Sharing approaches for a sustainable future at Global Sustainable Development Congress

Michael Gibb


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President Boey shared in the Opening Keynote Congress Plenary that how universities should develop partnership with different sectors in society to build a sustainable future together.


The pressing need for urgent solutions and approaches to the sustainability emergency dominated the opening keynotes, panel sessions, presentations and an exhibition spearheaded by teams from City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) at the Global Sustainable Development Congress (GSDC) in Bangkok held between 10 and 13 June.

The event, co-hosted by Times Higher Education and Thailand’s Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, with CityUHK serving as the event’s Green Innovation Partner, served as a clarion call to action for global universities and businesses to pivot their educational, research, innovation and outreach programmes towards tangible outcomes.

At an invitation-only session Leaders’ Summit with senior leaders in higher education and the NGO sector, Professor Freddy Boey, CityUHK President, spoke passionately about acting rapidly, smartly and locally if we are to address energy and climate challenges. He noted that we must think globally but act locally since cities of around 5 to 6 million people could move on sustainability issues with greater agility and responsiveness than at the global scale.

Professor Boey developed this point during his second session, the Opening Keynote Congress Plenary, which explored more effective ways of uniting higher education, governments, industry and society for a sustainable future, emphasising that such tripartite collaborations were more feasible if developed within large cities.

Moreover, he stressed the hugely influential role universities can play in sustainability in partnership with governments and industry, highlighting CityUHK initiatives such as the newly established Institute for Digital Medicine as an example of getting different sectors involved in exciting, novel approaches to public health.

In addition to President Boey’s sessions, CityUHK delegates were involved in several other sessions across the four-day event in Thailand.

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(From left) Professor Li, Professor Tsoi, Professor Yip, Dr Martin Zhu Yihao, Co-founder, i2Cool Limited, Ms Law and Mr Yeung.


Professor Edwin Tso Chi-yan of the School of Energy and Environment gave a talk on “Seeding green minds: Pioneering ESG literacy and sustainability skills at CityUHK’s Hong Kong Institute for Clean Energy”.

A delegation from the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine (JCC) participated in a panel session on "Regional solutions and global lessons: Sustainable food, land, water and oceans: How veterinary medicine contributes to achieving SDGs".

The team included JCC’s Professor Dirk Pfeiffer, Chow Tak Fung Chair Professor of One Health and Director of the Centre for Applied One Health Research and Policy Advice, Professor Sophie St-Hilaire, Professor Kai Liu and Professor Ákos Kenéz from the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health.

(From left) Professor Liu, Professor St-Hilaire, Professor Kenéz and Professor Pfeiffer.


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Professor Wang introduced his team’s new sparking wave generator in his presentation.


Another CityUHK team participated in a session titled "Inclusive sustainability: Collaborative innovations for a cooler planet and better life".

Those taking part in this session included Professor Li Minming, Associate Dean, College of Engineering and from the Department of Computer Science; Professor Yip Hin-lap, Associate Director, Hong Kong Institute for Clean Energy; Professor Tso, plus two guests who work with CityUHK on various industry-related partnerships: Ms Law Yee-ping, Secretary General, Greater Bay Area Carbon Neutrality Association, and Mr Gary Yeung Man-yui, President, Smart City Consortium.

Professor Steven Wang, Associate Vice-President (Resources Planning) and Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Energy and Environment, focused his session on introducing his team’s new sparking wave generator, an innovative piece of technology that can harvest energy from ocean waves efficiently and at low cost, producing record-high rates of hydrogen.

JCC ran a booth in the exhibition, attracting visitors from around the world to learn more about CityUHK's work and vision in sustainability development.

JCC also ran a booth in the exhibition that served as a meeting point for the 3,000 global thought leaders and innovators in attendance, many of whom, from SE Asia, Central Asia and Africa.



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