Fung Scholars Network Newsletter - Jan 2016

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Happy New Year! The 2016 edition of the Fung Scholars Network Newsletter is here! This edition opens with the Features stories on Global Affairs and Fung Scholars in Service. While the Global Affairs section puts the spotlight on our voted most relevant issues of the year—global food crisis, future of synthetic biology, and China’s One Belt One Road initiative, the new FS in Service section details the volunteering experiences of two Fung Scholars in Singapore and China. Next, we have Foundation Updates with a photo-essay and reflections on the FS Conference last October, themed “Leadership in the Service Era,” as well as an introduction to the establishment of a new London Chapter. This is followed by updates from chapters around the world, making up the Fung Scholars Community. From this global community, we asked four Fung Scholars to share their Remarkable Moments of exciting exchange experiences in France and the UK. Finally, we end on the Upcoming Events, through which we hope to see many familiar faces and welcome new members! All the best wishes for 2016! Nancy Xie (FS2011-12, Harvard University) Project-in-Charge

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Feeding the planet: too much or not enough? Mariah STEWART (FS2011-12, The University of Hong Kong)

A few months ago, I visited the World Expo in Milan. The theme is “Feeding the Planet; Energy for Life”. Apparently, food is the main focus of the exhibition. While it came as no surprise that every country showcased their strengths in culture and technology in the exhibition, there was some food for thought to take away.

The most honest portrayal of food issues was found in Pavilion Zero. The pavilion showcased the relationship between humans and the Earth, from the era of hunter-gatherers, to agricultural communities and modern cities. As societies develop, food is not only a connection between us and the mother nature, but is also closely tied to economic forces. Among different visually stimulating installations was a huge screen which shows you the “Wall Street” of the food commodity market. Numbers on the screen were moving every second to show the food price volatility of different countries, which can be affected by natural disasters, political instability and trade policies. When there is a price hike, poor households in developing countries spend 60-80 percent of their income on food. This could have a profound impact on families’ budget. They spend less money on other expenses on clothes, shelter or medicine.

A giant screen showing food prices around the world at Pavilion Zero.

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Nevertheless, a huge amount of food goes down to the drain on a daily basis. Today, almost one third of the food produced for human consumption globally is wasted or lost. In fact, food waste and food losses are two very different issues. In developed countries, food waste occurs at the end of the supply chain, such as your leftovers and the expired food at supermarkets. In developing countries, food losses happen throughout the supply chain. It is caused by inadequate harvesting and processing techniques, poor infrastructure and transportation systems, and the lack of efficient cold storage systems.

This is an aquaponic container where food is grown in a symbiotic environment at the Belgium Pavilion.

Mountains of rotten food at Pavilion Zero.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) predicts that sufficient food could be produced for human for 30 years from now. The key is the better management of natural resources, production methods, food supply chains and behavioural change of end-consumers. As I walked to the Belgium Pavilion, here came an example of producing food in a smarter way. There was a circular structure on top of a fish tank. It was a kind of food production system called aquaponics. Fish are raised in the tank. They excrete waste and by-products in the water, which is then transported to the circular structure above, breaking down the animal by-products into nitrates to support the vegetables growing on the circular structure. The detoxified water is then recirculated back to the tank, so the fish can continue to grow healthily. There is no water pollution and the use of fertilizers during the process.

After knowing more about food, I thought I should get some food. Therefore, I visited the Future Food District, which is a futuristic supermarket. It looked like an ordinary store at first. However, there were black screens everywhere. When you pick up a food product, the screen automatically shows its price, nutritional value, origins of the ingredients, carbon footprint and information about the brand’s approach to sustainable production. It makes grocery shopping a fun experience. It also enables consumers to make informed purchase decisions and positive impact on food security.

Futuristic supermarket at the Future Food District

That was the end of my day in the World Expo. One message continued to resonate in my mind --- the quest for food security requires strategies in different aspects. Consumers can make a difference. When you go grocery shopping next time, do search for more information that help you decide what to buy! FS Newsletter | Jan 2016



Synthetic Biology: Its Potentials and Challenges Saya DENNIS (FS2014-15, The University of Tokyo)

What if there was cure for cancer in the future? What if there was sufficient food for

everyone, and starvation is but a fiction in retrospect? What if we were using completely sustainable energy, and environmental pollution is but a fable in our distant past? Believe it or not, there is one growing field of study that could possibly realise all of these hopes, and that is, synthetic biology. What is synthetic biology?

The potentials of synthetic biology

Although “synthetic biology” is such a general term that there is no set definition to it, it is essentially any kind of work that involves artificially manipulated synthesis of biological systems. Some say it is simply the art of engineering incorporated into biology, or vice versa. For example, anything from chemically synthesising a biological product, or even the designing of a new organism could be included in the field of synthetic biology.

As mentioned, the potentials of synthetic biology are beyond promising. First of all, synthetic biology exerts a huge influence in the medical field. For instance, it could possibly provide cure for cancer with the artificial synthesis of a protein that could inhibit the growth of tumour cells. Synthetic biology could also contribute to the development of public health, by designing new types of crops that could grow in lands that were formally infertile. Environmental contamination by pesticides could also be reduced by using synthesised biological products as an alternative to chemical pesticides in agriculture. The studies of synthetic biology could also help energy generation by making use of microorganisms that could produce sustainable and environmentallyfriendly biofuels. There are even plants that are designed to glow in the dark. These plants can illuminate your living room with “natural lighting” without using any electricity. Finally, synthetic biology also enables the revival of extinct species such as dinosaurs.

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these potentials are recognised, the field is growing out of the academia and into our daily lives. More and more companies that deal with synthetic biology are appearing and expanding in the technological cluster such as the Silicon Valley. Cambrian Genomics, a company founded in 2011 in San Francisco, uses 3D laser printing of deoxyribonucleic acids (DNA). The technology of 3D printing of DNA has taken the application of biological systems to an entirely new level. It has unleashed the manipulation of systems from making modification step by step, to freely designing an entire biological system from scratch. Another company that is pushing boundaries in the field is illumina, which was founded in 1998. It focuses on the clinical significance of genomic data, which they claim could make medical treatments much more preventive and precise than traditional medical treatment. This company has provided the world with great progress in the aspects of the use of genomic data, such as reading sequences and finding out genotypes of the DNAs. There are countless other companies growing in the field of synthetic biology, and it is certain that this field is going to be a significant part of our daily lives.


HE DILEMMA — meeting needs and ensuring safety

The biggest challenge of synthetic biology is ensuring the safety of its products and their consequences. People are generally sceptical about artificially-manipulated bioproducts, since it feels as if the humans are invading the godly power of creating and designing life. It is true that incorporating these products could possibly have unknown risks in the long run, but it is also a fact that there are parts of the world that desperately calls for instant action, such as health and environmental issues.


REATING A BETTER future for all of us

After all, it is clear that the benefits of synthetic biology outweigh the possible risks. The field has great potentials to solve the greatest challenges of the modern world, such as health, food supply, energy generation, and environmental problems. More importantly, we should all reach out to understand the pros and cons of each method and product of synthetic biology to make the best use out of them for us and for the future generation.

Photo Source:

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The Middle East in China’s New Silk Road Vision: more than Oil Yi YANG (FS2012-13, Nanjing University)

What’s new in the New Silk Road Initiative The new Silk Road initiative is nowadays a popular issue in China. In Middle East and Europe, however, people keep asking “What exactly is it”? While the historic Silk Road facilitated trade and cultural exchange between imperial China and Europe through deserts and mountains, China’s new Silk Road aims to foster commercial cooperation and expansion by connecting China with 60 countries spanning four continents via land and sea. The new Silk Road follows two routes. The land route connects China to Europe. It starts from Central Asia and Russia to the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea through Central and West Asia. The sea route links China to Southeast and South Asia as well as Indian Ocean to Europe.

Source: Telegraph

China keeps marking milestones in selling its high speed trains globally. In Israel, Chinese investors are financing a new 300-kilometer high speed railway in spite of the possible instability of the region. Once completed in 2019, the railway will connect Eilat on the Red Sea and Ashdod Port on the Mediterranean Sea (the black line in the picture), providing alternatives to the Suez Canal. This project, funded by Beijing and launched in Jerusalem, is just one of the initiatives in China’s new Silk Road strategy.

Perceived as a new economic engine, China’s new Silk Road initiative allows China to export its excess industrial capacity into developing countries in Asia and Africa through various transcontinental infrastructure projects such as high speed railways and airports. Also, these land-based and sea-based routes will transform the bi-directional east-west exchange into a multi-directional networking. These routes also facilitate China’s tapping into the burgeoning consumer markets in MENA1 and Sub-Sahara Africa.

Bilateral investment and cooperation between China and the Middle East Apart from deeply strengthened economic ties with Iran and GCC2 countries in energy trade, China is also actively seeking new markets for its capital-intensive industries to revive the declining domestic economy. Middle East countries, especially Saudi Arabia, United Arabic Emirates (UAE) and Iran, have benefited most from the closer trade ties with China in the new Silk Road strategy. Since 2013, Chinese exports to UAE have surpassed its imports from the state, reflecting the Emirates’ unique status as the first destination for Chinese goods to reach the Arab world and beyond. China’s trade with Iran has also developed quickly despite international controversy over Iran’s nuclear program. The value of trade with Iran is expected to increase from 39 billion USD in 2013 to 60 billion USD in 2016. Turkey has also further developed the expanding trade relationship with China, with the value of trade soaring up from 1.44 billion USD in 2000 to 22billion USD in 20143 .

MENA refers to the Middle East and North Africa region. It extends from Morocco to Iran, covering all Middle East and Maghreb countries. About 6% of the world’s population dwells in this region.


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Sources: NDRC, Commerce Ministry, IMF

The Arab Gulf states is comparatively attractive for Chinese investments as well, with their continued political stability after the Arab Spring. In Iran, although the energy sector still dominates China’s investment, petrochemical and metal industries as well as transportation are receiving a massive amount of funding from China. In Turkey, a Chinese company has offered to build a 20-billion USD nuclear power plant. A Chinese state bank has also funded Turkey State Railways for a system upgrade and construction of new high-speed railways. In North Africa, Chinese companies have participated in the Suez Canal Corridor projects and the construction of industrial parks in Egypt. Sustainable partnership between China and the Middle East is far beyond trade and investment, but also cultural exchange. A good example is the establishment of a Chinese international school in Dubai in two years’ time, the first of this kind in the GCC region. If successful, it can help break down linguistic and cultural barriers between the two partners, and further deepen the political and economic ties in the future.

The Middle East as connection between China, Africa and Europe As a valuable market, the Middle East also serves as a critical bridge that closely connects China with Europe and Africa. Take Dubai as an example. Sitting in the geographical centre of the MENA region and South Asia, the Emirate is expanding its strategic role as a trade hub linking Africa with China, especially in China’s traditionally robust industries such as textile, fashion and telecommunication. Jafza, the World’s largest free zone in Dubai, is now hosting more than 250 leading Chinese companies by the first half of 2015, a number that doubled in three years. By the end of 2014, near 60% of China’s total trade passes through the UAE for re-export to Africa, Europe and other parts of the world.











MIDDLE EAST is rich in oil, but has more than oil. In the blueprint of China’s new Silk Road strategy, the Middle East serves beyond an energy supplier. It provides new markets and opportunities for China’s excess domestic industrial production, offers new strategically important trading routes and plans, and connects China more closely with Europe and Africa.

2 Gulf Council of Cooperation (“GCC”) is a regional inter-governmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabic and the United Arab Emirates.

3 China Statistical Yearbook 2014,” Table 11-6: Value of Imports and Exports by Country (Region) of Origin/Destination, National Bureau of Statistics of China, 2014,

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Going beyond Service – Building a Community of Neighbours Lionel TAN (FS2014-15, National University of Singapore) Boon Lay Youth Executive Committee (YEC), Vice-Chairman

Five years ago when I decided to start volunteering, I was turned away by a Community Club and directed to another that was geographically closer to my home. Confused, I obliged anyway and after a year of volunteering, I learnt that the purpose of the Youth Club was not just to serve, but also to engage. Community Service formed a substantial portion of the time we spent at the Youth Club, but relatively the time spent on community engagement held an even bigger portion in my heart. To understand the differences between Community Service and Community Engagement, it is important to recognise the differences in the nature of initiatives. Community Service involves identifying the unique needs of different groups of the society, such as helping less privileged families to obtain financial aid or retrofitting the homes of people with physical disabilities. On the other hand, Community Engagement serves a different need – the need of social creatures to be engaged and involved.

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One fond memory of Community Engagement I have related to was “WESTs the Haunt”, a 5-km Halloween-themed run held in 2013, which brought together a total of 500 participants. Capitalising on the popularity of themed-runs in Singapore, we decided to organise a Halloween run in the heartlands, specifically through Chinese Garden. Through this event, I saw strangers completing the run together and bonding through the post-run movies. The event created a platform for volunteers to forge deeper friendships and for neighbours to enjoy an eventful night together. It further reinforced my belief -- given the appropriate opportunities, neighbours could certainly become friends! Over the past 50 years, it is undeniable

that Singapore has progressed by leaps and bounds. However, the ‘kampong (neighbourly) spirit’ that our grandparents spoke so fondly about has also given way amidst the pragmatic ideals that we all pursue today. Nevertheless, I believe that people have not changed. Instead, behaviour is simply motivated through opportunity. As economies, societies and technologies develop, people have more distractions, opportunities and more complex ideals to pursue. Hence, it may be a time for us to have a re-think about community service. Perhaps what developed countries like Singapore need today is not just community service, but more active community engagement as well.


SG50 Celebrations - The proud family members of one of the ‘People of Boon Lay’ that we featured for the event.

SG50 Breakfast Giveaway – Distributing our local favourite: Toast, Eggs and Coffee to residents of Boon Lay!

WESTs the Game 2013 – Adding a twist by organising the first glow-in-the-dark floorball competition in Singapore! Our participants certainly had a day of fun experiencing their favourite sport in the dark.

WESTs the Game 2014 – Youths from Boon Lay taking the opportunity to have a group picture in between their matches during the Nerf Tournament

WESTs the Haunt 2013 – Participants well-dressed for the event, getting ready to embark on their 5km Halloweenthemed run!

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A Journey Beyond Imagination Pui Man PAO, Jennifer (FS2015-16, Hong Kong Baptist University)

It is always exciting to participate in voluntary services. However, this experience so far has been much more than I imagined. I joined a programme called Positive Psychology Express 2014-15. This was a one-week voluntary teaching service trip to Anhui, China. Here I would like to share with you the goal and my wonderful experience of this service trip. This was a programme about positive psychology. Our goal was to spread the ideas of positive psychology to citizens and primary students in Anhui Huangshan. As one of the participants, we focused on how to effectively spread the message in an interesting way. Our schedule for the stay in Anhui included holding a Fun Fair Day and a two-day voluntary teaching in a primary school. However, what I gained from this trip was the happiness felt not only from the positive responses from the primary school students, but also from the evaluation obtained in the meeting every night during the service trip. Only after all the activities were done, we found out that we, the participants of the programme, was the targeted group. The voluntary teaching experience is only a way for us to use the positive psychology we learnt during the workshop. We were the ones that the programme coordinator wanted to properly deal with emotions and effectively tackle bad emotions. For instance, the packed schedule granted us an opportunity to deal with the pressure and cope with difficulties. When you work in a team, it is common to find yourself uncomfortable when seeing your teammates solving a problem in a different way from yours. After learning more about positive psychology, I found out that it was possible to change my mindset and I would not get upset easily about things out of my control. Although I have learnt similar theories since I was young, I did not not fully understand them till this service trip. FS Newsletter | Jan 2016

When there was a service trip to China, the first thing that came to my mind was the good opportunity to know more about China as an individual, neither from the angle of a tourist nor from the media. We had a short but amazing exchange day with the university students from Huangshan College. Since they were the locals, they helped us a lot on the Fun Fair Day. After following our planned schedule, they even brought us for a walk around the city like the locals. Hearing the interesting sharing from the locals made me reflect on how much I knew about Hong Kong and how I introduced my hometown to foreigners. Compared to their in-depth sharing about Huangshan, I feel like I should explore Hong Kong more to be a real Hong-Kee. After this service trip, I found out that volunteering service is not only about helping others, but also about getting to know myself more at the same time. I hope that everyone can put aside our busy daily routine and spend some time to explore ourselves and what we can do for our society.


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FUNG SCHOLARS LEADERSHIP COFERENCE On October 9-11, 2015, over 100 Fung Scholars and Fung Fellows gathered in Singapore for the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference, “Leadership in the Service Era.” On the first day at Singapore Management University (SMU), Dr. Victor K. FUNG, Chairman of Victor & William Fung Foundation, and Professor Arnound DE MEYER, President of SMU, delivered the opening remarks. After dinner, the Entrepreneurship Seminar brought entrepreneurs from Hong Kong and Singapore to share their diverse perspectives with the participants. On the second day at National University of Singapore (NUS), Prof. Michael FRESE, Head of the Management & Organisation Department at NUS, and Mr. Po CHUNG, Co-Founder of DHL International, Founder of The Hong Kong Institute of Service Leadership & Management, joined the discussion on service leadership. Participants also attended a workshop on leadership in practice. Following two days of formal events, Fung Scholars from the Singapore chapter organised a Cultural Day for the overseas participants to explore the country’s cultural and historical side.

In this section, five Fung Scholars— Nadia ALI (FS201415, Harvard University), Lap Kin CHEUNG, Ross (FS2008-09, Hong Kong Baptist University), Tahira TAZREEN (FS2014-15, Asian University for Women), Nancy XIE (FS2011-12, Harvard University) and Chun Sin YEUNG, Joscelin (FS2014-15, Hong Kong Baptist University)—reflect on the conference’s inspiring dialogue on leadership and what it means to be a responsible leader in a globalised society.

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REFLECTIONS Nadia ALI (FS2014-15, Harvard University) I have an immense passion for travel and a great appreciation for the opportunities it has given me to venture out of my comfort zone, put my ideas to the test, and see the world from a different perspective. Becoming a Fung Scholar has allowed me to enjoy these opportunities and much more. The Fung Scholars Leadership Conference, in particular, has been a key highlight of my college experience. It has allowed me to explore countries in Asia that I have never been to before, meet people from different universities in other parts of the world, and learn valuable lessons from leading scholars and inspiring businessmen and women. In 2014, I was able to visit Hong Kong, while the conference took me to Singapore in 2015. Both visits were my first, and both have been amazing experiences.

I was able to learn about Leadership in Service at the conference 2015. The rich programme of the conference and the exciting lineup of influential speakers were yet another testimony to the Victor and William Fung Foundation’s commitment to continuously offer its scholars unparalleled educational and cultural experiences. My favourite component of this conference was the entrepreneurship seminar. These interactive discussions gave us the chance to ask questions and seek advice from successful entrepreneurs in different arenas. The diverse perspectives of the panellists with varied experiences made the panel all more interesting, as it allowed us to hear stories about success and also ones about how to get back on your feet after encountering an obstacle. This transparency was refreshing and I appreciated how students were strongly encouraged to contribute to the discussions.

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As an Economics major, I always appreciate the opportunity to witness how the knowledge I have learned can be applied to the real world. I came out of each lecture with something new in mind. I was eager to discuss and share my ideas with my fellow conference attendees, both during the conference and afterwards – as I kept in touch with many of them and look forward to our reunions both in future conferences and in collaborations between the different Fung Scholars Chapters. I am also most grateful to have been part of the day trip. I felt welcomed by the Singaporean guides and the entire Fung Scholars team. I was happy to explore parts of the Lion City that I had only previously seen in travel magazines. It was a thrill to discover the fascinating and multicultural sites and to taste some of the signature Singaporean dishes. Most importantly, it was a privilege to be there at Singapore’s 50th anniversary and to take part in the proud celebration of all that Singapore has to offer.

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REFLECTIONS Lap Kin CHEUNG, Ross (FS2008-09, Hong Kong Baptist University)

Journey from Shanghai to Singapore: After Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015

When I first saw the promotion of 2015’s Conference, it reminded me of the title “Entrepreneurs, our hope for economic recovery. True?” in the finely renovated auditorium in Shanghai. That was the Fung Scholars Conference held in 2009, just several months before the Shanghai World Expo. At that time, the Wall Street financial crisis was sending chain effects all over the world, while I was in my final year after my international exchange in the United States. I still remember the speakers, Ms. Mary MA’s focus on execution ability and Mr. Po CHUNG’s expertise in his startup’s first 10 yards. After the lectures, I joined the company tour, seeing how the global supply chain changed the world’s flow of goods and services in globalization 2.0. Competing in A Flat World (written by Dr. Victor K. FUNG, William K. FUNG and Yoram Jerry WIND), a book given to us during the event, still stands on my bookshelf.

From Shanghai to Singapore So why did I recount these past events? It was not simply to fill up this short piece, but instead because I feel very thankful for the opportunity to participate in these Leadership Conferences and for all the philanthropy of Victor and William Fung Foundation on exchange scholarships, activity sponsorships, leadership conferences, society buildings and other education opportunities. These experiences have shaped me through the years. The 2015 Conference is titled “Leadership in the Service Era”. The most enjoyable and insightful session was the seminar on entrepreneurship experience sharing. We managed to hear about our fellow Fung Scholars’ startups as well as several entrepreneurs’ beliefs and actions. Additionally, we learnt about the future globalisation’s wave of consumption and technology economy. During the Conference, we were also repeatedly reminded of the importance of service leadership in the next service era.

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SG50: Queenstown and Chinatown Thankful to have joined a local tour to Queenstown, the first satellite town named after the Queen Elizabeth II in Singapore since 1950s. This is where the first public library sub-branch, cinema, public housing, sport complex, and community centre were built. We learnt about town planning, affordable housing, community development, and, of course, tasted amazing food. We also walked along Chinatown, which was refurnished under LEE Kuan Yew’s governance. A symbol of political leadership in the cold war period, Lee was instrumental in building the Republic of Singapore with Chinese, Malays, Indians, and other Eurasian ethnicities. Singapore has since become a leading global city for people, idea, capital, and business. I am very grateful to be able to visit this “Red Dot” coincidentally on its 50th anniversary while meeting with our fellow Fung Scholars from all over the world. Though he passed away in 2015, I hope that we can all learn from the spirit of the very man of the Lion City.

What’s next? Under the shadows of financial and economic crises and high rates of global youth unemployment, the future may seem bleak. From Shanghai to Singapore, I joined and left a bank, then started my research journey on topics of social entrepreneurship, economy for common good, and community development. Now I find myself coming back to the same position in my final year of study. I am waiting, wondering and anticipating. Life is always entrepreneurial and we are our own leaders, as Dr. Victor K. FUNG once said in 2009. Indeed, entrepreneurship is about the journey. So let us work hard, for dawn must be somewhere down the road.

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REFLECTIONS Tahira TAZREEN (FS2014-15, Asian University for Women)

It was October 9, 2015. For the first time in my life, I went outside of my country to attend the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference in Singapore. I was so excited about meeting new people and about exploring a new country. On October 9, the conference began at Singapore Management University. I was amazed by how well the conference was organised, and how hard people worked to make it successful. As it was the very first day of the conference, participants were introducing themselves to each other. Although I did not know any of the scholars previously apart from those from my university, we started talking to each other with great enthusiasm. We all then gathered for the programmes and I was astonished by the marvellous speakers. I found the speeches highly motivating which boosted my confidence a lot. The “Entrepreneurship Seminar – Experience Sharing” session was the most interesting one among all the sessions. The theme of the conference “Leadership in Service Era” was really appealing.

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On the second day of the conference, we gathered at the National University of Singapore. We all had different discussions according to topic at each table and the group activities were really interesting. I had a great time sharing my own ideas as well as getting to know about others’ perspectives. Throughout the conference, the group activities helped us to interact with each other in an effective and fruitful way. The third day of the conference was truly amazing. We went to Chinatown, Maxwell Food Centre, Ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, and all the roads we have been walked through are still fresh in my memory.

The whole journey has created a many memorable experiences for me, and I have learnt a lot throughout my journey. The conference introduced me to many people from all over the world who come from diverse backgrounds. It has reshaped my ideas about leadership, and helped me to learn that contributing to your community can also be counted as leadership, even if we start on a very small scale.

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REFLECTIONS Nancy XIE (FS2011-12, Harvard University)

In his keynote speech for the 2015 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference, “The Next Wave of Globalisation: Opportunities and Challenges for Tomorrow’s Leaders,” Dr. Victor K. FUNG emphasised the importance of two trends: globalisation and China’s Silk Road. As I sat listening to Dr. FUNG’s remarks in SMU’s Mochtar Riady Auditorium with dozens of other Fung Scholars, it struck me that we are a part of the 21st century Silk Road. We are at the crossroad where the East meets the West, and our conference is about exchanging ideas, establishing relationships, and empowering others.

Exchanging ideas. 2000 years ago, caravans trading anything from silk and spices to syncretic religions traversed along the Silk Road for over 10,000 kilometres, literally connecting the East and the West. 30 years ago, the global supply chain was based on a cost efficiency model that sourced from the East and sold to the West. Today, some of us have travelled more than that distance (New York to Singapore is over 15,000 km!) just to attend this conference in Singapore, an important nexus of global trade. With the convenience of e-commerce, crossborder exchange no longer confines itself to exotic textiles and home appliances, but takes on the new direction of intellectual capital. It is precisely this exchange of intellectual capital that brings together Fung Scholars from different countries and diverse cultural backgrounds to share ideas on entrepreneurship, leadership, and issues in international relations.

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Establishing relationships. On the first day of the conference, I sat next to a 2015 Fung Scholar who flew in from Princeton. He asked which university I attended, and after I told him he chuckled, “Well, at least you don’t hate us as much as you do Yale.” We had a very pleasant chat afterwards, reminiscing about senior spring and football rivalries in college. The next day I found myself right behind Mr. Po CHUNG as we lined up to get lunch. His presentation about the corporate philosophies at DHL greatly impressed me, and we talked about the logistics challenges that e-commerce start-ups face. These two small anecdotes were only a few of the many moments of connection I experienced during the conference.

Empowering others. Going beyond the two-day conference, I hope that we will continue to build upon the ideas and relationships that were forged during the brief gathering. I appreciate the opportunity to meet other like-minded scholars and young professionals who are not only knowledgeable about their respective fields, but also passionate about making an impact on the international stage. The energy and insights we take away from the conference will help us to inspire others in our community. After all, that is the essence of “leadership in the service era.”

After the event, I sent some photos I took during the conference to the Fung Scholars chat group on WeChat. The chat group members were from all over the world; I flew in to the conference from Guangzhou, one of the oldest ports on the Maritime Silk Road, and other members of the group were from the United States, Hong Kong, Mainland China and Europe. The personal connections that I made, as well as the lessons I learnt, enabled me to understand just how interconnected the world has become, and how East and West have merged into a new globalised whole.

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REFLECTIONS Chun Sin YEUNG, Joscelin (FS2014-15, Hong Kong Baptist University)

It was my first time attending the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference and also my first trip to Singapore. I was quite overwhelmed by the number and diversity of participants when I first arrived at Singapore Management University. As a non-business student, the entrepreneurial theme of the conference was indeed inspiring, allowing me to see the world through the lens of entrepreneurs. The keynote on “One Belt One Road’ initiative was quite interesting to me as the business aspect of it complemented my understanding of the whole project, having learnt about it previously from the perspective of a politics student. Other than the keynote sessions, I was deeply impressed by the sharing session of young entrepreneurs. Their perseverance and innovative ideas made me realise that young people can also make an impact on our world. The sharing by the CEO of Sakae Sushi was truly a demonstration of how social value can be integrated into entrepreneurship. I still vividly remember the cute frog logo of the company, embodying the vision of creating a business with a social mission. After listening to the experiences of the entrepreneurs, I felt that I sincerely have to make use of my youth to launch a project or an initiative to contribute to society in an area that I am passionate about.

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The best part of the conference was certainly the opportunity to interact with so many talented Fung Scholars from all around the world. The discussion with the Fung Scholars on our table during the service leadership workshop was enlightening as it was a perfect combination of Fung Scholars from the East and the West. Service leadership was just a concept or a term to me previously, but our discussion on the interpretations of this idea helped me understand how we can be a service leader in our daily lives. From chatting to Fung Scholars randomly during networking time to joining the tour organised by the local Fung Scholars chapter, I truly enjoyed every moment spent with everybody I met during the three days. I was particularly happy to make friends from Singapore and I really want to say a big thank you to them for their hospitality and friendliness. It was amazing to chat with them about the similarities and differences between Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as sharing about the different cultures in our university lives. I could not have enjoyed Singapore so much without the local Fung Scholars being our guide. Travelling around Singapore with other Fung Scholars from Hong Kong was also a lovely experience. Even though we lost our way in the process, we eventually succeeded at touring the Queenstown neighbourhood and got a taste of the authentic and delicious Singaporean cuisine. Joining the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015 was truly an unforgettable experience and I look forward to meeting our fellow Fung Scholars again at next year’s conference or at other events!

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FS Newsletter | Jan 2016



Establishment of Fung Scholars London Chapter Christopher LAMBERT (FS2012-13, Oxford University)

The Fung Scholars London Chapter was established in August 2015, with the intention of helping Fung Scholars and Fellows based in the UK connect with each other and members abroad. We also hope to provide a network to welcome Fung Scholars visiting the UK, whether for study or work. The process of setting up the Chapter was easy, with lots of help and support provided by Tammy – we soon had an e-mail list with many members and enthusiasm. We held our first event in London soon after, timed to welcome students visiting London for the year and also provide a Pre-Departure gathering ahead of the Singapore conference. The dinner was a lovely relaxed way to meet and connect with Fung Scholars, and many enjoyed further drinks after in the pub, too! Following this, a group from the U.K attended the conference in Singapore, and we unanimously agreed the conference was an incredible experience. We hope to hold another event around Chinese New Year, involving either a cultural or socially beneficial activity. We are still planning but hope as many Fung Scholars as possible can make it. Please let us know if you would like to be part of the London Committee or part of the mailing list for future events. Contact or our Facebook group is at https://www.facebook. com/groups/959330527420858. Look forward to connecting!

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016



Welcoming Gathering Hannah CALDWELL (FS2012-13, Oxford University)

To welcome Fung Scholars who had recently arrived in London for the new academic year, we organised a dinner in Chinatown. It was also an occasion to launch the Fung Scholars’ London Chapter, bringing together Fung Scholars’ in the city to make new friends and share experiences. We went to Chilli Cool, a Sichuan restaurant near Kings’ Cross for the first Fung Scholars’ London Chapter event. It was great to meet everyone and find out how everyone was connected through the Fung Scholarship. Seventeen people came to the dinner, both current Fung Scholars’ and alumni, some were still studying while others were working in a broad range of careers. This gathering gave us an opportunity to find out about the many different ways the Fung Scholarship has supported people, and what they have gone on to do next. Many people have continued their links with China either returning to visit, learning Chinese or working in areas with connections to China. We enjoyed some delicious Sichuan dishes and then went to a British pub for a few drinks afterwards.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


FS Newsletter | Jan 2016




FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


LO C A L C H A P T E R S U P D AT E S HONG KONG     FS COMMMUNITY                                    Pui Yee WONG, Mandy (FS2011-12, Lingnan University)

In consonance with the principles of “Network, Leadership, Community” of the Foundation, the Fung Scholars of Hong Kong Chapter endeavour to strengthen their bonding and enhance world knowledge by engaging themselves in loads of activities, conferences, and charitable events in 2015.

As Mark TWAIN writes, “Part of the secret to success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.” In 2015, the Chapter frequently organised gatherings for Fung Scholars to experience a wide variety of culinary delights in Hong Kong. Apart from holding activities with caloric intakes, outdoor activities like hiking and bubble soccer were also held to bring like-minded Fung Scholars together. These gatherings allow Fung Scholars from different fields and backgrounds to share their views, exchange ideas, and gain insights on a host of issues on industry trends and international matters in a favourable environment. Reunion Dinner at Tai Shu Ha, Yuen Long

Hiking at Tung Lung Chau

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


The Hong Kong Chapter also supports Fung Scholars to learn, communicate, and network through a series of conferences. In January, the Victor and William Fung Foundation sponsored 20 Fung Scholars to attend the 3-day Make a Difference (MaD) Forum 2015, which offered Fung Scholars a chance to experience and rethink the possibility of a sharing economy through talks, workshops, and sharing sessions. Another highlight of the year was the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015, which was held in Singapore. The theme was “Leadership in the Service Era”. Mr. Po CHUNG, Co-Founder of DHL International, was invited to share with the Fung Scholars his innovative insights on effective leadership and the provision of services. Hong Kong-based Fung Scholars were very delighted to meet and connect with their fellows from other Chapters to share their experience and views on the topic.

The Chapter continues to realise the philosophy of contributing to the community by sponsoring Fung Scholars to take part in charitable events in Hong Kong. The first one of the year was Hong Kong Streetathon, which was held in February to raise funds for local community projects. It was participated by 8 Fung Scholars. In April, 5 Fung Scholars joined the 30-Hour Famine to raise funds for children suffering from famine in the Third World. In November, 4 Fung Scholars joined The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong’s “From Darkness to Sunrise City Orienteering Competition 2015”, a meaningful event which required teamwork, judgment, determination, and problem-solving skills to locate checkpoints and overcome obstacles. Fung Scholars also participated in Radio Television Hong Kong and South China Morning Post’s Charity event, “Operation Santa Claus Flat Out Sleigh Ride 2015”, which stimulated their creativity and encouraged teamwork to build the fastest sleigh with provided materials. In addition, Fung Scholars continues to be a supporter of UNICEF Charity Run. The funds raised are devoted to support UNICEF’s HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment works in over 150 countries.

MaD Forum 2015

UNICEF Charity Run 2015

Post-Conference Activities

Over these years, the Hong Kong Chapter has been growing steadily with new batches of Fung Scholars from 8 local universities joining us every year. In the year ahead, the Chapter strives to plan and organize more events for creating, developing, and strengthening the bonding of the Fung Scholars from different industries, generations, and countries whilst assisting them to discover and develop their full leadership potentials. On a personal note, my life as a Fung Scholar is always full of surprises, with my exciting journey of discovering something in common between my fellows and me. My hearty thanks to the Foundation for bringing so much lifelong friendship to my life.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


LO C A L C H A P T E R S U P D AT E S BEIJING     FS COMMMUNITY                                    Haoyi WU (FS2012-13, Nanjing University) Xinzhi WANG (FS2015-16, Tsinghua University)

The Fung Scholars Beijing Chapter was established with the goal to enhance communication among the Fung Scholars in Beijing and to maintain close connection among members. We hope to play a role that can both gather our Beijing members and make external contacts.



The Beijing Chapter was formed with five committee members and around 30 Chapter members in the year 2014-15. The committee will serve the Beijing Chapter until June 2016.

During the year 2015, the Fung Scholars Beijing Chapter provided several activities, aiming at prompting communication among members, no matter where they come from or what age they are in. The activities are as below:

Pre-Departure Gathering Serving as a traditional event in Fung Scholars Beijing Chapter every semester, the outstanding students from Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Renmin University of China will gather together and prepare their exchange life in the University of Hong Kong. Members of the Beijing Chapter will organise the pre-departure gathering for the new Fung Scholars, sharing important information and colourful experiences with them. The Fung Scholars Beijing Chapter had organised two pre-departure gatherings to welcome the new cohorts of Fung Scholars at Renmin University of China on June 2, 2015 and at Tsinghua University on June 14, 2015.

Pre-Departure Gathering at Renmin University of China on June 2, 2015

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016

Pre-Departure Gathering at Tsinghua University on June 14, 2015


2015 Fung Scholars Leadership Conference During October 9-11, 2015, 11 Fung Scholars from Beijing Chapter had the honour to participate in the Leadership Conference in Singapore. The intensive three-day activity inspired everyone with insightful speeches and exciting interactions. Besides, Fung Scholars from Beijing Chapter made friends from other chapters and shared perspectives on their experiences and careers.

Fung Scholars Beijing Chapter at Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015 in Singapore.

2016 Prospect - “ABC” Plan

Accelerating the extension of functions of the Beijing Chapter

The committee of Beijing Chapter plans to take three steps with the aim of strengthening internal teamwork and developing external networks.

In 2015, Beijing Chapter planned to enhance the existing Mentorship Programme launched in 2014 through organising more seminars. In line with Victor and William Fung Foundation’s mission of nurturing future youth leaders, we would like to extend the function of our chapter. Topics discussed in seminars will not be limited to exchange life in Hong Kong anymore. Instead, more discussions on both global and domestic affairs, innovative solutions, personal developments, and career coaching will be involved.

Benefiting the world by voluntary work In 2016, we are planning to encourage Fung Scholars in Beijing Chapter to apply for voluntary work abroad to benefit and explore the world, while broadening our horizons at the same time. Not only will we make contributions to the world, but also we will have a good time together. As the saying goes, “Being well-read and well-travelled will enrich our experience, cultivate our vision and help us seize more opportunities”.

Connecting with other chapters In 2016, we are more than happy to connect and play host to Fung Scholars from other chapters worldwide. Also, if you have got any wonderful stories to share with our local Fung Scholars, we can organise FS-TED Talk just for you! Either you come to Beijing for academic purposes or just for sightseeing, never hesitate to contact our Beijing Chapter committee via

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


LO C A L C H A P T E R S U P D AT E S NANJING     FS COMMMUNITY                                    Huixuan PENG (FS2014-15, Nanjing University)

History and Development of Fung Scholars Nanjing Chapter Fung Scholars Nanjing Chapter was set up in February, 2014. Thanks to the great efforts of our founder and first chairwoman, YANG Yi Scarlett (FS2012-13, Nanjing University), as well as Victor and William Fung Foundation and every member, the chapter has developed into a very dynamic and close family. In our chapter, we emphasise connection and contribution. Besides holding regular gatherings, we encourage Fung Scholars to get involved in charity work. In 2014 and 2015, we took part in “One Egg Walkathon” together with Shanghai Chapter. Our team succeeded in walking 50km within 12 hours and raising money for charity projects in both years. This walking experience was far more than a personal achievement for everyone who participated. It involved a lot of teamwork, care and love for people in need. It helped us build a long-lasting friendship!

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Introduction of the 2015-16 Committee Chenyu LIU (FS2015-16, Nanjing University) “Hi! I’m Chenyu from Business School of NJU. I became a Fung Scholar in the autumn of 2015 when I went exchange in HKU. Life in HKU was filled with pressure as well as excitement, since we had to adapt to a new environment in a limited time. Both HKU and the Foundation in Hong Kong have provided various opportunities for us to broaden our horizons and we benefited a lot indeed.”

Chenchen MA (FS2015-16, Nanjing University) “I am majoring in mathematics, NJU. It’s so lucky to become a Fung Scholar! During the exchange period, I’ve made friends with a lot of international students and Fung Scholars, from whom I’ve learnt a lot. The professors in HKU are outstanding. I also found the various campus activities made my life colourful. This semester surely made a big difference to my life.”

Qian FU (FS2015-16, Nanjing University) “I am FU Qian from Nanjing University (NJU). This semester I spent meaningful time in the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and luckily joined Fung Scholars family. HKU is a top international university where I experienced a unique teaching mode, gained much academic and social knowledge and enjoyed the Hong Kong (HK) lifestyle. I also participated in activities organised by the Foundation and communicated with friends from all over the world. It was a valuable experience.”

Photo of 2015-16 committee members (From left to right) – DIAO Weijie, FU Qian, MA Chenchen, LIU Chenyu, and WU Yiwen.

Yiwen WU (FS2015-16, Nanjing University) “Hello! I am Yiwen from NJU, a Year 3 student majoring in History and minoring in Law. This semester in HK was an amazing adventure. My life in HKU was challenging but rewarding. Many thanks to the Victor and William Fung Foundation, I have had a valuable chance to meet many Fung Scholars from different universities and various fields, and to join this wonderful community.”

Weijie DIAO (FS2015-16, Nanjing University) “I’m Weijie, a law school student from NJU and have lived in Nanjing for more than two decades. What I expected from HK was to experience more and to make new friends. Actually, I have got more than my expectations. I acquainted with a large number of prominent Fung Scholars and becoming a member of this special family. The time I stayed in Hong Kong was too short, but I believe it is only the beginning. I feel lucky to have joined the Fung Scholars family and I am happy to exchange ideas and unique stories with other scholars.” FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


LO C A L C H A P T E R S U P D AT E S SHANGHAI     FS COMMMUNITY                                    Chuqi YAN, Grace (FS2014-15 Shanghai Jiao Tong University)

The Fung Scholars Shanghai Chapter has organised and participated in plenty of activities and events in 2015. Not only did our members endeavour to maintain close connection with each other, we also enhanced communication with other Fung Scholars around the world.

One Egg Walkathon 2015 10 Fung Scholars from Shanghai and Nanjing Chapter participated in the One Egg Walkathon, a charity event organised by Shanghai United Foundation. The team joined the 50km walkathon on May 16, 2015 in order to help malnourished children to grow healthily with one egg per day. The excellent team finished 50km Walkathon in 12 hours, which was a remarkable experience. The activity strengthened the connection between the Shanghai and Nanjing Chapter.

Fung Scholars participated in the One Egg Walkathon

Pre-Departure Gathering The outstanding students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Fudan University would go exchange in the University of Hong Kong every semester. On July 4, 2015, members of Shanghai Chapter organised a pre-departure gathering for the new Fung Scholars who received the scholarship in year 2015-16. The returnees shared their experiences and useful information with them. YAN Chuqi Grace (FS2014-15, Shanghai Jiao Tong University) was elected to be the new president of the Shanghai Chapter. Shanghai Chapter Pre-departure gathering

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015

Other Informal Activities

10 Shanghai Fung Scholars attended the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference in Singapore from October 9-11 2015. The three-day event inspired both old and new Fung Scholars with insights about leadership in the service era. The event also gave us a precious opportunity to interact with Fung Scholars from Singapore and other parts of China.

Fung Scholars from Shanghai have a very close relationship with each other. The Fung Scholars who are now exchange students in Hong Kong gather in their leisure time, regularly sharing their experience of learning and living in the great metropolis.

Fung Scholars at Leadership Conference

Shanghai Fung Scholars go hiking in Hong Kong

2016 Prospect Shanghai Chapter is preparing for the pre-departure gathering for 10 new Fung Scholars from Shanghai Jiao Tong University now. We look forward to meeting the new members of our big family. We are also planning to organise a gathering for all Shanghai Fung Scholars to celebrate Chinese New Year as well as a welcome party for Fung Scholars who will finish their exchange studies at the University of Hong Kong. We planned to join the Walkathon in Shanghai in 2016. This event may become our regular team building activity. We will seek more opportunities to establish a platform for the local Fung Scholars to get engaged in voluntary services in the community.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


LO C A L C H A P T E R S U P D AT E S SINGAPORE     FS COMMMUNITY                                    Jamie KO (FS2009-10, Singapore Management University)

The Singapore Chapter: 2015 and beyond 2015 marks the fifth year since the Singapore Chapter was established, and it has grown in many ways. Pre-departure gatherings, bonding sessions, community events, leadership conferences, and informal meal catch-ups are now a staple of the Chapter’s annual activities calendar. In 2015, the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference was held in Singapore for the first time. It gave an opportunity to 26 Singapore-based Fung Scholars to participate in the Conference – the largest number of Singaporean participants in the history of Fung Scholars leadership conferences!

Clockwise from top left: Community event – volunteering at Willing Hearts; Bonding session – Escape room game; Lunch catch-up; Pre-departure Gathering I

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Clockwise from top left: Fung Scholars Leadership Conference at NUS; Fung Scholars Post-conference activity at Maxwell Food Market; Rooftop party after Leadership Conference; Singapore Fung Scholars showing international Fung Scholars around Singapore

The Fung Scholars local chapters – such as the Singapore local chapter – provide a gateway for Fung Scholars to stay in touch with a diverse group of driven and like-minded individuals. Having graduated from college and been part of the workforce for several years, meeting young and energetic Fung Scholars still in school reignites that spark inside me and makes me believe that we can change the world; interacting with graduated Fung Scholars in other career paths also helps me appreciate and explore the bigger world outside of the industry I work in. The goal of the Singapore Chapter is to continue to allow more Fung Scholars to have similar experiences.

Cross-chapter collaboration

Paying it forward

One of the biggest ways the Fung Scholars network has positively impacted me is opening doors for me to meet and get to know non-Singaporean Fung Scholars. It has always been my hope that local chapters grow not only within their countries / cities, but also across borders. I believe that Fung Scholars will benefit from having a platform to make friends from abroad (and most are likely to have cherished the international friends they made during their semesters abroad). I am looking forward to the local chapters starting an initiative (or two!) that fosters crosschapter interactions in the coming year. This will very much be in line with the Fung Scholars Programme’s intention of supporting students to experience different cultures and environments.

As the Fung Scholars network continues to grow with the generous support of the Victor and William Fung Foundation, I wonder if there is more that we can do to leverage the power of the network. As beneficiaries of a scholarship, is there room for us to come together and create further impact? Can we use the experiences we have gained during our exchanges abroad – e.g. learning, communicating, and networking outside our own culture – to create more value in society with what we have learned? I would like to challenge Fung Scholars to leverage the resources available in the network and the Foundation and find opportunities to make a difference to the world.

Singapore Chapter Email: Facebook Page: Fung Scholars Singapore

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


FS Newsletter | Jan 2016




FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


E XC H A N G E E X P E R I E N C E    MOMENTS                                     Rong HUANG, Andrea (FS2015-16, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Salut! I am Huang Rong, Andrea, a penultimate year student from the Global China Studies major of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). This is no coincidence that I am starting the introduction with a French greeting. The unforgettable exchange experience that I am able to share, only because of the generous support of the Victor and William Fung Foundation, was born in this romantic city, Paris. I enrolled in Sciences Po, short for Institut d’études politiques de Paris, a political studies institution which has nurtured many government leaders and bureaucrats, including a few French presidents. As a political science enthusiast back in HKUST, spending a semester here was thrilling for me. Since many of Sciences Po students plan to be future politicians or bureaucrats, they are very active in organising extracurricular activities related to politics. In mid September, when France was considering to reinstate border controls and cleared off two illegal refugee camp sites in Paris, some of my classmates worked together in the refugee camps at Calais to provide free French education for the migrants. There were also more regularly organised activities such as Model United Nation conferences, in which I became a head delegate. Despite my lack of experience, my work and persistence earned me this leadership position. This was truly one of the highlights of my exchange experience, enabling me to become more confident and courageous in trying new things.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Experiencing a foreign culture was a large factor for me to study abroad. I immersed myself in French cultural life, which I found surprisingly affordable and accessible: going to the movies, listening to operas or going to museums with. I once got Madame Butterfly tickets worth 250 euros for only 35 euros given the youth discount. Yet as a foodie, the French gastronomy appealed to me most. I took endless pictures of meals, learned French vocabularies on food and beverages, and even found a group of exchange students from Japan, Turkey, Italy, Poland, Norway, Mexico and the US who share my passion for French cuisine. We organised a wine trip to the Champagne region and booked cellar visits. This common interest of food brought us together, bridging cross-cultural differences and building precious friendships. Yet, my happiness in Paris was short-lived. On the November 13, at least 6 shooting and bombing attacks occurred separately in Paris, and more than a hundred died. I felt the fear and tension among the general public. When some unattended bags were found in Sciences Po on the first day school resumed, the security evacuated the building and brought in the police. Across the globe in Hong Kong, my family was terrified about the possible bomb attack in my university and the news that terrorists were discovered living in my neighborhood of Montrouge in suburban Paris. My family asked me to return home early, but I initially declined. It had been my goal, after months of preparation, to bring my fellow delegates to attend the MUN conference in Nottingham. Yet the Sciences Po MUN team assured me that the living and travelling safety of all the other participants will be taken care of, and expressed their concerns and understanding for me to remain in Paris after the attacks. The day before I left, I went back to my campus, which was next to the famous Boulevard Saint-Germain. I felt content to crowded cafes, people with their heads held high, saying proudly in their hearts, “Je suis en terrasse”. Although my semester in Paris was brought to an abrupt end, I am proud to have witnessed the courage and unity of French people in Paris, defending their home and culture.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


E XC H A N G E E X P E R I E N C E A REFLECTION ON THE IC LONDON - MIT EXCHANGE    MOMENTS                                     Archis R. BHANDARKAR (FS2014-15, MIT)

Thanks to the kind support of the Fung Scholarship Programme, this summer I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Imperial College(IC) London – MIT exchange programme and perform cutting-edge microfluidics research in the lab of Dr. Oscar Ces in London. I am confident that I will always remember the experience not just in the fond, wistful light of the adventures I had exploring the city of London, but also as a critical juncture in my growth as a scientist and global citizen. To be sure, the programme had a profound impact on how I conduct science, how I view a completely different culture, and– perhaps most importantly – how I see myself and my place in the world. To summarise the ineffable ‘Woah!’ moments I had while touring London (for there is nothing else but ‘Woah’ to say after standing feet away from the Buckingham Palace or just inches from Raphael’s murals in the Victoria & Albert Museum) or to put to scale the immeasurable intellectual growth I felt while experimenting with Dr. Ces’ microfluidics platform or to put to words just how eternally grateful I am for this experience is no simple task. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what I hope to do – describe the indescribable and contextualise the unbounded gratitude I have for one of the best summers of my life. During my stay at IC London, I worked on a project at the nexus of bioengineering, synthetic biology, and microfluidics. Specifically, I tested and optimised BioInk, a microfluidics platform the Ces group has developed for the creation of biologically inspired ink. The design of the microfluidic platform allows for the creation of a matrix of CMNBcaged fluorescein molecules encapsulated by inverted phospholipid micelles- here, the micelles are the biological equivalent of pixels on a screen. Through shining a green wavelength laser at the micelles to uncage the CMNBfluorescein, users can etch designs onto the matrix of phospholipid micelles. During the process of completing the project, I learned so many technical skills related to bioengineering: microfluidic chip design, microfluidic assembly, image analysis in MATLAB, fluorescence microscopy, etc. The experience exposed me to just how much potential synthetic biology has as an up-and-coming, new front and equipped me with the skills to innovate in the field. I’m proud to say that thanks to the support of Dr. Ces’ group and close guidance from PhD student Norman Chan, I was able to achieve a lot during the summer. In fact, the group is in the process of publishing the results we achieved and is considering filing a patent. Thanks this experience and the exposure I’ve received in synthetic biology, I have started to consider switching to or double majoring in Course 20 (bioengineering).

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Alongside all the technical skills I gained, one of the benefits of participating in a UROP project abroad is exposure to a new culture. Of course, I grew to realise that London is not far too different from back home in Boston. Besides speaking the same language, the two cities are incredibly international. My early conception of London had been nothing more than the images and stereotypes thrown about in popular media – fish and chips, Sherlock Holmes, etc. Yet London is actually far more culturally diverse. While Londoners sure do enjoy the occasional meal of fish and chips, London is also home to large celebrations of Eid (a Muslim holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan). Similarly, IC London enrols more than a quarter of international students. Over my day-today conversations with other students, I caught cultural glimpses of Saudi Arabia, India, Korea, China, and more. Through showing me as much of its own local culture as it did that of the rest of the world, London taught me how to be open, appreciative, and receptive to different global perspectives. The IC London – MIT exchange also also allowed me to learnt about myself. Beyond just teaching me the technical skills required to perform my UROP project, the Ces lab also encouraged me to think independently and come up with novel ideas to solve the problems I faced, giving me the reins of creative freedom. There were challenges and failures, but I came out of it feeling like a real scientist for the first time. I distinctly remember that ‘Aha!’ moment when I got the microfluidic assembly working just right. That feeling –that I was able to work out issues in the procedures and troubleshoot alone - is a feeling I will truly never forget. And, I’ve come out of the experience more confident all thanks to it. Furthermore, I had ample time during the programme to reflect on my life and catch up on some reading. I’ve joked with friends that I frequented the IC London library more times that summer than I did the libraries back home the whole year. This time to reflect came at a critical juncture in my life, having just finished a really hard semester at MIT. Specifically, in all the adventures I had at IC London, I realised that I often am shy and too scared of taking new risks. Exploring the town and thrusting myself in new situations sure got rid of that. I distinctly recall this magic moment while touring the Victoria & Albert Museum and standing underneath one of Raphael’s murals when a chill went up my spine. I realised right then and there that I’m part of something greater, that I need to start being more grateful for what I have and for the opportunities that I’ve been given. Looking ahead, I feel that my journey to London has represented a massive turning point in my life. I have fallen in love with synthetic biology and the promise that this nascent field has for creating a better world, and decided to become an innovator in the field. I have fallen in love with the idea of exploring the world, becoming a more globalised citizen, challenging old beliefs and tasting a new, uniquely different culture. And, most importantly, I learned to love, to count the blessings I have and cherish every chance that comes my way as a learning experience. For all this and more, I cannot thank the Fung Scholars Foundation enough for providing me with this opportunity.

A sample image I created in the microfluidics-based biological ink platform I worked on.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


E XC H A N G E E X P E R I E N C E A REFLECTION ON MY DEBATING JOURNEY    MOMENTS                                     Hang Yu WONG (FS2015-16, The Chinese University Hong Kong)

Before my departure for an exchange study, I took a close look of myself in front of the mirror and was excited to welcome any changes onto my face afterwards. Now the exchange has swiftly come to an end, and I’m here to describe the changes in my reflection…… Being enthusiastic towards political studies, I chose to have an exchange study in the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. To fully make use of this opportunity, I wanted to choose a few clubs to join, and one of them is English Debating Club. In the societies’ fair I was told that I did not need any prior experience or interviews in order to join, which surprised me since it differed from my perception of debating clubs in Hong Kong. Given that there were no prerequisites, I decided to give it a try. Yet I could not applaud myself too early for this decision. Every member had to attend the training session twice a week and even sign up for as many competitions as you could. The more events I took part in, the more friends I made (due to their random allocation of teams), and the deeper I learnt about English Debating. What they looked for was not your ranking, but your enjoyment of debating. I could tell that from their friendly tones alongside the strict judging remarks for you to make further improvement. This atmosphere was vital to allow me to have a sense of belonging to this group, encouraging me to engage more as well. It was not until now that I shared a hobby within a group and found myself learning and gaining friendship simultaneously for the first time. This experience also stimulated my reflection on the aims of a club. Clubs often exhibit an exclusive culture, and even for those welcoming all kinds of members, they did not engage their members through a multitude of activities and events. Back in Hong Kong, but I hope to investigate the possibility of adopting global practices from other universities’ clubs. A change that I could make, at least, was that to prioritize personal development higher. This experience helped me to realise how I had been restrained from fully discovering what I love. Now, I understand the importance of a hobby to gain friendship and have a sense of motivation. The impact of my debating journey on me is more than skin-deep. Under my smile, there stands a girl who dares to challenge herself while exploring the world. This experience will not fade with time, instead, it will stay forever in my memory. Every day I see something new in the mirror, uncovering a different character as I discover new dimensions of myself.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


E XC H A N G E E X P E R I E N C E MY EXCHANGE EXPERIENCE UNDER FUNG SCHOLARSHIP    MOMENTS                                     Javier LEE (FS2014-15, Singapore Management University) My name is Javier and I am currently a third year student at Singapore Management University, studying for a Bachelor in Accountancy with a second major in Finance. I will be graduating in 2016 and have just returned from my international overseas exchange in France, having benefitted greatly from the financial assistance from Victor and William Fung Foundation. During my stint at Red Dot Ventures over the summer, I got to learn about how the myriad of different cultures interact in business, and going to Europe to learn this in an academic setting was a major draw. France has one of the most prestigious education systems in the world. It is a nation which produced thinkers such as René Descartes and Jean-Paul Sartre, authors like Marcel Proust and Albert Camus, acclaimed filmmakers and artists. Highly ranked in a survey as the best places to do business in the world, alongside U.K, the U.S.A (Singapore topped the list), it possesses relatively little natural resources and focuses heavily on human capital development. As such, it seemed like the perfect place for me to undertake my international exchange, albeit a costly one in terms of standards of living. The scholarship greatly aided me in settling down and making the most of my exchange. It enabled me to explore without hesitation and opened countless doors for new experiences.


Learning Experience

After enrolling into ESSEC Business School, I signed up for two modules that would take place over the course of one week in an intensive seminar format. They were Intercultural Marketing and Geopolitics. These two courses were mainly catered to international exchange students, so I was glad to have been exposed to students from all over the world. I learnt so much from students coming from Mexico, Canada, Italy and the United States of America to name a few. It was especially interesting during the Geopolitics class when I learnt so much about the different political systems and views around the world. It showed me just how much the youth of Singapore is lacking in terms of a political view. Almost all Singaporeans in my age do not have a good understanding about the policies in place and the governing body that runs our country. Many are ignorant and do not seem to care who is elected in the parliament. Compared to the American youths, or even the Europeans who have a much more mature knowledge and interests in terms of politics, Singaporeans still have a long way to go. The courses opened my eyes to just how sheltered Singaporean youths are, which may not be a good thing as we tend to lack passion and opinions on important matters, instead, simply sit on the fence or brush them off.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016

Classmates in France



Immersion Experience and Independence

Living on your own in a foreign country is a tough thing to do, especially if it is your first time being truly alone, away from your family. I was fortunate enough to make friends quickly in such a foreign environment. But for the large part—settling rent, buying furniture and necessities— everything had to be done on your own. For example, one day I bought a bag of potatoes and when I was about to cook them, I realised that I didn’t have the proper knives or potato peeler to peel it. It is the little things like this that make you cherish what you had in Singapore – a fully functioning home with food in the refrigerator, not having to plan ahead for the week’s groceries, having food at every corner in the form of hawker centres and coffee shops. This was exactly what it feels like to set up a home from scratch and you do not get to experience this often at home. It is also satisfying to know that you are able to live by yourself once you have settled down. This whole experience has definitely made me a more independent person. Sure as a Singaporean boy, I had to go through the National Service, but this is a totally different challenge. Once you are overseas, you are forced to grow up and fend for yourself. This experience definitely gives me confidence that should I move on to the next stage of life, living away from my parents and setting up my own family, that I would be prepared and know what to expect. Dreary Weather in Scotland


Cultural Dimension

Having travelled to many different places and interacted with various people from around the world, I get to see different points or views and belief systems. I see how different people live and learn about life as well. One experience that will stick with me for the rest of my life happened in Scotland. Walking in torrid weather, drenched to the bone and shivering, I passed an old Scottish couple who were equally drenched, yet they had smiles on their faces and even shouted out to me, “Lovely weather isn’t it!” It gives you a totally new perspective about hardship and life and how to be able to take whatever life throws at you in your stride. I also got to see the hardships and backward living conditions of Morocco. With miles of desert and the bare necessities, the Moroccans were still extremely hospitable and warm people. Everything adds to the insights one gets and changes how you view Singapore especially now that I am home. I have to say this international exchange is a life changing experience and I feel extremely fortunate to have seen the sights and lived the life overseas.

New Acquaintances in Morocco

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016



FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Project-in-charge/Writer Nancy XIE

Editor/Writer/Proofreader Saya DENNIS

Editor Anneliese NG

Nancy (FS 2011-12, Harvard University ‘13) was a Fung Fellow in 2011. A native of Guangzhou, Nancy grew up in San Francisco and studied Political Science at Harvard for her Bachelor’s. She is currently Co-Founder and CEO at, which provides academic tutorials and English curriculum to Chinese schools and students. In her spare time, Nancy can be found running long-distance, taking artsy photos of old city streets, and writing satirical columns for the Guangzhou New Express Daily.

Saya is currently enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of Tokyo in the department of forestry, and was chosen to be a Fung Scholar when she went for a yearlong exchange program at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She is currently studying plant endophytes as her undergraduate research project, and outside of her studies, she loves to spend time with friends, travel, enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, and listen to music. She aspires to pursue her studies in biological sciences after she graduates, which she has set her aim while she was exploring her interests in Vancouver.

Anneliese (FS2015-16, Lingnan University) is an English major and will graduate in 2016. She was selected to be a Fung Scholar when she was informed that she would be going to the University of Aberdeen in Scotland for one exchange semester in spring, 2016. The Fung Scholars community is still relatively new and unfamiliar to her but she is glad she is a member of it and able to contribute when she can. She is looking forward to more Fung Scholars experiences.

Editor/Writer Meng Li TAN, Lionel

Editor/Writer Xinzhi WANG

Editor/Writer Hang Yu WONG, Heidi

Lionel (FS2014-15, National University of Singapore) is a penultimate year student in NUS Business School, awarded the Li & Fung Scholarship to spend a semester abroad at City University, London. Passionate about entrepreneurship, Lionel co-founded Intriva with the goal of helping students achieve stellar academic grades through data-driven academic coaching, a unique approach formulated internally by him and his business partner. Additionally, Lionel enjoys volunteering as a grassroots member, serving residents in his local community. To complement his experiences volunteering in Singapore, Lionel started an overseas project serving children in an orphanage in Yangon, Myanmar, where he has returned to serve on an annual basis together with his team since 2013.

Xinzhi (FS2015-16, Tsinghua University) will graduate in 2016 with a Bachelor in Material Science and remain in Tsinghua having a PhD program in Energy Material. She was selected as a Fung Scholar to have the summer research program in Oxford University. During her time in Linacre College, she has successfully done a project about copper nanowires and has fell in love with this one of the oldest and most attractive universities around the world. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling with friends and building fancy paper model!

WONG Hang Yu (FS2015-16, The Chinese University of Hong Kong) is a penultimate student majoring in the Government and Public Administration, expected to graduate in 2017. Honorably having become a Fung Scholar with respect to an exchange study in the University of Warwick in pursuit of further understanding of International Economy and International Relations. Alongside investigating on policy-making, she devotes her time on aviation and journalism. She is also a language-lover with Spanish top of her list.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Editor Wing Hang YIP, Jack

Writer Nadia ALI

Writer Archis R. BHANDARKAR

Yip Wing Hang, Jack (FS2015-16, Hong Kong Baptist University) is a year 3 student majoring in English language and literature, and English Education. He is a part-time English tutor in more than 20 primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong. As an enthusiastic language learner, he organized a wide variety of language learning activities including an English carnival and drama workshops. He has been actively participating in activities related to public speaking, solo verse and social enterprises.

Nadia (FS2014-15, Harvard University) is an economics major graduating in May of 2017. She received the Fung Scholarship to travel to China for an internship in Shanghai. She has an immense passion for travel and new challenges. Her summer experience in China, along with her cultural and intellectual interactions with the Fung community in Hong Kong and Singapore, have encouraged her to continue to explore the rich cultures of East Asia and to take advanced courses in Mandarin Chinese. In her free time, Nadia enjoys reading mystery novels and playing the violin and piano.

Archis (FS2015-16, MIT) is currently a sophomore at MIT studying biological engineering and electrical engineering. He was selected as a Fung Scholar in the summer of 2015 and performed synthetic biology research in Dr. Oscar Ces’ lab at Imperial College London. There he developed a strong passion for synthetic biology and hopes to use the promise of the nascent field to advance medicine. In his free time, he loves to read books and write short stories.

Writer Hannah CALDWELL

Writer Lap Kin CHEUNG, Ross

Writer Rong HUANG, Andrea

Hannah CALDWELL (FS2012-13, Oxford University) was awarded a Fung Scholarship in 2013 to teach English at YK Pau Primary School in Shanghai. She studied History and French at Oxford University and continues to pursue her love of languages studying Mandarin in her spare time. After graduating, she spent two years working in digital marketing before joining PwC as a management consultant. She is an active member of PwC’s China Interest Group Committee, helping to organise events around Chinese language and culture.

Ross (FS2008-09, Hong Kong Baptist University) graduated in 2010 with a Social Science Bachelor Degree majoring in China Studies and Sociology. He was in the first cabinet of Fung Scholar Global Network Hong Kong Chapter. Volunteered in 2008 Beijing Olympics, participated in 2010 Shanghai World Expo, and was inspired by 2014 Hong Kong Umbrella Movement. Currently, he is indulged in social economy after 2015 Alternative Economic and Monetary Systems Summer School in Vienna. Looking forward to the next social start-up.

Rong (FS2015-16, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) is a penultimate year student majoring in Global China Studies. She has an interest in the history and politics of the 5000-year-old civilization. During her years in university, she worked in organizations that aims at developing better understanding of the country’s culture, like the Palace Museum, Beijing, the Asia Society Hong Kong Center and the South China Research Center, HKUST. She was selected as a Fung Scholar when she moved to Sciences Po Paris to deepen her knowledge on political science. Thanks to that experience, she is now also a big fan of French culture!

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Writer Jamie KO

Writer Christopher LAMBERT

Writer Weihao LEE, Javier

Jamie (FS2009-2010, Singapore Management University) graduated in 2012 with a double degree in Business Management (Marketing Major) and Accountancy. She was awarded the Fung Scholarship for her semester abroad at the University of Mannheim, Germany in 2010. Jamie is currently working at the Boston Consulting Group’s Singapore office. Her interests outside of work include travelling, arts & craft, and social entrepreneurship.

Chris (FS2012-13, Oxford University) has been a Fung Scholar since 2012, when the award facilitated him teaching English at Tsinghua University. Following a BA in English literature and language at Oxford University, he is now studying for an LLM at the University of Law in London. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling and playing football and hockey.

LEE Weihao Javier (FS2014-15, Singapore Management University) is currently a student at Singapore Management University in his final year, pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy with a second major in Finance. Being actively involved in SMU Samba Masala, an Afro-Brazilian percussion band, as the Music Director in the 10th Executive Committee, he was given the opportunity to travel to Germany with the band, representing the school and Singapore in the International Samba Festival. This sparked his passion for adventure and travel, with the belief that one should make the most of every experience and strive to fulfill his fullest potential. He was selected as a Fung Scholar during his time in the University and was given the chance to take up an International Exchange Program with ESSEC Business School in France.

Writer Pui Man PAO, Jennifer

Writer Huixuan PENG

Writer Mariah STEWART

Jennifer Pao (FS2015-16, Hong Kong Baptist University) is a university student who studies in Hong Kong. She loves to travel and explore different culture. As an avid volunteer, she likes to combine traveling and volunteering in one. Recently, she went to China for a service trip and had a memorable experience.

Huixuan (FS2014-15, Nanjing University) studied at the University of Hong Kong as an exchange student in 2014 and will graduate in 2016 with a Bachelor Degree in Economics. She was selected to be a Fung Scholar during the exchange period in Hong Kong, where she experienced different lifestyles and multicultural environment. After the exchange, she makes great efforts to learn about various cultures. Travelling to Europe, attending the Fung Scholars Leadership Conference 2015 held in Singapore and participating in academic activities in Korea, she loves to communicate with different kinds of people and explore authentic local elements. Besides travelling, reading and calligraphy are her favorites.

Mariah Stewart (FS2011-12, The University of Hong Kong) graduated in 2013 with a BSocSc in Geography and a minor in Translation. She is currently working as a sustainability and research officer in a multinational seafood company, absorbing daily a wealth of knowledge in food and fisheries industry through various exposures, such as producing the company’s sustainability report. Born in Australia and raised in Hong Kong, Mariah speaks fluent Cantonese, English, and Mandarin. Her favourite pastimes are hiking and exploring new places and experiences.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Writer Tahira TAZREEN

Writer Pui Yee WONG, Mandy

Writer Haoyi WU

Tahira TAZREEN (FS2014-2015, Asian University for Women) is currently doing her undergraduate in Economics at Asian University for Women, Chittagong, Bangladesh. She has born and brought up in the same city where she is studying now. Tahira has been actively participating in various volunteer activities from the very beginning of her school life since she joined Girls’ Guide Association Bangladesh, and has continued doing that throughout her university life. She has been teaching children in community school as a member of Community Teacher’s Club of her university. Besides, she has also worked with visually impaired children of Chittagong while working as a member of a volunteer organization. Tahira is an active member of “Project Humans of AUW”, where she, along with other group members, takes interview from AUW community, and post it in the facebook. Apart of her work, Tahira loves travelling and singing a lot!

Mandy graduated from Lingnan University in 2012 majoring in Contemporary English Studies. She was awarded the Fung Scholarship in 2011 and spent one semester in West Virginia University. The exchange programme was a life-defining experience to her as it greatly changed the way she perceives the world. In her leisure time, she enjoys watching movies, reading and travelling. She also loves outdoor activities, especially hiking and joining orienteering events.

Haoyi (FS2012-13, Nanjing University) graduated in 2014 with a B.S. in Environmental Science in Nanjing University and went to Peking University to pursue a Master in Environmental Management. She was selected to be a Fung Scholar during her exchange program to The University of Hong Kong. She has great enthusiasm about environmental protection career in China and is heavily involved in environmental protection voluntary work. Outside of work, she loves to travel, attend parties and watch movies at home.

Writer Chuqi YAN, Grace

Writer Yi YANG

Writer Chun Sin YEUNG, Joscelin

Chuqi (FS2014-15, Shanghai Jiao Tong University) will graduate in 2016 with a Bachelor degree in Public Administration. She was selected to be a Fung Scholar during her time as an exchange student at the University of Hong Kong in 2014. She was highly involved in Fung Scholar activities. As a consequence, she was elected to be the new president of Shanghai Chapter in June 2015. Chuqi is also keen on NGOs development. She is now working part-time in IJoin Social Innovation Consulting. Outside of work, she loves to sing. She gave performance on the Oasis Music Festival in Shanghai as the singer of a rock band.

Yi (FS2012-13, Nanjing University) graduated in 2015 with MSc in Risk and Finance in London School of Economics (LSE) and is now a strategy consultant intern at Dubai Chamber of Commerce. She became a Fung Scholar during her exchange program at the University of Hong Kong and has been actively involved in FS activities since then. In 2014, Yi set up the Fung Scholars Nanjing Chapter and teamed with Shanghai Chapter to join in a 50km charity walkathon. During spare time, Yi enjoys volunteering with social enterprises worldwide, listening to classic music and exploring adventure like the seven-day-long Trans-Siberian railway!

Joscelin (FS2014-15, Hong Kong Baptist University) is a final year student majoring in Government and International Studies in HKBU and was selected to be a Fung Scholar for her semester abroad in the University of Kent. She is an active member of the Model United Nations community and has been attending conferences in China, Europe and the United States. Other than her interest in international relations, she is also passionate about advocating gender equality, having interned at NGOs that empowers women and promoting equality for LGBT groups. As a ‘people person’, she enjoys meeting new friends around the world during travelling and simply loves to chat about anything you can think of!

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


Committee Member Noreen AKHTAR

Designer Kam Ying LAU, Koie

I’m Noreen Akhtar from Northern areas of Pakistan. Currently, I’m doing my graduation in Environmental Sciences as my major and Mathematics and Development Studies as my minors from Asian University for Women, Bangladesh. I have contributed as a volunteer in different organizations like ‘Milky Way Youth Organization Pakistan’ as the director of university ambassadors and member of ‘Girls Guide Association Pakistan’. Currently, I’m working with ‘Youth’s voice Organization Bangladesh’ as its volunteer and also, as an active member of Anthology Club in my university. I’m a Wedu Rising Star (Wedu is a network of mentors to provide mentorship to different students). I love listening to music, film making, photography, reading novels and volley ball. Also, I love doing research and field work and I have been involved as the research assistant of Ford Foundation to conduct surveys in different cities of Pakistan.

Koie (FS2013-2014, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) graduated in 2015 with a B.S. in Internet and Multimedia Technologies. She has been a Fung Scholar since 2013 for her exchange in The Technical University of Denmark. She loves to experience different culture which she went to more than 15 countries during her university life. Besides, she is passionate about doing voluntary work and discovering social innovation around the city.

FS Newsletter | Jan 2016



FS Newsletter | Jan 2016


HONG KONG CHAPTER 30-hour Famine 9 – 10 April 2016

LONDON CHAPTER Chinese New Year Gathering January or February 2016

For details of the above event, please visit Fung Scholars website: FS Newsletter | Jan 2016

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