Back to News
【Cubic Zine Issue 2】Scholar-Social Innovators: Prof Chung Man Cheung’s “Life-changing Experience” near the Battlefield
One email to feed you the hottest info from the social innovation universe! Cubic Zine is a publication under CUHK ORKTS’s social innovation platform SoCUBE. We are excited to bring you stories on what CUHK and glocal social innovators are working on, events happening around you and much more!

Scholar-Social Innovator → LOCAL

Prof Chung Man Cheung’s “life-changing experience”: Delving into refugee trauma near the battlefield

“Just call me Man,” the door flew open, and Prof Chung Man Cheung extended his hand. Two chairs have already been arranged in his office as a warm welcome.

Man, currently Professor of Educational Psychology at CUHK, has taught in the UK for a dozen years. His encounter with an Iraqi student opened up a whole new academic universe. With a swelling interest in the Islamic world, Man ran off to the UAE. The five-year stay turned out to be a “life-changing experience” that drew him closer to the Syrian refugees…

Read the full interview

Epilogue: Gardening and “Kung fu fighting” with patients, for research

The Syrian Civil War at a glimpse

According to Man, the War was triggered in 2011, when a few youngsters left words of discontent towards the government on a school wall. Masses of citizens protest against their eventual arrest, while fighting for democracy. Violent suppression by the Bashar government erupted into a full-scale war, claiming at least 400 thousand lives, and counting. 5.7 million wound up as refugees, 90% of which taken in by Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Some ventured to Europe, bringing with them political impact on the European Union.



UK I Refugee I Chatterbox

Mursal Hedayat_Chatterbox
28-year-old Mursal Hedayat was born in Afghanistan. At a young age, she fled to the UK with her mum and resided as a refugee. Not only has her mum worked for 10 years as a civil engineer, but also knows 4 languages – a hard-to-come-by independent Afghan lady. Alas, she remained jobless for nearly a decade. The unyielding daughter was propelled to setting up Chatterbox in 2016. This language-learning platform offers job opportunities for well-educated refuges in London, that they may teach while sharing their unique life stories. Chatterbox is already servicing several universities. World Bank estimated a staggering 143 million climate refugees by 2050; Mursal believes that the demand for services that utilise refugees’ expertise would only grow.

Netherlands I Conscious consumption I Fairphone 3

The new iPhone models were released in September – how many of you fans are already itching to replace your still-decently-new old model? The Dutch mobile phone manufacturer Fairphone, quite the opposite, champions “repair, not replace” – your phone purchase actually comes with a screwdriver. The ethical gadget “dares to be fair”, to both its suppliers and the Earth. Selling around 175 thousand units since its launch in 2013, Fairphone is no match for iPhone, with sales figures over 100 million annually. Consumers are nevertheless encouraged to think critically before getting hold of the next shiny product.


Looking for funding to launch your social innovation project?

Prof Chung and his team are supported by CUHK’s KPF scheme to design a set of psychological well-being training materials for refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong, in the hope of alleviating their trauma. Together with the S-KPF scheme, we aim at supporting CUHK researchers to get down to social innovation. Funded projects may receive up to HK$400,000 for KPF projects or HK$600,000 for S-KPF companies. Around 200 teams have already benefited from the schemes.

Applications this year are open now! Eager to transform your research expertise into impact? Remember to submit your application by 11 Dec!

To find out the difference between the two schemes and the application details, just tap the following links and download the relevant documents!

Applying for KPF
Applying for S-KPF


Scholar-Social Innovator → GLOBAL

A change of course from academia to business: Coursera co-founder and AI master Andrew Ng

At the age of 43, Andrew Ng easily outshines his peers in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Born to a Hongkongese family in the UK, the Chinese-American scientist co-founded and led Google’s AI team Google Brain. He later joined Baidu as Chief Scientist, before leaving in 2017 and launching his own start-up Landing AI.

He is not a first-time entrepreneur though. Back in 2012, the then-Stanford professor co-founded Coursera, now one of the largest online learning platforms worldwide, What gave him the idea? His very own teaching experience in Silicon Valley.

Read the full story



Care to take part?

Sustainable Knowledge Transfer Project Fund (S-KPF) Information Session 2019
Date | 15 Nov 2019
Time | 15:00 – 17:00
Venue | CUHK Lady Ho Tung Hall G/F Pi Centre

Sustainable Knowledge Transfer Project Fund (S-KPF) is now calling for proposals from full-time academic staff! Apart from guiding you through the funding process, we have invited experienced practitioner in social innovation – Dr KK Tse to share his vision on accelerating a paradigm shift in business values and creating a more inclusive and sustainable economy.

Dr KK Tse – Co-Founder of 2 B Corps in Hong Kong (Education for Good and Dialogue in the Dark)
Mr Perkins Ho – Head of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, ORKTS, CUHK

Funding details
Register now


Seminar Series – Elderly Well-being & Built Environment
Date | 23 November & 28 December 2019
Time | 10:00 – 13:00
Venue | CUHK (Details)

Come co-create an age-friendly city!
Initiated by KPF, CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing’s project “Nutcrackers” focuses on the relationship between elderly well-being and built environment. From July 2019 to April 2020, Nutcrackers are curating ten full-day sessions, from morning talks to afternoon visits and workshops.

Morning talks for November and December are now open for public registration!

Register now


HKSE Summit
Social Enterprise Summit 2019

Date | 18-25 Nov 2019
Venue | Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre

Themed “Designing for Happiness” this year, over 60 speakers from across the globe – distinguished leaders, social entrepreneurs and scholars – will be sharing their insights on the latest trends and developments in social enterprises and social innovation around the world.

Don’t miss out on the International Symposium on 22 Nov – Mr Perkins Ho, ORKTS’s Head of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, will be sharing on the topic “Social Innovation through Technology Collaborations” with facilitator Dr Kee Chi-hing. JP (Chair of Fullness Social Enterprises Society), as well as representatives from St. James’ Settlement FOOD-CO and Microsoft!

Register now

More News & Events


Subscribe to Cubic Zine!

Cubic Zine regularly narrates social innovation stories from CUHK and around the world, encouraging each and every one of you to transform your research and expertise into actions that make an impact.

We value your feedback. Please drop us an email at and get to know more about the CUHK social innovation ecosystem!

Back to News