Digital Change-Makers Meet in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the most economically liberal and culturally dynamic cities of the world. Regarded as a global financial hub and one of the nerve centres of innovation and start-ups, the city hosts RISE — Asia’s largest tech conference where nearly 16,000 attendees meet to discuss the future of innovation and technology.
As Hong Kong goes through a difficult phase of civil dissent, the world continues to watch the city. ‘Digital Change-Makers’ from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) set out on a week-long journey to Hong Kong during which they discussed innovation from different perspectives at workshops and through interactions with experts. The delegates also took part in RISE from 9-10 July.
Christian Lindner, Chair of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) of Germany who was in Hong Kong at the time, inaugurated the FNF Global Innovation Hub. “Economic freedom is indispensable to innovation. It is inseparable from social freedom”, said Lindner.
The strong presence of South Asian start-ups at the conference was a testament to the entrepreneurial energy that is being set free across the region. Among more than 80 participating start-ups from India was Vicara, a motion analysis platform; Vogo a scooter rental company. MyMo Live, a start-up from Kerala that battles fake news in vernacular media through crowd-sourced journalism was also amongst the participants. You can listen to the founder of Vogo, Anand Ayyadurai speaking at a panel discussion on the future of urban transport on Otter.ai.
"In liberal societies, ‘change’ is the only constant. What seems cutting edge at one point becomes the mainstream in short order" notes Frank Hoffmann, Interim Head of the FNF Regional Office South Asia and a digital change-makers delegate . For the RISE participants as well, this was probably one of the biggest takeaways of the conference as they know too well the cost of trying to promote a culture of innovation and facing the (big) challenges around it.
All sessions of the conference were transcribed live on Otter and all RISE talks are available for free on the Otter app. The RISEConf app allowed the participants to listen to English translations of the presentations delivered in Mandarin.