Yunus Social Business Seminar 2019
The Yunus Social Business Centre@CUHK organised the Yunus Social Business Seminar 2019 titled “Collaborative Cities for Social Inclusion – Urban Ecosystems, Citizens’ Opportunities and Politics of The Everyday” on 26 September 2019. Founder of Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability Network (DESIS Network) – Professor Ezio Manzini was invited to be the speaker of the seminar. Professor Manzini is a world’s leading expert on sustainable design. For over two decades he has been working in the field of design for sustainability.
Prof. Manzini’s lecture is very inspirational in tackling urban poverty through social innovation. He elaborated the notion of social collaboration in breaking the dominant trends towards individualism, competition and consumerism, in co-creation of collaborative well-being and the recognition of the common goods. He further extended economist Amartya Sen’s conception of poverty as the deprivation of capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.
He therefore proposed the idea of community hub, which is an extension of the home, a place where everyday life services are interwoven, a place where poor are enabled to conceive and practice collaborative well-being, and a tool to break the poverty trap. He suggested that a community hub can act as an enabler to increase the capability of the urban poor to collaborate by presenting various composition of co-designing and co-producing services, cultural and learning activities and shared everyday life services.
At the end of the seminar, he stressed the importance of social design for social innovation, which is not only about to look for people’s needs and solutions, but to understand what people are capable to do, what they are willing to do, and what are the resources available. Social design helps to construct community hub, co-create places for social collaboration, raise the poor’s capability in collaboration and co-produce collaborative well-being, which is a very important approach in tackling urban poverty.