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HKBU joins universities in Japan and Taiwan to boost social innovation transfer


The Joint Workshop on Design for Sustainability allows students to creatively look at challenges in society.

Professor Jiming Liu (left) and Professor Toru Ishida (right) present a souvenir to Mr Ambrose Cheung.

Students get first-hand data through interviews.

The Department of Computer Science of Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), the Unit of Design of Kyoto University, Japan and the Institute of Creative Industries Design of National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan organised the 2018 Joint Workshop on Design for Sustainability in Kyoto from 5 to 8 April, and in Hong Kong from 25 to 27 May 2018, respectively.

The joint workshop series marked the partnership’s 7th anniversary. With the theme “Design for Social Innovation Transfer”, participating students could show care to the community and create solutions for Hong Kong’s social challenges through collective wisdom. The first part was held in Kyoto for preliminary ideation and the second part in Hong Kong for implementation.

Taking part were 51 students and faculty members from the three universities with diverse backgrounds including business, architecture, engineering, social informatics, geography, communication and computer science. They formed groups to come up with proposals for social innovation transfer in Hong Kong. The scope covered education, heritage, lifestyle, childcare, environment and urban design. Through lectures, fieldwork, interviews, and intensive group discussions, the students learnt how to make a prototype and implement plans with local partners ranging from NGOs, schools, Government offices and district communities.

In the Hong Kong session, honorable guests included Chairman of Sham Shui Po District Council Mr Ambrose Cheung, Project Director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship of the Chinese University of Hong Kong Professor Bernard Suen, Senior Engineer of the Transportation Department of the HKSAR Government Mr Stephen Ho and Senior Project Manager of the charitable institution Green Sense Ms Gabrielle Ho.

Workshop Co-Chairs Professor Toru Ishida from Kyoto University, Dr Yang Chiahang from National Cheng Kung University and Professor Liu Jiming from HKBU agreed that the ideas generated during the workshop were creative.

The Co-organiser and also Director of the HKBU Centre for Innovative Service Learning Ms Cindy Chan appreciated how the workshop provided an international platform with intercultural and interdisciplinary learning opportunity, which motivated participants to solve social problems using human-centred design.

Li Hao (PhD in Computer Science) commended the workshop for motivating participants to think out of the box. Ng Pui-yan (Computer Science, Year 3) said the activities enabled her to see things from a different perspective.