Mrs Rebecca CHOY YUNG
Chair, Organising Committee of Social Enterprise Summit
Covid-19 has unveiled the fragility behind human’s relentless economic drive at the expense of nature and cultures. The severity of climate crisis, dwindling biodiversity, widening inequality and battles over resources have called for a bigger leap beyond current remedial efforts. It becomes apparent that ‘business as usual’ is no longer a post-pandemic option.
The vanguard of visionaries has proposed a future based on the concept of REGENERATION, shifting from prosperity to ‘thrivability’, focusing on planetary and societal wellbeing. Whilst sustainability is about reducing harm, regeneration is about reversing damage with net-positive impact. It calls for re-engineering what we do toward resource rebirth rather than zero waste, owning social accountability rather than just private interests. There have been maturing theories, tools and pilot projects on the topic, with ample application for social innovators.
Being the region’s principal forum on social enterprise and social innovation, the 14th Social Enterprise Summit (SES 2021) will be themed “Building Blocks of a Regenerative Future”. It will take a hybrid format with a mix of online plenaries, physical sessions and workshops, networking events, and more, with over 60 eminent speakers from social, governmental, commercial and academic sectors of diverse origins leading us to explore ways to build a better future for all.
We are especially thrilled to have Mr Charles Eisenstein keynoting on Day 1. Author to “Sacred Economics”, Charles will share how mankind should return from the de-railed ‘story of separation’ to the ‘story of interbeing’, and the road to reform our society.
The three tracks on Day 1 and 2 are guided by an overarching, forward-looking direction to a regenerative future. Track 1 - “Co-Creating an Open Knowledge Hub for Ecosystem Development” will cover the why’s and how’s of shared insights. Track 2 - “Building Alliances for Regional Collective Impact” will bring Asian leaders to work together and awaken us of the ‘interbeing’ nature of successful social initiatives. Track 3 - “Bridging Purpose with Actions” will cover how resources can be channeled effectively to purpose-led projects. On Day 3 and 4, delegates will be immersed in social innovation visits and workshops which are both fun and educational.
This year’s SES Community Programme will happen between July to October, expanding to 9 districts, with the addition of Kowloon City, Tai Po and Wan Chai. A multivariate range of activities will be rolled out, including engaging SE Labs, school talks and tours, a fun-filled SE bazaar and community carnival. To promote an inclusive society, the community carnival will be themed around the notion of barrier-free for social inclusion.
I would invite you to check out a number of worthwhile SES programmes to be held before and during the International Symposium. They include the DBS x SES Social Impact Programme aimed at grooming the next generation of regional social leaders, an eye-opening B Corp event to inspire the business sector to contribute socially, and an NGO Engagement Luncheon designed to instigate collaboration in a relaxed setting.