I am a changemaker. Are you?” Most of 💥CREATIVE COLLISION participants answered positively to SVIHK CEO Virginia Wilson, during her welcome address on 18 November 2021. Here are the main learnings from the community of changemakers gathered at our non-conference.
The 150+ attendees of the third edition of our non-conference truly immersed themselves, found people unlike them to gather new ideas and connections. Towards one single goal: accelerate the change within their company, organisation or personal life, towards a more inclusive and sustainable world. So what does it take to drive change?
1. Be a Visionary Leader
Veronica Chou, Founder and CEO of Everybody Everyone, decided to challenge the status quo in the fashion industry. “Sustainability is needed in every single aspect of our businesses. For fashion it’s from the raw materials, supply chain, materials, packaging, shipping, and even the end of life”.
From cactus-leather handbags to sugar-fermented trousers, this mum of three boys initiated a revolution in the industry responsible for 8-10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Veronica shared her experience at the Disruptor Dialogue: “There are lots of innovations and technologies which can help with being more sustainable or hopefully regenerative, but changes in business models are also one way to go. Along every step of the way, we have to keep in mind how to maximize social impact and minimize environmental impact. Doing business doesn’t have to only mean capitalizing on others, doing good can also do financially well, and most of the time when we have a greater purpose it will bring greater profit”.
2. A Problem? No, an Opportunity!
Other bold innovators stepped then on stage to take part in the Impact Auction. In fashion, mental health, construction, wellness, or hospitality, the five Auctioneers rolled their sleeves up and launched purpose-driven businesses to solve the most pressing social and environmental issues in Hong Kong.
How to scale and align purpose with profit is their next challenge. 💥CREATIVE COLLISION attendees generously contributed actively by biding one hour of their time, for counsel, mentoring, partnering, or funding.
Natalie Chow, Co-Founder, KIBO, was reenergised after her pitch: “We have gained new perspectives and learned of new avenues to explore other than the traditional investing, which was a key takeaway for us“.
3. Gather Momentum
“The world’s biggest problems are the world’s greatest opportunities” considered Rob Wall, JEB Group MD. Last year, Rob attended 💥CREATIVE COLLISION with Sam Beere, General Manager. Rob and Sam came again this year to share, at the CSV Showcase, their purposeful journey since the last edition.
While David Ng, AXA Hong Kong and Macau Chief Strategy, Digital and Data Officer, walked us through AXA Better Me. Sam explained how JEB Group converted an aspiration for a more sustainable footprint into a new business line: Sustainable Office Solution. “We have met many people involved in the circular economy – NGOs, business or academia – to set up our new service”, Sam noted. “In Hong Kong, when there is momentum, you can develop ideas into solutions very quickly”.
4. Create the Magic
“It’s crazy how when you can put a bunch of different people together, you create the magic”, shared Raatha Ganesh, Disruptor in Chief, Resilio, after hosting the Candid Café.
During a very brave set of conversations, participants explored how to drive change on macro issues like widening inequalities, green and just recovery, or youth and family challenges. Adopting a disruptive, and optimistic mindset is paramount to meeting these challenges.
5. Put your Shared Value Lenses on
How can corporations solve business pain points related to Sustainable Development Goals? Kate Okrasinski, Managing Director, MAKE Studios, led with high energy the Exec Labs, a human-centric design thinking workshop, on three challenges introduced by HSBC, Accenture, and Knitup from Fung Group.
Participants from different business sectors, NGOs, the social innovation sector, and academia, came together to develop CSV solutions for real business challenges in less than three hours of collective work.
“Combining design thinking and Shared Value gives us such a powerful lens to address business-critical challenges. In just 165 minutes we were able to leverage the creativity of the group not only (to) create new revenue streams, but do so in partnership with the respective communities and plant“, Kate certified.
“I am totally blown away“, JP Stevenson, Chief Commercial Officer Knitup, stated. “We have been thinking for so long about this problem, but in a short work session, the group arrived far away from where we are”.
6. Find the Right Partners
Another group of attendees explored the neighbourhood to discover how NGOs, social enterprises and companies are working together to amplify impact. Luke Tam, Co-Founder and Chief Explorer, Kaifong Tour, shared his love and unquenchable curiosity for Hong Kong on the walking tour he designed specifically for 💥CREATIVE COLLISION with stops in three social innovation projects InnoAge, Dialogue Experience, and Dream Impact.
“The key to bring forth CSV partnership is mutual understanding. The Immersion Tour was an amazing experience for cross-sector participants to gain an in-depth understanding of social innovation projects in Lai Chi Kok. Keep spreading the impact stories!“, Luke stated.