The three-year programme (2019-2021) initiated by the Centre of Civil Society and Governance aims to build social entrepreneurship for the promotion and attainment of sustainability, by empowering the crowdsourcing of ideas and actions from a corps of intergenerational “sustainability catalyzers”. Various impacts and changes relating to sustainability and ageing challenges in Hong Kong, ranging from the individual behaviors, to cultural and value changes, and systemic enhancement, are some of the expected outcomes of the programme. The programme is supported by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC).


to nurture a corps of “sustainability catalyzers”

in different sustainability domains who are committed to the cause of sustainability through the approach of “commoning”. The programme will incubate, facilitate, and scale up social innovation endeavors among the youth and the young old.

to establish an incubation platform

in which social entrepreneurs can have easy access to information and knowledge of the best practices of social entrepreneurship, document systematically their experiences into cases which can be shared with other like-minded fellow members.

to enrich and expand the frontier of the ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in Hong Kong with a view to preparing the community to cope with sustainability challenges facing Hong Kong 2030-2050 .

The programme will make available an enhanced toolkit and know-hows, with commoning being an important tool for social innovation, for the sustainability catalyzers.


Programme Approach

Stage I of the Programme incurs a community-wide envisioning exercise.

Stage II focuses on incubating a corps of sustainability catalyzers as the drivers for social innovation to address the sustainability needs identified in Stage I. It consists of a series of different thematic learning activities and collaborative Design Thinking Workshops to generate innovative ideas for sustainability, co-organized with prestigious local and international strategic partners. By facilitating interaction among social entrepreneurs and other stakeholders and offering mentoring and advice, we will proactively develop a strategy to support the launch of commons, and to sustain the social entrepreneurship nurtured.

Sustainability Catalyzers

Ordinarily when people think of social entrepreneurship, they have in mind a group of young professionals, who are equipped with ideas, passions, and seemingly unlimited energy. In fact, a success factor for social entrepreneurship is that it has to be grounded upon a repertoire of collective wisdom, variegated ideas, knowledge and experience; such a body of knowledge is unlikely to be monopolized by any particular group. The Programme aims to inspire, nurture and train a corps of intergenerational change agents to promote, practise, and scale up social entrepreneurship.

Young Old

People who have retired because of age, yet are still energetic and productive, from various industries, e.g. school principals, teachers, government officials, and business executives, etc.

Young Professionals

Talented and committed young generations from various professional field, including, but not limited to, legal, engineering, urban planning and landscapes, architecture, surveying, medical, businesses and marketing, accounting, and education, etc.


About the Logo


The logo horizontal two “S” characters represent the essential elements of our programme: Social and Sustainability. The combined “S” logo forms an infinity symbol and portrays the spirit of attaining long-lasting sustainability and achieving long-term impact to the society. The lush colours of pixels in the logo represent building social entrepreneurship in a sustainable manner through vivifying and community-based innovative ideas. The logo itself best describes our goal – to enrich and expand the frontier of the ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in Hong Kong with a view to preparing the community to cope with sustainability challenges facing Hong Kong 2030-2050, by empowering the crowdsourcing of ideas and actions from the community.

A Commoning Approach to Social Entrepreneurship

The concept of the commons 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. While the commons often involve physical objects such as natural resources, what defines the commons is the processes through which individuals work with one another in managing the resources concerned—what the advocates call “commoning”. Much enthusiasm has evolved around the potential of commoning as a major component in the toolkit for social entrepreneurship. Social entrepreneurs worldwide have experimented and embarked on social innovation programs that draw upon a commoning approach to social entrepreneurship to tackle social problems.

In Hong Kong, the Government and social/environmental nonprofits have in the past decade put forth innovative policies and programs with a view to creating a new toolkit to cope with sustainability challenges. Despite the admirable efforts, however, most of these innovative ideas have stopped short of permeating in citizens’ daily life, and hence failed to bring about behavioral changes of a scale that can generate social impact.

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. By nurturing social entrepreneurs who are committed to social innovation, knowledgeable about sustainability issues, abreast of know-hows of commoning and running social enterprises, and resourceful and well-supported, we can develop a corps of change agents who are ready to set up innovative initiatives to address sustainability issues of different scales and scopes in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area. Our longer-term vision is that, as these social innovations develop and thrive, they 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.


Team Members

Great Professional Team


Training Partner

Ashoka is our training partner for the programme. Founded in 1980, Ashoka is a renowned global organization that identifies and invests in leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka has built a global network of more than 3,500 leading social entrepreneurs in over 90 countries and has a strong background in training, incubating and supporting individuals to be a change-maker.

Supporting Organisations