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JC COIL Phase Two Launching Ceremony cum “Innovation x Green Start Up” Panel Discussion

With continual funding from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Jockey Club CarbonCare Open Innovation Lab (JC COIL) project enters into second phase, lasting for another three years. In its new phase, JC COIL aims to sow more green seeds in Hong Kong by coalescing yet more individuals and organizations who are eager to work together for a sustainable future, and also by incubating more progressive Inno Teams towards that direction. During Phase One, which lasted for 18 months from July 2015, JC COIL has recruited more than 170 enterprises and institutions, as well as over 1,000 individuals as programme members. During the same period, JC COIL has incubated five innovate teams and provided them with guidance and resource support.

JC COIL Phase Two launching ceremony cum “Innovation x Green Startup” Panel Discussion was held on 4th February, 2017.   Details of the Phase Two program were announced. This incubation programme, spanning eight months each cycle, provides intensive coaching to guide incubates through a process from “Conception” to “Realization” of their green projects.  Participants would jam ideas with others during the “CarbonCare InnoFest”, form teams at the “CarbonCare Innovation Boot Camp”, receive expert guidance on the techniques of Lean Start Up, receive a grant of HK$8,000 to develop and test the  feasibility of their project, and to join the Final Pitch after six months to win up to HK$50,000 cash award for kick-starting their project. With strong support from Carbon Care Asia, the International Association of Facilitators HK (IAF HK) and Education For Good (EFG), this programme will equip passionate climate innovators with the necessary skills and knowledge to develop high-impact projects to tackle climate change with concrete actions.

JC COIL was much honoured to have invited Mr Wong Kam-sing, JP, Secretary for the Environment, as the officiating guest of the launching ceremony. Mr Wong is convinced that climate change is the single largest environmental concern, since it covers environmental issues of different kinds, including waste reduction and energy saving. Mr Wong hopes that Hong Kong youth, through creativity and innovation, can work alongside the world towards mitigating global warming. As his tips for climate action, Mr Wong suggested the following 8 points:

1. Make climate action our primary task 
2. Align with the global goal of controlling temperature rise to well below 2°C
3. Tripartite action amongst the HK Government, the business sector and ordinary citizens
4. “4T” focus (Target, Timeline, Transparency, Together) for Energy Saving Action
5. Follow the 5-year review mechanism of the Paris Agreement  
6. Reduce the per capita carbon emissions of HK to below 6 tonnes
7. Respond to climate chaos in line with Climate Action Plan
8. Develop low carbon business opportunities

As the government has just released the “Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan 2030+” , Mr Wong Kam-sing maintained that the government would adopt the five-year review mechanism in order to achieve the emissions reduction target. He said that in addition to government policies, contributions from different organizations and individuals were also essential. As a final reminder on the importance of innovation in low carbon actions, Mr Wong improvised a Lunar New Year greetings couplet to encourage the audience. Mr Wong Kam-sing, together with Ms Vivian Lee, Senior Charities Manager of The Hong Kong Jockey Club and Ir Lee Chi Ming, Board Chairman of CarbonCare InnoLab (CCIL) opened an egg-shaped device, symbolizing the official kick-off of JC COIL Phase Two. 


The launching ceremony was followed by a trial play of ‘The World Council’ Card Game. This game, created by three local youths, boasts a successful crowd funding of HK$500,000 through Kickstarter. It combines exciting elements of climate change, economic power struggle and political bargaining. The two game creators, Lokson Leung and Steve Mok, led the audience to play this game. The audience role-played representatives of different countries, including the superpowers, developed countries, developing countries and island states which are worst hit by climate change. On the one hand, teams had to meet the development targets of their own country by building various infrastructures. On the other hand, they had to avoid the onset of Doomsday for the planet as a result of their actions. At the sharing session, one of the participants reckoned that when players only focused on meeting their country targets, they often forgot about the dangerous consequences of such actions on the whole world (ie. all other players), such as global warming and world wars.

During the “Innovation x Green Start Up” Panel Discussion, Lokson and Steve told the audience what prompted them to design ‘The World Council’ Card Game. Lokson learnt from his General Studies lessons in secondary school that international meetings were held regularly to discuss climate actions. However, it was very difficult for all parties to reach a consensus at these meetings because political leaders tend to put the benefits of their country first. Since then, he has been searching for an interesting means to let more people understand and experience the complexity of international negotiations. Eventually, he designed this role-play card game with the help of his two partners.

Mr Freddy Law, Director of Education For Good, an organization promoting social entrepreneurship in Hong Kong, appreciated creativity and passion from young people. Freddy pointed out similar case stories of green projects developed by young people, such as “The Second Box” and a wetland restoration projects in Mainland China, both operating on a self-financing  basis. “Open Innovation” is already a world-reckoned trend. One of the panelists, Prof Helen Liu from the Department of Politics and Public Administration in HKU, has long been focusing her research on this phenomenon.  According to Prof Liu, open innovation allows companies to source new projects or new ideas from outside, bypassing internal resource restrictions. As “open innovation” often relies on digital platforms as the communication tool, Prof Liu cautioned the audience that online communication could not replace traditional communication modes entirely. To bring real changes, face-to-face communication is still an essential procedure to go through.