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Policy for Sustainability Lab

Introduction

The goal of sustainability is to build and maintain society’s capacity and options for continual, vibrant social and economic development. A sustainable society is grounded upon a complementarity between the social-economic systems on one hand, and the bio-ecological systems on the other. PSL aspires to understand and generate the social-ecological synergy as a way to promote sustainability.

Projects

HSBC Rural Sustainability Programme – APAC Initiative for Regional Impact (AIRI) (on-going)

To scale up the impact of the knowledge and incubation experience built around the rural sustainability experience at Lai Chi Wo, APAC Initiative for Regional Impact (AIRI) aims to create a strong regional network and action momentum for the future attainment of rural sustainability in Asia-Pacific. AIRI is constitutive of two main components:

(1) A Regional Consortium of intellectual exchange built by networks of selected action-research institutions and international partnerships. The Consortium will jointly promote sustainability through collaborative research, collective actions of a regional scale, and the empowerment of a community of Change Fellows. Founding members of the Consortium include the Centre for Civil Society and Governance at the University of Hong Kong, Department of Development and Sustainability at Asian Institute of Technology, School of Public Policy and Management at Tsinghua University, and University Outreach Office of National Chengchi University;  and

(2) A Fellowship Scheme which recruit, connect, empower and recognizes thought leaders and exceptional practitioners who are passionate and keen on nature-based innovations and innovative climate solutions. The talent pool will go through a one-year capacity-building programme to further develop their visions and equip themselves with new knowledge and skills to produce actionable proposals which translate novel ideas into social impact.

All these efforts will coalesce into an Asia-Pacific model of rural sustainability which will contribute to the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, particularly the SDG 17 on strengthening the global partnership for sustainable development.

The Forest Village programme, built upon the principle of environmental stewardship, aims to conserve, revitalise and enhance the natural, cultural and landscape values of Mui Tsz Lam and Kop Tong. The villages will be revived as “Forest Villages”, a common term that describes settlements with forest as the dominant and provisioning habitat, through restoration of farmlands, enhancement of habitats, and adaptive repurposing of village assets. A collaborative and participatory approach will be employed to engage stakeholders—villagers, members of non- profits, scientists, architects, artists and interested citizens—in an array of conservation activities through which they will acquire knowledge, skills, and commitment to take up the role of the guardians of the forest villages. 

This is a first-of-its-kind project in Hong Kong that focuses on upland forest conserving both natural and cultural landscapes as an integrated and holistic living heritage.

The programme aims to:

  1. Restore a mosaic of “Forest Village Ecosystem” land uses to enhance biodiversity and ecosystem services
  2. Conserve upland forest species and protect their habitats
  3. Formulate sustainable management strategies and promote an adaptive repurposing of tangible and intangible rural assets to support the sustainable development of the villages
  4. Foster a sense of community stewardship and facilitate collective local actions among stakeholders in nature and cultural conservation

This Project aims at fostering sustainability leadership and collaboration in the business sector in Hong Kong through a partnership between big corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The partnership is constitutive of (1) a Knowledge Inventory which facilitates knowledge documentation, dissemination and exchange among businesses, large and small, and between academics and practitioners of sustainability, and (2) a Collaborative Leadership Scheme through which sustainability leaders in big corporates work closely with SMEs to build a talent pool of sustainability leaders for the business sector. This partnership will benefit SMEs in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area by enhancing their capacity to adopt sustainability solutions in their operation and, hence, to create shared values. By exercising sustainability leadership and actively engaging SMEs with sustainability commitments in their supply chains, big corporates can better achieve their sustainability visions and enhance their value chains. All these efforts and impacts will coalesce to build a more vibrant business sector ready to contribute to creating a sustainable society. The Project is supported by HSBC with a grant of HKD $13 million.

Based on a participatory and stakeholder-based approach, it is a territory-wide public engagement that helps formulate the long-term decarbonisation strategy and mitigation plans for Hong Kong in 2050 in the fulfillment of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement to tackle climate change. Through the knowledge transfer and empowerment process, the engagement exercise looks into possible multi-sector actions in the community, including low carbon economy, transport, building efficiency and energy mix in Hong Kong. Findings from the public engagement forms an integral part of a policy recommendation report.

Building upon the initial success of Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme, “HSBC Rural Sustainability” is a four-year programme which focuses on mobilising actions of the local community by socio-economic models emphasising the role of rural community for the benefit of the wider Hong Kong society. Based upon a collaborative and solidarity approach, these models will strengthen a viable sustainability model that can be replicated by nearby villages and similar rural areas in the region. The key strategies of the programme are:

  • The incubation of socio-economic models and start-ups for rural revitalisation
  • The establishment of Academy for Sustainable Communities to offer curriculum-based training and education programmes for the community
  • The compilation of a comprehensive sustainability assessment framework for the measurement of outcomes and impact of sustainability project

The project aims to hardness opportunities of creating a coherent, connected and vibrant underground space for Hong Kong. A holistic engagement strategy is designed to identify community aspirations and needs for underground space development, and to solicit public comments on conceptual schemes with aims to improving pedestrian connectivity, enhancing living environment and creating livable space through a series of community engagement events.

The Study aims to carry out a planning and engineering study with a view to re-planning the Tseung Kwan O (TKO) Area 137 and formulating a development plan for meeting housing and other needs. The prime objective of the Study is to establish and maximize the development potential of TKO Area 137 through examination of the feasibility of using the available land for residential, commercial and other development purposes. We were tasked to solicit views from the interested stakeholders and local community on the aspirations and concerns, to explore ideas for development concepts, to gauge public feedback on the planning proposals, Preliminary Outline Development Plan (PODP) and Recommended Outline Development Plan (RODP).

The proactive and well-structured public engagement process provides an essential platform and opportunity for the local and interested stakeholders to build consensus on the pedestrian connectivity, streetscape enhancement opportunities, urban design integration and other interface issues for the Wan Chai North and North Point Harbourfront. Such process serves as an integral part of the Study and provides key inputs to the formulation of Preliminary Harbourfront Enhancement Proposals.

Improvement to Fan Kam Road Investigation (2013-2018)

We were engaged to gauge the views and concerns from the interested and affected public and the local stakeholders at early planning stages of the Project. Through a series of holistic engagement events, consensus building among key stakeholders can be achieved to facilitate the development of feasible options and improvement measures, including road alignment, traffic mitigation measures and tree conservation plans.

It is a territory-wide public engagement to arouse public awareness, stimulate public discussion, and explore ways and means to encourage behavioural changes that are conducive to a more sustainable consumption pattern. During the process, opportunities and challenges of sustainable consumption by different stakeholders, including suppliers, government and consumers are identified. Public and stakeholder views are systematically compiled and incorporated in the policy recommendation report. All recommendations are adopted by the relevant government departments.

As an effort to combat the rapid loss of village culture, rural environment and communities amid urbanisation in Asia, Policy for Sustainability Lab (PSL) launched the “Sustainable Lai Chi Wo Programme” in 2013. The Programme was an action project which sought to replenish and revitalise the disappearing social and natural capital of the desolate, remote traditional farming landscape at Lai Chi Wo in Hong Kong, with a view to develop a sustainable model for rural revitalisation for Hong Kong, Greater China and beyond. The Programme was supported by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).

The foundation work has been successfully completed and a new phase “HSBC Rural Sustainability” was launched in October 2017 to scale up the impact.

Misinformation Policy Manager, Asia Pacific, Facebook

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.

Product Policy Manager, Inauthentic Behavior, Facebook

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.

Head of Content Regulation, Asia Pacific, Facebook

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.

Public Policy Research Manager, Data for Good, Facebook

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.

Public Policy Manager, Hong Kong, Facebook

Head of Privacy and Data Policy, Asia Pacific, Facebook

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.

Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and Public Administration, The University of Hong Kong

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.

Deputy Director and Principal Lecturer, Centre for Civil Society and Governance

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.

Director, Centre for Civil Society and Governance

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).

Director of Public Policy, Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia, Facebook

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.