Welcome Remarks by John
John informed members that in the last two years Esperanza has been working with a myriad of partners in and outside of Hong Kong to reimagine how we should teach and learn in the 21st century. It organised the Reimagine Education Challenge last year, and more recently the Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship to identify promising innovators in the ed-tech space.
In addition to supporting education innovators, Esperanza has also initiated discussions on the future of early childhood education, blended learning for K to 12 students, as well as higher and continuing education.
“We have chosen to adopt the name Esperanza because we believe the most critical choice we can make for ourselves at a time like now is to be optimistic. And there is nothing more hopeful than giving our future generations the opportunity to realise and unleash their potentials.”
John C Tsang, Founder of Esperanza
2021 Work Plan
Rachel Chan, Co-Founder of Esperanza, said a key priority of 2021 would be building the education innovation ecosystem. Building on Esperanza’s advocacy work in 2020, it would work with partners to pilot a number of projects to take forward the ideas, as well as building the community and their capacity to support the change-makers. Some ideas on the drawing board included:
- Capacity building programme for educators on blended learning
- Raising awareness and understanding of edtech investment with mainstream and impact investors, family offices, foundations and NGOs
- Pilot projects on early childhood education innovation
- Fostering partnership between academia and education innovation ventures in developing, validating and measuring the effectiveness of their solutions
- Facilitating partnerships between the business community and digital learning providers to reskill and upskill the workforce
- Introducing innovative and effective edtech solutions to Hong Kong educators and students
- Recruiting more members to the Esperanza community through an enhanced membership system
Supporting Education Changemakers
The four winners of the 2019 Reimagine Education Challenge Winners updated members on their work and the support they need for the future development.
- Tecky Academy has launched 12 cohorts with over 300 students enrolled and opened a new centre in Sheung Wan. It has introduced a free online platform (Tecky Code) for beginner programmers. It has also collaborated with another challenge winner, Design for Hong Kong, to integrate design thinking in its programmes. Going forward, Tecky Academy would like to work with more hiring partners to provide work opportunities for its graduates. It also hopes to offer scholarship with foundations to enable more people to benefit from the programmers. Tecky Academy is looking to develop articulation agreements with academic institutes to offer masters degrees to its graduates.
- Design for Hong Kong has inspired 450 children and 100 educators to design a better world through different programmes, including students with special education needs and under-privileged background. Online design jams were conducted in lieu of face-to-face workshops because of the pandemic. Going forward, Design for Hong Kong would like to promote its Project PM (afternoon programmes) to schools. It also welcomes collaboration with NGOs that would like to instill creative thinking and confidence in less privileged children.
- MagiCube has become a Microsoft Global Training Partner, specialising in equipping students with AI skills and enabling them to create AI devices. People who complete the training can obtain a Microsoft AI certificate. It has also enhanced the user-friendliness of its UNA STEM learning platform and introduced a train-the-trainer programme to enable more people to use the platform.
- Boundless has inspired and empowered more than 40 high achieving but under resourced students this year through mentorship and other confidence building programmes. Because of the pandemic, it has conducted its first career aspiration and English workshop online. Going forward, Boundless would like to recruit more mentors to equip students with the exposure and knowledge. It is also looking for help to build the capacity of its team of university students so that they can build better programmes.
Ideas from participating members
Members shared their thoughts on what Esperanza could support:
- Knowledge sharing from experts and a network of people with similar interests
- Developing connections in the Greater Bay Area
- Network building with a database of members and networking events
- Matching business sector, students and other communities to come up with innovative ideas to solve social problems
- Facilitating different stakeholders to work together
“We all need to learn different ways of dealing with a normal that is no longer normal anymore. We need to put our heads together to come up with something that would be sustainable for the future,” John concluded.