According to statistics released by the United Nations, more than 55% of the world's population now live in urban environments, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050.
While urbanisation may improve people’s quality of life, the potential for development can only be fully unleashed if solutions can be found to address associated issues such as housing, widening wealth gap, public health, environment, sustainability and ageing population. In this connection, there is a need for the society to review its assumptions, reposition its work and adopt innovative approaches in addressing new and pressing metropolitan social challenges.
Convened by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, the Philanthropy for Better Cities Forum (PBC Forum) is the first of its kind in Asia to focus on metropolitan social issues. The Forum provides a platform for philanthropists, thought leaders, social entrepreneurs, policy-makers, academia and NGOs from around the world, especially the Asia-Pacific and Greater China region, to exchange views, facilitate cross-sector collaboration and cultivate long-term partnerships and engagement, all in the hope of creating better cities.
The inaugural edition in 2016 presented a platform for the discussion of a broad range of topics including keynote discussion on creating “Shared Value", whereby businesses can generate economic benefits in a way that also produces value for society by addressing its challenges. The shared value approach reconnects company success with social progress. There were also in-depth plenary and track discussions across five themes including (i) ageing & health, (ii) youth & education, (iii) innovation & technology, (iv) environment and sustainability, and (v) public-private partnerships. The Forum attracted some 50 distinguished speakers and 1,000 delegates from across the globe.
The second edition of the PBC Forum in 2018 took forward the discussions on creating “Shared Value” from the inaugural forum and offered an alternative perspective through discussing the moral limits of markets and market mechanisms. There were also in-depth plenary and track discussions across five themes including (i) leveraging the market, (ii) sustainable development, (iii) maximising impact, (iv) youth and creativity, and (v) health and well-being. It attracted some 60 distinguished speakers and 1,400 delegates from across the globe, and received overwhelming responses from the participants.
The third edition of the PBC Forum was originally scheduled for September 2020. Nevertheless, due to COVID-19 pandemic, the PBC Forum has now been postponed. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust looks forward to continue the thoughtful discussions, and conduct knowledge and experience sharing with counterparts from different parts of the globe in tackling metropolitan social issues in the near future.