On November 5th, we turned the Good Lab into Hong Kong’s Unconference for social innovation. Over 9 hours, the Good Lab buzzed with conversations between old friends and new allies, the smells of freshly baked bread and sizzling homemade sausages was in the air, and there was a sense of hope and positivity all around the Good Lab.
What is an unconference? What we aimed to create on the day was an atmosphere of celebration and connection. Where the most interesting person is the person sitting next to you, and the day providing many opportunities for you to discover, brainstorm and find connections for your own projects or to help others. Modelled and inspired by Oxford Jam/Marmalade in the UK, each session is not 3 people in the front talking. It’s all about engaging everyone in the audience, to share expertise and to come up with new insights and solutions.
HK Jam is an event targeted at people in their communities that are already on the forefront of social change, so that they can find allies, supporters and new insight. The conversations didn’t discuss ‘what is social innovation’, rather, the dialogue focused around, what are we doing, and how can we make it more effective together.
From the education side, Tracy Chan and the Ednovators team facilitated some great dialogue with the likes of the teacher fellows from InnoPower@JC. At the food related session, Kong Yeah‘s Pong Yat Ming led a fruitful discussion on the problem of food waste in Hong Kong. Beatrice Chan from Think.Cook.Save. and columnist Edward Yip guided the participants to create unconventional recipes from the leftover in their fridge, incorporating food waste reduction in everyday practice. Screenings, games and workshops were themed around Future City. James Chan from Education for Good introduced the participants to a documentary about B-Corporations, Not Business as Usual, corporates will be focusing more on sustainability and social responsibility. Make A Difference invited project representatives from cultural and creative and social innovation, such as Collaction, 2 Square Metres and more, shared their experiences in starting their projects through bottom-up approach and collaborations. Good Lab’s Kelvin Cheung facilitated the participants to understand the importance of cross-sector collaboration through a roleplaying workshop. Rooftop Republic and Longevity Design House envisioned the future of our city under the context of urban agriculture and ageing population.
We also saw a lot of our alumni from Henderson Social Innovation classroom, and were pleasantly pleased that alumni already from different cohorts had gotten together and were already working together on new ideas for the community.
Adopting and adopting the UK approach was always a challenge, but one thing always brings people together no matter where you are in the world – and that’s food! Thanks to our Good Lab member Del, who brought a cohort of her foodie friends for perhaps the liveliest food festival that we’ve had in Hong Kong.
Thank you as well to our partners at Trial and Error lab (LINK), whose artists brought their beautiful crafts and stories to share with us. Share some links here.
Now in its 4th year, this was by far the loudest, most eclectic mix of community activists, innovators and social change makers we have had to date. Thanks to Michelle, the Good Lab team and our volunteers and speakers/facilitators for making the Good Lab a hive of positivity and hope on the day.
If you’ve missed us, make sure that we’ll see you next year!
For a recap of all the speakers sessions, you can visit here.