HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 19 November 2020 – The 13th Social Enterprise Summit kicked off today in an online format. The three-day international symposium will host dialogues with over 80 leading social innovators in more than 20 forums, workshops and interactive sessions. Speakers and participants from all over the world will have the chance to engage on this unique cross-sector platform.
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 at 10:00am 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 at 11:00am, 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.
At 2:30pm, Mr Francis NGAI (HK), Founder and CEO of Social Ventures Hong Kong, will host 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, at 4:00pm, 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 will explore 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 will explore 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 will consider 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 will explore 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.
The last day of this year’s symposium will be on 21 November, featuring the Asia Youth Entrepreneurship Exchange and a social innovation workshop. Titled “Yesterday’s Heritage; Today’s Transformation; Tomorrow’s DYNAMIC INNOVATION”, the concluding session will take the form of a specially curated narrative involving guest speakers from across generations and social sectors, who will share their insights into “The New Normal To Be”.
Members of the public are free to register to take part in SES 2020. Besides the International Symposium, an online exhibition is set up to introduce the various projects of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund. Four intermediaries will set up a live online session to facilitate participant interaction, these intermediaries are: Fullness Social Enterprises Society Ltd, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service, PolyU Technology and Consultancy Co Ltd., and The Society of Rehabilitation and Crime Prevention, Hong Kong. The exhibition is available for delegates to visit for an entire month as from 19th November.
About Social Enterprise Summit
Social Enterprise Summit (SES) is a cross-sector platform to inspire and empower social innovation and social entrepreneurship. The flagship International Symposium builds on the experiences of over 80 speakers from 15 locations to inspire, innovate, connect and collaborate with delegates from the civic society, businesses, government and academic sectors from Hong Kong, China; Asia Pacific region and beyond to advance positive societal changes.
2020 Theme: “new normal · collective power” ︱ 19-21. 11. 2020 ︱ Online ︱
The turn of the decade 2020 begins with a pandemic affecting people around the world, raising attention to health and changing the way people work, study, commute or socialise. Everyone in our society will require some shifts to come out of the current situations. Collective efforts are needed to re-focus on fostering mutually reinforcing solutions, continuous communication towards common agendas and making swift decisions based on current data and measurement. This International Symposium will examine the process through 4 thematic tracks: Community Empowerment, Digital Social Innovation, Sustainability and Business as well as Education Innovation.
Community engagement activities are held in eight different districts in Hong Kong during the year to expand the participation and reach beyond the conference rooms, applying knowledge, social entrepreneurship and innovative mindsets to various day to day life settings.