Esperanza calls for initiatives to build Hong Kong talent pool with digital technologies

HONG KONG, Oct. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Esperanza, a charitable organisation established in 2018 to advocate new ways to learn, live and work, calls for the reskilling and upskilling of Hong Kong’s talent pool with the support of digital technologies. The initiative was rolled out at Esperanza’s Edventures Global Business Acceleration (GBA) Summit held today. More than 30 experts and innovators in education technology (EdTech) from around the world took part in this one-day hybrid event, offering insights and best practices on how digital technologies can facilitate talent development and propel the transformation of Hong Kong as a digital economy. The Summit was organised in partnership with the University of Hong Kong.

“Talent development is central to the sustainable development of every society. To address the acute talent shortages across different sectors, it is high time to kick start a skill building movement in Hong Kong as an integral part of the city’s post-COVID recovery strategy,” said John C. Tsang, Founder of Esperanza.

Tsang was joined by other guests in the opening: Prof Ian Holliday, Vice President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning), The University of Hong Kong; Loretta Fong, GBA and Hong Kong ESG Services Leader, PwC Hong Kong and Bill Lee, Managing Director, JobsDB Hong Kong. They underscored the value of education technology (EdTech) in making learning more accessible, flexible, scalable, engaging, personalised and effective. “Technology is disrupting almost every sector. It is time we apply technology to innovate how we learn,” said Tsang at the opening.

A New World of Learning

Dr. Michael Fung, Executive Director, the Institute for the Future of Education (IFE), Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico opened the Summit with his vision on the future of learning. “Shifting demographics, longevity, multiple careers, globalization cum localisation, digital transformation and the COVID-19 pandemic are disrupting the future of work. We need to create a new paradigm for education moving from front-loaded to life-long learning, creating multiple pathways, integrating work and study, empowering individuals, and anticipating the skills required as we move from digital economy to green economy and care economy, ” said Dr. Fung.

Ben Nelson, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Minerva Project and Chancellor of Minerva University echoed Dr. Fung: “Educational institutions largely teach us things that are not important for us to know and do so in a way that we don’t actually remember.” Widely recognised as the most innovative university in the world, Minerva develops students’ foundational and transferrable skills based on research on the science of learning and a data-driven approach. Nelson believed that the future of education should go back to the basics, with the learner being able to apply what they have learned, no matter what they encounter.

Talent Development Trends In Asia

Moderated by Bill Lee, Managing Director of JobsDB Hong Kong, the panel “Talent Development Trends and Needs in Asia” showcased speakers in the region: Sandeep Aneja, Founder and Managing Partner of Kaizenvest; Frank Koo, Head of Asia, Talent & Learning Solutions, LinkedIn; Chester Tsang, Fellow & Executive Council Member, Hong Kong Institute of Human Resource Management and Johnny Yu, People and Organisation Advisory Leader of PwC China. According to the latest LinkedIn report on APAC Learning Trends, the percentage of L&D professionals who expect to have more spending power has reached a six-year high. Panelists pointed out growing demands to make learning more skills based, bite-sized, on demand, motivating, personalised as well as collaborative.

Applications of Learning Technologies and Cross-Sector Partnership

Vu Tran, Co-Founder of  Go 1, pointed out that “the sweet spot of digital learning is to empower the workforce, build their curiosity and provide accessible learning opportunities”. Go1 is the largest curated E-learning platform in the world with over 100,000 bite-sized courses.

How technology can make learning more meaningful is the theme of the “Deep Dive into EdTech: A Cross-Sector Approach” panel. Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design at the UCL Knowledge Lab in London, highlighted the value of AI and machine learning in capturing and analysing student data to  develop an evidence-informed approach to learning. Kingson Kwan from Ergon Global, a Hong Kong talent tech startup shared how his company leverages extended reality and blockchain to help organisations attract, retain and develop talents. Referring to the ethical implications of AI, Prof Luckin’s position is that “we need to ensure that what we do with it is driven by a sound pedagogical aim at every step.”

Another common thread of the Summit is the importance of an ecosystem approach. Dr. James Andrade, Senior Vice President and Head of Learning & Innovation of CapitaLand (Singapore), shared his company’s latest “Catapult” project. Powered by learning technologies. Catapult is Southeast Asia’s first and largest executive co-learning centre. This project illustrates how the government, business, training institutes and students can work together to develop a learning ecosystem.  Working with different stakeholders is also a central pillar of the South Korean government’s metaverse strategy, as described by Dr. Min Kim, Vice President, Metaverse Promotion Department at National IT Promotion Agency. 

The Summit also featured an example of business and academic partnership. Dr Ying Chen, Partner of Huike EduTech, shared the vision of his company in bringing the latest technologies from enterprises to the academic world.

Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship

Since 2002, Esperanza has organised an annual Edventures Global Business Acceleration Fellowship to introduce proven EdTech solutions from around the world to Hong Kong and promote the city as the launch pad for global EdTech startups seeking to expand their businesses in Asia. The theme of this year is “the Future of Adult Learning”. At the Summit, the four 2022 Fellows from Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the US demonstrated how they use technology to address the pain points of educators, learners and employers.

Analytikus personalizes higher education by using AI solutions to provide a 360-degree view of a student’s executive functioning, social skills, emotional indicators and learning behaviours

Eduflow addresses the boredom, lack of interactivity and feeling of isolation in traditional E-learning with a simple but versatile learning management system

Quizrr delivers digital training to help workers in the global supply chains understand their labour rights and employers to be ESG compliant with gamified, interactive and engaging contents using a data-driven approach

Territorium provides an AI-powered and competency-based learning, training and hiring platform for students and employers to map and analyze every learning experience into granular life competencies and recommends personalised courses, learning experiences and job pathways

A Skill Building Movement in Hong Kong

In the “Catalysing Innovation with Education” Study released in April this year, Esperanza recommended amongst other things the building of communities of progressive educators and business leaders. “We hope to bring like-minded organisations together to share best practices and pilot new learning solutions. It is encouraging to see that a number of our partners in the Edventures GBA Summit have already expressed their interests to propel a skill building movement in Hong Kong together,” Tsang concluded. 

Start Learning Now

Courtesy of JobsDB Hong Kong, the Summit attendees can enjoy a one-month trial account of Go1.