Innovation Collaboration: Lessons Learned from Finland and Hong Kong SeminarVIEW EVENT DETAILS
18:00 Welcoming Remarks and Keynote
18:25 Panel Discussion and Q&A
19:05 Closing Remarks
Digital solutions and technologies are constantly transforming societies as a whole. They help to deliver a sustainable, prosperous and carbon neutral future for all. Both Finland and Hong Kong emphasize smart city solutions and sustainability as part of their governmental objectives towards carbon neutrality. Both have strong governmental support in the development of smarter cities prioritizing innovation and technology as well as research and development.
The Hong Kong Government has announced Hong Kong's Climate Action Plan for carbon neutrality by 2050, setting the carbon emissions reduction targets for 2030 with the vision of "Zero-carbon Emissions - Liveable City Sustainable Development".
Finland has one of the world’s most ambitious goals to combat climate change aiming to be CO2 neutral by 2030 and carbon negative by 2050. As one of the constant top countries in global rankings of innovation, education and happiness, Finland is also a leading country in cutting-edge technologies. Last year, the public and private sector in Finland developed together sectoral low-carbon roadmaps for energy-intensive and other industries.
Both Finland and Hong Kong having strong focus on sustainability and carbon neutrality, the two would be benefited by more reciprocal visits, information exchanges and cooperation to promote and support Finland-Hong Kong exchanges, partnerships and collaboration in the area of innovation and technology collaboration.
The event is part of the annual What’s Up Finland? –week that highlights Finnish innovation, expertise and culture in Hong Kong. The overarching theme for this year’s events is “Designing a carbon-neutral future”. The event is also included in the Business of Design Week City Programme.
Cindy Chow has been the Executive Director of the Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund since 2015. The Fund’s mission is to help Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs and young people realize their dreams and visions for their businesses and communities. To fulfil this mission, the Fund invests into startup companies and organises various activities to bolster innovation and entrepreneurship.
Cindy joined Alibaba Group in 2007 and has worked in the financial control and planning capacity, most recently as the Senior Director of International Finance until she assumes her current role. Before joining Alibaba, Cindy has worked in a number of Hong Kong listed companies, specialising in financing, and management reporting and planning.
Cindy holds a Master of Business Administration and is a certified public accountant. She is a member of the Committee on Innovation, Technology and Re- industrialisation (HKSAR) and the Chairperson of Cyberport Investor Network. Cindy also volunteers in various organisations on youth development and social innovation. Through different initiatives launched by the Fund and in her own capacity, Cindy aspires to help entrepreneurs and young people to realise their dreams for a better society.
David Chung, JP is the Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR.
Dr Chung has nearly 30 years of experience in information technology (IT) strategic management and entrepreneurship development, and worked in several IT firms. He joined Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited in March 2004 and was responsible for taking forward Cyberport's IT infrastructure and incubation. He was Chief Technology Officer when he left Cyberport in February 2016. Public service positions held by Dr Chung include Council Member of the Hong Kong Computer Society, Convenor of the IT Expert Advisory Group of the Consumer Council, and Member of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Expert Committee on Cloud Computing Services and Standards.
Mika Finska, The Consul Trade and Investment of Finland to Hong Kong and Macao since July 2021. Prior to this position he worked in Business Finland in various roles.
Mr Finska has over 30 years professional career and he has also wide experience both in private and public sector organisations. His main focus areas has been in business development and international cooperation with the focus on digitalization and sustainability. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Economics from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
Pan Hui is a Professor of Computational Media and Arts and Director of the HKUST-DT Systems and Media Lab at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He is also the Nokia Chair in Data Science at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Professor Hui received his PhD from the Computer Laboratory at University of Cambridge, and both his Bachelor and MPhil degrees from the University of Hong Kong. He was an adjunct Professor of social computing and networking at Aalto University, Finland, and a Distinguished Scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Laboratories (T-labs), Germany.
His industrial profile also includes his research at Intel Research Cambridge, UK and Thomson Research Paris, France. Professor Hui is a world-leading expert in Augmented Reality and Mobile Computing, with more than 400 research papers, 30 patents, and over 20,000 citations. He is an International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a member of Academia Europaea, an IEEE Fellow, and an ACM Distinguished Scientist.
Nikitha Manoharan is a mechanical engineer by training and a vocal advocate of all things green and sustainable. With over a decade of experience in the marine and energy markets of the Middle East and Hong Kong, she has had a front and centre view of the largescale positive changes in both general awareness as well as tangible actions and regulations taken towards making the industry and the world as a whole a cleaner and more sustainable place for our future generations. She believes that with continued innovation in the direction of a zero carbon, pollution free sustainable society using our combined global resources, we can hope to get ahead of the curve and hopefully even reverse some of the damage we have caused in the last 100 years. When not at work or school, she can usually be found hiking, dancing, brunching or most likely under blankets watching Netflix with her 2 cats.
Veera Sinnemäki holds a position of Global Sustainability Program Manager for Climate at H&M Group driving the implementation of carbon positive strategy and goals in H&M Production. Previously she was heading the sustainable chemical domain in the H&M Production supply chain. Before moving to Hong Kong, Veera was regional Social Sustainability Manager in Shanghai, China, as well as shortly Sustainability Country Manager in Myanmar, always with H&M Group. Her previous career before fashion industry was with Nokia as Project Manager.
She holds a Master’s degree in Business Communication from Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland, with studies on Chinese politics and diplomacy in Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Veera is also the Vice chair for Board of Directions for Finnish Chamber of commerce and leading the Sustainability Committee.
Jari Vepsäläinen Jari E. Vepsäläinen, Chairman of Fintrade-Mercer Group is a China trained attorney and has been actively involved as a strategic investment advisor and corporate lawyer in the People’ s Republic of China for more than 35 years.
Mr. Vepsäläinen is the founder of Fintrade-Mercer Group, which has executed more than 250 large and medium scale investment project in China since 1985. He has managed direct foreign investments into China in petrochemical, energy, shipbuilding, telecommunication, healthcare, real estate, environmental protection, education and various industrial fields. Mr. Vepsäläinen is specialized in structuring international corporate formats, establishment of China entities and Hong Kong holding company formations for foreign investors targeting the China market. His major clients have included many global investment funds, governments and corporations.
Mr. Vepsäläinen serves as the Chairman, Board Director & Supervisor at several wholly foreign owned and joint venture corporations in China and Hong Kong, giving Mr. Vepsäläinen a rare opportunity to be an insider in various diverse business fields. His board responsibilities typically involve handling of government relations with the Chinese authorities, directing corporate legal and investor matters and taxation planning issues.
In addition to business organizations, Mr. Vepsäläinen serves various governmental organizations and international federations in the Asia Pacific and he is frequently invited to speak in professional China investment and technology conferences and seminars.
Binh Johansson brings more than 15 years of work experience in China and Hong Kong. Having graduated in economics and Chinese studies in 2001 from Lund University, Sweden, she moved on to work for several Nordic large companies as well as startups. In 2007, Binh moved to Shanghai to help a Swedish firm that wanted to expand into the Chinese market. In 2011, she was hired as the Asia area manager for a leading Nordic company in the raw material sector. After five years in that position, she continued as a consultant for a Swedish internet company that wanted to expand its client base in Hong Kong and mainland China. Binh is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and Swedish. She enjoys working across cultures and helping bridge the gap between the Nordic countries and Asia.
With a successful international career spanning Europe, the US, and Asia, as well as a range of industries including venture capital, private banking, raw materials, and digital, Binh thrives the most when taking on significant responsibilities, managing cross-culture projects, and engaging with people (moderator).
Got Questions? Ask them here in advance (beginning November 24) or during the program:
https://app.sli.do/event/7edyahhw (code: #InnovationCollaboration)
The views and opinions expressed are those of the speakers and participants and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, do not reflect the opinion, position or official policy of Asia Society Hong Kong, its members, or its committees. Asia Society Hong Kong does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for the content of the information presented
Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty
For event details visit https://asiasociety.org/hong-kong/events/innovation-collaboration-lessons-learned-finland-and-hong-kong-seminar Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 9 Justice Drive, Admiralty