Centre for Civil Society and Governance joined LabGov in 2021 and has extended the LabGov network to the Asia Pacific region. LabGov Hong Kong, steered by Professor Wai-Fung LAM, hopes to integrate the Centre’s work on sustainability with the urban commons’ framework and design methodology for knowledge exchange and experiment at both the local and international levels.
The HSBC Rural Sustainability programme was launched in 2013 with the goal to incubate and harvest the interests and resources of the community of interests for village revitalization and enhancement of the overall well-being of the society at large. Intersecting social and ecological sustainability, the project identifies rural assets and resources for shared use among villagers and city dwellers and it introduces principles and practice of co-governance for the wise use and management of some of these resources. New roles are explored and established for urban actors in the rural setting, and vice versa. Lai Chi Wo Village, located at the north-eastern part of Hong Kong and was deserted for decades, provided the venue for the experiment of the concepts and approaches of commons.
The revitalization model has recently been awarded the inaugural Special Recognition for Sustainable Development in the 2020 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation. Building upon the award-winning model, the project team has started testing the scaling up models and has been implementing the idea of “village cluster” among Lai Chi Wo and other villages in the vicinity where network of experience and resources is created. The revitalization model and principles also provided a solid foundation for another scaling up experiment of platform building with universities from Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Mainland China to coalescing regional experience and practice and nurturing collaborative action model for peri-urban integration.
Community Well-being and Wholeness
The project unites a real estate developer, the most resourceful private business in cities, with the knowledge institution (CCSG) and some social and environmental nonprofits to co-develop a framework and networked strategy for social change. The real estate developer is seen as a private agent for attaining positive social impact. A physical location comprised of aging and mature neighbourhoods and redeveloped high-end shopping mall and office buildings is chosen for the field-experiment of community currency.
The project explores the necessary conditions and enablers for an effective system of local currency to alleviate urban challenges. Identified challenges include the lack of high quality green space for social interaction, insufficient child care service provision at the neighbourhood level, etc. A sustainability assessment methodology will also be developed alongside with the framework for community currency as an attempt to measure the social impact attained.
Incubation of Social Entrepreneurship
There has been substantial interest in the circles of social entrepreneurs in the concept of the commons, which is broadly defined as solidarity-based collective endeavors to manage shared resources with a special regard for equitable access and use, and long-term stewardship. Social entrepreneurs worldwide have experimented and embarked on social innovation programs that draw upon a commoning approach to social entrepreneurship to tackle social problems. We believe that an enhanced toolkit for social entrepreneurship, with a stronger focus on commoning, holds the key to generating and scaling up changes into social impact. The Social Innovations for Sustainable Communities focuses to develop social innovations that will coalesce into a new social economy that not only provides incentives for the generation of both economic and social/environmental values, but also nurtures collaboration, trust and social capital in social-economic processes.
The same incubation attempt has also been incorporated in two other projects of the Centre, namely Partnership for Sustainability Leadership in Business and APAC Initiative for Regional Impact. The former offers opportunities to large corporations and SMEs to co-learn and co-create knowledge for business sustainability while the latter is a scaling up model for the HSBC Rural Sustainability programme at the regional level with universities being recruited as the intermediaries providing incubation and training programmes to individuals who are committed to attain rural sustainability.
In an effort to better harvest the knowledge obtained from various action projects, the Academy for Sustainable Communities was established in 2018 to provide a learning platform for potential change makers to enrol with various sustainability-related courses and workshops ranging from recycled wood handicraft workshop for general public to coffee’s value chain certificate programme for industry practitioners.
Howard Kwong has about two decades of experience in information technology and digital transformation for Fortune 500 as well as entrepreneurship in America and Asia. Howard is the Chief Digital Officer at Prudential Hong Kong, responsible for the overall digital and technology strategy, to transform Prudential to a digital enterprise and foster widespread innovation.
Prior to Prudential, Howard led innovation transformation for large enterprises in Hong Kong and Taiwan as part of the professional services team at Amazon Web Services. Prior to Amazon, Howard played a number of senior leadership roles at homegrown startups in Hong Kong across different industries: COO at Stakk, a leading millennial-focused video content and product platform in Hong Kong. CTO at Delivery Republic, the online-to-offline service provider that operates the biggest delivery network coverage in Hong Kong and CTO at Handheld Culture, a popular e-commerce platform for Chinese-language ebooks. Howard was the Assistant Director of Technology for SCMP Group where he led the technology and business transform to push the publisher of South China Morning Post into the digital-native and mobile-first era.
Wilson is the Hong Kong financial services public policy lead for AWS Greater China Region. He leads AWS’ policy advocacy and engagement work with financial services regulators in Hong Kong. He is also a core member of the AWS global financial services public policy team which leads AWS’ effort in advocacy with international standard-setting bodies, including the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Wilson represents AWS’ participation in a number of global and regional trade associations, and is also responsible for providing advices for internal customers on policy issues amid heightening U.S.-China tension and their impact on Hong Kong.
Wilson has 18 years of experience in the financial services sector with a focus on risk, regulation and public policy. Prior to joining AWS, he was a regulator with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) specialized in Basel III, consolidated supervision, credit risk, operational risk and the banking resolution regime. He represented the HKMA in several international working groups under the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, including the Credit Risk Group (CRG), the Operational Risk Group (ORG) and the Task Force for Standardised Approaches (TFSA). He has also led the bilateral resolution planning programs for several global and domestic systemically important banks.
Wilson graduated from the University of Hong Kong, major in Computer Engineering. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Risk Manager (FRM), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and a fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FCPA). Wilson holds master degrees in laws, financial mathematics and computer science.
Wai-Fung (Danny) Lam is Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), and Professor in Public Administration at the University of Hong Kong. He finished his undergraduate study at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and received a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Indiana University, Bloomington. Professor Lam is an expert in common-pool resource management, institutional policy analysis, public governance, and civil society. His research has focused on the design of efficient institutional arrangements for the governance and management of public resources, a core issue in public administration and sustainable development. Professor Lam has served on the editorial committees of Public Administration Review (PAR), International Review of Administrative Sciences (IRAS), Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (JCPA), Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly (NVSQ), and Asian Politics and Policy (APP), and is co-editor of The Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Administration (APJPA).
Dr Winnie Law is the Deputy Director and Principal Lecturer at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of The University of Hong Kong. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate courses on sustainable development, community planning and environmental management. She also works with a team of researchers and conducts policy research, action research and knowledge exchange projects on rural revitalization, social innovation, community engagement and corporate sustainability. Dr Law has been a director of the Conservancy Association since 2005 and has served on a number of HKSAR Government’s advisory committees including Advisory Council for the Environment. At the regional level, Dr Law was commissioned by the EU and UNDP as a planning and social monitoring expert for their city planning and environmental management programmes in Vietnam. Dr Law was one of the invited speakers for the first TedxTongChongSt’s series on Hacking the Future and delivered a talk on Future of Sustainability in 2019.
Dr. Chan’s primary research concerns the institutions that shape the consumption and distortion of information in different organizational settings. His current research explores how bureaucrats handle information and the impact of institutions on their choices.
Ongoing projects deal with different aspects of bureaucratic control in authoritarian regimes, such as administrative oversight, juridical intervention, internal reporting, and legislative decision-making.
He holds a PhD Degree in Public Policy from the O’Neill School of Public and Environment Affairs and the Department of Political Science, Indiana University Bloomington.
Raina Yeung is Director of Privacy and Data Policy, Engagement, APAC for Meta. In this role, she leads Meta’s engagement in public discussion around privacy in APAC, including any new regulatory frameworks, and ensures that feedback from governments and experts in APAC is considered in our product design and data use practices. Raina is a lawyer by training and is a former regulator, having previously worked at the Hong Kong Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in the position of Assistant Privacy Commissioner (Legal, Policy & Research).
Prior to joining the Hong Kong data protection authority, Raina had extensive legal in-house experience and held management positions in both Hong Kong and Shanghai. She served as the Assistant Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Hong Kong Disneyland and was the Deputy Chief Counsel – Head of Legal at Shanghai Disney Resort during the initial construction stage of the project when she helped set up the legal function at the Shanghai Disney Resort. Raina held a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia.
Maggie Tam is Public Policy Manager for Meta Hong Kong. In this role, Maggie works with the government, policymakers, academics, NGOs and private sector organizations, including local, regional and international organizations, on issues of safety, security, and other technology-relevant public policy concerns.
Prior to joining Meta, formerly known as Facebook, Maggie has held various roles of public affairs and communications equipped with hands-on private-public partnership experience and diverse industry knowledge, most notably in two of Hong Kong’s largest conglomerates, Swire Properties and New World Development. Throughout her career, Maggie has worked closely with key business and policy leaders focusing on stakeholder engagement, issue management and community relations. Maggie received her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Hong Kong.
Timothy Tam is a policy advocacy and stakeholder engagement professional with over a decade of managerial experience in the public, private and non-profit sectors. As the Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy of Google Hong Kong, Timothy coordinates Google’s public policy efforts in Hong Kong and engages various stakeholders in driving the city’s digitisation. Timothy was an Administrative Officer in the Hong Kong government and later joined a couple of business associations in Hong Kong, responsible for policy advocacy and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining Google, Timothy spearheaded the implementation of a multi-year advocacy campaign as a project manager at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.
Timothy is a Vice Chairman of the Digital, Information & Telecommunications Committee of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce. He also sits on advisory committees of tech-related initiatives in Hong Kong. Timothy holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business and Global Management from the University of Hong Kong.
Dr. David Chung Wai-keung has over 30 years of experience in information technology strategic management and entrepreneurship development.
He was the former Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology for the Hong Kong SAR Government, helping to strengthen the cooperation with the industry, academia and the research sector, to foster development of innovation and technology to promote development of high-end manufacturing industry as well as to enhance nurture of innovation and technology talents with an aim to create a vibrant ecosystem for innovation and technology. Prior to the government position, Dr. Chung worked as Chief Technology Officer at Cyberport Management Company Limited, responsible for taking forward its core mission on IT infrastructure, industry collaboration and incubation platforms for IT entrepreneurs. He also assisted in setting up the first Micro Fund Scheme in HK for young information and communications technology entrepreneurs. Dr Chung was a winner of the “China Top 5 CIO Award” in 2013.
Dr Patrick Poon is the Chairman of Harvest SCP Group Company Limited and Sing Cheong Charitable Foundation Limited. He has over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, and has served as the CEO of various multinational insurance companies. Dr Poon is the first Hong Kong born citizen to obtain full actuarial professional qualifications from the Institute of Actuaries in the UK. He was also Past President of the HK Actuarial Society.
Dr Poon is a recipient of HKSAR Honours and Awards – Silver Bauhinia Star 2018. He is very active in public services, especially in the high education sector. At HKU, he is the Deputy Chairman of Foundation for Educational Development & Research, a member of Audit Committee, member of International Advisory Council of the Faculty of Business and Economics. He was a Court and Council member of HKU and Chairman of HKU Convocation.
As National Technology Officer at Microsoft Hong Kong, Fred Sheu supports policy decision and delivers technologically relevant and scalable solutions into Hong Kong market. His main objectives are to align IT value propositions to public policies in such areas as healthcare, education, the environment, and local social and economic development; and to promote a digital agenda in top policy areas, including innovation, security and privacy, technology neutrality, accessibility, and interoperability. Prior to Microsoft, Fred worked with Hewlett Packard (HP) Enterprise where he was the General Manager of Software for HPE Hong Kong. Fred is an active veteran in Hong Kong ICT industry, he serves in councils of Hong Kong Computer Society (HKCS), itSMF Hong Kong Chapter and the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation (HKITF). Fred graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Computer Science (Hon) degree.
Dr. Sarah Liao is currently Senior Advisor at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance and Honorary Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering at The University of Hong Kong. She is a member of the Chinese Council of International Cooperation on Environment and Development since 2009 and is on the Board of Trustees of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Dr. Liao was formerly the Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works of the Hong Kong SAR Government in 2002-2007 when she managed a budget of over 40B HK dollars per annum and adopted sustainable development strategies in her policies to achieve a balanced approach in social and economic development while protecting the environment at the same time. She also encouraged public engagement to building strong community awareness and encouraged the usage of new technologies wherever possible. Prior to her Government appointment Dr. Liao was in the consultancy business and amongst her many projects she was engaged as the environmental consultant to the Beijing’s Olympic Bid and Organizing Committee in 2000-2008. She was Senior Advisor to the Vice- Chancellor of HKU from 2008 to 2014, Acting Director of the Kadoorie Institute from 2012 to 2016 and Mater of New College at The University of Hong Kong.
Dr. Liao is a Fellow of the Royal Chemistry Society, the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers and The University of Hong Kong. She was awarded the Members of the British Empire (MBE), and Justice of Peace and the Gold Bauhinia Star by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
Ms Quince Chong joined CLP Group on 1 September 2012 as Chief Corporate Development Officer and is a Director of CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. She is responsible for CLP Group’s corporate affairs, overseeing communications, external relations and stakeholder engagement matters. Her role helps promote CLP’s reputation, drive service excellence and strengthen ties with customers, stakeholders and the community as a whole. In addition to her work with CLP Group, she is also the Chairman of the Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence, member of the HKSAR Environmental Campaign Committee, member of the Vocational Training Council and director of the Hong Kong Justice of Peace Association. She is also a member of the 12th Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
Ms Chong has over 30 years of experience in corporate communications and customer services after having held various senior management positions in the tourism, hotel and aviation industries. Before joining CLP, Ms Chong was Director Corporate Affairs of Cathay Pacific Limited and worked at the Hong Kong Tourism Board (formerly the Hong Kong Tourist Association).
Professor Lam graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a degree of Bachelor in Arts in Geography and Geology in November 1970 and a degree of Master of Philosophy in November 1974. He obtained a degree of Doctor of Philosophy from The University of New England in Australia in April 1981. Professor Lam was admitted as an Honorary fellow of The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, the United Kingdom in April 2006, of Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics in June 2012 and The Hong Kong Institute of Environmental Impact Assessment in June 2012. For previous community services in Hong Kong, Professor Lam was a council member of the Sustainable Council from March 2003 to February 2011, the Advisory Committee on Water Resources and Quality of Water Supplies from April 2000 to March 2004, Hong Kong Observatory from October 2006 to September 2010, and the Advisory Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries from May 1988 to May 1992. He served as the Chairman of the Advisory Council on the Environment from January 2003 to December 2009 and had been the Chairman of the Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan Steering Committee from June 2013 to May 2016. He was also a member of various statutory Appeal Boards of the Hong Kong SAR Government, including those dealing with Town Planning from November 1991 to December 1999, Registration of Persons from June 1999 to May 2005, Air Pollution Control from March 1989 to January 2001, Noise Control from February 1989 to January 2004, Environmental Impact Assessment from April 2013 to March 2016, and Waste Disposal from February 2013 to January 2016. Professor Lam is currently an Environmental Consultant with The World Bank on contract.
Aseem Prakash is Professor of Political Science, the Walker Family Professor for the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Founding Director of the Center for Environmental Politics. He is the Founding Editor of the Cambridge University Press Series in Business and Public Policy as well as Cambridge Elements in Organizational Response to Climate Change: Business, Governments & Nonprofits. Professor Prakash’s research focuses on climate governance, NGOs, and voluntary regulation. He has a byline in Forbes.com.
Aseem Prakash is a member of National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Environmental Change and Society and International Research Fellow at the Center for Corporate Reputation, University of Oxford. He was elected to the position of the Vice President of the International Studies Association for the period, 2015-2016. His recent awards include the American Political Science Association’s 2020 Elinor Ostrom Career Achievement Award in recognition of “lifetime contribution to the study of science, technology, and environmental politics,” the International Studies Association’s 2019 Distinguished International Political Economy Scholar Award that recognizes “outstanding senior scholars whose influence and path-breaking intellectual work will continue to impact the field for years to come,” as well its 2018 James N. Rosenau Award for “scholar who has made the most important contributions to globalization studies” and the European Consortium for Political Research Standing Group on Regulatory Governance’s 2018 Regulatory Studies Development Award that recognizes a senior scholar who has made notable “contributions to the field of regulatory governance.”
Professor Shui Yan Tang’s research focuses on institutional analysis and design, common-pool resource governance, environmental politics and policy, collaborative governance, and governance reform. He is the author of Institutions and Collective Action: Self-Governance in Irrigation (ICS Press, 1992) and Ten Principles for a Rule-ordered Society: Enhancing China’s Governing Capacity (China Economic Publishing House, 2012). He has published in numerous journals, including Comparative Politics, Economic Development Quarterly, Environment and Planning A, Governance, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, Land Economics, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Public Administration Review, The China Quarterly, and World Development. Professor Tang was associate editor of the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory.
George Chen is a Honorary Senior Fellow for the Centre for Civil Society and Governance at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), for which he has helped to launch and lead the Tech for Good Initiative. As a practitioner–scholar, George’s career spans media, technology and policy for over two decades. Prior to the HKU, George served as Meta/Facebook’s first-ever Managing Director of Public Policy for Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia for more than seven years, making him the most senior policy representative in the field.
George also served in various editorial and management positions for major media organisations including the South China Morning Post, Reuters, and Dow Jones. George was a 2014 Yale World Fellow and a 2015 fellow of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. In 2022 George was awarded the “Medal of Friendship” in 2022 – one of the highest honour for foreigners — by the order of the President of Mongolia for his years-long contributions to Mongolia’s IT industry development.