On Tuesday, 01 August 2017, the United Nations University Institute in Macau hosted a planning meeting to explore interest in forming a Social Innovation Hub in Macau. The meeting brought together representation from key sectors in the Social Innovation space. Michael Best welcomed everyone and gave an overview of the UNU system as well as the work of UNU Institute in Macau in Macau. Following him Jose Alves, business school dean at the University of St. Joseph, offered an introduction to social innovation and social impact hubs. Lauri Goldkind and Mamello Thinyane then led the balance of the remaining workshop. The meeting was also attended by representatives from the International Ladies Club of Macau, Caritas Macau, the YMCA, St. Joseph’s School of Social Work along with other colleagues from their Business School. One of the hallmarks of social innovation is the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the work and that was recognized at the meeting. In attendance were individuals from communications, social work, computer science and business, to name a few.
The purpose of the meeting was to gauge interest in establishing a living lab or social innovation hub in Macau. Participants learned broadly about the social innovation ecosystem around the world, including case studies of innovation labs in Malmö (Sweden), Kathmandu (Nepal), and the Impact Hub network. Next, participants worked in groups to discuss local issues and concerns, identifying key stakeholders with resources to assist in the solutions to such issues and what a social innovation group or organization might look like in Macau. The workshop closed with the decision to convene a follow-up session where additional potential partners will be invited to be part of the Macau social innovation group. The next meeting is being planned and it is expected to be held later in the year.