Message from OHKF Executive Director, June 2020
Over the past few months, the Covid-19 pandemic has put every one of us to the challenge, whether it’s the daily lives of people, businesses or the economy as a whole. The world has been hit hard by the coronavirus, with every industry around the globe severely impacted. Thanks to your continuous support, we manage to carry on our research and engagement work despite the disruption—through remote work, virtual meetings and digital events—and have achieved encouraging results.
Our research teams have persisted with their research efforts and released two new policy research reports. In the latest Land and Housing Policy Research report released in April, entitled ‘Cutting Red Tape to Catch Up with Shortfalls in Land and Housing’ (view full report), we propose three key recommendations to the Hong Kong Government to alleviate the chronic problem of land and housing supply shortage: 1) remove the various administrative red tape involved in land development, 2) create a one-stop disclosure platform for disclosing the progress of public housing projects, and 3) reconvene the Long Term Housing Strategy Steering Committee for reviewing the methodology used in housing demand projection. The Press Conference was conducted virtually, followed by an ‘Exclusive Digital Roundtable’ with Financial Analysts—the first-of-its-kind for the Foundation—and received extensive media coverage.
In June, we launched the new Arts Innovation Research Report, entitled ‘Innovating Creative Cultures—Arts Tech’ (watch report video), which recommends that the Government foster stronger collaboration between the arts and technology sectors with four key suggestions: 1) devise a cultural blueprint on arts tech to ensure the cultural and technology sectors work together, 2) broaden the scopes of existing funding mechanisms, and set up a dedicated arts tech funding to specifically support collaboration between the arts and technology sectors, 3) build a creative innovation research infrastructure for testing and experimenting new ideas, and 4) establish a digital culture platform that creates a network of expertise, and sharing of best practices. This report is the third paper in the ‘Arts Innovation’ series, which aims to recognise and promote the important role of arts in strengthening communities, and its potentials as a resource and policy tool in Hong Kong.
At the same time, we stay committed to helping students learn more about Chinese culture and history. During the school suspension period, the Academy of Chinese Studies created an online learning scheme with learning resources for primary and secondary students, which includes ‘A Passage A Day’ reading scheme, Liberal Studies reading comprehension exercises, and DSE Liberal Studies study plan, to enhance their knowledge on modern Chinese history and liberal studies. We are impressed by the popularity of the online learning scheme, reaching more than 100,000 students through a total of 274 participating schools (primary and secondary).
The Foundation, leveraging creativity and the newfound norm of virtual events, launched a signature webinar ‘OHKF INSIGHT FORUM’ Series. This latest initiative invites heavyweight experts to speak on and share morally uplifting insights on a range of pressing societal issues for Hong Kong people at this difficult time. On 4 May, we conducted the first live FORUM with Professor E.K. Yeoh, a renowned public health expert, to share his views on containing Covid-19 as to when and how new normalcy can return to Hong Kong. In the second session on 18 May, renowned economic academic Professor Lawrence J. Lau shared his insights on how Hong Kong can emerge from its economic downturn despite the Covid-19 crisis. On 1 June, Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, Founding President of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences, spoke at the third live webinar and shared his insightful views on the impacts and opportunities brought by Covid-19 to Hong Kong’s innovation and technology ecosystem. To watch full replay of the webinars, please visit here. The upcoming two webinars are scheduled for 17 June featuring Dr Allan Zeman, an astute entrepreneur who has taken root in Hong Kong for several decades, followed by Professor Stephen Roach, an American economist and a Senior Fellow at Yale University, who will speak on ‘Pitfalls in a Post-Pandemic World: Deglobalization and Asymmetrical Normalization’ on 8 July.
Since 2015, the OHKF has launched the hallmark ‘China Masters Series’—a series of high-level forums that invite renowned mainland experts to explore the current state of China’s development. The first forum in 2020 will be held on 19 June, in digital live format, featuring Professor Zhang Weiwei, a distinguished professor of international relations and Director of the China Institute at Fudan University, who will analyse on issues relating to democracy and the future development of Hong Kong.
In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity. The road ahead with Covid-19 maybe long and tough, but when every one of us across different sectors of society come together in solidarity, we shall overcome.
Our Hong Kong Foundation