HONG KONG, CHINA – Media OutReach – 15 July 2019 – The  “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition, supported by Citi Foundation and organized by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), held its Prize Presentation Ceremony today at City Gallery. We were honoured to have Mr. Anson Kwok, Managing Director and Head of Commercial Bank, Citi Hong Kong and Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS) officiating at the ceremony. Also attending were the representatives of the competition’s partners and supporting organisations. The exhibition, showcasing 15 prototypes and 27 idea boards from the competition will be open to members of the public until July 23, 2019 (Tuesday).

The winning entry is “We Community” from Ying Wa Girls School which is a combination of walkapanel and E-steps which is designed to tackle the challenge of low mobility of elderly encountered while using ubiquitous steps in the district, and as a result to promote social participation and cohesion.  Public engagement can be encouraged through the use of E-steps, featuring energy conversion from motion of residents to electric energy required for operating the walkapanel. The winning team will join a HKCSS-organised tour in France at the end of July to visit the latest innovative start-ups and social enterprises focusing on social innovation in France.

The “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition was open to all secondary schools in Hong Kong and was the first such competition to encourage students to design prototypes to address identified issues and needs of the community. The pilot competition focused on Central and Western district. Through experiential learning in the community and comprehensive training in city planning, technology, design thinking, etc. as well as interaction with local citizens in Central and Western district, participating students have been able to articulate the needs of the citizens and design corresponding prototypes. 67 participating teams from 41 secondary schools submitted their proposals, and the 15 finalists were invited to create prototypes. The Central and Western District Office and NGOs in the area were acknowledged for ensuring that students’ ideas would be put into practise in the community.

Said Mr. Anson Kwok, Managing Director and Head of Commercial Bank, Citi Hong Kong, “This program not only enables young people to understand the community and 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 team spirt. At the same time, it also helps build a sustainable city by addressing community issues. Enabling young people to make economic progress, enhancing their employability and building sustainable cities are key community focuses of Citi Foundation.”

Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Council of Social Service said, “There are numerous social innovation competitions available for students at the moment. However, ‘Social Innovation · Community 4.0’ is not only a competition but also an experiential learning opportunity in social innovation corresponding to concrete community needs. Social innovation hinges on empathy and creative thinking. More than 50 hours of local visits, training, and technical support from different professionals, and two Community Pitching exercises to collect views from local residents and district officials were offered to the students who were able to get a clearer insight about the community, and hence, design practical solutions utilising creativity and STEM.”

Some of the prototypes will be tested in the community in September and October this year. Residents in Central and Western district will be invited to participate, and their comments and views will be collected after the prototype trials. The second “Social Innovation · Community 4.0” Competition will be open for applications in this October, and the focal district will be Kowloon City district. The aim of the competition is to spread the concept of community-based social innovations to every corner of Hong Kong.