Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum 2018

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The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust

Unleash the power of youth and creativity

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 12:06pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 September, 2018, 12:19pm

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Global urbanisation is creating new opportunities for cities —and serious challenges as well. Seeking winning solutions to help build better cities, The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust is convening the Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum 2018. The Forum will provide a public platform to address pressing metropolitan social issues. The Forum will host a number of events which put the spotlight on youth development.

Building on the foundation laid down by the successful 2016 inaugural Forum—this year's Forum will continue to challenge the audience for the best possible ideas for creating a better urban environment for all of us. Five thematic topics will be discussed at the Forum, namely: Leveraging the Market, Sustainable Development, Maximising Impact, Youth and Creativity, plus Health and Well-being.

Early childhood investment, presented by Nobel prize economist

In Hong Kong, if parents have the resources, many will have their children tutored starting from kindergarten age to do better in school. But what about children from underprivileged families? Professor James J. Heckman, from the University of Chicago, will be giving a keynote address on The Economic Case for Investing in Early Childhood Development.

The 2000 Nobel laureate prize-winner in Economy proposes that making wise investments in early childhood development programmes for disadvantaged children will produce benefits not only for individual children, but also to the whole society. Because the early skills developed by that investment will help disadvantaged children achieve greater school success, which will lead to a better career and a better life. With less school drop-outs, less drug addiction-related issues, and less unemployment, the social equality of the community itself will be enhanced. And the costs for that same society for health care, poverty-reduction and fighting crime will be largely reduced in the future.

With the wealth gap rapidly getting ever wider in cities like Hong Kong, time is of the essence if this dangerous social disorder is to be stemmed. The American professor, who is among the most influential economists in the world, will present this advocating keynote address with the participation of Matthew Cheung, the Chief Secretary for Administration, HKSAR and Leong Cheung, the Executive Director, Charities and Community of The Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The society helping the youth, and vice versa

While philanthropy talks a lot about helping youngsters and creating opportunities for them, young people can also be key players in making social changes. To see how young people can take up the philanthropy role, one should not miss the session Youth as New Forces for Social Good: How can we bring youth to the forefront of building sustainable cities?

Young social enterprise leaders from around the world will be coming to the Forum. They include Sophie Healy-Throw, co-founder of Agrikua to help women in agriculture in developing countries; Bonnie Chiu, founder of Lensational which equips marginalised women with photography training and digital skills; and Jigyasa Labroo, co-founder of Slam Out Loud to empower youth and children in India with arts, education and leadership development. These young social leaders will come together in the Forum to share their experiences in unleashing the power of youth by launching their highly successful initiatives.

This session will be assisted by Ming Wai Lau, Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong’s Youth Development Commission and will focus on the priorities of youth in urban contexts today and how cities should respond to these priorities.  The session will include a discussion on what philanthropists can do to promote a virtuous life cycle in which young people are given the chance to help their cities become more youth-friendly.

Using arts to empower the community

Policies and financial input might be crucial to tackle various social challenges, but moral enlightenment is also indispensable to strengthen individual’s spirit. Arts and culture has proved to be very useful in healing the soul, reducing stress, and expressing one’s ideas. In the session Arts, Culture and Heritage for Social Causes: How can we increase the contribution of the arts to social inclusion and empowerment? —speakers from both art and government sectors will come together and exchange ideas about protecting and promoting traditional arts to support social inclusion and empowerment.

Bernard Chan, Convenor of the Non-Official Members of the Executive Council; Tisa Ho, Executive Director of the annual Hong Kong Arts Festival; and Lynn Yau, CEO of Absolutely Fabulous Theatre Connection will join this session, assisted by Gaurav Gupta, Regional Director of Dalberg Advisors to talk about the challenges they have faced when trying to get support to promote art and cultural activities. They will also share insights as to the types of art initiatives that can most effectively bring about positive social change.

Some 60 distinguished speakers, including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Gold Medal swimmer Michael Phelps, and former NBA player Yao Ming, as well as other renowned academics, government officials, enablers and influencers, will also speak at the 2018 Forum.

Being the first discussion of its kind in Asia to focus on metropolitan social issues, the Forum will take place on September 20-21 at The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. It will offer philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academia and NGOs from around the world a platform to exchange views, and assist cross-sector collaboration and cultivate long-term partnerships and engagement.

This is undoubtedly a must-not-miss opportunity to meet over 1,000 international delegates from the philanthropy sector to exchange views on the most urgent social needs of 21st century cities.

Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum