HONG KONG SAR – Media outreach – 15 July 2022 – A team of four third-year students from HKSYCIA Wong Tai Shan Memorial College have been crowned champions in this year’s “Social Innovation • Community 4.0” competition. Their winning solution “Sunshine to Elderly” is a socially inclusive sustainable gardening system on the school campus. It aims to address the mental health issues of elderly citizens living in Sham Shui Po district by encouraging them to team up with students to grow plants while using an app to track plot growth. Regular pop-up markets will be organized by the students and the elderly to sell the plants with the aim of improving the self-esteem of the elderly. The winning school team will join an overseas tour to visit a group of innovative start-ups and social enterprises.
Supported by Citi Foundation and organized by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the “Social Innovation • Community 4.0” competition is a pioneering challenge open to all secondary schools to find sustainable solutions to community problems.
Mr. Paul Wong Yan Yin, Justice of the PeaceDistrict Officer, Sham Shui Po District Office, Home Affairs Department; Ms. Susan Kwek, Head of Operations and Technology, Citi Hong Kong; Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, JP, General Manager, HKCSS and Dr. Jacob Hui Shing Yan, Curriculum Support Manager, Office of Education officiated at the awards ceremony today. Also present were representatives of the competition’s partner and support organizations, as well as teachers and students from the finalist teams. Five prototype awards were presented at the ceremony.
Each year, a district of Hong Kong is selected as an area of intervention – Central and Western District the first year, Kowloon City District the second and North District the third. Sham Shui Po district was the center of attention this year. Through experiential learning in the community and comprehensive training in prototype design, technology and manufacturing, as well as interaction with local citizens with support from the district office and NGOs in the area , participating students were challenged to identify a community problem and come up with solutions to address it.
This year, 44 teams from 34 secondary schools in Hong Kong submitted their proposals. 15 finalist teams were invited to produce prototypes which, along with the remaining teams’ concept panels, are now on public display at Form Society and Parallel Space on Tai Nam Street in Sham Shui Po from July 13-18.
Mr. Paul Wong Yan Yin, JP, District Officer, Sham Shui Po District Office, Home Affairs Department, said, “Social innovation ‧Community 4.0 encourages young people to apply innovative thinking to solve social problems in Sham Shui Po. It has established a new paradigm for community building by young people. I look forward to seeing participants continue to contribute to the community in their future endeavors. »
Ms. Susan Kwek, Chief Operations and Technology Officer, Citi Hong Kong, said, “The Citi Foundation supports initiatives that improve youth employability and promote sustainability. This program not only enables young people to understand the community and care about society, but also provides them with a platform to unleash their creativity, learn to solve problems, prepare for future career development and understand the meaning of team spirit. At the same time, it also helps build a sustainable city by addressing community issues. Young minds are essential to shaping a better future for all, and the Citi Foundation aspires to equip them with the skills and networks that will help them succeed in our ever-changing world.
Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, JP, General Manager of HKCSS, said, “The Social Innovation Community 4.0 competition was launched in its 4e year. Along with genuine support from the Citi Foundation, the commitment of government departments, supporting NGOs, and community partners provides students with the opportunity to experience a comprehensive journey of social innovation. Through community visitation and stakeholder interaction, teams are able to create innovative solutions in response to specific social issues. The mindset of “thinking outside the box” and breaking through is definitely the company’s collective goal. It is hoped that more creative proposals can be implemented in the community and that all students can continue to pursue their passion for society by contributing to the well-being of all communities with the social sector in the future.
The finalists’ prototypes will undergo four rounds of community testing on July 20 and 22 this year. The teams will demonstrate on-site how their prototypes work in practice, while residents of Shan Shui Po district will be invited to provide user feedback to improve the feasibility and practicality of the prototypes.
The fifth “Social Innovation • Community 4.0” competition will open for applications in mid-October, and the new cohort will focus on social issues in Yau Tsim Mong district. It is hoped that the competition will inspire students to turn their ideas into action for the good of the community, thereby advancing social innovation in our society.
About the Citi Foundation
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reinvent approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s More Than Philanthropy approach leverages the tremendous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com
The HKCSS is an umbrella organization of over 500 member agencies that provide over 90% of social welfare services in Hong Kong. HKCSS strives to build a cohesive society by promoting a strategic partnership between business and social service partners and inspiring corporate social responsibility by caring for the community, employees and the environment. HKCSS has been putting a lot of effort into building the capacity of social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Business Center (SEBC) to advance social entrepreneurship and mobilize social innovation. For more information, visit www.hkcss.org.hk | Facebook: www.facebook.com/HKCSS1947