Decision-making informed by diverse viewpoints, both local and global, is becoming essential for government and community decision-makers. The establishing of the HKUST Leadership and Public Policy (LAPP) Executive Education Office is therefore a timely initiative, with programs specifically designed to enable public policy decision-makers, academics, and practitioners to engage in in-depth exploration of current issues and inspire fresh insights and solutions.
Programs encompass those designed and developed by LAPP or together with key partners, including Oxford University and Smith College, and cover areas such as governance, social and cultural transformation, science and technology and the global economy.
Leadership in service to society
"LAPP programs provide HKUST with a great platform to engage with the community and to contribute in more direct ways to society,” said Prof Angelina Yee, Director, Leadership and Public Policy Executive Education, HKUST. “The spirit that drives the endeavor is to foster leadership in service to society."
In January, a widely reported Launch Forum for the first Oxford-HKUST Leadership and Public Policy Series was successfully held, with an address by Chief Executive Mr CY Leung, and an array of high-profile speakers from business, government and academia delivering thought-provoking speeches and discussion on their “Visions of the City”. Other participants included HKUST President Tony F Chan, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University Prof Andrew Hamilton, and former HKUST Council Chairman and LAPP Advisory Board Chairman Dr Vincent HS Lo, current Council Chairman Dr Marvin KT Cheung, Vice-Chairman Mr Martin Y Tang, Court Chairman Dr John CC Chan, Prof Alan Hudson, Director, Leadership Programmes for China at Oxford University, and many leading community figures.
The joint series itself made its debut the following week, with a program focusing on the related theme of “Envisioning the Future City” and running over five days. “We wanted to combine a more visionary perspective with the current debate over Hong Kong’s direction,” Prof Yee said. “We worked closely with Oxford to co-design and co-develop the program to determine the most crucial topics and incisive speakers.”
Academics from HKUST and Oxford were joined by leading professional practitioners in an intensive series of seminars and discussions covering climate change and city development, theoretical frameworks for city planning and economic development, as well as examples of actual planning and urbanization from Singapore, Mainland China, and Hong Kong. Lunchtime talks by influential social leaders Dr Vincent Lo and MTR Corporation Chairman Dr Raymond KF Ch’ien added to the distinctiveness of the program. The senior executives taking part came from more than 25 different departments from the Hong Kong government as well as the private sector, providing a valuable platform for sharing viewpoints from different fields and public and private sector.
Dr Vincent Lo (left) and Dr Raymond Ch’ien speak at the first Oxford-HKUST Joint Series program.
Caring about the future
In the long run, LAPP’s goal is to provide 10 to 12 programs a year for emerging leaders in the public and private sectors. These include the jointly run programs and shorter programs that can flexibly respond to critical trends and developments. The HKUST-Smith Executive Education program, scheduled for Spring 2015, will seek to enhance senior women executives’ leadership skills and target women in the region not only in Hong Kong.
"The most important aspect of LAPP is we care,” Prof Yee said. "We care about the quality of public service and government, the trust between government and people, social justice, and visionary leadership.”
►Cover page and top picture: (from left) Court Chairman Dr John CC Chan; Dean of HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School and Chair Professor Lionel M Ni; Member of Parliament and Former Minister of National Development, Singapore Dr Mah Bow Tan; Shui On Group Chairman Dr Vincent HS Lo; Fung Group Chairman Dr Victor Fung; MTR Corporation CEO Mr Jay Herbert Walder; and University of Hong Kong Department of Social Work and Social Administration Chair Professor Nelson WS Chow.