First-ever Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue Sparks Innovative Conversations in Addressing Social Challenges

November 09, 2018 - 08:27
First-ever Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue Sparks Innovative Conversations in Addressing Social Challenges

A Youth 4.0 initiative to tap youthentrepreneurship for social innovation


HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach  - 9November 2018 - The first-ever Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue is unveiledtoday, converging over 250 socialentrepreneurs, business professionals and youth leaders, NGO representativesand academia in the city to discuss social innovation and cross-sector collaborationin supporting social entrepreneurship leaders with an end to achieving theUnited Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The first-ever Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue is unveiled today at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to discuss social innovation and cross-sector collaboration in supporting social entrepreneurship leaders with an end to achieving United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. Officiating guests for the opening ceremony were (from right to left):
Ms. Angel Ng, Chief Executive Officer for Citi Hong Kong and Macau
Professor Rocky Tuan, Vice Chancellor and President, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Mr. Beniam Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement, United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub

The three-day Dialogue at CUHK featured a series of sharing sessions, including those involving two awardees from the Forbes 30 Under 30 list who spoke of their own experiences of having a positive impact on the community by achieving United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

Hong Kong is the eleventh chapter inAsia to host the Dialogue, one of the 20 Youth Co:Lab dialogues being held aroundthe Asia Pacific region this year. Youth Co:Lab, co-led by United NationsDevelopment Programme (UNDP) and Citi Foundation, drives a shared agenda forAsia-Pacific countries to empower youth in accelerating implementation of SDGsthrough leadership, social innovation and entrepreneurship.

Officiating at the opening ceremony ofthe Hong Kong Dialogue were Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor andPresident, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK); Ms Angel Ng, ChiefExecutive Officer for Citi Hong Kong and Macau and Mr. Beniam Gebrezghi,Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement, United Nations DevelopmentProgramme Bangkok Regional Hub.


"As the centre of knowledge generation,concentration and dissemination, the higher education sector plays a vital rolein promoting and communicating the importance of sustainabledevelopment.  In January this year, CUHK joined hands with the HongKong Jockey Club Charities Trust to launch the Hong Kong Chapter of the UnitedNations' Sustainable Solutions Network (SDSN Hong Kong) to mobilizeuniversities, research and knowledge centres, civil society organizationsand businesses to focus on practical solutions for sustainable development,"said Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President ofCUHK.  "I am pleased to announce that SDSN Hong Kong will launch ayouth chapter, SDSN Youth Hong Kong, next month to provide young people with anopportunity to exchange ideas with different sectors and empower them to turntheir innovative ideas into action to achieve the UN's SDGs."


"The youth of today are a nation'sfuture. The future of cities like Hong Kong is intrinsically tied to theeconomic success of young people. At Citi, we are committed to preparing youngpeople with career readiness skills and opportunities to thrive in today'seconomy," remarked Angel Ng, Chief Executive Officer for Citi Hong Kong andMacau.  "We are excited to bring to thecity Hong Kong Dialogue to engage youth social entrepreneurs and people from differentwalks of life together in discussing their opportunities as well as the socialchallenges that the city is facing and address them together."


"Young entrepreneurs are the engine ofinnovation and change, a key partner in ensuring sustainable growth.  We are here to support them." said BeniamGebrezghi, Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement, United NationsDevelopment Programme Bangkok Regional Hub. "We would like to accelerate theirgrowth into full stride, by providing them with the access and resources thatthey need, based on their feedback, during dialogues such as this Youth Co:Labevent. Through trainings, workshops and competitions, we hope this Hong KongDialogue experience will help make the next generation of social entrepreneurshipmore diverse and inclusive, leaving no one behind. "

The three-day Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue between November 9and11 at CUHK features a series of sharing sessions with a couple of awardeesof 30 Under 30 by Forbes speaking on their own experiences of how to drive a positiveimpact on the community and achieve SDGs.

Bothawardees of 30 Under 30 by Forbes, Bonnie Chiu, Founder of Lensational andScott Stiles, Co-Founder and CEO of Fair Employment Foundation shared at thepanel discussion how young social innovators achieve SDGs and bring a positiveimpact to the society through social innovation.

Anawardee of 30 Under 30 for Europe in 2017, Chiu set up Lensational in HongKong, which has now empowered marginalized women in 22 countries by providingthem with a camera, training and a platform to sell their works.  An awardee for Asia for 2018, Stilessuccessfully improves the working opportunities of migrant workers from thePhilippines by waiving their job placement fees which often resulted them inindebtedness.  Stiles has kept some 2,000Filipino workers employed in Hong Kong from almost three million dollars inrecruitment debt.

Ahighlight of the event is a panel discussion on the first day on how cross-sectorpartnership between the business community and social entrepreneurs supportsocial enterprises in the city. Teen Future Association and Outblaze as well asHEYCOINS and HKT Payment Limited spoke of their partnership. 

TeenFuture Association, a professional game testing social enterprise, supportsOutblaze, a developer and provider of digital media products and services, in testingtheir games. The ongoing co-operation between Teen Future and Outblaze has turnedout to be a win-win success as Outblaze receives quality testing service fromTeen Future on game testing while young people at Teen Future learn new skills,acquire a sense of responsibility and employment opportunities.

The inaugural Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue is part of the Youth4.0 program, which was launched in Hong Kong in September this year, featuringa strategic partnership between Youth Co:Lab and Hong Kong Social EnterpriseChallenge (HKSEC). The former is a partnership between the United NationsDevelopment Programme (UNDP) and the Citi Foundation while the latter isorganized by The Center for Entrepreneurship of CUHK and sponsored by the HomeAffairs Bureau of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region(HKSAR). Youth 4.0 is also supported by its sustainability partner -- SDSN HongKong, co-hosted by CUHK and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. The Youth4.0 aims to promote youth development on social entrepreneurship and toincrease awareness of the UN's SDGs amongst young people in Hong Kong.

On the second and third day of theevent, this year's Hong Kong Social Enterprise Challenge participants will joina series of training workshops on Social Innovation and Sustainability. Over400 challengers are eligible to join the session, where they will learn how tocraft a creative entrepreneurial approach with innovative design thinking toaddressing social issues and come up with social venture plans to achievesustainability.

UnitedNations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP works in about 170countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, andthe reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies,leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and buildresilience in order to sustain development results. This is a critical time forthe world. At UNDP, we see this period as a huge opportunity to advance theglobal sustainable development agenda. In September 2015, world leaders adoptedthe 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty, protect the planetand ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. We support countries'efforts to achieve the new Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals,which will guide global development priorities through 2030. UNDP focuses onhelping countries build and share solutions in three main areas: Sustainabledevelopment; Democratic governance and peacebuilding; and Climate and disasterresilience. In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rightsand the empowerment of women, minorities and the poorest and most vulnerable.



The Citi Foundation works to promoteeconomic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communitiesaround the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion,catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to buildingeconomically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation's "More thanPhilanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and itspeople to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. Formore information, visit


HongKong Social Enterprise Challenge (HKSEC)

The Hong Kong SocialEnterprise Challenge a social venture startup competition organized by theCenter for Entrepreneurship of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, has been atthe frontier in educating students and the general public about socialenterprises in Hong Kong since 2007. Through a structured competition model,HKSEC encourages students to employ a creative entrepreneurial approach tosolve real world social issues.


The HongKong Chapter of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network(SDSN Hong Kong)

The ChineseUniversity of Hong Kong (CUHK) and the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trustjoin hands to co-host the Hong Kong chapter of the SDSN. Under the umbrella ofthe global SDSN, SDSN Hong Kong seeks to mobilize expertise, information andresources from academic, philanthropy, government, business and nonprofits toaddress the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues in HongKong and advance sustainable development. More details of SDSN Hong Kong can befound at: