(Hong Kong, 14 September 2017) - The Social Enterprise Summit (SES) 2017, organised by the Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum (HKSEF), today launched its opening to mark the 10th anniversary of the event. Upon this important milestone, this year’s theme is “Unleashing Systemic Change” to conclude the fruits of ten years’ effort and promote a new wave of innovation and reform. A series of enriching programmes will be held in 6 consecutive days from 5th to 10th November. Events include: Hong Kong Jam that inspires creativity among changemakers from various sectors, a welcome dinner themed “Boxing for Future”, an international symposium in two consecutive days with important speakers, and a series of community activities. There will be more than 30 activities and an expected visitor count of over 4,000. With the sponsor of the Home Affairs Bureau, 15 co-organisers, over 50 partners and supporting organisations, SES 2017 is the flagship event on social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
50 world-class speakers discussing 5 themes
A total of 18 symposiums to be held on two consecutive days on the 7th and 8th November are the highlights of SES 2017. The conferences will bring together around 50 leaders in social innovation from the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Chile, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Mainland, Taiwan, and Hong Kong to share their experiences and insights as well as discuss the future of social innovation.
The 5 major themes of the international symposium include “Unleashing the Power of Business!”, “Unleashing STEM!”, “Unleashing Capital Impacts!”, “Unleashing Inspiration for Services!”, and “Unleashing Community Entrepreneurship!”. The themes will allow multiple perspectives in discussing worldwide societal innovations and future development on directions like business power, B corps, innovation & collaboration among businesses, design thinking, healthcare innovation, social technology, public and private funds, crowd funding, social service, community transformation, co-space, etc. (Please refer to appendix for details on symposium themes and speakers)
Keynote speakers on the opening ceremony include Mr Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, who runs a wide range of activities on policy research, investment and practical innovation programmes; Prof. Christopher Marquis, Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University, who researches on how business can have a positive impact on society and the natural environment; Mr Xu Yong Guang, Chairman of Narada Foundation. Keynote speakers on the closing ceremony will be Mr Reagan Dou, Executive Secretary-General of Tencent Foundation; Mr Colin Downie, the Sales and Partnership Director at the largest B2B social enterprise in the UK and a fundamental supplier to corporate business - The WildHearts Group; Mr Kyle Westaway, the author of Profit and Purpose.
A series of enriching events to promote the development of social entrepreneurship
Apart from the International Symposium, SES will hold the Hong Kong Jam on 5th November. Now in its fourth year, Hong Kong Jam continues to bring changemakers together and work towards a better future. In this unorthodox meeting, social innovators from different sectors (including childcare and education, food, future city, and elderly services) will share their knowledge and resources to connect our community. A number of workshops will be held to encourage new thoughts and new actions. The activity is not about empty thoughts on “what is going on with social innovation” but seeks to connect different ideas and spark new inspirations through various workshops.
SES will also hold the gala dinner ‘A Dinner to Remember’ on 6th November. ‘Lion rock spirit’ represents perseverance and solidarity of Hong Kong people who transform this city into the current cosmopolitan. As the society now becomes more diverse, the younger generation also has a lot of fighting spirit and strives to make a difference. This year, SES is celebrating its 10th anniversary and the theme of the dinner is ‘Boxing for Future’. SES hopes to connect the guests to fight for systemic changes in society. The dinner will also showcase diversity and vitality of Hong Kong. There will be a Thai boxing demonstration and a DIY session.
SES this year continues to serve and reach out to the community by visiting six districts: Central and Western District, Southern District, Wong Tai Sin, Sham Shui Po, Tuen Mun and Yuen Long. An array of activities will be held from April to October, including the Hackathon, School Talk, Social Enterprise Bazaar, and Community Tour. 9th and 10th November would feature 9 community tours and social innovation visits in total.
“The Home Affairs Bureau has been supporting and sponsoring the SES throughout the years. We feel encouraged to witness the Summit entering the important milestone of 10th anniversary and receiving wide recognition. The establishment of local social enterprises aimed to help the underprivileged initially. It feels positive to see the fruit of cross-sector collaboration where they have developed into a distinguished sector with different social pursuits, achieving constant increase in the number of enterprises and flourishes in diversity. ”said Mr. Lau Kong-wah, JP, Secretary for Home Affairs.
“The number of the Summit’s participants gradually increased from 300 in our first year in 2008 to more than 2,000 last year. When we first held the Social Enterprise Summit, the concept of social innovation had not taken root in Hong Kong. Over the years, the Summit has provided us a unique opportunity to start a conversation about social enterprise and social innovation – its values, partnership and impact. As the Summit grows and momentum builds, public awareness on social innovation has increased vastly. I believe we have built a strong partnership among the civil society, the business, the Government, and the academia,” said Mrs Rebecca Yung, the Chair of the Organising Committee of SES 2017.
About Social Enterprise Summit
The Social Enterprise Summit is a non-profit event organised by Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurshp Forum, co-organised by Home Affairs Bureau of the HKSAR Government together with 16 civic groups. The Summit is an annual event since 2008, attracting some 2,000 visitors every year from the Asian region and Greater China. It shows that social innovation and social entrepreneurship is attracting increasing attention and support in the region. The Summit has become a major cross-sector platform among the civic society, the businesses, the Government and the academia in the region in promoting innovative entrepreneurship for social change.