SOUTH-SOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACADEMY
Building Global Citizenship and Harnessing Entrepreneurial Skills and Mindset
Through South-South Cooperation
“Gastrotourism and Entrepreneurship”
Date: 20-21 March, 2020 Venue: Cyberport, Hong Kong SAR (training)
Date: 22 March, 2020 Venue: Shenzhen, China (field trip)
The event is organised by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the Centre for Business/Social Sustainability and Innovations (BSSI) of Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College with support from the Government of Hong Kong SAR (Cyberport), Youth Square, UNESCO Hong Kong Association, and Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation.
A rapidly changing world offers many challenges and opportunities for the youth, particularly in the Global South countries. Among these challenges are high levels of unemployment resulting from massive economic, social and technological transformation. These together create a burden on the global efforts to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development. The youth population, however, due to their internet literacy and hence exposure to the world through real life experience or social or digital media ushered by an increasingly interconnected world, have an opportunity to play a critical role in contributing to such goals through entrepreneurship and innovation. Considering these, there is a need for investment in human capital and in the young population in particular to be equipped with the current qualities, skills, knowledge and know-how of global citizenship and entrepreneurship in order to achieve the sustainable development agenda that leaves no one behind.
In doing so, the core ideas behind the design of this second cohort for 2019 entitled “Gastrotourism and Entrepreneurship” are based on belief that youth from the Global South countries can make good use of their culture, specifically cuisines, to generate economic growth and value. “Every dish has a story and every ingredient has the history of a destination” (World Tourism Organisation 2017:12). As Gastrotourism has gained global momentum, it is hence considered a trendy but sustainable strategy to not only create employment thus stimulating the growth of local, national and regional economies but also to preserve cultural and environmental heritage while contributing to social inclusion and mutual understanding across borders. This cohort also serves to recognize the importance of sustainable tourism following the United Nations 70th General Assembly’s declaration for the year of 2017 “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”. The training will support a change in policies, business practices and consumer behavior towards more sustainable tourism and contribution to SDGs.
In this context, the Hong-Kong based South-South Entrepreneurship Academy will be implemented with some inter-regional collaboration particularly with Africa. As in Hong Kong SAR, several institutions are at the core of promoting gastrotourism, as demonstrated by a number of food tours being offered.
The UN Office for South-South cooperation, under its Global platform “Youth 4 South” is partnering several Hong Kong Institutions; namely, Cyberport, Youth Square, Gratia Business School of Gratia Christian College, the United Nations Education Science and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Hong Kong Association, and the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation to work with youth from Asia and the Pacific as well as other regions to enhance global citizenship and entrepreneurship. The project is targeted at achieving SDG 8 Target 8.6, “By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training”. The intention of the partners is to convene two events annually, in March and November respectively, each with a specific thematic focus.
South-South Entrepreneurship Academy is organized under the platform of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) – Youth for South as part of its activity for the Asia-Pacific Region. A previous piloting event (the first 2019 cohort) took place with the theme “Technology, Financial Innovation and Entrepreneurship” was convened in April 2019.