To promote intellectual exchange and inspire creative thinking among students from diverse backgrounds, the Department of Computer Science of HKBU teamed up with the Unit of Design of Kyoto University, Japan, and the Institute of Creative Industries Design of the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan

to hold the 2017 Joint Workshop on Design for Sustainability with the theme of “Creative Design for Sharing Economy”.

The joint workshop held separate sessions in the Taiwan city of Tainan, Kyoto and Hong Kong. The activities included lectures, fieldwork, interviews, and intensive group discussion sessions, all designed to inspire students to generate innovations to address the challenges posed by a sharing economy via intercultural and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Taking part were 39 students and faculty members from the three universities with diverse backgrounds including computer science, business, history, visual communication design, industry design, information management, communication, education, social informatics, medical management and intercultural studies. They formed groups to study the challenges related to the sharing economy as they affect the ageing populations in the three cities.

In the Hong Kong session, two speakers shared their insights. Firstly Ms Lehui Liang, Associate Director of Investment, the Social Venture Hong Kong, spoke on “Sharing economy in social innovation for Hong Kong”. Then Ms Doris Leung, CEO of Diamond Cab, gave a talk on “From a Family Car to a Public Taxi” about her story of establishing a successful social enterprise.

Students in the groups also visited social enterprises including Eldage, the Woopie Club, HOHOLIFE, OHH Dear Communications and Eldpathy. Intensive discussions and exchanges of ideas were conducted during these visits.

Workshop Co-Chairs Professor Toru Ishida, Professor Yang Chia-han and Professor Liu Jiming agreed that the ideas generated during the workshop were indeed creative. Song Lihong (PhD in Computer Science) thought the workshop had motivated participants to think outside of the box. Lee Cheuk-tung (Computer Science, Year 2) appreciated the opportunity to join the workshop, saying it had enabled her to solve problems by taking into consideration different perspectives.