CHINA – Media OutReach – 9 October 2020 – The Prize Presentation Ceremony of the second “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition, supported by Citi Foundation and organized by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), was held today. Officiating the ceremony were Mr. Caspar Tsui Ying Wai, JP, Secretary for Home Affairs, HKSAR; Mr. Wayne Fong, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Hong Kong; and Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, Chief Executive of the HKCSS.
Also attending were representatives of the competition’s partners, supporting organisations, teachers and students from the finalist teams. Fourteen prototypes were showcased for guests attending the ceremony.
The winning entry “Easy Food Waste”, developed by a team from the True Light Girls’ College, aims at raising awareness of food waste management and improving hygiene in Kowloon City district. The project includes a recycling machine with a six-month period of experimentation and evaluation to develop the machine’s capabilities, and a three-month training period to enable the eight participating restaurants to perfect using it. The winning team will join a HKCSS-organized tour to visit a cluster of innovative start-ups and social enterprises in Bali next year.
The “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition is open to all secondary schools in Hong Kong and was first launched last year for the Central and Western district. This year Kowloon City district was the selected neighbourhood.
Through experiential learning in the community and comprehensive training in design thinking, technology, and prototype making, as well as interaction with local citizens in the district with the support of the District Office and NGOs in the area, participating students were challenged to identify a community issue and come up with solutions to address it.
Despite the pandemic, 35 teams from 28 secondary schools submitted their proposals. Fourteen teams were invited to produce prototypes which were exhibited to the public at the Ko Shan Theatre from July 11 – 13 and through an online exhibition starting from today.
Mr. Caspar Tsui, JP, Secretary for Home Affairs said, “During the competition, students had the chance to get involved in local communities and learn more about them from different perspectives through taking part in workshops and site visits. Such experiences helped them deepen their understanding of the daily lives of local residents as well as government policies.
The world is ever changing, presenting us with new challenges. Our society is also facing a number of challenges in areas such as population, economy, housing and environment. We need caring and empathetic young people with a strong sense of responsibility to strive for the well-being of Hong Kong by making use of innovation and technology. I hope all participants, whether you win or not, will continue to bring positive energy into society by caring for our community with love and demonstrating your spirit of innovation in the days to come. Together we will make a better Hong Kong.”
Mr. Wayne Fong, Head of Corporate Affairs, Citi Hong Kong, said, “Citi Foundation has been supporting initiatives that improve youth employability and promote sustainability. This program emphasizes exploring, understanding, learning and creative thinking, and offers participants a taste of social invention which is a great nurturing experience for the students. This program creates an invaluable platform for our future generations to explore personal interests and pave the way for them to get involved in the creation and enhancement of communities.”
Mr. Chua, Chief Executive of the HKCSS said, “The competition aims to provide a chance for teachers and students to learn and think out of the box, apply STEM and design thinking skills, interact with residents, and solve community problems in Kowloon City district. Though the pandemic this year increased the difficulties of the competition and limited the chance for local visits, the students were able to complete their projects using different methods, which demonstrated their perseverance and innovation.
To observe social distancing requirements, some activities of the competition had to go online. Special thanks are extended to all our community partners, who enabled more than 100 local residents from grassroots families, social housing and elderly centres to participate in online Community Trial. In this unexpected way, social innovation was brought to the community. It provided incentives for NGOs to teach and residents to use online communication software to share their views to the students. In return, residents have told us that this experience greatly enhanced their confidence to use online services in the future. “
Some of the prototypes were tested in the community in September this year. Residents in Kowloon City district were engaged to interact with students from a user’s perspective, in order to improve the feasibility and convenience of the prototypes. The third “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition will be open for applications in November, and the focal district will be North District.
The HKCSS is an umbrella organisation of about 480 agency members that provide over 90% of the social welfare services in Hong Kong. HKCSS launched the Caring Company Scheme in 2002 to build a cohesive society by promoting strategic partnership among business and social service partners and inspiring corporate social responsibility through caring for the community, employees and the environment. HKCSS puts much effort in building capacity of social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Business Centre (SEBC) to advance social entrepreneurship and mobilize social innovation.
About Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfil our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.