HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 2 September 2021 – The 14th Social Enterprise Summit (“SES2021”) will convene from 4 to 7 November with the theme of “Building Blocks of a Regenerative Future” to discuss how to leverage the strengths of different sectors and bring social innovation forward during the post-pandemic era. The four-day annual International Symposium is a flagship event that features a mix of face-to-face discussion panels, online meetings, workshops and networking events, with 60+ top international and local speakers to come up with inspiring and innovative solutions that could tackle existing social challenges.
The officiating guests light up a neon board with the theme of SES 2021, symbolising people from all sectors join hands to build a better future
Event of the Year on Social Innovation Officially Launched Today
The Launch Ceremony of SES 2021 kicked off with a lighting ceremony, that symbolised stakeholders from different sectors joining hands to build a brighter future. The ceremony was officiated by Mr. Jack Chan, Acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr. James Law, Founder of Cybertecture Architects and designer of Tsuen Wan Water Pipe Homes. The event also featured the thematic dialogue between Mr. James Law and Ms. Cora Chu, CEO of Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Foundation on how to address the challenges posed by COVID-19 and solution adapted by different sectors.
Mrs. Rebecca Choy Yung, Chair of Social Enterprise Summit Organizing Committee remarked, “The ‘Sustainable development’ concept alone is not sufficient to solve such global crisis as climate change, therefore the idea of ‘ A Regenerative future’, that shifts the paradigm of pursuing market growth to ecological prosperity and focuses on the wellbeing of the planet Earth and the society. We shall continue our commitment to social innovation by focusing on dialogues about international connectivity and resources integration to explore the potential among different kinds of social innovation design.”
Mr. Jack Chan, Acting Secretary for Home Affairs and the Officiating Guest of the Launch Ceremony, stated, “The Bureau is committed to supporting proactively development of social enterprises and deepen the public’s understanding on social enterprises through various channels from different perspectives. We are looking forward to seeing representatives from multiple sectors exchanging ideas and sharing experiences at the Social Enterprise Summit, so as to promote social harmony.”
At the thematic dialogue about “Building Blocks of a Regenerative Future”, Mr. James Law, and Ms. Cora Chu, shared their journeys of running their business under the challenge of the pandemic as well as the experience of collaborating with the business community. The speakers also shared how to bring global market experience and local creativities together when introducing foreign social enterprise brands to Hong Kong.
The brand new “Fund Dating” session took place after the launch ceremony. Representatives of 10 social enterprises and 6 investors were invited to collaborate, communicate and build trust through a series of interactive experiences in a dark and soundless environment, so as to explore possibility of innovations and tackle challenges together.
“Building Blocks of a Regenerative Future”– Innovative Solutions to New Challenges
Social enterprises have been facing unprecedented challenges during the past two years. SES 2021 connects speakers from various sectors, including social entrepreneurs, policy makers, young generations and business of International Symposium. The keynote speaker Mr. Charles Eisenstein, Author of “Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition” from the USA, will discuss with participants on how corporations connect with a regenerative future, as well as the significance of “environment, society and corporate governance”.
20 Summit Sessions Featuring Leading Speakers
The International Symposium will examine the themes of “Co-creating an Open Knowledge Hub for Ecosystem Development“, “Building Alliances for Regional Collective Impact“ and “Bridging Purpose with Actions“ via 3 different tracks. The sessions will feature leading speakers, including Ms. Leonie Kelly, Director and Head of Sustainable Investing and ESG Consulting, Ogier Global; Ms. Amy Wu, Executive Director and Head, Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, DBS Bank (HK); Mr. CY Chan, Co-Owner & Chief Talent and Purpose Officer, Hong Kong Broadband Network Limited; Ms. Ada Yip, CEO, Urban Spring; and Mr. Raymond Mak, Founder of Farmacy. (Please refer to the appendix for further information)
A number of educational and fun-filled as well as social innovation tour will also be held during SES 2021. The last event attracted over 7500 visits.
SES 2021 is open for registration starting from today. Early-bird offer is available during 2 September to 15 October. Register now: https://ses.org.hk/registration
Appendix I: Biography of Special Guests at Social Enterprise Summit 2021 Launch Ceremony
Mr James LAW, JP
Founder, Chairman and CEO, Cybertecture Architects, HK
Mr James Law, JP, is an architect, technologist and entrepreneur. Creating the philosophy of Cybertecture, he believes design and technology can alleviate mankind’s suffering and build a better world. His projects cover buildings, spaces and technologies, education and social design.
He is the architect of the innovative OPod Concrete Tube Housing Project designed to alleviate housing affordability problem, The Pad Tower, the world’s first Apple iPod inspired building in Dubai, and The Hyperloop, a futuristic high speed transportation system. He also collaborated with renowned Hong Kong film director Wong Kar Wai on the design of the film “2046”.
Ms Cora CHU
Chief Executive Officer, Dialogue in the Dark (HK) Foundation Limited, HK
Ms Cora Chu was inspired to pursue her second career in Dialogue in the Dark in 2013 and has taken up the Chief Executive Officer role since 2015 with key focus on leading the business development in corporate and education sectors as well as the development of empowerment programs to nurture and showcase the talents of People of Differences (PoDs).
She is committed in engaging PoDs to create social impact by empowering more PoDs to live out their life with respect and dignity and promoting social inclusion, tolerance, respect and appreciation of individual differences.
Appendix II: Biography of Key Speakers at the International Symposium Social Enterprise Summit 2021
SES invites 60+ top international and local speakers to share inspiring and innovative solutions that could tackle existing social challenges in the International Symposium. Key speakers are listed below.
Mr Charles EISENSTEIN
Author, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition, USA
Mr Charles Eisenstein is a counter-cultural intellectual: an essayist, speaker, and the author of several books, including “Sacred Economics” and “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible”. He writes on themes of culture, technology, money, consciousness, and ecology. His background includes a degree in mathematics and philosophy from Yale University, and nine years living in Taiwan where he worked as a translator. He currently lives with his family in Rhode Island, USA.
Mr YUEN Shu Wah
Founding Chairman, Gratia Foundation Limited, HK
Despite the initial desire to be a professional chemist since his graduation in 1972 from HKU, Mr YUEN turned out to be an entrepreneur, philanthropist, founder of Children Homes in China and Bangladesh, ecologist involved in anti-desertification in Tengger Desert and founder of Gratia Christian College which focus at educating university students with servant leader aspiration.
Mr Amy WU
Executive Director and Head, Group Strategic Marketing and Communications, DBS Bank (HK)
Ms Amy Wu is Executive Director and Head of Group Strategic Marketing and Communications at DBS Bank (Hong Kong). Before joining DBS, she was Lead of Pay TV Marketing under PCCW Media Group, managing customer portfolio, optimizing subscription revenue, building brand preference and driving engagement through all marketing channels for both the broadband TV and OTT services, namely Now TV and Now E.
She took on various leadership roles at Nike for 10 years, including HK Territory General Manager and Nike Women General Manager for Greater China, bringing Nike’s inspiration and innovation to consumers in the Greater China region. She is passionate about creating social impact through innovation, activation and storytelling.
Mr Manfred YUEN
Founder, Groundwork Architects & Associates, HK
Mr Manfred Yuen founded Groundwork Architects & Associates in 2011, hoping to improve the living environment of Hong Kong. Groundwork was later joined by CY Lau and Fiona Bao as the practice expanded into Southern China.In 2018, he co-founded Groundwork Shenzhen: a research arm of Groundwork that focuses on children play spaces and school designs.
He was invited to be one of the speakers in 2019 at TEDx, Shenzhen, where he advocated humanistic and social responsibilities of architects.
About Social Enterprise Summit (SES)
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 60 speakers and attendances from 10 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.
Community engagement activities are held in nine 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. Official Website: http://www.ses.org.hk