Chair Message

Mrs Rebecca YUNG

Mrs Rebecca CHOY YUNG
Chair, Organising Committee of Social Enterprise Summit

The turn of the decade 2020 begins with the global Covid-19 pandemic, causing disruptive changes in all facets of life around the world. Hong Kong has demonstrated unparalleled vigilance through the pandemic spikes, along with a respectable awakening of communities to support those in need. As a city originally topping world rankings in being one of the freest economies with the longest life expectancy, Hong Kong’s competitive advantages have come under unprecedented challenge as we made headlines about our political and social upheavals. The government, business, social sectors as well as individuals are each finding their own narratives and solutions. Correspondingly, our social issues have reached a new level of complexity. We would need a paradigm shift from a crisis mode toward an innovative and collective ecosystem to tackle entrenched issues as the world is slipping into the “new normal” era.

Due to volatility of the current pandemic and as a health and safety measure for all delegates, the 13th Social Enterprise Summit (SES 2020) will be held in a well-curated online format for the first time. Themed “new normal · collective power”, SES 2020 will leverage on its position as the leading social innovation platform to invite more than 70 heavy-weight speakers from different sectors around the world, covering topics ranging from the inspirational to the practical. On Day 1, delegates will be privileged to hear firsthand from our keynote speakers, Mr Jeremy Heimans and Mr Henry Timms, coauthors of the book “New Power”, on building movements and fueling collective impact. Social innovators would learn how to harness the skill of mass mobilisation, driven by a higher social purpose and propelled by the power of the internet, to achieve social objectives.

There will be four themed tracks for you to rove around on Day 2. We will delve into digital social innovation which provides new forms of power to tackle large-scale social or even global crises while empowering citizens and mass participation; discuss different means of education innovation and behavioral changes in the society; set business innovation directions and design an optimal sustainability strategy; as well as venturing into transformative community empowerment. Young changemakers will inject fresh streams of thoughts on Day 3 during the Asia Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange – an SES platform attracting youthful and aspiring social entrepreneurs.

Our community programmes this year will see its expansion into Yau Tsim Mong as the 8th district. A multifarious range of activities, such as SE Labs, Community Carnival, school talks and tours, will be rolled out in these districts from August to November. These activities are an effective way for community innovators and citizens from all walks of life to engage in dialogues on the role communities can play in social change and foster collaboration. Covid-19 has presented an opportunity for us to get creative with our programme format. Some of the activities will be held online to safeguard the health and safety of everyone involved.

This might be the worst of times. But this is also the best of times for positive transformation. Together, let’s embrace collective power under the new normal and co-create a responsible, sustainable, and inclusive world.