Wednesday 15 August 2018

British Council launches ‘BRICKS’, a groundbreaking new project to catalyse Hong Kong universities, enterprise and NGOs on social innovation

Media Launch: Wednesday 22 August, 11.30 – 13.00

What? The British Council in Hong Kong and partners are launching a pioneering new project to catalyse higher education institutes (HEIs), enterprise and NGOs to collaborate to find innovative solutions to social issues in Hong Kong.

Called BRICKS and standing for Building Research Innovation for Community Knowledge and Sustainability, this initiative is funded by the SIE Fund and brings together a consortium of local and global leaders with expertise in social innovation, social entrepreneurship, cultural relations, trust-building and academic research excellence.

A social innovation is a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable or fair than present solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole, rather than to private individuals.

Through BRICKS, the British Council and project partners - the Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), the Good Lab and Professor Alex Nicholls of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford - aim to collaborate with all eight publicly-funded universities and other HEIs to drive fresh approaches to research and teaching, to share best practice on social innovation and to cement relationships between academics and community practitioners to tackle social challenges in Hong Kong.

Why? BRICKS envisages a higher education system that can develop the research and leadership skills in students and graduates that the ‘future economy’ demands and that can address key issues faced by Hong Kong and other developed economies such as: inequality, ageing societies, lack of affordable housing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

It believes that new approaches to teaching and research in higher education and cross-sectoral collaborations between academic institutions, social innovators and entrepreneurs, social services and NGOs can empower the future leaders of Hong Kong to build a society in which nobody is left behind.

Who?  Media are cordially invited to the launch of this project to learn more about BRICKS, its objectives, activities and planned outcomes.

Speakers and people available to talk to the media will include:

•Tristan Ace, Project Director, BRICKS and Global Social Enterprise Development Lead, British Council in Hong Kong

Patricia Lau, Deputy Commissioner for Efficiency, HKSAR Government

Professor Alex Nicholls, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, UK

•Professor Wei Shyy, President-Designate of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

•Louise Pulford, Convenor and Director, Social Innovation Exchange (SIX), UK 

•Ada Wong, Director, The Good Lab, Hong Kong 

•Chris Ng, Head of Programmes Development, British Council in Hong Kong

Where? Eaton Hotel, 2/F, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan, Hong Kong

When?Wednesday, 22 August, 2018

11.30-12.00 – registration and refreshments

12.00-13.00 – project launch, with speeches and Q&A


Notes to Editor

About the SIE Fund 

The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund), as a catalyst for social innovation in Hong Kong, connects our community with different sectors, including businesses, NGOs, academics and philanthropies to create social impact through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion. Mostly through intermediaries, the Fund provides visionary individuals and organisations with diverse resources in support of research, capacity building and the entire life cycle of innovative programmes, from idea incubation and seed funding to implementation and eventual scale-up. The ultimate goal is to foster an ecosystem where social entrepreneurs can thrive and innovative ideas, products and services can benefit society by meeting underserved needs, unleashing underutilised talents and more. SIE Fund has been set up with a HK$500 million allocation from the Lotteries Fund. Its operation is overseen by the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund Task Force under the Commission on Poverty with the Efficiency Office providing secretariat support.


About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

The British Council has been working with Hong Kong since 1948. In 2018, we are marking our 70th anniversary, celebrating 70 years of cultural relations and exchange between the UK and Hong Kong.