Pil­lar of So­ci­ety

The Yeh fam­ily is re­defin­ing char­ity through an ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme that pro­vides new tal­ent for ven­tures cre­at­ing pos­i­tive change in the com­mu­nity, writes Rik Glauert

Hong Kong Tatler - - Philanthrophy -

mag­ine the ed­u­ca­tional value for busi­ness stu­dents if they were able to es­cape their in­sti­tu­tional bub­ble to feel the ex­cite­ment and pain of de­vel­op­ing a real or­gan­i­sa­tion. And what if the ve­hi­cles for their es­cape were en­ter­prises whose goals were to pro­vide last­ing ben­e­fits to the com­mu­nity?

The pow­er­ful po­ten­tial of such a sym­bi­otic re­la­tion­ship is at the heart of an in­no­va­tive course at the Hong Kong Univer­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy (HKUST), con­ceived with the Yeh Fam­ily Phi­lan­thropy (YFP), the char­i­ta­ble arm of the em­i­nent Hong Kong dy­nasty. Called Nur­tur­ing So­cial Minds, it pro­vides a hands-on ac­tion-learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for stu­dents—and a HK$250,000 in­vest­ment by YFP in the en­ter­prise whose stu­dents make the most com­pelling case.

So­cial prob­lems such as hunger and in­equal­ity need to be ap­proached as if they are busi­ness chal­lenges, YFP chair­woman Yvette Yeh says in ex­plain­ing the think­ing be­hind the HKUST pro­gramme. The ap­pli­ca­tion of in­no­va­tion, cre­ative think­ing and busi­ness acu­men to such prob­lems, with the goal of pro­vid­ing sus­tain­able ben­e­fits

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