Past Summits

Social Enterprise Summit 2020

This year’s Social Enterprise Summit (SES) has chosen the theme “new normal · collective power”. Everyone in our society will require some shifts to come out of the current situations during a year of pandemic, the Summit will identify ways for generating new social power by bringing different sectors together more closely. This is the first time that an online format has been used for the Summit, enabling social entrepreneurs from many different countries to interact without geographic limitations. “History will mark 2020 as one of the most disruptive years ever, a year of survival and change,” said Rebecca CHOY YUNG, Chair of the SES Organising Committee. “Social issues have never been as complex as they are now, and this calls for new ways of thinking. We need to be innovative and use our collective power to tackle and solve the entrenched social issues in this era of the ‘new normal’.”

The Summit began with a keynote address by Mr Jeremy HEIMANS (US) and Mr Henry TIMMS (US), Co-Authors of New Power. According to these speakers, “New power is the ability to harness the energy of the connected crowd; it is the deployment of mass participation and peer coordination to create change, shift outcomes and achieve the best result.” Mr TIMMS shared the example of a global philanthropic movement #GivingTuesday that engages people in close to 100 countries and which has generated over US$1 billion for good causes.

Followed by a Policy Dialogue where The Honourable Bernard Charnwut CHAN, Convenor of the Non-Official Members, Executive Council of Hong Kong SAR Government; Dr Chi-kwong LAW, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Bureau of Hong Kong SAR Government, and other speakers talked about social innovation and social finance, policies and how the civil society, business, policymakers and academia are developing a shared value city.

Mr Francis NGAI (HK), Founder and CEO of Social Ventures Hong Kong, hosted the Thematic Session “Overcoming Challenges 2.0: Rebuilding City Resilience”, a multi-perspective discussion on rebuilding resilience in our city and suggesting ways to face different challenges. The panellists will include Mr David YEUNG (HK), Founder and CEO of Green Monday; Dr LAU Ming-Wai (HK), Founder and Director of MWYO and Chairman of Chinese Estates Holdings Limited, and Ms Vicky FUNG (HK), Co-founder of Every Life Is A Song.

The second Thematic Session titled “Transformation”. Ms Ada WONG (HK), Founder and Chair, Make A Difference (MaD) Institute and Convenor and Director, Good Lab Foundation; Dr Wichuda Na Songkhla SRIYAPHAI, Ph.D (Thailand), Chief Executive Officer of Wandee Group Holdings, along with other social entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Vietnam will share their experience and stories on how to capture opportunities and scale impact in the volatile and uncertain world of 2020.

Four discussion tracks will take place on 20 November. The first track is “Community Empowerment”; it explored ways of unleashing the latent power in our communities to transform the pressures of recent times into positive power; to change and to embrace the “new normal”. The second track is “Digital Social Innovation”, it explored how open data, citizen science and shifts in work practices can be used to drive informed and productive changes in our personal, professional, and social journeys along the digital social innovation highway. The “Sustainability and Business” track considered sustainability strategies, practices and business models that prioritize sustainability and lay the foundations for a more resilient and sustainable business ecosystem of shared values. Finally, the “Education Innovation” track explored various innovative education initiatives such as adopting a skills-based approach in social entrepreneurship education, building an education transformation movement to change traditional practices in schools, as well as using behavioural science as a tool for developing a better society.

On Saturday morning, the Asia Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange opened with a moderated Panel Discussion between six renowned social innovators from across Asia, namely Anya LIM, Co-Founder and Managing Director of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery (Philippines), David CHRISTIAN, Founder and CEO of Evo & Co (Indonesia), John MAK, Co-founder of MM Community (Myanmar), Peter PARK, Founder of Angelswing (Korea), Somsak BOOKAM, Founder and CEO of Local Alike (Thailand), and Yi LUO, Founder of Lao Tu (Mainland China). They were joined by six young changemakers from Hong Kong, namely Eric CHEUNG, Co-Founder of Dyelicious, Peann TAM, Co-Founder and Business Development Director of Eco-Greenergy, Himphen HUI, Co-founder of Collaction, Lawrence LUI, Co-founder and Executive Director of Longevity Design House, Eva WONG, Co-founder of WEDO GLOBAL, and Tsz Wai LOONG, Chief Executive of the Land Education Foundation. Each local social entrepreneur paired up with a regional counterpart and they discussed issues and shared stories across the important areas of rethinking sustainable fashion and textiles, innovating eco-friendly consumables, promoting civic engagement through community crowdsourcing, developing technology for human and urban resilience, building inclusive communities through cultural tourism, and reimagining urban-rural cultural connections.

The concluding session was titled “Yesterday's Heritage; Today's Transformation; Tomorrow's DYNAMIC INNOVATION”. It was hosted by Tony HUNG, artist and Founder of Travel Kind (HK), with other speakers including Ren WAN, Co-founder of JupYeah (HK), Rap CHAN, Co-founder and Illustrator of Dustykid (HK). They curated the session as a narrative with a script telling the story behind various initiatives for social good. Each story spoke of a social innovator's mission, explained the targeted social impact of their work, and showed how "taking action" could create dynamic changes through collective power. Moreover, five student groups shared their award-winning social innovation projects to the audience. This year’s call for action “Envision Citizens’ Innovation Towards 2030" was announced at the Concluding Session. Participants were given a list of words and were asked to select one that best described the kind of society they would like to see in ten years' time. The most frequently chosen word was “Empower”.

At the closing ceremony, Mrs Rebecca CHOY YUNG, Chair of the Organising Committee of the Social Enterprise Summit said “SES is becoming a social innovation movement where cross sector change makers gather collective power to combat the increasingly unpredictable worldly challenges.  Participants were eager to establish stronger networks and many resolves to taking action while adopting a long-term vision.”.

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