HONG KONG SAR – Media OutReach – 15 July 2022 – A team of four Form 3 students from HKSYCIA Wong Tai Shan Memorial College was crowned champion at this year’s “Social Innovation • Community 4.0” Competition. Their winning solution “Sunshine to Elderly”, is a socially inclusive sustainable gardening system on school campus. It aims to tackle 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 also making use of an application to keep track of the growth in the plots. Regular pop-up markets will be held by the students and the elderly for selling the plants with the purpose of enhancing the self-esteem of the elderly. The winning school team will join an overseas tour to visit a cluster 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, JP, District Officer, Sham Shui Po District Office, Home Affairs Department; Ms. Susan Kwek, Head of Operations & Technology, Citi Hong Kong; Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, JP, Chief Executive, HKCSS and Dr. Jacob Hui Shing Yan, Chief Curriculum Support Officer, Education Bureau officiated at the award presentation ceremony today. Also attending were representatives of the competition’s partnering and supporting organizations, as well as teachers and students from the finalist teams. Five award prototypes were showcased at the ceremony.
Each year, a district in Hong Kong is selected as the focal area – Central and Western District in its first year, Kowloon City District in the second, and North District third. Sham Shui Po District was the focus this year. Through experiential learning in the community and comprehensive training in design thinking, technology and making prototypes, as well as interaction with local citizens with the support of the District Office and NGOs in the area, participating students were challenged to identify a community issue and come up with solutions to address it.
This year, 44 teams from 34 secondary schools around Hong Kong submitted their proposals. 15 finalist teams were invited to produce prototypes, which, together with the remaining teams’ concept boards, are now being exhibited to the public at Form Society and Parallel Space on Tai Nam Street in Sham Shui Po from July 13 to July 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 tackle social issues in Sham Shui Po. It has set out a new paradigm for community building by young people. I look forward to seeing the participants to keep contributing to the community in their future endeavors.”
Ms. Susan Kwek, Head of Operations & Technology, Citi Hong Kong said, “Citi Foundation has been supporting initiatives that improve youth employability and promote sustainability. This program not only enables young people to understand the community and to care about society, but also provides them with a platform to unleash their creativity, learn problem-solving, equip themselves for future career development and comprehend the meaning of team spirt. At the same time, it also helps build a sustainable city by addressing community issues. Young minds are key to shaping a brighter future for all, and Citi Foundation aspires to equip them with the skills and networks, which will contribute to their success in our ever-changing world.”
Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, JP, Chief Executive of HKCSS, said, “The Social Innovation Community 4.0 Competition has launched in its 4th year. In addition to the genuine support of Citi Foundation, the engagement of the government departments, supporting NGOs and community partners provides a chance for the students to experience a complete journey of social innovation. Through community visit and stakeholder’s interaction, the teams are able to create innovative solutions in response to the specific social problems. The mindset of “thinking out of the box” and breaking through is definitely the collective goals of the society. It is hoped that more creative proposals could be implemented in the community and all students could continue to pursue your passion towards the society by contributing to the well-being of all communities together with the social sector in the future.”
The finalists’ prototypes will undergo four rounds of testing in the community on July 20 and 22 this year. Teams will demonstrate on-site how their prototypes operate in practice, while residents in Shan Shui Po District will be invited to provide user feedback in order to improve the feasibility and practicality of the prototypes.
The fifth “Social Innovation • Community 4.0” Competition will be 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 inspires the students to turn their ideas into action for the betterment of the community, thereby advancing social innovation in our society.
About Citi Foundation
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 reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfil our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit www.citifoundation.com
The HKCSS is an umbrella organization of over 500 agency members that provide over 90% of the social welfare services in Hong Kong. HKCSS strive to build a cohesive society by promoting strategic partnership among business and social service partners and inspiring corporate social responsibility through caring for the community, employees and the environment. HKCSS put much effort in building capacity of social enterprises through the Social Enterprise Business Centre (SEBC) to advance social entrepreneurship and mobilize social innovation. For more information, visit www.hkcss.org.hk | Facebook: www.facebook.com/HKCSS1947