May, 2016 Newsletter

Important Updates

- GSEF2016 Early-bird Registration
- Partnership Agreement with Blanquerna Foundation

Latest News
- Asia Policy Dialogue
- Visiting HKCSS
- INAISE International Conference Participation

Organisation Introduction
- Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS)

Upcoming Events
- KPIA&GSEF public lecture on ‘Youth Activity and Social Economy (Mondragon Case)’
- Int’l Forum on Urban Policy for SDGs
- Asia Network for Young Social Entrepreneurs Forum

GSEF 2016 Early-bird Registration Ends Soon!

Early-bird registration for the GSEF2016 (Montreal, 7 – 9 Sep 2016) ends on 7 June. To receive special tariffs for the tickets, please complete online-registration form by 7 June. You can check different rates of registration fee by categories and dates here.

Online registration form

Signed Partnership Agreement with Blanquerna Foundation 31 May

GSEF signed a partnership agreement with the Blanquerna Foundation (Spain) in education cooperation for external academic internships. Students of Blanquerna Foundation, School of Communication and International Relations, Ramon Llull University will be able to carry their external academic internship prgrammes at the GSEF. Through the personnel exchanges, knowledge sharing and training, GSEF hopes to strengthen its partnership with Blanquerna Foundation.

Latest News
Asia Policy Dialogue26 May, Hong Kong

In partnership with AVPN, British Council and BMW Foundation ‘Asia Policy Dialogue’ was successfully launched in Hong Kong on the 26th of May. Over 60 policy makers, government officials and representatives of International Organisations (OECD, UN, WB, ADB) across 16 different countries in Asia gathered together to share their experience and vision of promoting social economy (social innovation, social investment etc.) for the sustainable development of cities/countries.

Overview of the dialogue as below and full report will be available by the end of June through GSEF Website;

Morning Session

  1. Overview on government policies and social investing eco-system relating to SDGs by Paul Carttar (Former Director of Obama’s Social Innovation Fund / Co-Founder of Bridgespan) & Cliff Prior (CEO of Big Society Capital).
    The session introduced UK and US models of promoting social innovation and social enterprises based on different institutional arrangements, development of civil society and political support.
  2. Presentation from regional representatives of each country’s programs related to social Investment or innovation (14 representatives from different countries in Asia).
    Each representative summarised the experience of developing social economy eco-system and challenges in their respective country.
  3. Panel discussion on ‘Role of Municipal Governments in Promoting Social Economy’

    Gurgaon City (India) – TL Satyaprakash (Municipal Commissioner)
    Seoul Metropolitan Government – Seon-Seop Kang (Director, Social Economy Division)
    Association of Korean Local Governments for Social Economy and Solidarity
    Youngbae Kim (President / Mayor of Seongbuk District)

    Paul Carttar.

    This session provided a chance to learn from the experience of promoting sustainable socio-economic development at the municipal government level. Many policy initiatives from Gurgaon, Seoul and Korea were introduced.
  4. Panel Discussion on ‘Multi-Sector Collaboration Success Cases Focused on Housing Sector’

    Ashoka Foundation, Housing for All - Vishunu Swaminathan (Country Director)
    Habitat for Humanity - Charlie Ayco (CEO)
    Toad Housing - Jewon Lee (Director)

    Bruno Dercon (UN Habitat, Asia Pacific Regional Office).

    The panel discussion on the housing session introduced Asia’s innovative solutions in tackling housing problems through the social economy such as social housing and multisector collaboration (public-private-community).

Afternoon Session

  1. Introduction by Tristan Ace (British Council) on ‘The Role of Social Economy in Achieving the SDGs’.
  2. Facilitated discussion in groups on how each country can contribute towards the SDGs with multi-sector collaboration initiatives

    In the afternoon session, participants were divided by 6 groups and freely exchanged their ideas on the role of government and the best way to formulate effective policies as well as suggestions for the future Asia Policy Dialogue event.

Further details of the event will be available soon at the GSEF website.

Visiting HKCSS (The Hong Kong Council of Social Service) 27 May, Hong Kong

Delegations of GSEF Secretariat, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Toad Housing visited HKCSS which is one of the Steering Committee members of GSEF in Asia. Chief Executive Mr. Chua Hoi Wai, Business Director Mr. Anthony Wong and Manager Ms. Eureka K. C. Tuet introduced latest initiatives and programmes of HKCSS in providing social services by approach of social economy in Hong Kong. The delegation also had a chance to discuss how to contribute to the GSEF2016 agenda setting and cooperation opportunities between the GSEF and HKCSS.

INAISE International Conference Participation11 ~ 13 May, Montreal

GSEF Secretary General Laurence Kwark attended INAISE (International Association of Investors in the Social Economy) International Conference in Montreal. She participated in the forum as a panelist of the session ‘International Networks: Convergences, Opportunities, Challenges’. With representatives of distinguished SSE institutions such as UNCTAD, RIPESS, INAISE, CIRIEC, MBM and International Microfinance without Border, she discussed how different SSE networks work together by making synergy effects based on each institution’s strengths. During her business trip to Montreal, she also met with GSEF2016 organising committee for preparing upcoming forum and visited the conference venue.

Organisation Introduction
HKCSS (The Hong Kong Council of Social Service)

Established in 1947, The Hong Kong Council of Social Service is a federation of non-government social service agencies of Hong Kong. It was established in 1947 with the aim to plan and coordinate large scale relief works and social welfare after the Second World War. In 1951, HKCSS became a statuary body under the ordinance, chapter 1057. The Council has since become an essential partner of the Hong Kong Government in social welfare and development. Today HKCSS represents more than 430 Agency Members, providing over 90% of the social welfare service through their 3,000 operating units in Hong Kong.


HKCSS’ vision is to build a social service sector that is highly accountable, efficient, effective and responsive to social needs, upholding the long-term sustainable development of society and the well-being of citizens. HKCSS’ core businesses include policy research and advocacy, sector development, service development, and public engagement and partnership. In addition to NGOs and the government, HKCSS works also with companies, professional bodies and social enterprises. Essentially, HKCSS is a platform of resources and solutions to social problems.

HKCSS’ current research and advocacy focuses include poverty, social security, employment, housing and social development.

Also, HKCSS is supporting social enterprises in Hong Kong. In collaboration with HSBC, HKCSS established SEBC (Social Enterprise Business Centre) which aims to bridges social capital and supports social innovation projects and social enterprises through capacity building, incubating and investment. For further details about the SEBC’s SE programmes check out the link.

Upcoming Events
KPIA & GSEF Social Economy Public Lecture Series – Youth Activity and Social Economy (Mondragon Case)2 June, Seoul

In collaboration with Karl Polanyi Institute Asia (KPIA) and HBM, GSEF is co-hosting KPIA’s monthly social economy lecture series. Professor Juan Jose Martin Lopez from Mondragon University and Rev. Kyong Yong Song, Chairman of GSEF will give a joint lecture on the role of social economy for youth with particular focus on the Mondragon case.

International Forum on Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals8 – 10 June, Seoul, Korea

Hosted by Seoul Metropolitan Government / UN ESCAP / CityNet, an international forum on ‘Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals’ will be held in Seoul from 8 – 10 June.

GSEF secretariat is organising a session on ‘Potential and Diffusion of Social Economy as a Means to Utilise Urban Policy for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  1. Venue
    - Venue: Seoul City Hall (8 June, 15:45 – 17:30)
  2. Host
    - Host: GSEF Secretariat
  3. Speakers
    - Daehoon Kim (Executive Manager, iCOOP Cooperative Development Center)
    - Seon Seop Kang (Director, Social Economy Division/Seoul Metropolitan Government)
    - Jean Fabre (Founder of WACAP / Former UNDP Deputy Director)
    - Denison Jayasooria (Deputy-Chairman, RIPESS-Asia)
    - Moderator: Laurence Kwark (Secretary General, GSEF)

For further details about the forum, click the banner below

Asia Network for Young Social Entrepreneurs 17 June, Seoul

2016 Asia Network for Young Social Entrepreneurs forum will be held in Seoul (16 of June).

The forum is managed by Hankyoreh 21 and C dot with support from Seoul Metropolitan Government. The forum is inviting young social entrepreneurs across Asia to share their experience of engagement with community through innovative social entrepreneurships. In total 18 speakers from 9 different countries in Asia will be joining the forum and it is expected to gather more than 400 participants. Alongside presentations / workshops, site visits will be available on the 16 June.

For further details of the forum click the banner below.