Public Lab Research note

Report back from "Making a Difference" Asia

by liz | January 23, 2014 15:53 23 Jan 15:53 | #9967 | #9967

Event details

January 10-12, 2014, Kowloon, Hong Kong


Making a Difference ( is an annual conference for youth social innovators produced by Good Lab and attended by 1,500 youth from more than 160 cities in 20 countries. Shown in the leading picture were some of the excellent individuals I encountered, I'm on the left followed by Heshan "Shan" (Green Innovation Hub Guangzhou, Public Lab), Jane Pong (South China Morning Post, Data Viz team and activist with Open Data Hong Kong), and Vera Shang (Hong Kong Design Institute, Associate Professor). Heshan has a Public Lab balloon mapping kit! Overall, there was incredible interest in civic science for environmental justice from participants and conference organizers alike, and a feeling of incredible potential for Public Lab in the region.


I gave a 19 minute presentation on the Public Lab model for working collaboratively online and offline that was live translated into Mandarin and Cantonese.


This was followed by a panel discussion on the "Making of Meaningful Work" with Shigero Yamato of Happy Workplace International Project (Thailand, Japan, and beyond), and Judy Kimamo of the Green Belt Movement (Kenya).


I also hosted a balloon mapping workshop for 50 people at the HK Polytechnic University Jockey Club Center for Social Innovation in East Kowloon, Kwun Tong, with over a rapidly transforming site that will become an industrial heritage park as the overall neighborhood is transformed into HK's second CBD. There will be forthcoming map and research notes about this.


I also hosted a TreeKIT workshop around the conference center in Kwai Tsing for 50 people who are passionate about bringing more, and healthier, trees to Hong Kong.


Shown below is Michelle Law, a local tree expert who created a beautiful field guide of local Hong Kong species. TKY_0780.JPG


From the conference description: MaD started with “change” in 2010. In this fifth edition, “change” takes on greater specificity. “The Fifth Direction” is a metaphor for the exploration of what we envision as “better” ways forward....


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