Insights on the lab movement in Asia

Insights from the Social Lab Symposium 2019 in Hong Kong

In this article, we summarise we provide some highlights from the Social Lab Symposium 2019, an event that explored the social labs movement in Asia and what it means to change a system. 

The social challenges we are facing nowadays are complex. They can no longer be solved by traditional planning methods and technocratic approaches. Instead of solely relying on social policy, every one of us has a role to play.

Collaborative and bottom-up approaches are the way forward for global cities around the world. People running the cities are embracing urban co-creation projects in order to gain access to the collective knowledge from NGOs, social enterprises and everyday citizens.

Launched in 2016, Jockey Club Make A Difference Social Lab is Hong Kong’s first community-initiated public services innovation lab. Funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, social labs are run with government agencies and citizens to design services and policies for a better public life, through community participation, design thinking and co-creative experiments. From libraries and parks, to streets and markets, Social Labs takes us away from our desks to co-create innovative solutions with and in the community.

In 2019, SIX partnered with MaD team to co-curate the Social Lab Symposium titled ‘Co-creating the city: Innovating for impact’. We invited similar lab initiatives from around the world to hear the stories of what it means to change the system, from inside and out.

We’ve put together a collection of different resources related to the conference here.

Opening by Ada Wong & Winnie Ying

Global stories – a quartet of co-creation experiments

Carolyn Curtis from The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (Australia)

Chelsea Mauldin from Public Policy Lab (New York City)

Stephane Vincent from La 27e Region (France)

Suryani Senja Alias (Malaysia)

Global Stories Q&A Session

4 global speakers have a Q&A conversation with Louise Pulford from SIX.

Social labs in Hong Kong – a new model of public participation

Social lab expert and researcher, Chris Sigaloff (Amsterdam) shares insights from the social labs experiments in Hong Kong with Ada Wong.

Keynote closing – for a new beginning

A keynote conversation between Chris Sigaloff and Giulio Quaggiotto (UNDP)