Reflecting on the last few months of industry events, partner conversations and Member meetings, here are my observations on some major barriers to social innovation in Hong Kong. Some of my views may be unpopular, but then again we’re not here to be mainstream. Alongside each is an example of what we’ve tried in overcoming that barrier, in case it’s useful to others.
As the world has learned to cope with the pandemic and started to look ahead to long-term recovery, we all keep hearing about the need to “build back better”, increase resilience and not go back to the way things were. Easy to say, but what exactly does that look like? How do we truly transition to rebuilding a “new economy” that is more inclusive and sustainable, using what we have learned in the past few months?
Some people think Hong Kong can be a hard-nosed, apathetic place on the surface. But look a little deeper and you’ll find many people here have a generous capacity to “care” and design creative solutions to complex problems. That much is clear from our daily conversations with businesses, NGOs and social innovators. So what’s lacking?
Three months ago, I moved back from New York, quite unexpectedly, to help build Shared Value Project Hong Kong, after one fateful coffee meeting. Coming from six years in public relations, this new role is vastly different and yet makes perfect sense. I was asked to share my story – so here’s a candid account of my wandering path to purpose, and a few things I learned.
As part of our efforts to increase understanding of shared value, SVPHK recently hosted our first public talk on the topic of impact investing, green finance and ethical screening in partnership with The Executive Centre, to illustrate examples of and opportunities for shared value in financial services and the investment arena.