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【Cubic Zine Issue 4】Scholar-Social Innovators: Gearing CUHK Up for Social Innovation with Prof Fanny Cheung

Happy new year! The SoCUBE team wishes all of you growth in both wisdom and happiness! Join us in generating ideas that address the pain points in society.

We proudly deliver you a weighty issue of Cubic Zine – Follow PVC Prof Fanny Cheung back to Hong Kong in the 1970s, when women’s rights remain backward; and learn how SoCUBE came into being from Perkins Ho, as well as his personal entrepreneurial journey. May their stories inspire you to make changes in this new decade!

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Scholar-Social Innovator → LOCAL

From “War on Rape” to “Farm to Table”: Prof Fanny Cheung’s 40 years of Driving Social Change

Prof Fanny Cheung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), CUHK (Photo: ORKTS)

“(The rape victims) had no support. Stigmatised and put to shame, they dared not tell their own family. Dial 999? First to arrive on the scene were not the cops, but the reporters. The next day the victim’s photo and address would be all over the news, (the disclosure of private information) completely unregulated…that was 1976.”

Prof Fanny Cheung added that women pregnant from rape were even barred from legal abortion! So in her spare time, the then-clinical psychologist launched a “War on Rape” campaign and set up women’s centres…

Over four whole decades, how did she leverage her expertise and community resources for societal progress? How did she transfer her fruitful experience to the University and nurture its enterpreneurial culture?

Read the full interview

Epilogue: A Case of Cultural Difference: Developing the Chinese “Personality Test”


SoCUBE at a glance

SoCUBE is the city’s first university platform that advocates social innovation from academia. Like the arrows pointing outwards in different directions, we proactively strive to generate impact from within the institution towards all corners of the community.

The arrows assemble into an open cube – a space where multifaceted social issues are addressed from multiple perspectives, and where great minds freely meet one another – that ideas may raise roots and flourish.

The platform offers two funding schemes and all-rounded support, enabling over 20 projects on social innovation or social enterprises from all CUHK faculties.

Women Protection Movement | Scholarly keyword

Fanny explained that “rape” remained a taboo subject in the 1970s and 80s. Taking the local culture into consideration, she and her comrades modified the Chinese version of “War on Rape” into “Women Protection Movement (保護婦女運動)”.

While we more openly discuss such offence nowadays, the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong put forward a suggestion to replace the term “rape” with “sexual penetration without consent”. It is hoped that this relieves stigma on the victims and covers a broader scope of conviction. Some welcome the renaming, whereas others worry it’ll dilute the severity of the crime.



Hong Kong I CSV I G for Good

A for Apple, B for Boy……Remember the ABC song we sang when we were kids? “G For Good” is as fundamental as such when we inherit the kindness gene in business. Adhering to the universal value of “G For Good” and carrying the same name, this Hong Kong company cum Impact Fund promotes Creating Shared Value (CSV) – a concept introduced in Harvard Business Review by Harvard professors Michael Porter and Mark Kramer; G For Good stressed that they incubate projects that only profit from solving a social issue.

South Korea | North Korean defectors | Space Yovel Cafe

Yonhap News Agency reported that around 32,000 North Korean defectors were living in South Korea, over 70% of them female. Assisting their integration into society (especially in terms of vocation) has grown to be a challenge to the government. 38-year-old Joseph Park, a defector himself, fled to China in 1999 and moved to Seoul 5 years later. Following his university graduation, he prepared for 2 years before setting up a social enterprise, empowering his fellows by means of coffee. Another defector confessed to having never heard of such thing as coffee in North Korea. Having immersed in South Korea’s coffee culture (which invokes a sense of luxury, beauty and aroma), she has now become a barista.


Looking for funding to launch your social innovation project?

CUHK runs two funding schemes that support researchers to get down to social innovation – KPF and S-KPF. Selected 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 for 2019/20 are already closed. For those who submitted proposals, watch out for our results announcement (by early March 2020)!

Missed the deadline? (Oops!) Prepare for the next round by learning the details below!

Apply for KPF
Apply for S-KPF


Scholar-Social Innovator → TECH TO SOCIAL

SoCUBE, A History: How Perkins Ho Lends a Hand to Scholar-innovators

Mr Perkins Ho, Head of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services, CUHK (Photo: ORKTS)

“CUHK has so much to offer, especially when it comes to social innovation. Different departments made valuable contributions, but how come the outside world seldom hears about it?” Perkins, currently Head of Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation under Office of Research and Knowledge Transfer Services (ORKTS), agreed that external promotion tended to be low on the University’s list of priorities.

With SoCUBE’s soft launch in October 2019, he sought to push CUHK’s “treasures” to the forefront of people’s minds, on top of enhancing communication and interaction with the industry.

His fourth year at CUHK, what is Perkins’s biggest takeaway as he learned the ropes of social innovation? What are his observations from poring over tens of proposals?

Read the full interview
Epilogue: Starting Up, Twice: Ex-IT Guy Fathoms the Pain Points in Business


【Free registration】Seminar Series – Elderly Well-being & Built Environment

Nutcrackers' September workshop. (Photo: Nutcrackers Facebook page)

How is elderly health relevant to architectural design?

Initiated by KPF, CUHK Jockey Club Institute of Ageing’s project “Nutcrackers” focuses on the relationship between elderly well-being and built environment. Morning talks for January and February will be delivered to you by guest speakers as Prof Jean Woo (Emeritus Professor of Medicine), Prof Helene Fung (Chairperson of Department of Psychology) and professionals in charge of the iconic landmarks – The Mills and Tai Kwun.

Seats are limited, act fast!

Register now

More Nutcrackers event photos
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