We sat down with Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation and Kaifong to talk about their collaboration and collective impact. Watch the video below. (videographer / Alastair Man)
“Success is not a solo act,” said Luke Tam, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kaifong Tour. The importance of collective impact is so profound, that it’s the foundation and the cornerstone of a lot of the successful impact projects.
In this blog, we explore the meaningful cross-sector collaboration between Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation and Kaifong Tour, Rooftop Republic, Happy Retired and Inclusive Impact. Get inspired by how NGO and social enterprises work together to orchestrate this impact project, and how we can remodel this and reapply to more of our projects.
*Dream Impact partners with The Executive Centre to launch ESG Innovation Lab, a dedicated ESG landmark and a visionary project to accelerate corporate-social ESG solutions and development. Register your interest now to start creating collective impact with us.
The beginning of collective impact
Sometimes, an idea is all it takes to spark a collective impact project.
Recent research reports unanimously show that young-olds and retirees remain very active in the society. They are dedicated to life-long learning and highly value personal growth.
Noticing these findings, although Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation habitually focuses its educational efforts on university students, they decided to explore the new community of young-olds, and a new collective impact idea started to blossom.
The beauty of collective impact is about bringing the communities, resources and expertise together for a common goal.
In this program, named “Sustainable and Fair Future Through the Gaps”, Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation came up with something called “cross-generation ambassadors”, engaging both university students and young-olds / young retirees to do something.
And what would be that “something”?
“The aim of the program is to provide the right skills and knowledge to our cross-generation ambassadors, so that they can help transform Hong Kong to a sustainable and fair city.”
– Kelvin Chow, Senior Project Officer of Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation
“Our program idea was to provide opportunities for the youth to socially mix with young-olds and retirees, before they co-design community routes for the public to appreciate our nature and history.”
– Maria Cheung, Chief Executive of Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation.
The idea was grand not without challenges. For one, how would Fair Trade Hong Kong start recruiting young-olds, when they had never worked with them? Also, with no prior experience of running community tours or training, how could they pull this together?
Meet the Partners in (Collective) Impact
Not all knights show up with shiny armour.
Being an integral part of the Dream Impact community, Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation was quick to identify suitable partners to bring this program into reality.
For the recruitment of young-olds and retirees, they reached out to Happy Retired – you may have heard of them from our first collective impact story – a social enterprise that helps young-olds aged 50 or above to find jobs and offers different experiences for them to continue to live a rich, meaningful life.
Apart from that, the program also involved several training sessions to equip the ambassadors with skills to conduct community tours as well as to incorporate key sustainable messages into the routes.
“Kaifong Tour, Rooftop Republic and Inclusive Impact immediately came to my mind, as they have been good at training community ambassadors, nurturing community environments and design thinking training respectively.”
– Maria Cheung, Chief Executive of Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation.
Kaifong Tour is a social enterprise that promotes sustainability by empowering kaifongs (neighbors) to become tour guides in different districts in Hong Kong.
Inclusive Impact specializes in training and workshops, leveraging social innovation concept to co-create collaboration models, using Lean Startup methodology to grow innovation teams and educating Design Thinking to understand unknown problems.
With expertise from such a diverse group of partners and social enterprises, the program covered various topics, including ecosystem, climate action, heritage conservation, and intergenerational integration and inclusion.
Why community tours ?
Luke Tam, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kaifong Tour sums it up well,” Storytelling is a very powerful tool to change people’s lives; whereas tour is a very intimate form of human dialogues and connection building. Put together, this will help people get a better understanding about what’s going on in Hong Kong, as well as the sustainable stories in our communities.”
“By utilizing the resources and also leveraging both of our strengths, we can achieve mutual economic benefits as well as greater social impact together.”
– Luke Tam, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kaifong Tour
Collective Impact, then what?
The success of this program not only means greater social impact, but also a confidence boost for our partners in looking for more collaboration opportunities and welcoming more new cross-sector collaborations.
“This program will certainly lead to another collective impact opportunity. Through this program, we have a better understanding of our partners’ strengths and we have learnt a lot from their expertise and knowledge,” Maria Cheung, Chief Executive of Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation.
“By consolidating the successful experience with Fair Trade Hong Kong, we hope to replicate and scale up our projects by working with more partners in different districts and sectors,” Luke Tam, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Kaifong Tour.
While Fair Trade Hong Kong Foundation will continue to promote the meaning behind the FairTrade mark and FairTrade Certification, they are also actively reaching out to socially-minded corporate partners to educate how Fair Trade helps achieve SDG and ESG.
Similarly for Kaifong Tour, as they accelerate their effort in empowering and training more leaders and ambassadors in different districts around Hong Kong, they look to work with more ESG-aware companies to fill the ESG market gaps, build more sustainable communities for Kaifongs in Hong Kong and beyond.
What can you do to create collective impact?
Dream Impact is Hong Kong’s largest network of social enterprises and impact ventures. In other words, we boast the most comprehensive portfolio of social innovation programs and ESG solutions.
Partner with us or subscribe to our ESG Innovation Lab service plans as the first step to creating collective impact with us: we are an ESG concierge, ready to help you accelerate your action-driven ESG strategies, collaborate with suitable social partners and executive your ESG initiatives. We also provide Board of Directors training, inclusive hiring, stakeholder management, and more professional services.
Register your interest now to tap into our impact community of 120+ partner organizations to shape your next move into a more sustainable future.
We look forward to hearing from you.