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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
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.
Jenna is a Product Policy Manager on Facebook’s Misinformation Policy team. She specialises in global health misinformation and misinformation in the Asia-Pacific region, and is based in Singapore.
Sam Traynor is the Product Policy manager for Inauthentic behavior at Facebook. For almost the last decade he has been working in the integrity space in variety of roles and companies mainly focusing on protecting user voice, the authenticity of conversations, and the integrity of the civic process.
Meg Chang is the Content Regulation Policy Lead for Facebook in the APAC region. Prior to this role, she was an Elections Manager and led Facebook’s election integrity efforts across EMEA, including the European Elections, the UK general election, and the Polish parliamentary and presidential elections, among many others. Before Facebook, she was the head of operations and publisher at EUobserver, a Brussels-based EU political and investigative news outlet. She also worked as a management consultant for Global 1000 companies in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. She studied politics and law at the University of Kent in the UK.
Alex Pompe is a Research Manager on Facebook’s Data for Good team. This team builds privacy-protecting data sets to aid response work for natural disasters and public health crises (here is a recent example from the COVID19 response: https://research.fb.com/blog/2020/06/protecting-privacy-in-facebook-mobility-data-during-the-covid-19-response/). Previously, Alex led the growth team at a startup scaling the company to 35 countries over 3 years. Prior to this he worked on access to information and Internet programs for 6 years at an international NGO called IREX; first in Ukraine, next in Namibia, and then in Washington DC. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching mathematics in Namibia from 2006 to 2008. Alex holds a BS in physics from the University of Illinois, and an MS from the University of Michigan (where he also taught astrophysics.) He has served as a guest lecturer for the University of Maryland’s School of Information.
Raina is the Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Engagement, APAC for Facebook. She 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.
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.
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.
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).
George Chen joined Facebook in January 2016 as the company’s first-ever policy representative based in Hong Kong, home for Facebook in the Greater China region. Currently as the Public Policy Director for Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia, George serves as Facebook’s “ambassador” to engage with the people and governments across the vast and diverse regions.
Prior to Facebook, George has worked in the media sector for about 15 years. George was a 2014 Yale World Fellow and a 2015 fellow of the US State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program. George is a doctoral candidate at the University of Hong Kong where he focuses his research on freedom of expression and misinformation.