Social innovations ignite at CityU

Eliza Lee


A series of talks and activities held from 14–18 September kicked off a new campus-wide interdisciplinary project for faculty and students at City University of Hong Kong (CityU).
Project Flame aims to foster social innovation and social entrepreneurship on campus.
“This new initiative brings together faculty, students, alumni, researchers, plus friends from sister institutions and non-profit governmental organisations in the spirit of serving society,” said Professor Way Kuo, President of CityU, in his opening remarks at the open forum on 17 September.
Project Flame will enable the University to contribute positively to the social development of Hong Kong and the region while maximising the learning and service commitment of CityU students. There will be four main areas of focus: professional/academic development, research and knowledge transfer, social innovation incubation, and student service leadership development.
The week-long series of activities included the “Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at CityU” talks, an open forum on “Introduction to Social Innovation and the Community”, and a Social Enterprise Fair on campus.
“Project Flame encapsulates the essence of CityU’s Discovery-enriched Curriculum [DEC], the brand new curriculum launched at the start of this academic year,” said Professor Arthur Ellis, Provost of CityU, in his opening remarks at the “Social Entrepreneurs in Residence at CityU” talk.
“The DEC provides an exciting opportunity to combine academic discovery and innovation while raising awareness about social entrepreneurship. Project Flame encourages students to discover for themselves and promote social innovation, which positively matches with the DEC,” he added.
International and local veteran social entrepreneurs were invited to CityU to chat with faculty, students and alumni about social innovation during the kick-off week. They were Professor
 Andreas Heinecke, founder of the Dialogue in the Dark and the first Ashoka Fellow in Europe; Dr Tse Ka-kui, founder of the Social Entrepreneurship Forum and CEO of Education for Good; and Ms Ada Wong Ying-kay, Convener of Make a Difference and The Good Lab.
“CityU is the first university to set up a social innovation project in Hong Kong,” said Professor Linda Wong Lai Yeuk-lin from CityU’s Department of Public and Social Administration, and the director of the project.
“Project Flame aims to provide opportunities for students to develop a positive mindset and skills in social innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and solution-seeking across disciplinary boundaries. Such exposure, in parallel to their academic and professional education, will stand them in good stead in enhancing their personal growth, competitiveness and active citizenship,” she said.

Faculty from 17 academic departments from different colleges and schools at CityU, Professor Ellis, Professor Gregory Raupp, Vice-President (Research and Technology), the Dean of Students, and colleagues from Student Development Services and the Office of Education Development and Gateway Education are engaged in Project Flame. 


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