Nurturing talent for social advancement
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Dr Joseph Lee Chung-tak is committed to promoting sustainable development for society and nurturing the younger generation.
Court Member, CityU
Dr Joseph Lee Chung-tak is a prominent industrialist and social entrepreneur. With a business motto “Harmony brings a family prosperity, cohesion makes a nation wealthy”, he is committed to promoting sustainable development for society and nurturing the younger generation. One of the numerous projects that Dr Lee has funded is a sponsorship programme with the objective to nurture students to become enterprising individuals who can contribute towards the wellbeing of society.
A staunch supporter of CityU, Dr Lee has a deep understanding of the University thanks to his service as a member of the CityU Council and its many committees between 2008 to 2013. He praised CityU for its rapid development and concurred with the University’s teaching and learning philosophy that research projects should not be restricted to academic studies but also applicable to the benefit of society.
His commitment to social advancement stems from his childhood experience. Dr Lee’s parents, having survived the Second World War, understood the importance of social harmony and economic stability. That’s why they named their company “Wofoo”, which means harmony and prosperity in Chinese. Dr Lee retained the company name and upholds the spirit of “Wofoo” as the philosophy of the business. He believes that promoting education and youth development is very important for social advancement.
The success of the Wofoo Plastics and Chemicals Group has enabled Dr Lee to devote himself to the promotion of social entrepreneurship and participate in social services, particularly those related to education and social welfare for the elderly. Moreover, he encourages enterprises to create shared values and contribute to society.
“All parties benefit when consensus is reached among citizens, the business sector and society.” Dr Lee was inspired to get more involved in contributing to CityU after attending the Naming Ceremony of Wofoo Foundation Gallery cum Forum on “Innovation and Entrepreneurship” at which alumnus Mr Eric Chen Zixiang, Founder of Vitargent (International) Biotechnology Limited, related how he wrote several business proposals with schoolmates on technology that uses transgenic medaka for detecting toxins. He won numerous awards in local and overseas entrepreneurship contests.
“Mr Chen shared his life philosophy of three H’s, and that those are, Hungry (for new knowledge), Humble, and Helpful (to others). These three H’s embody the key to success. One not only needs to work hard, but also to develop a good personality and a willingness to help others in order to be truly successful, to be considered ‘talent’ catalytic to social advancement. Thus, we should take multiple approaches to nurturing young people,” Dr Lee said. He felt that these days many Hong Kong people have forgotten basic etiquette. He suggested young people develop their virtues before embarking on a career. Also, they should see failure when running a start-up as a learning experience, and serve the community when they have a stable income.
Dr Joseph Lee Chung-tak, GBS, OStJ, JP
- Chairman of Wofoo Plastics and Chemicals Group
- President of Wofoo Social Enterprises
- Chairman of the Joint Committee for the Promotion of The Basic Law of Hong Kong
- Deputy for the HKSAR to the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China
- Young Industrialist Award conferred by the Federation of Hong Kong Industries in 1991
- Bronze Bauhinia Star conferred by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2000
- Appointed as Justice of the Peace in 2003
- Silver Bauhinia Star conferred by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2008
- Degree of Doctor of Social Sciences, honoris causa, conferred by Hong Kong Baptist University in 2011
- Gold Bauhinia Star conferred by the Hong Kong SAR government in 2013
- Honorary Fellowship conferred by City University of Hong Kong in 2014
- Outstanding Achievement Award conferred by Hong Kong Plastics Industry Council in 2014
- University Fellowship conferred by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2015
- Honoured as Officer of the Order of Saint John in 2015
- VTC Honorary Fellowship conferred by the Vocational Training Council in 2015
This article is extracted from CityU Today.