Social Enterprise Summit 2017
The Social Enterprise Summit (SES) 2017, organised by the Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum (HKSEF), held the grand opening cum keynote speeches today. The opening kicked off the two-day international symposium with a total of 18 conference sessions which have brought together over 50 leaders in social innovation from the U.K., the U.S., Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. To mark the 10th anniversary of the event, this year’s theme is “Unleashing Systemic Change” to conclude the fruits of ten years’ effort and promote a new wave of innovation and reform. SES is co-organised by Home Affairs Bureau and Efficiency Unit of the HKSAR Government together with 13 civic groups, and supported by more than 50 partners and supporting organisations this year.
Mrs Carrie Lam, GBM, GBS, Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government, officiated the Grand Opening, and said she is pleased to see that with the staunch support of various sectors of the community, social enterprises have achieved solid growth in Hong Kong. She also stated that the government will continue its effort to create a favourable environment for the development of social enterprises, establishing new elements in social innovative and entrepreneurship funding. She said the government will continue to encourage collaborations of the business sector with social enterprises and NGOs, such as providing newly established social enterprises with financing channels. She looks forward to the continued participation of different sectors for the long term development of social enterprises in Hong Kong,
Mrs Rebecca Yung, Chair of the Organising Committee of Social Enterprise Summit, said in the welcome address: “When we launched the first Social Enterprise Summit back in 2008, we planted the seeds of social innovation among a few hundred early adopters. With our concerted efforts, the seeds have gathered momentum, public awareness on social innovation has greatly increased. On our 10th anniversary, we believe that it is time to move onto a more systemic approach to bring about social change. The 2017 theme is therefore “Unleashing Systemic Change” – a clarion call to action in shaping the future of social innovation. Through cross-sector collaboration among the civil organisations, the business sector, the Government and the academia, we can unleash the power of everyone to bring systemic changes and a positive impact to this place we call home.” said.
Mr Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, UK, joined Mrs Carrie Lam in a policy dialogue on “Public Innovation and Collective Intelligence”. Geoff shared inspiring cases on digital social innovations and global trends on policy innovation that started an intriguing exchange on stage. Prof. Christopher Marquis, Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor of Management at Cornell University delivered a keynote speech on “Rethinking Capitalism”, which outlined how modern businesses have created positive impact to the society and natural environment alongside financial returns. The Grand Opening was concluded by a dialogue between Mr Xu Yongguang, Chairman of Narada Foundation and Dr Jane Lee, JP, Founding Chair of Social Enterprise Summit, who have witnessed the dynamic progress of social entrepreneurship across Mainland China and Hong Kong over the past decade.
Building capacity for social entrepreneurship through a series of enriching events
The International Symposium, which covers five major themes on “Unleashing the Power of Business!”, “Unleashing STEM!”, “Unleashing Capital Impacts!”, “Unleashing Inspiration for Services!”, and “Unleashing Community Entrepreneurship!”, will be held at HKCEC on 8th November. Apart from the International Symposium, SES held the Hong Kong Jam, which has brought together social innovators from different sectors. Besides, SES successfully held an array of community engagement activities from April to October, including the hackathon, school talk and social enterprise bazaar to engage local stakeholders in tackling pressing social issues and improving community livelihood. The Summit will come to a fruitful end after an array of local community tours and social innovation visits on 9th and 10th November.