Inspired to show way to a better life

Inspired to show way to a better life

Young Post reporters learn about creativity, business and how to overcome hardships at fun annual gathering

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Junior reporter Janet Tam
Junior reporter Janet Tam
Make a Difference (MaD) brings together an exciting line-up of international change-makers and young people to Hong Kong every year. MaD inspires youngsters through talks and workshops on creativity, entrepreneurship, innovation and discovery.

The second annual event took place from January 21-23 this year. Three Young Post junior reporters attended various activities last Saturday. Here, Janet Tam and Alex Chan describe the experience.

Alex Chan

Ali F. Farhoomand discussed creativity, entrepreneurship and the power of positive thinking at the Entrepreneurial Business Model Innovation workshop. Farhoomand is a professor of innovation and information management at the University of Hong Kong.

The workshop opened my eyes as to what we can do to achieve our dreams.

Farhoomand introduced four types of innovation: product leadership, customer intimacy, operational efficiency, and category renewal.

Right after his talk on innovation, he gave everyone a task to complete. We were divided into four teams and came up with a socially innovative new product/service using the nine building blocks (value proposition, partners, activities, resources, core structure, revenue streams, channels, customer relationships, customer segments). The goal was to challenge us to think in a noisy and unfamiliar environment.

Farhoomand also taught us that a successful businessman thinks outside the box and makes things happen.

Janet Tam

I joined three workshops - Dialogue in the Dark, The Power of Magic "IF" and Dialogue in Silence .

Dialogue in the Dark - co-organised by Dialogue in the Dark (HK) in Mei Foo - was a memorable experience. There were eight participants in my group plus a visually impaired guide to help us navigate.

Before we entered the pitch-black environment, each of us was given a white cane. I felt nervous as I could only lean on the wall and walk slowly to our "destinations" like a shopping centre, road and cafe. It was a great experience to use other senses to rediscover things in daily life. The activity also inspired me to reflect on "ability" and "disability".

In the Dialogue in Silence workshop, we wore earmuffs so we could only communicate with each other using body language and facial expressions. I learned there are many ways to get around disabilities and lead fruitful lives.

The Power of Magic "IF" was all about being creative and unique. Participants used clothes provided by the organisers to stage a special fashion show.

Hetty Lee

The media pass exempted me from the games during Dialogue in Silence, but I was allowed to walk around the room and take notes. The game was like charades – a group of youngsters received story cards, and had to, without words, put the events shown on the cards in order and act out the whole story.

The catch was that everyone had to wear earmuffs throughout the workshop.

I never would have thought that there was anything different about Uli, except for a slight speech impediment (tinged with a German accent), had it not been for the little grey mechanical protrusion from his ear. “Ah,” I realised. “He’s deaf.”

He came up to me and shook my hand, and I mouthed (so as not to disrupt the silence in the room) in German, “I can speak German!” and we were able to converse soundlessly in another language.

It was ironic, since our silent dialogue did follow the theme of the workshop, even though it was not in the way the he’d intended. Meanwhile, the language barrier for the rest of the room had been dismantled, and everyone was soon absorbed in the task of piecing the plot together.

The workshop as a whole was very successful, and I was able to get a very small taste of what sensory deprivation feels like, and how people use more than just words to communicate. I think I came out of the room knowing better how to hear what people don’t say.

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