By Dr Shirley Yeung
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations South-South Cooperation Day on September 12, 2020, the author organized 14 online transformation seminars in response to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs 3, 4, 8, 9, 17), working closely with industry practitioners to promote innovation and transformations after COVID19.
The author, director of the Centre for Business/ Social Sustainability and Innovations (BSSI)/ Head, School of Business, Gratia Christian College (United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education UNPRME Advanced Signatory Institute), organized 14 online transformation seminars from May to August, 2020 (during the post COVID-19 period) with the support of the World of Sustainable Development Planners (WISDP), an initiative of UNESCO HK Association.
Responding to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs 3, 4, 8, 9, 17) and cooperating with industries to promote innovations and transformations after COVID19. Participants of the seminar include 10 South-South cooperation countries, for example, the United Nations Responsible Management Education Representatives (UNPRME) working group members from India, Indonesia, Philippines, Serbia, and the America.
Launched virtual seminars provide a good opportunity for young people to participate and learn about how to improve entrepreneurship/design thinking, industry transformation, talent training, capacity building and related concepts. It is hoped that young people will have a broad understanding of capacity development in order to support the sustainable development and transformation goals of the enterprise and social transformation.
In addition, it provides an opportunity for young people to understand the nature of business and how to transform business and management for sustainable development. More importantly, it enables young people to understand how to apply their new skills learnt and knowledge under a real normal of business environments when facing the challenges brought under COVID-19.
One of the award-winning students of UNOSSC Entrepreneurial Academy (1st Cohort, 2020, April) under the UN Office of South-South Cooperation, Benjamin from Nigeria said:‘I’m very happy and grateful to be part of the five-month transformative and innovative plan on the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. For me, this is a very insightful and interesting program, because in this era and after the Coronavirus pandemic. I have learned a lot that can help my entrepreneurial thinking and better ways of doing business. I would also like to use this medium to thank the United Nations Development Program Hong Kong branch, the Gratia Christian College, School of Business and other partner companies for making this project possible out of humanitarian considerations. Special thanks to Dr Shirley and other speakers who have influenced a lot of knowledge through the presentation of the briefing. Finally, I hope that my co-participants will be successful in all their career endeavours, and hope that the program will enable them to gain more knowledge to develop in various areas where they find themselves especially sustainable business ideology. ’
Under the COVID-19, the author’s team conducted a series of virtual yoga practice sessions with Musa, Kenya, who is also one of the winning members of UNOSSC Entrepreneurial Academy (1st Cohort, 2020, April). Through a virtual platform, Musa and her students in Kenya established a sense of knowledge with happiness and the use of technology for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
One of the award-winning students of UNOSSC Entrepreneurial Academy (1st cohort, 2020, April), Musa (Kenya) said: ” Yoga is a sport in which people can move their bodies to different positions to become healthier and more flexible to improve breathing and relax the body and mind. According to the current world, most people suffer from lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes And heart disease. This is mainly due to lack of exercise, so yoga can be used as one of the sports to improve lifestyle, and SDG 3 (physical health) can be achieved. Many studies conducted around the world have confirmed the psychological and physical aspects of yoga with many benefits. “
In addition, Ms Mercedes Pair (Philippines) 2018 World Noble Queen International also participated in a virtual seminar in August, 2020 as Hon. Speaker to share the opportunity of integrating culture and service quality management innovation. Mercedes Pair, graduated from the National University of Ireland (Dublin) majoring in Business Administration (Marketing), and is currently an actor, host and model. She loves to travel abroad for beauty pageants. She once represented Hong Kong in international pageants and won the championship. In recent years, Mercedes also serves as the host of programs at Radio Television Hong Kong. She has also served as the emcee of ceremonies in major media, brand launches and annual dinners.
This innovative online training clearly and vividly demonstrates creativity, teamwork, patience, ability to follow instructions, and inter-generational harmony. It shows that cooperation between developing countries and developed countries requires on-going cross-border dialogue and cooperation with other developing countries in the UN South and South.