Fung Scholars-led discussion
The annual Fung Scholars Leadership Conference was held as a two-day event on 30 October and 6 November, under the auspices of Victor and William Fung Foundation.
The Conference has been running for the 14th year and it is a significant function for the Fung Scholars and Fung Fellows as they get together annually to learn, exchange and connect to each other. For the first time, the Leadership Conference was led by the Fung Scholars and Fung Fellows themselves. This year, the Conference had to conducted on online again due to travel restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic yet it brought together Fung Scholars and Fung Fellows from Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, Singapore, the UK and USA.
Below were the discussion topics focusing on themes chosen by Fung Scholars:
- Day 1: Future of Work, Digital Economy, Globalization
- Day 2: Sustainability, Equality, Education & Life-long Learning, Projects/Startups with Social Impact.
Dr. Victor Fung, Chairman, Victor and William Fung Foundation, and Group Chairman, Fung Group, Spencer Fung, Director, Victor and William Fung Foundation, and Group Executive Chairman, Li & Fung, Barbara Meynert, Director, Victor and William Fung Foundation, Senior Advisor to the Fung Group, and Pamela Mar, EVP, Knowledge and Application, Fung Academy, Fung Group tuned in to observe the discussions and shared their feedback and views, moderated by Kai-man Wong, Director, Victor and William Fung Foundation.
Day 1 highlights:
To kick off the conference Victor Fung gave his opening remarks. “It’s a great pleasure for me to be joining this conference. It is really one of the highlights for me to be able to participate. We have been through so many years now. I missed the fact that we are able to interact and to meet face to face, but this setting allows us to include people from a wider region from around the world,” said Victor. “I am happy to see over time that Fung Scholars have been increasingly taking more control of the Fung Scholars programme. What we see in today’s topics is the result of what you wanted to discuss.”
Out of the three discussion topics of day 1, Victor highlighted that digitalization had the most fundamental impact, inherently related to future of work and globalization. The Fung Scholars were then divided into smaller groups for a 45-minute breakout session. Several Fung Scholars from different years, regions and industries were invited to take on the role as ‘Discussion Leaders’ to share their insights under the discussion topics, and was later joined by other Fung Scholars to give their perspectives and opinions from different points of views. Then a representative from each group was invited to give a 5-minute summary of the discussion by sharing a few key takeaways.
Barbara Meynert talked about new opportunities arising from this digital revolution and globalization. “It’s now a season of ‘RE’ – a non-stop and ongoing process of reskilling,” said Barbara.
Victor then shared his insights on the two biggest trends of the last decade – Digitalization and Globalization and how Future of Work is an indication of how these major trends will impact our individual lives.
Joanne Ho, Chief Operating Officer, Fung Academy joined the discussion and shared the example of Singapore government’s contribution to retraining and reskilling.
Day 2 highlights:
Spencer Fung kicked off the conference with an update on Li & Fung and how we are celebrating the Group’s 115th anniversary. As Sustainability is one of the discussion topics of Day 2, he asked the Fung Scholars to have a think about “What would you allow you, your company and your family to become a long-term sustainable entity?” He shared the example of Li & Fung’s transformation and diversification strategy over the last decade.
Victor gave Fung Scholars a quick tour of the Fung Group’s booth at the China International Import Expo.
During the session on Sustainability, Equality and Education, Pamela Mar shared her observations and suggestions with the Fung Scholars and Barbara shared some advice on building a startup.
“There is so much information on the internet these days. You have to collect the information and get the knowledge yourself,” said Dr. Lap-Chee Tsui, President, Victor and William Fung Foundation who later joined the panelists on the topic of Education.
Pamela and Barbara wrapped up the session by encouraging Fung Scholars to turn their knowledge and ideas into action. “Knowledge has power when you actually act on it when you apply. It’s the action that gives you power,” said Barbara.
Closing the conference, Victor said: “This conference is really connecting a lot of things [that] will shape the future of our world. The type of exposure that all of you have heard through the participation the Fung Scholarship, I hope, has given you a unique perspective early in your career. Fundamentally, if we are going to contribute to the development of the leader of the world, it gives young people an exposure outside their normal environment.”
The conference was a huge success! Here’s what our Fung Scholars had to say:
“I found this conference very different and rewarding. I benefited hugely from the feedback session and the Q&A session.” – Ken Fung (FS2016/17, The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
“It was well organized and I felt comfortable joining. I enjoyed hearing stories from different sectors and ways of working.” – Kotoe Kuroda (FS2015/16, The University of Tokyo)
“I think the conference is nicely adapted to the current situation and technology-wise it ran seamlessly. Of course, the discussions would be livelier in person, but I really like the expert feedback at the end which made it very interactive.“- Mariah Stewart (FS2011/12, The University of Hong Kong)
Thank you to all Fung Scholars for making this year yet another successful conference. We look forward to an exciting year ahead and another insightful conference in 2022.