According to the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), the number of working poor households - using a definition identical to the new poverty line - rose by 6,000 last year, bringing the total to 191,000. That means 644,000 people are living in working poor households. (SCMP, September 2013). It is undoubtedly that social protection and subsidy scheme are one of the solutions to tackle poverty in the short run. For the long run, it would be better to consider the root causes leading to poverty, for example, societal and economic changes in a human-based and knowledge-based economy, gender inequality, upward mobility for teenagers, emergence of new skill sets for upward mobility and skills re-development for semi- retired labor force in a community.
Kolleck (2013) mentioned the central role of social networks for innovation diffusion and processes of social change in many areas of practice and scientific disciplines:
“Social networks have the potential to influence learning processes, provide opportunities for problem-solving, and establish new ideas. Thus, they can foster synergy effects, bring together key resources such as know-how of participating actors, and promote innovation diffusion” (2013, 1:25).
The issues of poverty and quality of life rely greatly on the collaboration among the government with policy support, the industries with investments in capacity building and offerings of decent working opportunities, the voices of NGOs and media of increasing the awareness of the impacts of poverty and quality of life. Provision and mobilization of resources from a variety of sources to implement different kinds of proactive measures to tackle the problem of poverty are needed, including cooperation with neighboring developed and developing countries for creating new and decent jobs from different dimensions.
Building on the global education agenda – Education 2030 – there is growing recognition about the need to promote and implement sustainable development and the critical role of higher education. On 5 May 2017, the CCSI at the Hang Seng Management College will organize the International Conference on Sustainable Development in Higher Education in conjunction with the 2nd Colloquium on the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UNPRME Colloquium) to transform management education by developing learning communities and promoting awareness about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including poverty and quality education.
Kolleck, Nina (2013): Social network analysis in innovation research: using a mixed methods approach to analyze social innovations, in: European Journal of Futures Research 1(1), S. 1-25, DOI: 10.1007/s40309-013-0025-2
Dr. Shirley Yeung
Director, Centre for Corporate Sustainability and Innovations (CCSI)Hang Seng Management College
UNPRME Working Group Member on Sustainability Mindset
Winner of 2nd Global Leadership Award, YaZhou ZhouKan (Asia Week)