Fung Scholars Network Newsletter Dec 2021

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Message from Editor-in-chief H e l l o, a n d w e l c o m e t o t h e 1 9 t h i s s u e o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s N e t w o r k N e w s l e t t e r ! I n t h i s e d i t i o n o f t h e n e w s l e t t e r, w e c o n d u c t e d a s e r i e s o f i n t e r v i e w s f o c u s i n g o n Fu n g S c h o l a r s ’ l i f e s t o r i e s t o c e l e b r a t e t h e 1 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p e s t a b l i s h m e n t , a n d w e c a l l e d f o r a r t i c l e s d e d i c a t e d t o Fu n g S c h o l a r s ’ h o p e a n d a s p i r a t i o n f o r t h e p o s t p a n d e m i c w o r l d . T h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s & Fe l l o w s n e t w o r k i s g r o w i n g r a p i d l y a n d i t h a s connected bright minds across disciplines, industries and geographic locations. On behalf o f t h e e d i t o r i a l t e a m , I w o u l d l i k e t o e x p r e s s m y h e a r t f e l t g r a t i t u d e t o t h e Fo u n d a t i o n a n d all the inter viewees for their generous suppor t. Ta k i n g t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y, I w o u l d a l s o l i k e t o t h a n k m y t e a m m a t e s f o r t h e i r d e d i c a t i o n a n d hard work in the last 6 months. This newsletter would not exist without their endeavors. I hope you enjoy reading the Newsletter and thank you for your continued suppor t! Should you have any suggestions, please feel free to contact me ( jingjingcher@163.com) or Erin (erinlili@fungfoundation.org). If you have something that you would like to share with our f e l l o w Fu n g S c h o l a r s , p l e a s e d o n o t h e s i t a t e t o w r i t e i n a n d c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e n e x t e d i t i o n .

Eve Zhang (FS2019/20, Xiamen University)

The Editorial Board would like to thank all the writers who have contributed to the diverse topics and opinions included in this newsletter. We would also like to add that the Editorial Board and the Victor and William Fung Foundation take no responsibility for the views expressed in this publication.


UPDATE FOUNDATION

7

INTERVIEW WITH DR. VICTOR FUNG

10

Ken Fung

SINGAPORE CHAPTER - #WORDSOFSTRENGTH CAMPAIGN

14

Narcissa Koh

LIFE STORIES

2

INTERVIEW WITH KATHLEEN SCHWIND

26

Helen Qu/ Eve Zhang/ Mavis Fan

INTERVIEW WITH CLARISSE PIERRE Maria Romanova

32

INTERVIEW WITH JEFFERSON CHEN Freya Rock

38

INTERVIEW WITH DR. GIGI CHI TING AU-YEUNG Eve Zhang

42

INTERVIEW WITH JULIA JASKOLSKA Helen Qu

52

INTERVIEW WITH GORICK NG

56

3

Helen Qu/ Freya Rock

INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN LO

POST-PANDEMIC ERA WHAT COMES AFTER THE TOKYO 2020 OLYMPICS?

72

INTERVIEW WITH JAMIE KO

62

Helen Qu/ Euqani Fung

Yuting Cai

COVID-19, THE NHS AND BRITISH SCHOOLS

80

Ken Fung

60

BIOGRAPHY

Nikita Hayward

86

4

EDITORIAL & WRITERS

c o nt e n ts .

c o n t e n ts .

1



UPDATE FROM THE FOUNDATION/ FUNG SCHOL ARS COMMUNITY



FS Network Newsletter #19 | 7

foundation 15th anniversary of the Fung Scholars programme- What’s on? Vi c t o r a n d Wi l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n V i c t o r a n d W i l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n w a s e s t a b l i s h e d i n 2 0 0 6 t o c o m m e m o r a t e t h e c e n t e n a r y o f t h e Fu n g G r o u p b y D r. V i c t o r Fu n g , G r o u p C h a i r m a n a n d D r. W i l l i a m Fu n g , G r o u p D e p u t y C h a i r m a n o f t h e Fu n g G r o u p w i t h t h e i r p e r s o n a l f u n d s . T h i s y e a r w e c e l e b r a t e Fu n g G r o u p’s 1 1 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y a n d a l s o t h e 1 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s a n d Fe l l o w s p r o g r a m m e . T h e Fo u n d a t i o n a i m s t o p r o m o t e l e a d e r s h i p d e v e l o p m e n t , t h r o u g h s c h o l a r s h i p s , fellowships, and educational programmes in par tnership with universities and t h o u g h t l e a d e r s h i p, t h r o u g h r e s e a r c h a n d i n n o v a t i o n , w i t h t h i n k - t a n k s a n d t e r t i a r y educational institutions. In the increasing trend of globalization, graduates with international outlook and experience of diverse cultures and environments are human capital critical to the c o n t i n u o u s p r o g r e s s o f a s o c i e t y. T h e c r e a t i o n o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s P r o g r a m m e r e f l e c t s Fu n g’s l o n g s t a n d i n g c o m m i t m e n t s t o b u i l d i n g h u m a n c a p i t a l i n t h e communities in which the Group operates. We b e l i e v e t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s a n d Fu n g Fe l l o w s w i l l b e n e f i t g r e a t l y f r o m t h i s P r o g r a m m e and, with wider exposure and experiences, will be able to contribute much more to the community at large. - D r. V i c t o r Fu n g , C h a i r m a n , V i c t o r a n d W i l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n

T h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s P r o g r a m m e T h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s P r o g r a m m e n u r t u r e s f u t u r e w o r l d l e a d e r s t h r o u g h s u p p o r t i n g university students to experience different cultures and environments early in their c a r e e r. T h e r e c i p i e n t s o f t h e s c h o l a r s h i p s a r e c a l l e d t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s ( o r Fe l l o w s for post-graduates).

A s o f N o v 2 0 2 1 , t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s Programme is established in 33 universities worldwide with 6,000+ Fu n g S c h o l a r s a n d Fu n g Fe l l o w s .


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foundation 15th anniversary of the Fung Scholars programme- What’s on? Fu n g S c h o l a r s L e a d e r s h i p Co n f e r e n c e T h e Fo u n d a t i o n o r g a n i z e s t h e a n n u a l L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e a n d o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s t o b r i n g o u r Fu n g S c h o l a r s a n d Fu n g Fe l l o w s t o g e t h e r. T h e L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e i s t h e h i g h l i g h t o f t h e y e a r. I t s e r v e s a s a p l a t f o r m f o r t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s & Fu n g Fe l l o w s f r o m d i f f e r e n t r e g i o n s t o c o n n e c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r, t o e x c h a n g e i d e a s a n d t o l e a r n f r o m r e n o w n e d s p e a k e r s t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e s and insights. W i t h CO V I D - 1 9 c o n t i n u i n g t o p u t r e s t r i c t i o n s o n t r a v e l a n d f o r s a f e t y r e a s o n s , t h e a n n u a l c o n f e r e n c e w a s m a d e v i r t u a l l y a v a i l a b l e t o a l l Fu n g S c h o l a r s a n d Fu n g Fe l l o w s a c r o s s t h e g l o b e i n 2 0 2 0 a n d 2 0 2 1 . T h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e 2 0 2 1 i s a Fu n g S c h o l a r s - l e d c o n f e r e n c e . Fu n g S c h o l a r s w e r e i n v i t e d t o s h a r e t h e i r v i e w s a n d i n s i g h t s o n t h e f o l l o w i n g t o p i c s : Fu t u r e o f Wo r k , D i g i t a l E c o n o my, G l o b a l i z a t i o n o n 3 0 O c t ; a n d S u s t a i n a b i l i t y, E q u a l i t y, E d u c a t i o n & L i f e - l o n g L e a r n i n g , P r o j e c t s / S t a r t u p s w i t h S o c i a l I m p a c t on 6 Nov. D r. V i c t o r Fu n g , C h a i r m a n , V i c t o r a n d W i l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n , M r. S p e n c e r Fu n g , D i r e c t o r, V i c t o r a n d W i l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n a n d G r o u p E x e c u t i v e C h a i r m a n , L i & Fu n g , M s . B a r b a r a M e y n e r t , D i r e c t o r, V i c t o r a n d W i l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n , S e n i o r A d v i s o r t o t h e Fu n g G r o u p, M s . Pa m e l a M a r, E x e c u t i v e V i c e P r e s i d e n t – K n o w l e d g e a n d A p p l i c a t i o n , Fu n g A c a d e m y, Fu n g G r o u p s h a r e d t h e i r o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e d i s c u s s i o n and gave their feedback and comments.

Fu n g S c h o l a r s Le a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e 2 0 2 1 D a y 1

Fu n g S c h o l a r s Le a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e 2 0 2 1 D a y 2


FS Network Newsletter #19 | 9

City-based Chapter To f u r t h e r e n h a n c e t h e n e t w o r k , c i t y - b a s e d c h a p t e r s i n H o n g K o n g , S i n g a p o r e , To k y o, S h a n g h a i , B e i j i n g , N a n j i n g , B o s t o n , L o n d o n , A u s t r a l i a , a n d E u r o p e h a v e b e e n established over the past 15 years. T h e Pa r i s C h a p t e r w a s n e w l y s e t u p i n 2 0 2 1 b y C a t h y N g ( F S 2 0 1 2 / 1 3 , T h e C h i n e s e U n i v e r s i t y o f H o n g K o n g ) a n d Pa m e l a Wo n g ( F S 2 0 1 3 / 1 4 , T h e C h i n e s e u n i v e r s i t y o f H o n g K o n g ) . C o m e t o s a y H i t o t h e m w h e n y o u w o u l d t r a v e l t o Pa r i s !

Shanghai Chapter

To k y o C h a p t e r

Beijing Chapter

Hong Kong Chapter

Germany Chapter

Pa r i s C h a p t e r

Lo n d o n C h a p t e r

Singapore Chapter

Australia Chapter


10 | FS Network Newsletter #19

Interview with Dr. Victor Fung Chairman, Victor and William Fung Foundation, and Group Chairman, Fung Group Interviewer: Ken Fung (FS2016/17, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

R e i nv e n t i o n s o f H o n g K o n g – t h e p a s t a n d the future “ We r e i n v e n t e d o u r s e l v e s t w i c e i n H o n g K o n g ,” s a y s D r. Fu n g , s i t t i n g i n h i s o f f i c e i n L i Fu n g To w e r, a b u i l d i n g t h a t w i t n e s s e d the historic transformations of Hong Kong. “A f t e r Wo r l d Wa r I I , H o n g K o n g s a w t h e influx of refugees and entrepreneurs from Shanghai. It was their hard work and the go-getter spirit that accelerated economic development, culminating in the first transformation - our first reinvention - of H o n g K o n g .” D r. Fu n g e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e s e c o n d t i m e we reinvented ourselves was when China opened up its economy in 1979. Businesses soon found themselves uncompetitive i n H o n g K o n g’s i n t e n s i v e l a b o u r m a r k e t compared to that in Mainland China, so they reinvented themselves into ser vice b a s e d i n s t i t u t i o n s . To d o t h i s , t h e y s t a r t e d

by specialising in design and retail at the front, supported by the updated logistics i n t h e b a c k - e n d . Fa s t f o r w a r d 5 0 y e a r s , a n d we will find ourselves in a new predicament o f s u s t a i n i n g s u c h a n i m m e n s e e c o n o m y. Therefore, he believes that now is the time for the third transformation of Hong Kong. “ I h a v e b e e n d o i n g a l o t o f t h i n k i n g , K e n ,” he says philosophically as he sips freshly b r e w e d t e a , “a b o u t h o w w e c a n c o n t i n u e to connect Hong Kong with the rest of the w o r l d .” D r. Fu n g p o i n t s o u t t h a t H o n g K o n g w i l l reinvent itself by extending its ser vice industries, financial ser vices and supply chain ser vices for example, into the formation of the new par tnership with the Greater Bay Area (GBA). With this reinvention, the global outreach of Hong Kong can tap into new manufacturing competitiveness, one that is no longer labor-intensive but rather digital. “Hong Kong plays an increasingly crucial role in t h i s ,” h e s a y s , “a n d g i v e n t h e 1 4 t h f i v e - y e a r plan, with the acceleration of internal and external circulations and the consumption within and beyond China, Hong Kong will certainly benefit from the establishment o f c o n n e c t i o n s b e t w e e n h e r s e l f, m a i n l a n d C h i n a , a n d t h e r e s t o f t h e w o r l d .” I n f a c t , t h e 6 4 0 0 Fu n g S c h o l a r s , l o c a l a n d a b r o a d , can also play a part, keeping up with the times by knowing and engaging with the


FS Network Newsletter #19 | 11

Motherland and the countries beyond. “ We a r e a l l w o r k i n g w i t h m o r e o r l e s s t h e same problems. But because we are from different par ts of the world, we formulate t h o s e p r o b l e m s d i f f e r e n t l y.” T h i s b e l i e f h a s l e d t o t h e f o u n d i n g o f Fu n g G l o b a l Institute and the Asia Global Institute (AGI), where key world issues such as climate change, evolution of economies and the development of technology are e x a m i n e d a n d e x p l a i n e d . D r. Fu n g a s s e r t s the necessity of looking at the global issues not only from an international perspective, b u t m o r e i m p o r t a n t l y, a n A s i a n p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t w a r r a n t s i n t e r n a t i o n a l a t t e n t i o n . “A s Asians are becoming increasingly important in the world, the world needs to understand Asia. This also implies that the role of Asia h a s t o b e e x p l a i n e d p r o p e r l y,” h e n o t e s . Sweet moments – here and there D r. Fu n g f o n d l y r e c a l l s w a t c h i n g f i r e w o r k s o n t h e r o o f t o p a t t h e O c e a n Te r m i n a l , w h e r e t h e c e n t e n a r y o f t h e Fu n g G r o u p w a s joyously celebrated. Equally memorable a r e t h e a n n u a l Fu n g S c h o l a r s L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e s w h e r e h e a n d Fu n g S c h o l a r s exchanged ideas and took problems into wider perspectives. A s k e d a b o u t h i s p a s t i m e s , D r. Fu n g s a y s h e p l a y s g o l f o c c a s i o n a l l y. H e a l s o g l a d l y

describes himself as a researcher and an avid reader studying business and international development. Reading aside, D r. Fu n g r e c h a r g e s b y s p e n d i n g t i m e w i t h h i s f a m i l y, w h i c h c a n b e a l u x u r y a t t i m e s . “I have 6 grandchildren who are busier than I am, which makes it a little bit difficult for m e t o m a k e a p p o i n t m e n t s w i t h t h e m ,” h e r e m a r k s j o k i n g l y. 3 q u a l i t i e s Fu n g S c h o l a r s s h o u l d p r o u d l y possess Exposure. Fu n g Scholars are best characterised as future leaders who are exposed to different cultures. “It is the f o u n d i n g t h e m e o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s Programme that we give young people exposure early in their careers - meaning before they graduate from universities - to g e t o u t s i d e a n d e x p e r i e n c e t h e w o r l d . We believe this can fundamentally change the way they see the world and help develop t h e n e x t g e n e r a t i o n o f g l o b a l l e a d e r s .” h e says. Commitment. In addition to personal e n d e a v o r s , Fu n g S c h o l a r s w i l l m a k e a commitment to the society and beyond. “ I d o n o t e x p e c t Fu n g S c h o l a r s , h o w e v e r, to have the same level of commitment t o t h e p u b l i c g o o d ,” D r. Fu n g s a y s , a s h e understands we all have different ways


12 | FS Network Newsletter #19

of helping and improving our immediate c o m m u n i t i e s , “ b u t I w o u l d e n c o u r a g e Fu n g Scholars to think about how they will commit themselves to making a difference i n t h e s o c i e t y a n d i n t h e w o r l d .” Pe r s e v e r a n c e . Fu n g S c h o l a r s n e e d t o maintain their focus and faithfully commit t h e m s e l v e s t o l o n g - t e r m p u r s u i t s . “ Yo u cannot make a difference with 3 minutes o f p a t i e n c e ,” h e e x p l a i n s e m p h a t i c a l l y. “ Yo u c a n’ t d o i t f o r w e e k s , t h e n r u s h o u t a n d m a k e a d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e w o r l d .” C i t i n g h i m s e l f a s a n e x a m p l e , D r. Fu n g s t r e s s e s the impor tance of steadfast perseverance, which he believes to be vital for success: “ I ’ v e c o m m i t t e d f o r 5 0 y e a r s , a n d i f I ’m l u c k y e n o u g h , I ’ l l c o m m i t a n o t h e r 5 0 y e a r s .”

synthesise ideas, and with the willingness to compromise. “If you listen carefully and understand where everyone is coming from, you have the basis of compromise. The g r o u p’s i d e a s , w h e n c o m b i n e d , a r e a l w a y s b e t t e r t h a n a n y o n e’s s i n g l e i d e a .” Another defining characteristic of good listening is the capacity to hold back a n d r e s i s t t h e t e m p t a t i o n t o a i r o n e’s o p i n i o n s . T h u s D r. Fu n g e m p h a s i s e s t h a t rushing out to speak, without a genuine regard for others’ views, shows no sign of d e e p t h i n k i n g . “ I d o n’ t k n o w a n y b o d y w h o can talk and listen at the same time. The f a c t t h a t y o u’r e t a l k i n g m e a n s y o u’r e n o t l i s t e n i n g . Yo u c a n e i t h e r l i s t e n o r t a l k .” T h e Wa y Fo r w a r d

A good listener - where to find one? Asked if there was one single golden rule f o r s u c c e s s , D r. Fu n g e x h o r t s u s t o m a s t e r t h e a r t o f l i s t e n i n g . “ I w o u l d n o t s a y i t ’s a rule, but one technique is learning how to listen. I call on record to say this: some of the best managers I know are very good listeners. Some people might say ‘Oh - to be a g o o d l e a d e r, I n e e d t o b e a g o o d s p e a k e r.’ I t ’s s o r t o f t r u e . Yo u n e e d t o b e a b l e t o d e l i v e r a g o o d s p e e c h . H o w e v e r, I d o n’ t t h i n k i t ’s a s i m p o r t a n t a s t h e e v e r y d a y s k i l l o f l i s t e n i n g .” h e s a y s . D r. Fu n g d e f i n e s a g o o d l i s t e n e r a s o n e w h o is capable of listening with his eyes open to body language, with the readiness to

D r. Fu n g b e l i e v e s t h a t o n e o f t h e u n d e r l y i n g reasons for world issues ranging from protectionism to extremism, is the growing wealth gap that has been clearly seen worldwide and, to some degree, widened by the advent of technology used in the e c o n o m y. “ I n a d d i t i o n t o o t h e r p r e s s i n g issues such as climate change and sustainable development, this increasing gap between the rich and the poor must be recognised and addressed not only by the w o r l d b u t a l s o b y y o u , Fu n g S c h o l a r s .” I t i s D r Fu n g’s b e l i e f t h a t Fu n g S c h o l a r s should embody the idea of selfimprovement, whereby they prepare themselves to give back to society whenever


FS Network Newsletter #19 | 13

they can, unencumbered by preconceived n o t i o n s a n d b i a s e s . M o r e o v e r, t h e c u l t u r a l exposure they have had – which is the h a l l m a r k o f Fu n g S c h o l a r s – s h o u l d e n d o w them with the leadership skills and capabilities to realise long-term goals. “ The e n d - g o a l i s t o m a k e y o u a b e t t e r l e a d e r,” whom he characterizes as one who is action oriented not just as an individual but as a p r o u d Fu n g S c h o l a r. “ Yo u a r e a m e m b e r o f an ever growing network that facilitates idea exchange and group action, which c a n b r i n g a b o u t l a s t i n g c h a n g e s .” D r. Fu n g also encourages the development of local c h a p t e r s w h i c h d e e p e n s o n e’s e x p o s u r e a n d provides leadership roles.

“A s t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s P r o g r a m m e d e v e l o p s , I h o p e Fu n g S c h o l a r s w i l l c r e a t e m o r e oppor tunities for collective growth. They can build a learning platform and form a closer relationship with the Asia Global I n s t i t u t e , t h e Fu n g G r o u p, a n d t h e Fu n g A c a d e m y, e t c . Fo r e x a m p l e , i f w e f i n d t h a t a l o t o f Fu n g S c h o l a r s a r e i n t e r e s t e d in the development of a certain type of entrepreneurial skills in Africa, then we can be instrumental, putting together some p r o g r a m m e s t h a t Fu n g S c h o l a r s c a n s i g n u p for and par ticipate in - a graduate course f o r Fu n g S c h o l a r s i f y o u w i l l .”


14 | FS Network Newsletter #19

Singapore Chapter - #WordsOfStrength Campaign Narcissa Koh (FS2017/18, National University of Singapore) As 2020 drew to a close, the Singapore Fu n g Scholars chapter organised a snail mail activity to connect within the community through the CO V I D situation. Fu n g Scholars were invited to reflect, condense and share a quote/message with a photo appended of a representative moment in 2020 in a campaign t i t l e d “ Wo r d s o f S t r e n g t h”. The campaign serves as an effor t in continuation of the #BeMySunshineMovement campaign the Singapore chapter initiated a year back, where members of the community were encouraged to practice mindfulness and spread happiness and positivity to those around us.


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N o t e s & p i c t u r e s f r o m Fu n g S c h o l a r s :

Tw e n t y y e a r s f r o m n o w y o u w i l l b e m o r e d i s a p p o i n t e d b y t h e t h i n g s t h a t y o u d i d n’ t d o t h a n b y t h e o n e s y o u d i d d o . S o t h r o w o f f t h e b o w l i n e s . S a i l a wa y f r o m t h e s a f e h a r b o r. C a t c h t h e t r a d e w i n d s i n y o u r s a i l s . E x p l o r e . D r e a m . D i s c o v e r. Fu n f a c t - t h e q u o t e w a s f r o m H . J a c k s o n B r o w n’s m o t h e r, n o t M a r k Tw a i n a s m o s t b e l i e v e L i Yi n g H o ( F S 1 7 / 1 8 , S M U )


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2020 was a year of realising what I’ve always taken for granted (going out of the house, ease of travel), and also realising I have the ability to adapt to unexpected situations (and change my mindset towards it). This photo is an embroidery craft project I did, where I b r o u g h t s o m e p l a c e s I w i s h e d I c o u l d t r a v e l t o, r i g h t here to my own home. When life gives you lemons, make l e m o n a d e ! A n d d o n’ t f o r g e t t h e s w e e t a p p l e j u i c e t h a t you were always able to get, but took for granted :) Jamie Ko (FS09/10, SMU)


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Life is full of colour if you look up and star t noticing Gek Han Khoo (FS10/11, SMU)


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2 0 2 0 d i d n’ t t u r n o u t t o b e a l o s t y e a r f o r m e , j u s t g o t t a k e e p b e l i e v i n g a n d g i v i n g m y b e s t , t h e r e’ l l b e l i g h t a t the end of the tunnel Tz i n Wa i P h o o n ( F S 1 3 / 1 4 , N U S )


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Hope this message finds you well! Here is a quote to remember for tough days and bad days, where you feel l i k e y o u r b e s t i s n’ t e n o u g h . To m o r r o w i s a f r e s h n e w day to be tackled bravely! Pe i L i n g Ta n ( F S 1 7 / 1 8 , N U S )


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In a world where you can be anything, be kind. That includes being kind to yourself! Hope you and your family have been well and may 2021 be a better year :) Stay safe and healthy! J i a Yi Wo n g ( F S 1 8 / 1 9 , N U S )


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Hello! 2020 has been a tough year and things might n o t h a v e t u r n e d o u t t h e w a y y o u e x p e c t e d t h e m t o. H o w e v e r, w e c a n a l w a y s l e t o u r i n n e r l i g h t s h i n e a n d b e a b e a c o n o f p o s i t i v i t y t o o t h e r s . T h e r e’s a l w a y s a reason to smile and be happy despite the external circumstances. Keep shining your light, the world needs it! Charis Loo (FS18/19, SMU)


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“Only when we slow down can we finally see clearly our relationships, our thoughts, our pain. As we slow down, w e a r e n o l o n g e r t a n g l e d i n t h e m . We can step out and appreciate them to w h a t t h e y a r e .” — H a e n i m S u n i m Pe r s o n a l l y, 2 0 2 0 w a s f i l l e d w i t h m a n y downs and self-challenges. I made the difficult decision to tender after many months of deep thinking. It is only after where I really had the time to slow down and reflect fully on the little things around me. As we enter t h e n e w y e a r, I w i s h f o r y o u t h e v e r y s a m e , g r e a t e r c l a r i t y, c o n s c i o u s n e s s of those who have been there for you, reminders of happiness when you dwell on pains and the opportunity to look at yourself without judgement. :) Anon – 1


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Remember to take a deep breathe, live laugh, love. The world is huge and we are all very small. Anon 2



LIFE STORIES


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Interview with Kathleen Schwind (FS 2017/18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) : A curiosity-driven journey Interviewer/Co-editor: Helen Qu (FS 2018/19,2019/20, Harvard University), Eve Zhang (FS 2019/20, Xiamen University) Editor: Mavis Fan (FS 2013/14, The University of Hong Kong)

K a t h l e e n S c h w i n d i s a 2 0 1 7 Fu n g S c h o l a r. S h e h o l d s a b a c h e l o r ’s a n d m a s t e r ’s f r o m M I T, a n d an MPhil from the University of Cambridge i n I n t e r n a t i o n a l R e l a t i o n s a n d Po l i t i c s . H e r primar y research focuses on water security in the Middle East and Nor th Africa, the r o l e o f f r e s h w a t e r i n t h e I s r a e l i - Pa l e s t i n i a n conflict, and the role of entrepreneurship in n a t i o n a l s e c u r i t y. S h e h a s w o r k e d , s t u d i e d , and conducted research in 12 countries on 5 continents on issues related to water s e c u r i t y, i n t e r n a t i o n a l d e v e l o p m e n t , a n d t h e intersection between urban planning and t e c h n o l o g y. S h e i s t h e f o u n d e r o f t h e G AT E Olympics, the Central Coast and MIT Science Bowls, and has worked for the US Depar tment o f E n e r g y, t h e U S D e p a r t m e n t o f S t a t e , t h e U S D e p a r t m e n t o f D e f e n s e , a n d w i t h a v a r i e t y o f academic institutions, special interest groups, NGOs, industries, and local governments on t o p i c s r a n g i n g f r o m S T E M e d u c a t i o n , i n t e r n a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s , e n v i r o n m e n t a l p o l i c y, d e f e n s e innovation, and conflict resolution. This fall, Kathleen will be beginning her MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

H e l e n : Co u l d y o u p l e a s e s h a r e w i t h u s s o m e b a c k g r o u n d a b o u t y o u r s e l f, s u c h a s w h e r e d i d y o u g r o w u p, y o u r p e r s o n a l interest, and how did you discover your research interest? Kathleen: I was born and raised in California, and grew up in a mixed culture - my mother is Japanese and grew up in Brazil, and

m y f a t h e r i s o f E u r o p e a n d e s c e n t . I d i d n’ t fully realize the impact such a background could have on my development until high school and college. Because I grew up w i t h s u c h a r i c h c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e , i t ’s n o t surprising that I love the travelling aspect of my research work in par ticular - I get to immerse myself in diverse cultures while working with professionals and exper ts


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Presenting research as par t of a special interest group at the UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador as a sophomore

from different fields as we create solutions to challenges. A t M I T, I m a j o r e d i n u r b a n s t u d i e s a n d planning with a focus on negotiation and environmental policy for my undergraduate programme, and later investigated the role o f w a t e r i n t h e I s r a e l Pa l e s t i n i a n c o n f l i c t f o r m y m a s t e r ’s a t M I T. Growing up in California, I had learnt t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f w a t e r. H o w e v e r, I d i d n’ t r e a l i z e i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s a n d r o l e in geopolitical affairs, especially in the Middle East and North Africa, until I started traveling and working abroad. After writing m y f i r s t m a s t e r ’s t h e s i s o n t h e t o p i c , I w e n t to the University of Cambridge to broaden my knowledge and gain an international perspective on the wider freshwater challenges in the region.

During my water research, I looked into c a s e s t u d i e s i n t h e J o r d a n R i v e r Va l l e y a n d in the Nile River Basin, focusing on the transboundary water negotiations between countries and how those negotiations (or lack thereof ) impacted the geopolitical situation in the region. I planned to go to business school at Stanford immediately after Cambridge, but decided to defer due to the pandemic. I spent the year between Cambridge and Stanford working as an independent consultant, with my w o r k f o c u s e d o n w h a t I c a l l t h e ‘n o n traditional’ elements of national security and international relations, such as environment, e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p, and education. I consider these to be important and growing pathways through which c o u n t r i e s i n t e r a c t w i t h e a c h o t h e r, a n d through which relationships can be formed or improved.


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Helen: I can see you have been very active in your research and project activities. After all, what are the underlying drivers for these? Kathleen: I think this goes back to my family and multi-cultural background. I grew up in an environment in which I was encouraged to be curious and where I was g i v e n t h e c o u r a g e t o t r y n e w t h i n g s . Fo r example, throughout the week my family would cook everything from Japanese food to Brazilian food to German food. I grew up learning how to dig ditches and pull electrical wire on our property one d a y, a n d t h e n l e a r n h o w t o b u i l d a s h e d t h e n e x t d a y. A s s u c h , s i n c e c h i l d h o o d , I have always been curious about the world a r o u n d m e . I ’m a p r o b l e m s o l v e r n o t a f r a i d of the biggest problems. I believe that this curiosity and ability to take initiative in problem-solving led me towards the world of MIT and later my research and work on a global scale. I’ve worked with schools in E l S a l v a d o r, l o c a l g o v e r n m e n t i n A r g e n t i n a , a university in Singapore…ever ything I do stems from my love of learning, passion for ser ving others, and being able to make a positive difference. H e l e n : Co u l d y o u a l s o s h a r e w i t h u s y o u r e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e Vi c t o r a n d Wi l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n ? K a t h l e e n : I w a s a w a r d e d t h e Fu n g Scholarship in 2017, which funded one of my study abroad experiences. I feel ver y honoured to be part of the scholar network. I l o v e m e e t i n g Fu n g S c h o l a r s a l l o v e r t h e world, sharing our trip experience, and exchanging our views on challenges the

w o r l d i s f a c i n g t o d a y, a n d w i l l b e f a c i n g t o m o r r o w. S o m e Fu n g s c h o l a r s I m e t h a v e become my close friends. I f i n d t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s N e t w o r k a v e r y m e a n i n g f u l o n e . We a r e i n v o l v e d i n s o many things - international conferences, meeting with peers in local chapters (Boston), groundbreaking research, writing publications, and sharing stories with the c o m m u n i t y. I l o v e t h e i d e a o f b r i n g i n g t h e b r i g h t e s t m i n d s f r o m n o t o n l y o n e c o u n t r y, but from countries around the world, t o g e t h e r, w i t h a s h a r e d i n t e r e s t a n d p a s s i o n for making a difference in the world. H e l e n : I ’m a l s o p a r t o f t h e B o s t o n c h a p t e r, which provides me with the opportunity to do volunteering for the first time and out to different scholars worldwide. Are t h e r e a ny m o r e i d e a s w h i c h y o u w o u l d r e c o m m e n d t o t h e Fo u n d a t i o n ? K a t h l e e n : I ’d l o v e t o s e e n e w w a y s o f engaging more scholars in the upcoming conferences. It was great to see Scholars l e a d i n g d i s c u s s i o n g r o u p s t h i s y e a r, a n d I ’d love to see even more of my peers have that opportunity to shine! Helen: I know that you have par ticipated in the MIT pioneer women oral history project and interviewed a lot of people y o u r s e l f. W h a t i s t h e e x p e r i e n c e l i k e a s a journalist? K a t h l e e n : U n t i l a f e w y e a r s a g o, I h a d n e v e r t h o u g h t o f m y s e l f a s a w r i t e r. B u t t h e p u b l i c a t i o n s o f m y t w o m a s t e r ’s theses, and my work with projects like the A M I TA Wo m e n’s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o j e c t , h a v e increased my interest in writing, especially


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S p e a k i n g a t t h e v i r t u a l l a u n c h o f m y b o o k , I g n i t e Yo u r S t o r y, s p o n s o r e d b y t h e C o c a - C o l a S c h o l a r s Fo u n d a t i o n a n d C a n o n . T h e b o o k w i l l b e a v a i l a b l e s o m e t i m e e a r l y n e x t y e a r

when I get to meet new people and help share their incredible stories. I n t h e Wo m e n’s O r a l H i s t o r y P r o j e c t , I g o t to interview women who studied in a very male -dominated environment at MIT many y e a r s a g o, a n d l a t e r w e n t o n t o b e l e a d e r s in male -dominated fields. H e l e n : S o w h a t a r e t h e s e w o m e n’s l i f e and career trajectory? Kathleen: They are all ver y different. One w o m a n w e n t t o l a w s c h o o l a f t e r M I T, w h i c h she thought was awesome because 25% of the students were female (compared to having only a handful of female classmates at MIT ) and she later worked as the only

female corporate attorney at a tech c o m p a n y. A n o t h e r w o m a n w a s t h e o n l y female at a mechanical engineering firm where she led an all-male team of engineers. What they do all have in common is their love of math and science and a resiliency amidst challenges. By being the only w o m a n i n t h e r o o m o r i n a n e n t i r e c o m p a n y, t h e r e w o u l d b e t i m e s w h e n o t h e r s w e r e n’ t sure about the suitability of women for t h e p o s i t i o n . Ye t , t h e y n o t o n l y o v e r c a m e these uncertainties with significant achievements, but helped pave the way for women from our generation. Helen: I recently participated in a research on the underrepresentation of


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w o m e n e xe c u t i v e s i n t e c h c o m p a n i e s i n b o t h t h e U S a n d C h i n a . We t h o u g h t t h a t different factors may have impacted on females’ education participation and career development in the disciplines. Wo u l d y o u m i n d s h a r i n g y o u r t h o u g h t s with us for this question? Kathleen: Getting women and young girls engaged, involved, and interested in STEM at an early age is important. I was very blessed to have supportive parents who understood the impor tance of science, and teachers throughout middle school and high school who were excited about the topic and invested in our education. I think every person should be empowered so they can realize their potential, and given the mentorship to achieve it. There are brilliant minds out there that we just have to find. Helen: Another finding from our research is that women lack female role models w h o m t h e y c a n l o o k u p t o. J u s t w o n d e r i n g , d o y o u h a v e a ny s p e c i f i c r o l e m o d e l s whom you look up to? K a t h l e e n : Pe r s o n a l l y, t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l political figures and philanthropists. But my family members, par ticularly my g r a n d m o t h e r, a r e t h e b i g g e s t r o l e m o d e l s .

M y g r a n d m o t h e r, w h o h a d g r o w n u p i n Florida, was the first in her family to leave the countr y alone, and did so at the age of 21 to go to Japan to study the Japanese language. After that, and after finding her calling, she traveled to Brazil by herself as a 23-year-old woman to work with disadvantaged families in the Amazon rainforest. She passed away about 5 years a g o, b u t I ’ l l n e v e r f o r g e t h e r s t o r i e s a n d what she taught me. She always pursued her passions, even if it was completely against t h e o d d s o r w h a t w a s ‘n o r m a l ’ o r e x p e c t e d . She was able to touch so many lives, and those lives were able to touch many more. M y e n t i r e f a m i l y, i n c l u d i n g m y m o m , m y d a d , and my sister have set brilliant examples f o r m e t o o. Fr o m t h e m , I h a v e d e v e l o p e d a love of learning, problem-solving, and adventure, and learnt the impor tance of k i n d n e s s . Fr o m m y s i s t e r i n p a r t i c u l a r I h a v e learned to love and live every moment to t h e f u l l e s t . I t h i n k t h a t ’s a l e s s o n e v e r y o n e can benefit from. Helen: Impressive. The adventures and positive spirits in your family tradition d o h a v e a l o n g h i s t o r y. Kathleen: Thank you.



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Interview with Clarisse Pierre

(FS 2017/18, University of Oxford): On the way to B Corp – a story of passion and intrapreneurship Interviewer: Maria Romanova (FS2014/15, University of Oxford)

C l a r i s s e P i e r r e w o r k s f o r B r a n d Po t e n t i a l , a b r a n d c o n s u l t a n c y f i r m b a s e d i n W i n d s o r, U . K . I n t h e m i d s t o f t h e CO V I D - 1 9 p a n d e m i c i n Fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 1 , s h e t o o k t h e l e a d i n t r a n s f o r m i n g t h e c o m p a n y t o a p p l y t o b e o f f i c i a l l y r e c o g n i s e d a s a C e r t i f i e d B C o r p o r a t i o n – ‘a n e w k i n d o f b u s i n e s s t h a t b a l a n c e s p u r p o s e a n d p r o f i t ’ b y c o n s i d e r i n g t h e i m p a c t o f t h e c o m p a n y ’s d e c i s i o n s o n ‘ w o r k e r s , c u s t o m e r s , s u p p l i e r s , c o m m u n i t y, a n d t h e e n v i r o n m e n t ’ – a c c o r d i n g t o their official website, https://bcorporation.net/. Having previously studied Geography at the University of Oxford for her undergraduate studies, Clarisse has always cared deeply about environmental issues. She believes that at ever y level, w e m u s t ‘s t r i v e f o r a b e t t e r, m o r e i n c l u s i v e a n d s u s t a i n a b l e w o r l d ’. I n t h i s i n t e r v i e w, s h e w a n t e d t o s h a r e h e r t e a m’s B C o r p j o u r n e y a n d t h e s t o r y o f h o w h e r c o m p a n y j o i n e d a ‘g l o b a l m o v e m e n t of people and companies using business as a force of good’ by following steps to both adhere to more sustainable business practices and improvement of working conditions for employees.

M a r i a : Co u l d y o u d e s c r i b e b r i e f l y w h a t a ‘ B Co r p’ i s ? Clarisse: A B Corp is a company that embodies very high social and environmental standards and comes with a c e r t i f i c a t i o n . I n a w a y, i t i s s i m i l a r t o w h a t Fa i r t r a d e c e r t i f i c a t i o n w o u l d b e f o r a c o f f e e product, although B Corp is much more holistic. It is about the whole business – ensuring its operations and business model create positive impact for workers, the environment, the community and c u s t o m e r s . B C o r p i s n o t a n t i - p r o f i t – i t ’s a b o u t p u r p o s e a n d p r o f i t . T h e t w o a r e n’ t mutually exclusive. Maria: What motivated or inspired you to a p p l y f o r B Co r p ?

C l a r i s s e : Tr a n s f o r m i n g a c o m p a n y I w o r k for into a B Corp had always been a dream o f m i n e s i n c e I c a m e a c r o s s i t a t U n i v e r s i t y. It was a way of translating my passion and interest for sustainability to concrete a c t i o n . M o r a l l y, i t f e l t l i k e t h e r i g h t t h i n g t o d o, b u t t h e r e a r e s o m a n y o t h e r b e n e f i t s too – from attracting talent to increasing staff engagement, as well as creating new business opportunities. In a context of environmental crisis, climate change and g r o w i n g s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y, w e , a s a c o m p a n y, increasingly recognized that we have a role to play in terms of contributing to a better a n d m o r e p o s i t i v e f u t u r e . We c a n n o t h a v e a thriving economy without a thriving society and thriving planet. A lot of our clients and brands have also either already acquired B Corp certification or are contemplating it


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a s p a r t o f t h e i r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l j o u r n e y. S o w e n e e d t o k e e p u p, s t a y r e l e v a n t , and demonstrate that we share the same v a l u e s . We a n t i c i p a t e a f u t u r e o f ‘p o s i t i v e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n’ w h e n i t c o m e s t o b r a n d s choosing which agencies they want to work with. Maria: What was your timeline, applying for this certification? C l a r i s s e : We s t a r t e d t h e p r o c e s s i n Fe b r u a r y. Fo r t h e f i r s t m o n t h , I w o r k e d w i t h m y H R colleagues and our company founders going through the B Corp assessment and establishing how many points we currently scored. That enabled us to see how far we were from the 80 points required to submit our application. Once we established that it was feasible, I recruited volunteers to b e c o m e p a r t o f t h e ‘ B C o r p Te a m’ a n d t h e wheels star ted rolling! With 7 of us plus t h e c o m p a n y Fo u n d e r s o n b o a r d t o h e l p, we managed to make good progress in the following months. As we were going through the process, gathering information and implementing changes and new ideas, we p o s t e d a b o u t i t o n o u r c o m p a n y ’s L i n k e d I n and clients responded very positively to t h a t . Fr o m t h e n o n , w e h a d m o r e m o m e n t u m to keep going, as we were going to also be h e l d a c c o u n t a b l e b y o u r c l i e n t s ! We f i n a l l y

submitted our application at the end of June. This was just the star t of our journey though – as we are now waiting in the ‘q u e u e’ t o b e e v a l u a t e d w e a r e c o n t i n u i n g to make progress! M a r i a : Co u l d y o u g i v e m e s o m e e x a m p l e s o f a c t i o n s y o u r c o m p a ny h a d t o t a k e t o be able to apply for the certificate? Clarisse: Of course, one of the major structural changes we made was to amend our articles of association – the c o m p a n y ’s ‘c o n s t i t u t i o n’ – t o s a y t h a t w e take into account the interest of multiple stakeholders beyond shareholders. Instead of simply wanting to make profit, we also are considering the community and environment as stakeholders in themselves. It also makes sure that if the business is ever sold – all the good things and practices we a r e p u t t i n g i n p l a c e a r e n’ t r e v e r s e d !


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In terms of some the practices we implemented, we launched a mental health awareness initiative where we encouraged ever yone to run, walk or cycle outdoors, and tracked our collective distance to see how far we could go around the world; signed up to a wellness assistance program that provides holistic health advice and support; forged a par tnership with a local charity to give ourselves more oppor tunities for g i v i n g b a c k t o t h e c o m m u n i t y. B e s i d e s t h a t , we circulated a ‘how to be eco-friendly at work’ tips page to encourage behavioural change. This included tips for when working at the office and when working from home – we can no longer think just about the office because working practices are changing. We a l s o c h a n g e d t o a r e n e w a b l e e n e r g y supplier; set up an annual collection of electronic/ hazardous waste so that it is properly recycled/ disposed of responsibly and transitioned to buying more ecofriendly office supplies, like recycled n o t e b o o k s a n d r e f i l l a b l e s o a p b o t t l e s . To a d d r e s s d i v e r s i t y a n d i n c l u s i v i t y, w e m a d e sure that all of our recruitment materials and ads are inclusive (through language) a n d a s k e d r e c r u i t e r s t o s e n d C Vs w i t h o u t names or photos.

These are just some examples – I could l i s t m a n y m o r e ! B u t i m p o r t a n t l y, w h a t w a s g r e a t a b o u t B r a n d Po t e n t i a l i s t h a t w e w e r e already doing a lot of the good things B C o r p g i v e s p o i n t s t o. Fo r e x a m p l e , w e

already had very high levels of financial t r a n s p a r e n c y, w i t h w e e k l y t e a m m e e t i n g s where we look at the numbers and how w e a r e d o i n g v s o u r t a r g e t s . We h a d a l s o e s t a b l i s h e d a J o i n t Ve n t u r e w i t h a s t r u c t u r a l p a c k a g i n g a g e n c y c a l l e d To u c h , to collaborate on projects focused around sustainable innovation. There were a lot of p r a c t i c e s w e e s s e n t i a l l y d i d o r g a n i c a l l y, b u t needed to formalise them. This was really good business practice, independent of B Corp certification! Maria: It seems like all these little changes do add up to make a big difference! Did y o u f a c e a ny d i f f i c u l t i e s o r c h a l l e n g e s o n your journey and how did you overcome them? Clarisse: The first challenge was to establish the starting benchmark of the amount of points we would currently score, as it is quite a big calculating and planning task. I h a d a f i r s t t r y b u t c l e a r l y d i d n’ t k n o w t h e answer to all the questions! So it became a n a c t o f p i e c i n g t h e p u z z l e t o g e t h e r, gathering information from various members of the team. Then came the task of getting the go-ahead from the business founders, they wanted to be re -assured that B Corp was feasible for us, financially viable a n d n o t a n u n a c h i e v a b l e g o a l . To a d d r e s s t h i s , I c l a s s i f i e d e a c h a c t i o n a s ‘q u i c k w i n’, ‘m e d i u m t e r m’ o r ‘ l o n g t e r m’, a d d e d u p t h e p o i n t s o f a l l t h e ‘q u i c k w i n s ’ a n d w a s a b l e t o d e m o n s t r a t e t h a t w e w e r e n’ t a c t u a l l y t h a t


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f a r o f f ! Ta n g i b l e e v i d e n c e a l w a y s h e l p s ! Another challenge was getting it all done and put in place! What I did was ask for v o l u n t e e r s t o b e p a r t o f t h e B C o r p Te a m a n d we started off by chatting about our final objective and all the things that needed to b e a c t i o n e d i n b e t w e e n . We t h e n d e l e g a t e d the different activities out so that ever yone has a sense of ownership of areas they were focusing on. This delegation process worked by allowing members of the team to focus on topics they were passionate about, as that is how you get people to feel motivated. Communication and regular check-ins were extremely important, to make sure we all stay on track, because as things started to get busy again, B Corp started slipping off p e o p l e’s r a d a r. A f t e r a l l , t h e s e t a s k s a r e n’ t o n a n y o n e’s j o b d e s c r i p t i o n a n d t h e y w e r e volunteering their time, so it was crucial to continue encouraging and helping each o t h e r. I t w a s a l s o i m p o r t a n t t o k e e p t h e s e n i o r s t a k e h o l d e r s i n t h e l o o p, s o t h e y were aware of our progress as well. In short, we kept open communication links between the B Corp team and the senior leadership a n d f o u n d e r s o f t h e c o m p a n y. The last challenge I want to mention is the difficulty of sometimes working out what exactly B Corp requires of us – sometimes it f e e l s l i k e i t w o u l d b e e a s i e r i f, s a y, w e w e r e a manufacturing company producing cer tain

g o o d s u s i n g p a r t i c u l a r m a t e r i a l s . S o, t o overcome this challenge, we collaborated with some other agencies which already had obtained the B Corp certification. I reached out to other agencies that do similar things to us and are of a similar size to see how they have gone about implementing some of these changes and addressing some of the questions. This made me realise that B C o r p i s a v e r y i n c l u s i v e c o m m u n i t y. O n c e y o u’r e i n i t , t h e r e i s t h a t d e s i r e t o s p r e a d t h e movement and to accelerate that process. So when we spoke to people at other agencies, there was no sense of competition but a g e n u i n e d e s i r e t o h e l p, w h i c h w a s q u i t e encouraging. This really shows that within t h e B C o r p s c o m m u n i t y, t h e c o m p a n i e s a r e really dedicated to doing the right thing. In fact, another agency has just recently contacted us about the process of applying f o r t h e c e r t i f i c a t i o n a n d I ’m a b o u t t o s h a r e my insights with them.

M a r i a : Wo u l d y o u s a y t h a t t h e p a n d e m i c has opened up oppor tunities for you that you would not have had otherwise? Clarisse: I think the pandemic gave us the gift of time and reflection. And all of us individually had a chance to think about what we actually value and what sort of world we want to live in. Do we want to go back to normality as it was? Or do we want a more sustainable future? So when we discussed the B Corps cer tificate, there


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was more excitement than we perhaps w o u l d h a v e h a d . Pe o p l e w e r e r e a d y f o r a change. And timewise, we had less projects coming in than usual, so we had a bit more spare time on our hands to work on new initiatives.

to something that is at the heart of a c o m p a n y ’s b u s i n e s s a n d o p e r a t i o n a l m o d e l , t h a t ’s w h e n c o m p a n i e s c a n m a k e a g e n u i n e d i f f e r e n c e . Fr o m m y e x p e r i e n c e a n d r e s e a r c h s o f a r, c o m p a n i e s a d o p t i n g B C o r p c e r t i f i c a t i o n t r u l y a c h i e v e t h e l a t t e r.

Maria: Do you think companies shifting t o a B Co r p Ce r t i f i c a t i o n m o d e l c o u l d b e a f e a s i b l e s u s t a i n a b l e m o d e l i n t h e ‘p o s t pandemic’ world, or do you think it is j u s t a n o t h e r e x a m p l e o f ‘g r e e nw a s h i n g’ i n i t i a t i v e s – s u s t a i n a b l e i n t h e o r y, b u t not in practice?

B Corp is a real movement that gets c o m p a n i e s t o d o g o o d i n a h o l i s t i c w a y. O f c o u r s e , i t w o n’ t b e e n o u g h o n i t s o w n t o reach our climate targets nor stay within our planetar y boundaries, but I think companies taking steps to obtain this certification is definitely a step in the right d i r e c t i o n . T h a t ’s b e c a u s e i t d o e s n’ t j u s t g e t the business to have a positive impact, but also every individual within it, and every other life it touches, whether clients or consumers. The attitudes and behaviours it signals and practices slowly transcend into p e o p l e’s e v e r y d a y l i v e s .

Clarisse: That is a really important point you make. I mean, there is no straight for ward way to solve the issues of climate c h a n g e , p o l l u t i o n a n d s o c i a l i n e q u a l i t y. These problems are complex and involve lots of stakeholders. The only way to address it is to bring together the public and the private spheres and to enact change on multiple levels, both individual and collective. Companies are an essential par t of the solution and to me, B Corp is an extremely impactful model here. It really forces companies to think about purpose and sustainability in a way that embeds it in the way that they do business a n d m a k e s t r a t e g i c d e c i s i o n s . I n t h i s w a y, s u s t a i n a b i l i t y i s n’ t j u s t a n ‘a d d - o n’, w h i c h i s w h a t i s d e e m e d t o b e ‘g r e e n w a s h i n g’. The minute sustainability moves beyond simply being a challenge the marketing team has to take care of and communicate,

W i t h B C o r p, y o u’r e a l w a y s p u s h e d t o d o better too – the certification needs to be renewed every 3 years and you need to i m p r o v e y o u r s c o r e t o o. T h e r e a r e a l s o a lot of resources shared as well within the B Corp community and a lot of support b e t w e e n c o m p a n i e s . R e c e n t l y, I a l s o s a w that B Corp was doing a collaboration w i t h Fa i r t r a d e . W i t h s u c h r i g o u r a n d collaborative working, I see B Corp as a truly sustainable alternative to the statusq u o. M a y t h e m o m e n t u m c o n t i n u e !



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Interview with Jefferson Chen

(FS 2019, University of Oxford):

Co-Founder of Lafiya Nigeria, a pilot project to widen access to safe and voluntary family planning Interviewer: Freya Rock (FS2019, University of Oxford)

Jefferson Chen (FS 2019, University of Oxford) shared his experience of co-founding Lafiya ( h t t p s : / / w w w. l a f i y a n i g e r i a . o r g / ) , a n o n - p r o f i t i n i t i a t i v e w h i c h a i m s t o w i d e n a c c e s s t o f a m i l y planning options in rural Nigeria through the distribution of a self-injectable contraceptive, Sayana Press.

Fr e y a : H i J e f f e r s o n , p l e a s e c o u l d y o u begin by telling me a bit about how you c a m e t o b e i nv o l v e d w i t h Fu n g S c h o l a r s and what activities you have taken par t i n a s a Fu n g S c h o l a r ? Jefferson: Whilst studying for my degree in chemistr y at the University of Oxford, I w a s s u p p o r t e d b y t h e Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n t o u n d e r t a k e a n i n t e r n s h i p a t a M e d Te c h company in China. After that, I continued m y i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s c o m m u n i t y. T h e s e i n c l u d e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the 2019 Leadership Conference in Shanghai; m a n a g i n g p a r t n e r s h i p b e t w e e n t h e Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n a n d t h e O x f o r d S t r a t e g y G r o u p, a student consultancy in my capacity as a C l i e n t E n g a g e m e n t D i r e c t o r. Fr e y a : C a n y o u t e l l m e a b i t a b o u t y o u r current activities? Jefferson: During my time at Oxford, I cofounded a non-profit initiative called Lafiya which seeks to widen access to family planning options in rural Nigeria. I am currently pursuing this full time. My team has been ver y for tunate to have won the D-Prize, which provides us with financial

suppor t to take the project for wards and development for new nonprofit initiatives. Fr e y a : Co n g r a t u l a t i o n s o n r e c e i v i n g t h e prize. Can you tell me a bit more about it? Jefferson: The D-Prize competition is highly competitive and awards start-up capital open to social entrepreneurs worldwide who deliver proven life -saving and costeffective inter ventions in addressing poverty issues. Fr e y a : H o w d o e s t h e o r g a n i s a t i o n s e e k t o widen access to family planning options, specifically? J e f f e r s o n : We d i s t r i b u t e a t y p e o f c o n t r a c e p t i v e c a l l e d D M PA - S C , a l s o k n o w n as Sayana Press. Sayana Press protects the users for three months from pregnancy and can be injected very easily using a small, recently-developed injection mechanism. The key advantage of Sayana Press is that it is a self-injectable contraceptive, which alleviates traditional barriers to access to contraceptives in rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. With traditional


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contraceptive methods like the pill, the user must remember to use it and keep using it on a daily basis. Other injectable contraceptives require frequent trips to clinics, which is not necessarily feasible. Fr e y a : T h i s i s c l e a r l y a n i m p o r t a n t p r o j e c t . What led to your decision to conduct the initiatives in Nigeria? Jefferson: One of the reasons why we chose Nigeria was because both my co-founder and I have carried out work in Nigeria b e f o r e . We h a v e b e e n i n v o l v e d i n a p r o j e c t w i t h a n N G O, R u r a l Wo m e n E n e r g y S e c u r i t y (RUWES), and become affiliated with the N i g e r i a n M i n i s t r y o f E n e r g y. T h i s g a v e u s a good understanding of the country and we had begun to build up a network there. Apart from that, we believe that our solution is more scalable in Nigeria thus enabling our intervention to have a greater impact. Nigeria has some of the largest unmet needs in terms of family planning options worldwide, and the ratio of population to m a t e r n a l d e a t h i s s t a g g e r i n g . We f e l t t h a t this was a country in which we could make a r e a l l y i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e . I t ’s a l s o w o r t h adding that, whilst we are piloting our project in Nigeria, we may expand further afield in the future. Fr e y a : Co u l d y o u e x p l a i n h o w i s y o u r project implemented on the ground?

Jefferson: My co-founder and I have plans to be presented in Nigeria. But we are conscious that family planning is a sensitive topic and that cultural and linguistic barriers. This means that we cannot take the lead on c o m m u n i t y e n g a g e m e n t . Fo r t u n a t e l y, w e have a fantastic implementation partner which has a supportive team of trained female community health workers and have a high degree of trust from the locals. Fr e y a : H o w h a s t h e p a n d e m i c i m p a c t e d the initiative? Jefferson: In various ways. Our pilot was s e t t o t a k e p l a c e a t t h e e n d o f t h i s y e a r, b u t there is now uncertainty about whether this will need to change. There is uncer tainty about the development of the pandemic in Nigeria despite it has been relatively under c o n t r o l . M o r e p e r s o n a l l y, I c o n t r a c t e d a b a d c a s e o f CO V I D - 1 9 w h i c h h i n d e r e d productivity whilst I recovered. Fr e y a : W h a t a r e s o m e w a y s i n w h i c h Fu n g S c h o l a r s c o u l d g e t i nv o l v e d w i t h L a f i y a ? J e f f e r s o n : We a r e s p e c i f i c a l l y l o o k i n g f o r i n d i v i d u a l s f r o m t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s community who have experience with monitoring and evaluation, marketing, or fundraising and would like to be i n v o l v e d . M o r e g e n e r a l l y, w e w o u l d l i k e to be contacted by anyone who has skills,


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e x p e r i e n c e , o r i n t e r e s t t o o f f e r. I f y o u a r e interested, please reach out via email at info@layfiyanigeria.org. Fr e y a : Fi n a l l y, h o w h a s b e i n g a Fu n g Scholar impacted you and your work?

J e f f e r s o n : B e i n g a Fu n g S c h o l a r h e l p s y o u develop the ability to open your mind to new ideas and projects. These character traits were hugely important in bringing Lafiya to fruition.

I m a g e : J e f f e r s o n C h e n ( r i g h t ) i n N i g e r i a w i t h h i s c o - f o u n d e r, K l a u d i a C h m i e l o w s k a , ( t h i r d l e f t ) , a l o n g s i d e B a h i j j a h t u ( f o u r t h l e f t ) , t h e f o u n d e r o f R u r a l Wo m e n E n e r g y S e c u r i t y ( R U W E S ) , a n d t h e Fi r s t L a d y o f Katsina State (second left).



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Interview with Dr. Gigi Chi Ting AU-YEUNG (FS 2008/09, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University): From receiving scholarships to becoming a Scholarship Establisher and Donor Interviewer: Eve Zhang (FS 2019/20, Renmin University of China)

Gigi is an inter-multi-disciplinary scholar and consultant in the fields of biotech, product design e n g i n e e r i n g , s u s t a i n a b i l i t y, s o c i a l i n n o v a t i o n , and business strategies. Currently she is working project-based as independent analyst on biotechnology-related listed companies and Series C+ pre-IPO innovative companies, for equity firms and securities traders, family offices, professional and impact investors. She worked as a post- grad Project O fficer in Singapore and Israel for 5 years, then decided to return to hometown Hong Kong to contribute. Involving actively in community services and youth development, including e s t a b l i s h i n g a n d d o n a t i n g t h e D r. G i g i A u - y e u n g S c h o l a r s h i p f o r G l o b a l O u t l o o k t o h e r a l m a m a t e r, her social dedication, academic achievement, research excellence and entrepreneurial spirit have been recognized by nearly 30 prestigious scholarships and awards, allowing her being repor ted or invited as a speaker at over 100 media and seminars.


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Eve: Where were you born and how was your childhood like? Gigi: I was born and raised in Hong Kong u n t i l u n i v e r s i t y. I t w a s t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p giving me the first chance to study abroad. My father died of cancer when I was seven. It made me understand that I have to be responsible for the family and to work h a r d t o s u p p o r t m y m o t h e r a n d s i s t e r. To be honest, my teenage years were ver y r e b e l l i o u s . I w a s n’ t t h e b e s t s t u d e n t a n d kept breaking school rules when I was in h i g h s c h o o l . I w a s n’ t r e a l l y k e e n o n s t u d y i n g as I had no interest in those subjects. I spent most of my time doing athletics, attending design competitions and singing contests. But looking back I think those were critical to develop me as a person w i t h s p o r t s m a n s h i p, c o m p e t i t i v e n e s s , a n d persistence. It was not until I entered The Hong Kong Po l y t e c h n i c U n i v e r s i t y. I s e l e c t e d a m a j o r that I was genuinely interested in, and I picked up my study again. I enrolled in a

product design engineering program as I like to create new ideas and see things become alive and go to market. Studying overseas has been my childhood d r e a m , b u t m y f a m i l y c o u l d n’ t a f f o r d i t . T h a n k s t o t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p, I h a d the chance to spend a half-year studying and traveling in Europe. I was ver y f o r t u n a t e t o o b t a i n m y b a c h e l o r ’s d e g r e e w i t h f i r s t h o n o r, w h i c h e n a b l e d m e t o p u r s u e m y P h . D. a t S i n g a p o r e N a n y a n g Te c h n o l o g i c a l U n i v e r s i t y. M y r e s e a r c h f i e l d is in Biotechnology as I believe healthcare technology would be of ever-lasting needs for human well-being. I returned to Hong Kong after my PhD study because I wished to contribute to the development of innovation and technology in my hometown. I star ted my own companies, worked for numerous innovation and technology companies, and also teaching and consulting. L a s t y e a r I b e c a m e a n e w m o t h e r. M y s o n has just turned 1.5-year-old. Through the years, I’ve been supported by a lot of good


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f r i e n d s , m a n y o f w h o m a r e Fu n g S c h o l a r s who I consider to be life friends. I think the c o m m o n c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Fu n g S c h o l a r s would be that we are ver y innovative, have great personalities and a big hear t for the

c o m m u n i t y. I l i k e t h e c o m m u n i t y a n d h a v e been very active since I was in Singapore with the local Chapter there chaired by Jamie.

G i g i a t Fu n g S c h o l a r s G a l a D i n n e r i n 2 0 1 8


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Eve: What impressed you the most during t h i s e xc h a n g e a n d h o w i t a f f e c t s y o u r future path? Gigi: It was simply eye -opening. It was my first time to stay outside HK independently for a longer period of time. I stayed with a host family in Ireland with their first girl in 2009. Exactly 10 years after wards, I went back to Ireland for my honeymoon in 2019. I visited them and now they are with 3 beautiful girls. Not to mention my amazing international schoolmates that we are still staying in close touch with. I have gained precious global friendships thanks to this exchange experience. During the exchange, we took a budget airline to visit different par ts of Europe

Gigi (the second on the right) and Irish classmates

every other weekend. It made me realize the world is so big and there are so many interesting people, countries, cultures around. It laid the foundation of me deciding to fur ther advance my study overseas. I was once again ver y lucky to be offered a decently paid full time research job by S i n g a p o r e N T U. I w a s a b l e t o ‘e x c h a n g e’ again to Israel for my PhD attachment. Many would think Israel is a dangerous place, but I really wanted to see Israel as it is a very innovative country with a lot of top scientists and Nobel Prize Laureates. I t h i n k i t ’s d e f i n i t e l y t h e i m p a c t o f b e i n g a Fu n g S c h o l a r o n m y w h o l e l i f e a n d m y a d v e n t u r o u s a n d d a r i n g p e r s o n a l i t y.

Gigi (the first on the left) and host family in Ireland


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Eve: How did you balance between these activities and scientific research? Gigi: I have a strong curiosity to many t h i n g s a n d I ’m v e r y e a g e r t o l e a r n n e w things. It is both my strength and weakness to multi-task and live a fruitful exciting life. When it comes to some of my tips on time m a n a g e m e n t : Fi r s t , I m a k e v e r y g o o d u s e o f m y G o o g l e c a l e n d a r. I h a v e a v e r y p a c k e d calendar to make sure I am maximizing my time and having things organized. I tr y my best to follow and commit to my schedule. S e c o n d , I d o n’ t r e a l l y n e e d t o s l e e p a l o t , 4 o r 5 h o u r s a d a y i s n o r m a l . Pe o p l e t h i n k I am crazily energetic but now I get revenge. My son gives me many sleepless nights. Third about prioritization. When you have s o m a n y t h i n g s t o d o, i t w i l l b e n i c e i f y o u could do it all if you have time. Other wise, you can just focus on the urgent matters. Sometimes I still encounter postponement and procrastination, but I try to commit to things that I have planned to do within the d a y. Fo u r t h i s a b o u t d e l e g a t i o n . I u s e d t o p u t e v e r y t h i n g o n m y o w n s h o u l d e r. N o w I l e a r n b e i n g a l e a d e r i s n’ t a b o u t d o i n g e v e r y t h i n g t o y o u r t o p s t a n d a r d b y y o u r s e l f, b u t w e also need to suppor t our juniors’ growth. Now we form par tnerships so that we can do things that is not in our exper tise, or we

d o n’ t h a v e t h e r e s o u r c e s t o d o. I r e a l i z e t h a t I ’m n o t t h a t c a p a b l e o f d o i n g e v e r y t h i n g . I ’m a l s o l i m i t e d a s a h u m a n . W i t h t h i s I become a better team player and a better manager with my team to achieve things t o g e t h e r. I consider myself a developer because I tr y to develop the potential of people around me. I like seeing people being passionate a b o u t w h a t t h e y ’r e d o i n g . S o m e t i m e s I f e e l l i k e I ’m m o r e o f a p s y c h o l o g i s t t h a n a s c i e n t i s t b e c a u s e I ’d l i k e t o u n d e r s t a n d people and tr y to have empathy for them. Eve: What is your motivation for getting i nv o l v e d i n s o m a ny o r g a n i z a t i o n s ? W h a t do you value the most in your life? Gigi: I have a strong calling for giving back. I have received a lot of good things from o t h e r s , f o r e x a m p l e , t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p. I feel like whenever I am capable, I will tr y to do the same thing. I am ver y happy that I have established the scholarship under my name to sponsor my junior students in my alma mater to go on exchange for their global outlook. I believe their life would be so different after going on exchange. I t w o u l d b e a p i t y i f t h e y c o u l d n’ t s e e t h e world because of financial reasons. When y o u’r e g i v i n g , y o u f e e l h a p p y, y o u f e e l g o o d and you feel blessed.


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Fo r m y a s p i r a t i o n , I a l w a y s u s e a m o d e l called Ikigai in my decision-making moment. It means the purpose of life in Japanese. There are four circles: what y o u l o v e , w h a t y o u’r e g o o d a t , w h a t t h e world needs and what you can be paid f o r. W h e n y o u c a n b a l a n c e b e t w e e n t h e s e four realms and be at the intersection red spot, you get your life purpose. This answers why you are on this ear th and why you have this life here at this time a n d a t t h i s p l a c e . W h e n e v e r I ’m d o i n g things, I tr y to achieve that purpose.

W h e n I ’m v o l u n t e e r i n g w i t h n o o b v i o u s monetary reward, it must be something I really love and find meaningful. I love being like other good people around me, e s p e c i a l l y D r. Fu n g , m y f e l l o w F S s a n d m y o t h e r s c h o l a r s h i p d o n o r s . T h e y ’r e s o k i n d

and supportive that I want to be one of them. I want to contribute as much as I can. I k n o w I s t i l l h a v e a l o n g w a y t o g o, b u t I told myself we could star t small. There is a saying that no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted(勿以善小而不为).


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G i g i ( t h e f i r s t o n t h e r i g h t ) a n d r e c i p i e n t s o f s c h o l a r s h i p s a t t h e D o n o r ’s R e c e p t i o n


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Eve: What is your advice to the young Fu n g S c h o l a r s i n t h e i r e a r l y 2 0 s ? Gigi: I would give three humble pieces of a d v i c e . Fi r s t , m a k e s u r e y o u h a v e a g l o b a l outlook and try to see as much of the world a s y o u c a n . We m a y n o t b e a b l e t o f l y a r o u n d due to the pandemic, but you can still talk to friends in other parts of the world, watch T V programs, movies and articles about those. The second would be trying to be m u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y. M y i n - b o r n c u r i o s i t y helped me to learn things very fast and enabled me to talk to people in different p r o f e s s i o n s . T h e w o r l d i s g e t t i n g f l a t t e r, a n d nobody would be a single subject-matter exper t in the future, even a medical doctor might need to know engineering because they need to use the medical devices. The third would be trying to be agile and f l e x i b l e . I d o n’ t t h i n k w e c a n j u s t t a k e w h a t w e u s e d t o b e d o i n g . We h a v e t o c h a n g e a n d

l e a r n q u i c k l y. We h a v e t o k e e p i n m i n d t h a t w e n e e d t o b e v e r y a d a p t a b l e . Yo u h a v e t o prepare for the worst and take what comes. There are so many things that you can explore in your early 20s. Explore more of the world before you want to settle down. Some would suggest picking a profession a n d c l i m b t h e c a r e e r l a d d e r. B u t f o r m e , it only applied in the old days. Things c h a n g e f a s t n o w a d a y s . I ’m a l e c t u r e r i n t h e u n i v e r s i t y, a n d I k e e p t e l l i n g m y s t u d e n t s what you are learning today will no longer a p p l y i n y o u r j o b 3 y e a r s l a t e r. D o n’ t s t i c k t o w h a t y o u’r e l e a r n i n g t o d a y a n d h o l d o n to it. Make sure the knowledge is in your head as they are your fundamental. But when you work and solve a problem, make sure you are flexible instead of looking at the textbook for a solution. Make sure you are competitive from AI and whatever form of robots. Understand yourself more, be honest to y o u r s e l f, d o t h e t h i n g s y o u e n j o y d o i n g .


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Eve: Who is the most influential person in y o u r l i f e ? A n d w hy ? G i g i : M y m o t h e r. I t h a s b e e n v e r y d i f f i c u l t when my father left, and she had to raise m y s i s t e r a n d m e o n h e r o w n . N o w, s h e e v e n helps to take care of my son. She is a ver y tough woman but at the same time she is ver y playful and adventurous. She inspired me a lot as a woman, being strong and independent. Living your life to the max and enjoy it. Eve: Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? G i g i : I f y o u’r e a s k i n g a b o u t w h e t h e r I w o u l d s t i l l b e i n H o n g K o n g , I ’m r e a l l y n o t

s u r e b e c a u s e I t h i n k n o w, w e a r e a l l g l o b a l c i t i z e n s , r i g h t ? We c a n b e a n y w h e r e i n t h e world. 1 0 y e a r s l a t e r, m y s o n w i l l b e 1 2 y e a r s o l d , e n t e r i n g s e c o n d a r y s c h o o l . Pe r h a p s I w o u l d have more kids. I hope my kid will be in a world that is still very pleasant to live it. I hope he would be doing things he loves, living and chasing his dream. Brave enough to pursue what he wants, even the girl he likes. I would continue to be very open-minded. I will still be working hard on my research, my business, my teaching and consulting work. I hope I will be wearing all my hats nicely and to do a little bit more to make a better world.



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Interview with Julia Jaskolska (FS 2013/14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)): The Journey of Serendipity Interviewer/Editor: Helen Qu (FS 2018/19;19/20, Harvard University)

Fu n g S c h o l a r J u l i a J a s k ó l s k a s h a r e s w i t h us her journey led by curiosity and full of s e r e n d i p i t y. O r i g i n a l l y f r o m Po l a n d , J u l i a started learning English in middle school and went to the United States as an exchange student in high school, to then get into MIT for u n d e r g r a d w i t h a f u l l s c h o l a r s h i p . Fr o m t h e r e , she worked as a management consultant at B a i n & C o m p a n y, w e n t t o b u s i n e s s s c h o o l a t Stanford, and now leads ESG strategy & coi n v e s t m e n t s a t C a l P E R S P r i v a t e E q u i t y, t h e largest pension fund in the U.S.

Helen: What led you through your journey f r o m Po l a n d t o w h e r e y o u a r e n o w ? J u l i a : I g r e w u p i n a r e g u l a r Po l i s h f a m i l y, but was always very curious about the world and ever ything around me. In 2004, when I w a s i n m i d d l e s c h o o l , Po l a n d e n t e r e d t h e E U. I t w a s a v e r y l u c k y a n d f o r t u i t o u s t i m e in my life because all of a sudden, we could star t traveling all over Europe. And there were many funded programs for us to study abroad. I did my first exchange program and started to learn English at a local bilingual s c h o o l . Fr o m t h a t m o m e n t I r e a l i z e d t h e r e was so much to see in the world and I c o u l d n’ t s t o p t r a v e l i n g a n d e x p l o r i n g e v e r since. If there is one continuing theme in my life, it would be learning and following

m y c u r i o s i t y. I w e n t t o a n o t h e r e x c h a n g e p r o g r a m i n N e w Yo r k f o r o n e y e a r i n h i g h school and the academic counselor there encouraged me to apply for the Ivy League schools. Even though I had no idea about these schools back then. Once I got into MIT with a full scholarship that was life changing. It was a wonder ful 4 years studying Materials Engineering, learning how the world worked and meeting people from all over the world. Helen: How did you recognize your passion for promoting sustainability? J u l i a : Pa s s i o n i s m u l t i d i m e n s i o n a l . T h e r e i s a personal values component and a skillset component. The former is about the causes


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in the world you want to be advancing, the second is about the tasks you enjoy doing d a y t o d a y. I r e a l i z e d t h e v a l u e p a r t e a r l y - I have always loved nature for it makes people more kind and brings us back to our roots. Sustainability is also about access to b a s i c g o o d s , l i k e c l e a n w a t e r o r e l e c t r i c i t y. And equal access to opportunities is personal to me - something I always wanted t o f i g h t f o r. Fo r t h e s k i l l s e t p a r t , I t h i n k i t i s a process of tr ying and discovering. After M I T, I c o n t i n u e d t o p u r s u e a M a s t e r ’s i n Sustainable Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Back then it was impossible to combine that passion with a solid business c a r e e r. S u s t a i n a b i l i t y l i v e d o n t h e f r i d g e s o f charities and moral imperatives - not much capital flowed into the area. So I decided to take my career step by step: to first learn a proper business toolkit and then a p p l y i t t o s u s t a i n a b i l i t y, w h e r e i t f e l t l i k e it was missing. And, with my engineering b a c k g r o u n d o n t o p, I w a s h o p i n g I c o u l d m a k e a d i f f e r e n c e o n e d a y. S o, I s t a r t e d in management consulting. Then I went to business school at Stanford where I focused on investing and worked in Private E q u i t y a f t e r w a r d s . C u r r e n t l y, I l e a d t h e sustainability strategy and Co-Investments f o r C a l P E R S P r i v a t e E q u i t y, w h i c h i s t h e b i g g e s t p e n s i o n f u n d i n t h e U. S . N o w,

where I sit, is finally the combination that I always wanted to make: skills of an investor aligned with sustainability values. H e l e n : Co u l d y o u e l a b o r a t e m o r e o n y o u r experience of trying various things and the challenges you encountered before b e i n g a b l e t o f i n a l l y “c o n n e c t t h e d o t s ” ? Julia: I think knowing what you want to do a n d h o w i s r e a l l y h a r d . U n l e s s y o u’r e b o r n with this inherent life calling for being a d o c t o r, p r i e s t o r a w r i t e r, I t h i n k i t i s h a r d t o k n o w f r o m t h e s t a r t . S o i t ’s m o r e o f a random walk, meeting the right people and being in the right place at the right time to end up doing what you are doing. And f r a n k l y, f o r a l o t o f t h e s e j o b s , u n l e s s y o u grew up with family or friends doing them, y o u w o u l d n’ t k n o w t h e y e x i s t e d . W h e n I w a s g r o w i n g u p, I k n e w o n e c o u l d b e c o m e a f i r e f i g h t e r, a d o c t o r, a l a w y e r, . . A n d t h a t was my whole universe, I did not know what other jobs were even there. A lot of things are very circumstantial. I got into MIT and studied Engineering because everyone did it there and it was fun and challenging function of my environment. And then from there, I ended up in consulting - mostly because it was one of the few places that hired foreigners, so another piece of s e r e n d i p i t y. I l o v e d i t , b u t I w o u l d h a v e never known without ending up there by


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chance. One piece that perhaps has not been so random is sticking with people that I respected, whether they worked in reputable or unknown places - and they always set me up for success. In my current j o b, I a m s o l u c k y t o h a v e a n a m a z i n g b o s s , which makes all the difference. I will always choose people over titles or institutions. Helen: Fr o m MIT to management c o n s u l t i n g a n d p r i v a t e e q u i t y, h o w d i d you thrive in such highly competitive e nv i r o n m e n t s a n d d e a l w i t h p e e r pressure? Julia: I find it grounding to not think about t h e o u t c o m e s , w h i c h w e c a n’ t c o n t r o l , b u t a b o u t t h e p r o c e s s , w h i c h w e c a n . S o, s t a t i s t i c a l l y, i f w e p u t e f f o r t i n t o t h e p r o c e s s ever y time, the outcomes should be there most of the time. And when we “fail” we should learn to distinguish circumstantial failures from our won (process) failures and take those as opportunities to learn and revisit our process. And I do think being competitive is a good thing because that m a k e s u s b e t t e r, b u t i t ’s i m p o r t a n t t o b e c o m p e t i t i v e w i t h y o u r s e l f, n o t w i t h o t h e r s . The latter is pointless, for we all have different star ting points and circumstances.

Helen: What was your experience with t h e Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n l i k e ? J u l i a : I l o v e d m y Fu n g e x p e r i e n c e ! I n m y s e n i o r y e a r a t M I T, I a p p l i e d t o t h e Fu n g Scholarship to go to Argentina to improve my Spanish which was ver y helpful for m y r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t a t t h e t i m e . L a t e r, a s a n a l u m n a , I h e a r d t h a t Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n c o o p e r a t e d w i t h T h e D r a g o n Fo u n d a t i o n , which was an entrepreneurship-based program in Hong Kong to host the 2014 Fu n g S c h o l a r s L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e . I submitted a project I worked on with my Cambridge classmate at the time, became a finalist, and ended up winning the pitch competition. That inspired me to take it into a full business under taking, which I never even thought would be realistic beforehands. And I am so grateful for e v e r y o n e I m e t a l o n g t h e w a y : t h e c r e a t i v i t y, warmth, and welcoming spirit made the Hong Kong experience fantastic! H e l e n : A ny t h i n g y o u w a n t t o s a y t o t h e Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n f o r i t s 1 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y ? J u l i a : A h u g e t h a n k y o u . I t ’s a w o n d e r f u l initiative to allow people from all over the world to interact together in such a special


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part of the world that is less understood or studied in the US and Europe. I think there is no greater return on capital than putting curious and open minded people from all over the world together - it just multiplies the impact that you have in the world beyond anything else. Helen: Who is the most influential person in your life? J u l i a : I t ’s d i f f i c u l t t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e b e t w e e n someone who inspires me versus someone who influences me on a day-to-day basis. Fo r t h e l a t t e r, i t i s m y m o m . S h e i s t h e person I spent most time growing up and seeing just how smart and driven she was - y e t g r e w u p i n p o s t c o m m u n i s t Po l a n d , without the opportunities and resources to tap into that. It makes me feel responsible for living up to the oppor tunities I have in my life and not taking them for granted.

Julia: Equal access to opportunities, mostly because my family did not have many of them. Helen: Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? J u l i a : Fr a n k l y, I h a v e n o i d e a . I w a n t t o continue following great people that I trust and admire. I hope 10 years from now my current ESG work in the financial industry would have made an impact and that I can move onto solving another problem. I hope I will continue challenging myself in the world around me and improving on “J u l i a’s p r o c e s s ”, w i t h o u t w o r r y i n g a b o u t the outcomes. I am excited to see where it takes me. Helen: Thank you so much Julia for sharing your wonder ful journey of serendipity with me. I received lots of positive energy from talking to you!

H e l e n : W h a t d o y o u v a l u e m o s t a n d w hy ? Julia: Thank you, Helen!


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Interview with Gorick Ng

(FS 2011/12, Harvard University) : A Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author’s Journey Interviewer/Editor: Helen Qu (FS 2018/19,2019/20, Harvard University) Co-editor: Freya Rock (FS 2019, University of Oxford)

Gorick Ng is a career advisor at Har vard and author of ‘ The Unspoken Rules: Secrets to S t a r t i n g Yo u r C a r e e r O f f R i g h t ’ w h i c h w a s published by Har vard Business Review Press i n 2 0 2 1 . Fu n g S c h o l a r H e l e n Q u s p o k e t o h i m about the purpose of his book, the writing process, his current activities, and his future plans.

Helen: Hi, Gorick. I just started reading y o u r w o n d e r f u l n e w b o o k . Co u l d y o u share more about your book and what motivated you to write it? Gorick: I was inspired to write the book having reflected on my personal background and my obser vations about the world of higher education and work. I come from a low-income background and was t h e f i r s t i n m y f a m i l y t o a t t e n d u n i v e r s i t y. Generally speaking, these days, universities provide good suppor t to low-income, firstgeneration students when it comes to the college admissions process and navigating a c a d e m i c l i f e a t c o l l e g e . H o w e v e r, i t w a s very clear to me that there is a lack of similar suppor t for these individuals when they enter the workplace and start to build t h e i r c a r e e r s . Pa r t i c u l a r l y, I b e c a m e a w a r e t h a t t h e r e e x i s t s a r a n g e o f ‘u n s p o k e n r u l e s ’ relating to things like inter view processes,

conduct and etiquette in the workplace, and how to work your way up to more i m p o r t a n t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a n d , u l t i m a t e l y, p r o m o t i o n . Ye t , u n l e s s s o m e b o d y h a s a mentor or family member to assist them, these unspoken rules can only be learned t h r o u g h t r i a l a n d e r r o r. T h e r e f o r e , I d e c i d e d to write my book, which addresses some of these unspoken rules via interviews with individuals with various positions in various industries. I hope that it can act as an equalizer by assisting those from similar backgrounds to my own to build their careers. Helen: As a long-time career advisor at H a r v a r d Co l l e g e , w h a t d i d y o u n o t i c e i n this role that inspired you to write the book? G o r i c k : A s a c a r e e r a d v i s o r, I c a n s e e those students with privilege in the form


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of family connections and experience are at a significant advantage when compared to those without. Those with parents and siblings who have been successful in the workplace often approach me with clear career plans during their sophomore y e a r o f c o l l e g e . O n t h e c o n t r a r y, f i r s t generation students often approach me during the later years of college and express confusion about the options available to t h e m . U n f o r t u n a t e l y, s o m e t i m e s t h e y f i n d out about opportunities when it is too late to take advantage of them. Hence, as a c a r e e r a d v i s o r, i t b e c a m e c l e a r t o m e t h a t the job search is not a level playing field. More needs to be done to eliminate these inequalities. Helen: What do you think universities can do to solve this problem? G o r i c k : U n f o r t u n a t e l y, i t ’s n o t a l w a y s i n t h e best interests of the institution to recognize that this problem exists. Universities are academic institutions, which encourage students to take classes that stimulate t h e m i n t e l l e c t u a l l y. T h i s m e a n s t h a t t h e r e is a lack of focus on preparing students for the workplace and there is even a deliberate effor t not to have anything pre -professional in the curriculum. This is problematic because it fails to acknowledge that students, especially those from low-

income backgrounds, attend university to build a better life for themselves. Instead of out-sourcing professional education to student groups and social clubs, effor ts should be made by universities to offer internships and connect students with alumni to better support those who lack the social and cultural capital to navigate professional life. Helen: And how about companies? What can they do to equalize progression w i t h i n p r o f e s s i o n a l e nv i r o n m e n t s ? G o r i c k : I d e a l l y, c o m p a n i e s n e e d t o acknowledge that unspoken rules exist and do their best to change company policy to m a k e t h e m f a i r e r. Fo r e x a m p l e , a n u n s p o k e n rule might be that somebody has to ask to be involved in a project, rather than wait to b e a s k e d . I t ’s d i f f i c u l t f o r n e w e m p l o y e e s without mentorship and pre -existing knowledge to realize this, and companies ought to be aware of that. In an ideal world, the above -unspoken rule could be changed so that the process for getting onto the p r o j e c t i s m o r e t r a n s p a r e n t . H o w e v e r, t h e r e is a difference between how things are and how things ought to be. My book helps employees learn the unspoken rules and figure out how to navigate the workplace as it is, in its ambiguous and exclusionar y form.


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H e l e n : Yo u r b o o k i s e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t . How are you going about getting it out into the world? Gorick: Right now I am working with companies to bring the book to their i n t e r n s a n d n e w h i r e s . I ’m a l s o d o i n g speaking engagements and workshops with various companies including law and c o n s u l t i n g f i r m s , Fo r t u n e 5 0 0 c o m p a n i e s , and tech companies. I plan to scale this up as a consulting service over the next year o r t w o.

and their friends about the unspoken rules they are aware of and their experiences of t h e w o r k p l a c e . E v e n t u a l l y, t h i s s n o w b a l l e d out and I began to aim purposefully to reach out to a broader sample of people in different industries and different kinds of jobs. One especially interesting thing about writing the book was it made me q u e s t i o n m y o w n w o r l d v i e w. I c a n t e l l f r o m reading early drafts that, when I started writing, I was under the impression that the sole motive of everyone is to get promoted. H o w e v e r, a l o t o f m y i n t e r v i e w e e s l o o k e d a t c a r e e r s u c c e s s i n a b r o a d e r w a y, w h i c h w a s h u m b l i n g . Fo r e x a m p l e , f o r s o m e p e o p l e , t h e most important thing was finding balance in their working lives. That is why I called m y b o o k ‘ S e c r e t s t o S t a r t Yo u r C a r e e r O f f R i g h t ’ ; ‘r i g h t ’ c a n h a v e a d i f f e r e n t m e a n i n g f o r d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e , a n d I d o n’ t d e f i n e s u c c e s s a n y w h e r e i n t h e b o o k - t h a t ’s f o r t h e r e a d e r. Helen: Do you have plans to write another book?

Helen: What was the writing process like and did it align with your expectations? Gorick: It was a ver y interesting process. What I star ted doing was ver y informal, just talking to co-workers and managers

Gorick: I do have a lot of material that d i d n’ t m a k e i t i n t o t h e b o o k b e c a u s e t h e word limit for the manuscript was 60,000 and I submitted 100,000 words. Therefore, I may write another book in the future, although there is so much I want to do in relation to the first book first. One thing that I am doing is tr ying to get my book into the Chinese market because there are so many people in China who would be a n i n t e r e s t e d a u d i e n c e . I ’m s t i l l w o r k i n g on finding a translator or a publishing company that could help me with this. Helen: Thank you very much and wish you all the success.



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Interview with Kevin Lo

(FS 2006/07, City University of Hong Kong): To lead is to trust and walk with those following

Interviewer: Ken Fung (FS2016/17, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

J o i n i n g t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s P r o g r a m m e i n 2 0 0 6 , K e v i n Lo s p e n t a s e m e s t e r s t u d y i n g a t t h e S c h u l i c h S c h o o l o f B u s i n e s s i n To r o n t o , C a n a d a . By the time he graduated, he had developed a strong interest in leadership. He attended leadership workshops, team-building training, and other relevant programmes, all of which held a dear fascination for him as had other a s p i r a t i o n s b e y o n d h i s o w n c a r e e r. T h a t p a s s i o n t u r n e d i n t o a c t i o n o n 1 3 t h N o v e m b e r, 2 0 1 0 a s he called a meeting discussing how to build and

c a p i t a l i s e o n a s h a r e d n e t w o r k w h e r e H o n g K o n g Fu n g S c h o l a r s c a n e n a b l e o n e a n o t h e r t h r o u g h s e l f - i n i t i a t e d p r o j e c t s . O n t h e s a m e d a y t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s H o n g K o n g C h a p t e r w a s e s t a b l i s h e d , d e d i c a t e d t o t h e f l o u r i s h i n g o f l o c a l Fu n g S c h o l a r s .

K e v i n a l w a y s s e e s h i m s e l f a s a f a c i l i t a t o r. “ M y o b j e c t i v e , a s p r e s i d e n t o f t h e C h a p t e r, i s t o h e l p Fu n g S c h o l a r s a c h i e v e t h e i r g o a l s and encourage them to dream bigger and make use of the ever-growing network we s h a r e . I w i l l b e t h e r e w h e r e t h e y n e e d m e .’ It is in his view that the local chapter will commit themselves to the betterment of t h e s o c i e t y a n d b e y o n d . “ T h e f a c t i s , Fu n g Scholars have every capacity to accomplish g r e a t t h i n g s ,” h e a s s e r t s . “ I t i s i n d e e d a humbling honour for me to have been awarded this scholarship which allows me to bond with a great many well-educated, d e v o t e d , a n d c u l t u r a l l y d i v e r s e Fu n g S c h o l a r s a t h o m e a n d a b r o a d .”

Asked what made him a leader who is widely regarded to be very modest and unassuming, Kevin replies: “I can hardly claim such praise. I grew up in church where I understand that if I were to exercise l e a d e r s h i p, I w o u l d t r y t o p o s i t i o n m y s e l f a s a servant leader - someone who is always ready to aid, guide and walk alongside those in need, rather than someone who exercises r i g i d c o m m a n d o r c o n t r o l .” Fo r t h o s e w h o are working their ways to success, he offers inspiration, challenging them to fly even h i g h e r. Kevin says he also experienced servant leadership first-hand. He vividly recalls


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teachers in his secondary school who reached out to him when he needed them most. “ They showed care in my darkest hours and lent support to me in ways I could not i m a g i n e ,” h e s a y s . H e i s a l s o d e e p l y g r a t e f u l for the life -coaches and mentors he met later in life who not only led him to think but also follow principles that identify with s e r v a n t l e a d e r s h i p. “One word that can summarise such l e a d e r s h i p i s t h e w o r d t r u s t ,” h e s a y s . “ Tr u s t i s t h e f o u n d a t i o n u p o n w h i c h ever y relationship flourishes. A good r e l a t i o n s h i p, m o r e o v e r, i s s o r t o f t h e e n g i n e o f l e a d e r s h i p, d r i v i n g a t e a m t o s u c c e s s . T h a t ’s w h y I v a l u e t h e w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h e v e r y Fu n g S c h o l a r, a n d i t i s m y m o t t o that we can grow in love, and only in love, w e w i l l g r o w. Tr u s t i s o n l y f o u n d i n l o v e ,” h e explains. K e l v i n h a s a l w a y s t r u s t e d Fu n g S c h o l a r s . “ I say this without a shadow of a doubt that when they make plans and commitments, t h e y w i l l d e l i v e r.” Pe r h a p s i t i s t h a t a b i d i n g f a i t h i n Fu n g S c h o l a r s t h a t h a s m o t i v a t e d K e v i n t o g o t o g r e a t l e n g t h s t o m e n t o r, engage, identify their needs, and develop them into dream-starters. Over the past decade, thanks to his leadership and the c o n c e r t e d e f f o r t s p u t i n b y Fu n g S c h o l a r s ,

a number of self-initiated programmes have been successfully organised. These range from volunteering activities, postdeparture gatherings and Christmas parties, to team-building workshops, the g a l a d i n n e r, a n d o n l i n e s e m i n a r s . H o w e v e r, i t i s n o t w i t h o u t c h a l l e n g e s . “ T h e r e have been times when I had to intervene and redirect them when their focus failed t o a l i g n w i t h t h e o r i g i n a l o b j e c t i v e s ,” h e adds. “ That said, with the trust and full s u p p o r t f r o m t h e Fo u n d a t i o n , a n d f r o m M r. K M Wo n g , J e n n y A n n , Tr a c y, Ta m m y, E r i n a n d s o m a n y o t h e r u n n a m e d Fu n g S c h o l a r s , we have succeeded in passing significant milestones and reaching where we are t o d a y,” h e s a y s . When asked about the way for ward, Kevin e n v i s i o n s a c o m m u n i t y o f Fu n g S c h o l a r s seeing each other as life -long buddies. “ Why not celebrate impor tant milestones in life such as career advancement, marriage, and even retirement together?” he asks. He calls u p o n Fu n g S c h o l a r s , l o c a l a n d o v e r s e a s , t o seize the opportunity of being part of this c u l t u r a l m e l t i n g p o t , t o a d v i s e e a c h o t h e r, t o t r a v e l a r o u n d t h e g l o b e t o g e t h e r, a n d t o make collective contributions to our world.


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Interview with Jamie Ko

(FS 2009/10, Singapore Management University):

Social impact in action

Interviewer: Helen Qu (FS 2018/19;19/20, Harvard University) Writer: Euqani Fung (FS 2011/12, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

J a m i e K o i s a 2 0 0 9 / 1 0 Fu n g S c h o l a r. W i t h t h e s u p p o r t o f t h e Fo u n d a t i o n , s h e s p e n t a s e m e s t e r s t u d y i n g i n G e r m a n y. J a m i e f i r s t a t t e n d e d t h e a n n u a l Fu n g S c h o l a r s Le a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n ce i n 2 0 1 0 a n d wa s a c t i v e l y e n g a g e d i n t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s co m m u n i t y s i n ce t h e n . I n t h e s a m e y e a r, s h e s u g g e s t e d t o t h e Fo u n d a t i o n t o s e t u p t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s S i n g a p o r e C h a p t e r. To g e t h e r w i t h t h e l o ca l F S , va r i o u s k i n d o f w e r e o r g a n i z e d t o b u i l d co n n e c t i o n a m o n g F S . J a m i e h a s a ke e n i n t e r e s t i n m a k i n g t h e w o r l d a b e t t e r p l a ce. O u t s i d e o f w o r k , s h e ke e p s t h e h o b b y o f c ra f t i n g a n d s t a r t e d h e r o w n p r o j e c t t o e x p l o r e h o w c ra f t ca n b e u s e d a s co n v e r s a t i o n s t a r t s f o r s o c i a l i s s u e s.

Helen: Can you share with e x p e r i e n c e a s a Fu n g S c h o l a r ?

us

your

Helen: Can you share more about what you have been up to after graduation?

J a m i e : I w a s a Fu n g S c h o l a r i n 2 0 1 0 w h e n I s t u d i e d a b r o a d i n G e r m a n y. I l a t e r r e c e i v e d an email invitation to attend the Annual Leadership Conference in Hong Kong, and that was how I got more involved with the Fo u n d a t i o n .

J a m i e : A f t e r g r a d u a t i o n , I w a s n’ t q u i t e s u r e what job I wanted to do and which industry I wanted to be in. I came across consulting, where you can get the chance to be exposed to different industries. I joined the Boston C o n s u l t i n g G r o u p ( B CG ) a s m y f i r s t j o b a f t e r graduation, where I was also involved in many social impact projects.

2 0 1 0 : Fi r s t Fu n g S c h o l a r s Le a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e

I wanted to do something different, not just advising companies and people, but a l s o t o m a k e t h i n g s h a p p e n . A f t e r m y B CG stint, I joined a star t-up co-founded by my t e a m m a t e a t B CG . I g o t a v e r y d i f f e r e n t experience, and I really enjoyed it. After which, another opportunity came up to work i n a p u b l i c p o l i c y r o l e a t G r a b. I d o n’ t h a v e any background in government or public p o l i c y, b u t I h a v e a l w a y s b e e n i n t e r e s t e d i n social impact, and the company has a strong


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social impact angle and a social mission at the same time. I think being in the middle of business and government is an interesting s p o t w h e r e y o u’r e t r y i n g t o b a l a n c e w h a t social objectives the government has, while making sure the business can continue to o p e r a t e s u s t a i n a b l y. This is a brief histor y of my career t r a j e c t o r y. Pa r a l l e l t o w o r k , I k e p t t h e hobby of crafting. A lot of work we did in school and in management consulting is a bit intangible, and I wanted to create real things with my hands. I set the KPI for myself to put up one thing per month on

m y b l o g , j u s t t o m a k e s u r e t h a t I w o n’ t g i v e u p o n t h e c r a f t i n g h o b b y. Over time, that hobby evolved a little bit to where I star ted Craft for Conversations l a s t y e a r. A f t e r I p i c k e d u p t h e b a s i c s k i l l s for crafting, the next question was how could I express something with the craft t h a t I k n o w. I t a l s o t i e s i n w i t h m y i n t e r e s t in social impact, where I think meaningful conversations can be had through craft. I see my professional and personal path in a direction genuinely trying to see how I can make the world a better place.

J a m i e ’s c r a f t i n g h o b b y @ m a d e m y o w n c o a n d C r a f t f o r C o n v e r s a t i o n s p r o j e c t @ c r a f t f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n s


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Helen: How did you first recognize your passion? Jamie: My interest in social impact was d e v e l o p e d i n c o l l e g e . I n m y j u n i o r y e a r, I came across the Social Entrepreneurship C l u b.

Social

entrepreneurship

social

enterprises

were

fairly

and new

concepts back in 2007. They told me it was business that achieved social outcomes. I joined the student club and started to get a lot more awareness about social impact. I learned that businesses have a huge potential to make a social difference, because

they

know

well

how

the

2008: Shopping for fabric in a market in Kathmandu, Nepal for Project Lil’ Mustard Seed - a social enterprise based in Nepal which Jamie worked with during my time at my u n i v e r s i t y ’s s o c i a l e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p c l u b

system and the market work. It always drives them to move for ward to scale up and to be sustainable, and I think t h a t ’s w h a t i s r e a l l y n e e d e d i n t r y i n g to systematically change and create i m p a c t . Fo r e x a m p l e , y o u c a n t r y t o get people to stop using straws, or you can get a large company to tweak their supply chain to reduce impact on the environment. The impact will be far larger by changing business practices! 2009: Making a presentation for a social enterprise project at the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition


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H e l e n : Yo u h a v e b e e n a c t i v e l y e n g a g e d i n Fu n g S c h o l a r s S i n g a p o r e c h a p t e r. We love to learn more from your experience. Jamie: My first experience was at the leadership conference. Back then there was limited awareness of the foundation. Knowing about the network was a bit by chance, and through that, it opened a whole new world for me. It was the first time I saw so many people from different countries mingling at an event and that was really exciting. Then I came back to Singapore and suggested to one of the s t a f f o f t h e Fo u n d a t i o n t h a t w e s h o u l d s e t up something. The minimum goal was to let people know about the network and o p p o r t u n i t i e s i t c o u l d o f f e r. We a l s o h a d events like pre -departure gatherings to l e t t h e m k n o w t h e Fo u n d a t i o n n o t o n l y provides financial support but also helps build connections amongst scholars. After that we star ted having different kinds of activities with the elements of leadership n e t w o r k a n d c o m m u n i t y. Some examples were Dialogue in the Dark, helping a central kitchen to prepare food f o r t h e n e e d y, v i s i t i n g a n o l d f o l k ’s h o m e , knowing different par ts of Singapore (for example, migrant workers in Little India). There was even a virtual sharing session between Bangladesh and Singapore, which w a s i n i t i a t e d b y a Fu n g s c h o l a r w h o w a s not in Singapore. Through these kinds of activities, participants got to experience t h i n g s t h a t t h e y d o n’ t u s u a l l y g e t a c h a n c e to encounter in their usual social circles.

2013: Singapore Chapter outing to Dialogue in the Dark, a social Enterprise in Singapore

2015: Singapore Fung Scholars volunteering at a community kitchen ( Willing Hear ts)

2016: Skype session with Bangladesh Fung Scholars


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Helen: How would you compare your experience with management consulting and with non-profits organizations like t h e Vi c t o r a n d Wi l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d a t i o n ? Co u l d we make volunteer-based organization more efficient?

2018: Singapore Fung Scholars at the 2018 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference in Hong Kong

2019: Singapore Fung Scholars at the 2019 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference in Shanghai

J a m i e : I t h i n k i t ’s a b a l a n c e . I ’ v e c o m e t o a bit of realization that the push for efficiency may not actually be the primary objective in different scenarios. I volunteered for a M e e t - t h e - Pe o p l e s e s s i o n i n S i n g a p o r e , i n w h i c h t h e M e m b e r s o f Pa r l i a m e n t f o r each constituency would meet residents once a week to hear about what challenges they faced. I remember when I was first there, my first instinct was to think about how it could be more efficient, serving m o r e p e o p l e i f y o u s t r e a m l i n e s t u f f. T h e n I realized sometimes you can only solve things to a certain extent, and maybe the point was not to be efficient, but to give people time and space to share their problems. Sometimes people just want to be heard and express themselves. That prompted me to reflect that sometimes, the time you invest in an activity can also be for a different reason, rather than to maximize o u t p u t . I t ’s a l w a y s a b a l a n c e . I t s e e m s obvious that the more efficient you are, t h e m o r e p e o p l e y o u c a n h e l p. I n t h e c a s e o f l o c a l c h a p t e r s , h o w e v e r, y o u c a n b u i l d connections with smaller groups of people, and that in return helps you achieve more coverage in the longer run. I think the drive for efficiency is just one aspect of life. Life i s n’ t j u s t a b o u t m a x i m i z i n g e f f i c i e n c y.


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L o o k i n g a t t h e S i n g a p o r e C h a r t e r, i t ’s a b i t o f a c h a l l e n g e , b u t i t ’s a p r o c e s s a s i t g r o w s over time.

Helen: Do you have future expectations f o r t h e Fo u n d a t i o n t o m a k e a m o v e forward?

In the beginning, there were just ver y few p e o p l e , s o e v e r y b o d y k n e w e a c h o t h e r. O v e r time, as more people get informed and learn a b o u t t h e c h a p t e r, a n d y o u g e t m o r e a n d more people involved. It is a reality that the bonds among scholars became less strong, because there are just more people. How do you sustain the interest of the community?

Jamie: Ever yone looked for ward to the Conference to meet in person. Things might h a v e c h a n g e d a b i t b e c a u s e o f CO V I D – i t h a d t o b e h e l d o n l i n e l a s t y e a r, a n d m o r e p e o p l e got a chance to participate in it. There were some interesting sharings in 2020, and I am looking for ward to the upcoming one this y e a r. Pe o p l e w h o a r e e x p e r t s o r w h o h a v e interesting experiences will have things to share about different topics. I think i t ’s v a l u a b l e t o b e a b l e t o l e a r n f r o m e a c h o t h e r, b e c a u s e w e t e n d t o h a n g o u t w i t h the same people who have similar exposure o r t h i n k i n a s i m i l a r w a y. I really look for ward to continuing to participate in those things and seeing how t h e Fo u n d a t i o n c a n b r i n g d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e together and create more opportunities to connect.

I n a c o m p a n y, u s u a l l y i t ’s a l i t t l e b i t e a s i e r t o f i g u r e o u t . Yo u d o y o u r j o b e i t h e r b e c a u s e y o u w a n t t h e m o n e y, o r y o u g e n u i n e l y l o v e the work and it aligns with your goals and passions. In all these volunteer interest groups, the things you can give in return a r e l e s s o b v i o u s v e r s u s i n a c o m p a n y. S o how do you balance what people expect to get, and what we expect people to put in? The way that they work together will probably be a little bit more vague as well.

2019: Singapore Chapter Christmas / New Year par ty

2021: Screenshot from 2021 vir tual Fung Scholars Leadership Conference


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H e l e n : I s a w y o u’r e v e r y p a s s i o n a t e a b o u t connecting people and empowering the daily life of people through your previous experiences. How do you shift it to the advisory side when working in a c o m p a ny ? Jamie: Consulting is not really like the r e a l w o r l d . I t ’s u n f o r t u n a t e a n d f o r t u n a t e . U n f o r t u n a t e l y, i t i s a c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f people who think in a fairly structured and s i m i l a r m a n n e r, w h i c h i s g r e a t f o r c e r t a i n t h i n g s l i k e p r o b l e m s o l v i n g , b u t i t ’s n o t representative of how the real world is. One o f t h e k e y d i f f e r e n c e s I s a w i s : w h e n y o u’r e out in the real world, you end up having to spend a lot more time understanding and explaining to people why you think in a c e r t a i n w a y. I n c o n s u l t i n g , p e o p l e t e n d t o have similar problem-solving approaches. I t ’s v e r y f a s t w h e n y o u w a n t t o d o a n y t h i n g , a n d y o u’r e t h i n k i n g i n t h e s a m e w a y. U s u a l l y when clients pay to have consultants work o n a p r o j e c t , e v e r y o n e’s r e a l l y i n v e s t e d i n that; therefore, you come together having a problem to solve, and you just do it e f f i c i e n t l y. But in the real world, not everybody thinks i n t h e s a m e m a n n e r. Pe o p l e t h i n k i n a d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e a n d t h a t ’s a v e r y f a i r p e r s p e c t i v e . S o, h o w d o y o u u n d e r s t a n d , s p e a k t o, a n d c o n n e c t w i t h p e o p l e i n different ways, and get them to buy into w h a t y o u’r e t r y i n g t o d o, a n d h o w d o y o u align your priorities with theirs? I think those are real things that everyone has to

l e a r n t o d e a l w i t h . I t ’s v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g t o work with people who think in different w a y s . I t ’s a c h a l l e n g e , b u t a t t h e s a m e t i m e very enriching because it brings a lot of different perspectives. And it is what is needed to truly resolve issues and move things for ward with different stakeholders. These things are impor tant to me. It is about how you adjust and use the skills of problem solving and empathy to understand d i f f e r e n t p e r s p e c t i v e s w h e n i t ’s i n t h e r i g h t context. Even for consultants, when you go into a client, the first thing to do is try to b e e f f i c i e n t . I f y o u t h i n k a b o u t e m p a t h y, how would the person feel if the first thing you told him was that whatever he/she has been doing for his/her whole life was i n e f f i c i e n t ? T h a t d o e s n’ t m a k e a n y b o d y f e e l g o o d . Yo u c a n a l w a y s b r i n g t o o l s a n d n e w a p p r o a c h e s t o h e l p m a k e t h i n g s b e t t e r, b u t how do you get people to join you and do something together? Helen: Who is the most influential person i n y o u r l i f e a n d w hy ? J a m i e : I d o n’ t k n o w i f I h a v e o n e i n f l u e n t i a l person. I do have a few people whom I think of in different situations. One friend from junior college is like the opposite of me. I know her to be very rational and very good at solving problems. I always think of her whenever something gets stuck. I would think about what she would do in that context.


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Another person is a colleague and friend of mine I got to know during my consulting d a y s . S h e’s v e r y b u b b l y, a d i f f e r e n t s t y l e from what you expect from a consultant. That really inspires me to become something closer to that. A consultant is stereotyped as very sleek and polished. S h e’s m o r e p e r s o n a b l e a n d a d o r a b l e , a n d a lot of clients really enjoyed working with h e r. I l o v e h o w s h e i s a b l e t o b e s u c c e s s f u l i n t h a t w a y, a n d i t r e m i n d s m e t h a t i t i s possible to also be credible and retain y o u r o w n p e r s o n a l i t y - - y o u d o n’ t h a v e t o c o n f o r m t o a s p e c i f i c s t e r e o t y p e . Yo u c a n b e c o m f o r t a b l e b e i n g y o u r s e l f. T h a t a s p e c t of her has inspired me in the way I develop m y s e l f i n m y c a r e e r, w h e r e I d o n’ t f e e l I h a v e to conform to become a different person. At different stages there are cer tain people whom I look to help guide me in terms of how I shape and react to different things. H e l e n : W h a t d o y o u v a l u e m o s t a n d w hy ? Jamie: Not quite sure. I value making the world a better place, leaving the world in a better state. I think it is impor tant that it shapes how I decide in either my personal l i f e , o r m y c o n s u l t i n g h a b i t s i n m y c a r e e r. I t h i n k t h a t g e n e r a l l y g u i d e s m e . E m p a t h y, and trying to be thoughtful about how people feel in different circumstances is also something I find to be important.

Helen: What are the criteria you use to define whether it is a better world or not? J a m i e : I d o n’ t t h i n k I h a v e c l e a r c r i t e r i a t o define what a better world looks like yet! If I bring it to a personal level, I think of it as how can I be better than before in terms of the choices I made in the past versus those I c a n m a k e i n t h e f u t u r e . Fo r e x a m p l e , I used to buy a lot of clothes, and I loved to s h o p. I k n o w t h a t ’s n o t a g r e a t h a b i t w h e n i t c o m e s t o e n v i r o n m e n t a l s u s t a i n a b i l i t y. Now I want to consume less, but more i n t e n t i o n a l l y. I t h i n k o f h o w m y c h o i c e s c a n be incrementally a bit better for the world when I make them. H e l e n : I t ’s i m p r e s s i v e t o s e e t h a t y o u a c h i e v e s o m a ny t h i n g s a t t h e s a m e t i m e . S o, c a n y o u s h a r e w i t h u s s o m e t i p s t o keep yourself energetic or small things that make you happy? Jamie: I personally find it important to have hobbies outside of work. I feel that they help me to be more holistic as a person. Because if you have diverse hobbies that are ver y different from what you do at work - - i t h e l p s y o u t h i n k i n a d i f f e r e n t w a y, different par ts of your brain get used and e n g a g e d . I t h i n k i t ’s h a v i n g p a s s i o n s a n d hobbies outside of work that recharges y o u r s e l f. H e l e n : T h a n k y o u s o m u c h f o r t h e i n t e r v i e w.



POST-PANDEMIC ERA


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What comes after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics? Yuting Cai (FS2019, The University of Tokyo)

Yo u n g s t e r s s t r u g g l i n g t o b e h o p e f u l f o r the future When I applied for a job to work for the To k y o 2 0 2 0 O l y m p i c s i n 2 0 1 8 , I h a d n e v e r imagined that it would be such challenging t o h o l d t h e g a m e . To k y o 2 0 2 0 w a s e x p e c t e d to be an economic booster for Japan where the economy has stagnated for around 20 years. Japan had prepared for the games since 2013 by building new sports venues, hotels, and renovating major stations such a s H a r a j u k u . T h e t o t a l s p e n d i n g f o r To k y o 2020 is said to be 4,000,000,000,000 JPY (US$35,200,000,000). The Japanese central government, local governments, and local companies were taking the Olympics as a once in a lifetime chance to break the cooped-up atmosphere filling the Japanese society and economy for more than 20 years. A lot of commercials and T V series related to the Olympics were made i n t h e p a s t 7 y e a r s . To k y o 2 0 2 0 O l y m p i c s seemed to be a bond uniting various actors and pushing Japan as a country to head towards a brighter future. A c c r e d i t a t i o n f o r t h e To k y o 2 0 2 0


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Te a m p h o t o i n t h e n e w l y b u i l t s w i m m i n g p o o l

I n M a r c h 2 0 2 0 , I s h a r e d w i t h t h e Fu n g Scholars during an online sharing session o n “ To k y o O l y m p i c s g a m e s a n d CO V I D - 1 9 ” . I shared how the border restriction was delay because of the hesitation of the Japanese government, who initially persisted in holding the Olympics in 2020. S i n c e t h e p a n d e m i c , To k y o 2 0 2 0 c a m e to shed light on the negative aspects of Japanese society instead of being a common g o a l f o r e v e r y o n e . O n Fe b r u a r y 1 2 , 2 0 2 1 , the chief of the organizing committee, Yo s h i r o M o r i a g e d 8 3 , r e s i g n e d a f t e r f a c i n g widespread criticism over sexist comments he delivered. After a month of his apologies and resignation, he opened himself again

for criticism by saying a female political s t a f f e r w a s “ t o o o l d t o c a l l a w o m a n”. O n March 18, 2021, Hiroshi Sasaki, creative director resigned admitting that he proposed last year to a group of planning team members that celebrity Naomi Wa t a n a b e c o m e d o w n f r o m t h e s k y i n a p i g c o s t u m e t o p l a y t h e r o l e o f a n “ O l y m p i g” d u r i n g t h e O l y m p i c o p e n i n g c e r e m o n y. O n July 22, 2021, one day before the opening c e r e m o n y, K e n t a r o K o b a y a s h i , d i r e c t o r o f the opening ceremony has been dismissed because of his footage from the 1990s emerged in which he appears to make jokes about the Holocaust. All the expectations, hopes and effor ts accumulated for years seemed to have collapsed in a few months.


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Olympic monument in front of the Olympic stadium

A f t e r a s e r i e s o f s c a n d a l s , To k y o 2 0 2 0 Olympic games was held from 23 July to 8 August 2021, one year behind the original schedule and mostly without any spectators. It was a very controversial game - around

40-50% of Japanese people were against the Olympics. Many of my friends held the same v i e w t o o. O n e s a i d i t i s n o t f a i r t o h o l d t h e Olympics while suspending regional sports competitions for high school students.


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Light show with no spectators

Amid the controversial debate, I had a complicated feeling while working for the Olympic broadcasters. H o w e v e r, working in the Olympic games was truly an unforgettable experience. Having met the

Olympians competing at the Olympics, I was very moved thinking about all the hard effor ts and dedication they have made for the past 5 years under the uncer tain situations.


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Wo r k i n g f o r t h e o p e n i n g c e r e m o n y o n J u l y 2 3 r d

T h e Pa r a l y m p i c s i s b e i n g t a k e n p l a c e a t t h e time of writing this ar ticle.There is still an ambivalent feeling inside me because the n u m b e r o f CO V I D c a s e s h a s d o u b l e d a f t e r the Olympics, and many national spor t, cultural events and school classes for kids are restricted. Japan is hitting record high covid cases every week. As the game has

already been started, I sincerely hope it will be held safely and will be a shining stage f o r a l l t h e Pa r a l y m p i a n s . Japan will lose the way to unite as a country with huge debt left after the games. As a youngster in Japan, the future I see is doomed rather than hopeful.


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U . S . A s w i m t e a m h o l d i n g “ T H A N K YO U T O K YO ” i n s t e a d o f t h e i r n a t i o n a l f l a g


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Newly built Olympic Stadium using 153,000,000,000 JPY(US$1,346,400,000)


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COVID-19, the NHS and British Schools Nikita Hayward (FS2014/15, University of Oxford) I t i s u n d i s p u t e d t h a t t h e CO V I D - 1 9 p a n d e m i c has brought about fundamental changes for the healthcare and education industries in the UK. I think that the profound impact on the macrocosm has also affected my own life, almost as a microcosm of this change. Healthcare has been forced to prioritise telehealth and focus on accessibility c h a l l e n g e s . Fo r e x a m p l e , w h a t h a p p e n s t o older patients in more remote areas who rely on public transport to get to hospitals? Why has it taken until now for some doctors’ surgeries to digitize their registration and prescription services?

On an individual level, some forms of contraception, such as the so-called “m i n i p i l l ”, a r e n o w g o i n g t o b e a v a i l a b l e from pharmacies, whereas previously in England this would have required a d o c t o r ’s a p p o i n t m e n t . T h i s h i g h l i g h t s t h e inequity of health services in underserved communities where people might not be r e g i s t e r e d w i t h a l o c a l d o c t o r s ’ s u r g e r y. The NHS has been severely tested by the pandemic, and so the emphasis now is on bringing treatment and medication to patients in whatever settings are possible, instead of relying on a centralized network


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of medical professionals in hospitals and clinics. I n e d u c a t i o n , t h e i m p a c t o f CO V I D - 1 9 i s only just starting to become apparent. What happens to students who missed their l a s t t e r m a t p r i m a r y s c h o o l l a s t y e a r, a n d who joined secondary school thoroughly unprepared last September? What will happen to the students supposed to sit t h e i r G C S E s t h i s y e a r, w h o d i d i n - c l a s s assessments instead of public exams? Next year some of these students will continue to sit major exams, but without the practice of strict exam discipline. In addition, the government has announced that some of the syllabus will be cut, and exam topics given in advance, as so much schooling has been missed. This has been a truly exceptional 18 months for UK schools, and there will be a knock-on effect as these s t u d e n t s t r a n s i t i o n t o u n i v e r s i t y.

Wo r k i n g i n S E N ( S p e c i a l E d u c a t i o n a l N e e d s ) education for the past eight months has been massively insightful. I continued to travel to work on public transpor t in London t h r o u g h o u t J a n u a r y a n d p a r t o f Fe b r u a r y, e v e n a s t h e s e c o n d CO V I D w a v e i n t e n s i f i e d . S c h o o l s d i d n o t “c l o s e” f o r p u p i l s w i t h special needs, and pupils with individual E H C Ps ( E d u c a t i o n , H e a l t h a n d C a r e P l a n s ) were allowed to continue attending. Some school staff continue to work onsite during the holidays, and I will be returning to work in August to prepare paper work for S e p t e m b e r ’s S E N i n t a k e . There has been huge disruption to therapy ser vices, including Drama, Speech and L a n g u a g e a n d P h y s i o t h e r a p y, w h i c h h a s b e e n c a r r i e d o u t l a r g e l y r e m o t e l y, o r e v e n in a local park, in desperate cases. This interrupted provision has greatly affected students, some of whom waited over a year t o s e e a p r o f e s s i o n a l s u c h a s a Te a c h e r of the Deaf who could update and test


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t h e i r h e a r i n g e q u i p m e n t . I n t h i s w a y, t h e pandemic has exacerbated the already deep division between SEN students and their peers. I think that the focus on teletherapy and remote resources will continue in conjunction with better training for essential staff (Learning Suppor t or Te a c h i n g A s s i s t a n t s ) w h o i n t e r a c t w i t h these students on a regular basis. My aspirations and professional goals have been completely transformed by the pandemic. In March 2020 I had just star ted an editing job in London, for a f i n a n c i a l a d v i s o r y c o m p a n y. W h e n t h e first lockdown hit, I began taking online courses in communication difficulties such as dysphagia and aphasia. I also started t o v o l u n t e e r a s a “p h o n e b u d d y ” w i t h t h e UK charities The Stroke Association and Aphasia Reconnect. I would speak to stroke survivors to help them practice having casual conversations again, and to help alleviate the loneliness they felt as they isolated themselves for their own safety before they could be vaccinated. At this stage, a whole new world of possibilities opened to me as I reached

out to qualified Speech and Language T h e r a p i s t s v i a m y u n i v e r s i t y ’s c a r e e r platform, and through friends of friends. I realised that I wanted a career change and that my volunteering had now given me the necessar y experience to apply for a postgraduate university course in Speech a n d L a n g u a g e T h e r a p y. Fu r t h e r m o r e , I g a v e a n o n l i n e p r e s e n t a t i o n t o Fu n g S c h o l a r s about Communication, based on the book The Diving Bell and the Butter fly – this later became par t of my personal statement. I look for ward to star ting my course in S e p t e m b e r, b u t a s t h e U K i s s t i l l c o m i n g t o t e r m s w i t h CO V I D m y l e a r n i n g w i l l b e delivered through a variety of in-person placements and remote lectures. I hope to qualify as a Speech and Language therapist and provide more personalised healthcare to marginalized people, perhaps working alongside mainstream or special schools or with adults in a clinical setting. The pandemic has highlighted the desperate need for more healthcare professionals in the UK, and the need to adapt to rapidly changing times, both of which I aim to tackle head-on upon my return to fulltime education.




BIOGRAPHY EDITORIAL


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Editor-in-chief

Editor

Jing is now a postgraduate at Renmin University of China majoring in higher education (2021-2023). She became a Fu n g S c h o l a r d u r i n g h e r exc h a n g e at t h e University of Hong Kong in 2019, when she was a junior studying Anthropology a t X i a m e n U n i v e r s i t y. S h e l i k e s r e a d i n g , writing, traveling and communicating with people from different backgrounds. As an outgoing and energetic girl, she hopes to fully achieve her interest and potential in whatever field she chooses.

Ca r l b e c a m e a Fu n g S c h o l a r i n 2 0 1 6 and completed an exchange program at the Wester n Sydney Universit y where he studied basic modules in health science. After graduating from Hong Kong Baptist University in 2017 with a first class honours degree in Physical Education and Recreation Management, h e w e n t o n t o c o m p l e t e a M a s t e r ’s degree in physiotherapy in the UK at the University of East Anglia and graduated w i t h a d i s t i n c t i o n . N o w, h e w o r k s a s a physiotherapist in the National Health Service in London. Carl is very keen on m a k i n g co n n e c t i o n s w i t h o t h e r Fu n g Scholars and he can be reached at carlwongcm@gmail.com.

Jing Zhang FS2019/20, Xiamen University

C a r l Wo n g FS2016/17, Hong Kong Baptist University


Editor

Editor

Freya Rock is a graduate of the University of Oxford and is currently a first year PhD student at the University of Cambridge. She received funding from the Victor and William Foundation to visit Hong Kong in the summer of 2019 for an internship a t H a n g S e n g U n i v e r s i t y.

H e l e n Q u i s a g r a d u a t e o f Ts i n g h u a University and continues to pursue a m a s t e r ’s d e g r e e i n t h e R e g i o n a l S t u d i e s : E a s t A s i a p r o g r a m a t H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y, where she focuses on state-business relations and narrative economics. She is passionate about combining problemsolving with storytelling to create a social impact. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, travelling, and she looks forward to making connections with m o re a m a z i n g Fu n g S c h o l a r s. H e l e n c a n be reached at helen.chenyu.qu@gmail. com.

Freya Rock FS2019/20, University of Oxford

Helen Qu FS2018/19, FS2019/20, Harvard University

e d it or i al .

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Editor

Editor

K e n re ce i ve d t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p i n the year of 2016 and spent an exchange semester in Sheffield, England. In 2019, he graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, holding a double degree of English studies and English Education and has since been a t e a c h e r a t S t M a r k ’s S c h o o l . H e i s n o w t h e co - h e a d o f t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s ( H o n g Kong Chapter).

Maria Romanova received her BA in Chinese from the University of Oxford in 2017, her MPhil in Cultural Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2021. She is currently a first year PhD s t u d e n t a t N o r t h w e s t e r n U n i v e r s i t y. I n 2014, she received funding from the Vi c to r a n d Wi l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n d at i o n as par t of her year abroad at Pek ing U n i v e r s i t y.

Ken Fung FS2016/17, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Maria Romanova FS2014/15, University of Oxford


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Editor

Designer

M av i s re ce i ve d t h e L i & Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p for a one -year exchange at The University of Liverpool during which she had the opportunity to study different subjects, explore towns in Britain and work at a Chinese restaurant to enrich her overseas experience. She studied Psychology and is now a current Master candidate in Social Service Management.

Naomi is a graduate from the University of Hong Kong and is currently working a s a l a n d s c a p e d e s i g n e r.

Mavis loves distance running, breadmaking and has an unknowing passion for burgers. She looks forward to meeting new FS buddies — to join hands for the social good and share happiness in food and sports missions.

M a v i s Fa n FS2013/14, The University of Hong Kong

As an individual, she loves discovering beautiful things around her; natural sceneries, exquisite architectures, and artwork are what attract her the most. She also enjoys designing anything visually appealing which always catches her attention.

Naomi Chan FS2019/20, The University of Hong Kong

e d it or i al .

Mavis is now working as an administrator in the Hong Kong higher education/ n o n - p r o f i t s e c t o r. I n h e r o w n t i m e , s h e teaches young pupils, provides writing guidance for job seekers, and provides volunteering services.

S h e re ce i ve d Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p d u r i n g 2019/20 for a semester exchange at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. Her discipline, landscape architecture, has its academic origin in the States and many contemporary scholars and projects that she has b e e n s t u d y i n g a r e f r o m t h i s c o u n t r y. The exchange experience is indeed an invaluable one for her to have a personal touch with all the projects that she has heard about, read about but had never laid eyes on.


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Writer

Writer

Narcissa is a Business Analyst in the r e t a i l a n a l y t i c s i n d u s t r y, w h e r e s h e helps clients understand, establish, and transform data foundations across data analytics and dashboarding use cases. She is an avid learner with diverse experiences across marketing, content strategy and digital transformation and is constantly on the look-out to pick up new areas of interest.

Nikita Hayward (University of Oxford) participated in Beijing Normal U n i v e r s i t y ’s International Yo u t h Leadership Programme in 2014, funded by a Fu n g s c h o l a r s h i p. Th e a m a z i n g experience of collaborating with international students led her to return to China to study at Shandong Normal University (Jinan) in 2016. She has also worked at the Asian University for Women (AUW ) in Bangladesh, alongside o t h e r Fu n g s c h o l a r s.

Albeit enjoying the active moments between yoga, dance, long walks and more, “potato-ing” on the couch and lazing with the family cat are close contenders for her free time. Narcissa also enjoys deep conversations with people from different backgrounds, learning more from their stories of personal experiences.

In 2020 Nikita returned to the UK from Nanjing, where she spent over a year working as an editor for a major Chinese t e l e c o m m u n i c a t i o n s c o m p a n y. S h e h a s passed HSK 3 and currently works as a Learning Support Assistant for students with Special Educational Needs in London.

L i n k e d I n : h t t p s : / / w w w. l i n k e d i n . c o m / i n / narcissakoh/

Narcissa Koh FS2017/18, National University of Singapore

Nikita Hayward FS2014/15, University of Oxford


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Writer A fourth-year student studying I n t e r n a t i o n a l R e l a t i o n s a s a m a j o r, German studies as sub major in the U n i v e r s i t y o f To k y o . J o i n e d F u n g Scholars in 2019. I was born and grew up in Japan, and my parents are from Shanghai. Wor ked for OBS(Olympic B r o a d c a s t S u p p o r t ) d u r i n g To k y o 2 0 2 0 Olympic games. Starting career in Financial Sec tor from nex t April. Email:yoyo.ikutei@gmail.com

e d it or i al .

Yu t i n g C a i ( I k u e S a i t o ) FS2019, T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f To k y o



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