers, Mr Jeremy Heimans and Mr Henry Timms, co-authors of the book “New Power”, on building movements that are driven by a higher social purpose and fuelling collective power through the internet. A good mix of potent leaders, thinkers and practitioners will spotlight the best practices and new innovations to advance long-term social progress during the 3-day summit.
There will be four themed tracks for you to rove around on Day 2, namely, Community Empowerment, Digital Social Innovation, Sustainability and Business as well as Education Innovation. Young changemakers will inject fresh streams of thought during the Asia Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange and at the Concluding Session on Day 3. Also, Covid-19 has given us an opportunity to get creative with our programme format. You will enjoy more interactions with chatbox, instant polls and small-group breakout discussions.
We have experimented these new formats with our community programmes which were rolled out from August to November in eight districts throughout Hong Kong. Amazingly, we were able to tap into the creativity of social innovators who turned community tours, school talks, social innovation labs and workshops online while maintaining some physical meetings and a community carnival, which were very well-received. Such hybrid online/onsite mode has resulted in more diverse voices and perspectives.
Thanks to the trust and solid support of our sponsors, including the HKSAR Government’s Home Affairs Bureau and SIE Fund, our advisers, local and international co-organisers, partners and supporting organisations, SES has grown from a single event into an impactful collaborative platform today. SES is a growing movement comprising social innovators, business leaders, professionals, policy-makers, academics and engaged citizens dedicated to changing the world through social innovation. Your “collective power” is our society’s strongest enabler.
This might be the worst of times. But this is also the best of times for positive transformation. Together, let’s embrace collective power in the new normal and co-create a responsible, sustainable and inclusive world.