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HKU Co-Launches “Tech for Good Initiative”

The Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG) of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and an American social networking service company will jointly launch the Tech for Good Initiative (TGI) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed on 17 September 2021 (Friday).

In collaboration with the global social media platform, TGI promises to strengthen institutional innovations with the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data in governance and public policy in a manner that is socially embedded, conducive to sustainability, and compatible with inclusive growth.

As part of the TGI framework, HKU and the social media giant have co-designed a new course “AI Policy Lab – Opportunities and Challenges in Digital Governance” (POLI8023 / SLGP7104), which will be taught by HKU scholars from the Faculty of Social Sciences and Facebook experts from different fields including Public Policy, Corporate Sustainability, Data Privacy, Automation, Misinformation, Legal and Content Regulations.

The course will be open to students of HKU’s Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of International and Public Affairs (MIPA) and Master of Social Sciences in the field of Sustainability Leadership and Governance (MSocSc SLG) programmes. The social networking company will also make a donation to HKU as a research grant. The TGI will be housed at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance.

Professor Wai-Fung Lam, Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Governance of HKU, and Mr George Chen, Director of Public Policy for Greater China, Mongolia, and Central Asia of Facebook will represent the two parties in signing the MoU. It will be witnessed by Professor William Hayward, Dean of Social Sciences of HKU, and Ms Jayne Leung, Vice President and Head of Greater China of the social media giant.

According to the website, the goal for TGI is to bring scholars and practitioners together to catch up with the latest development in technologies and explore how the interplay between emerging technologies and public policy works.

Students, researchers and industry experts participating in the initiative will have the opportunity to study, collaborate, and debate on many unprecedented and important policy issues such as data privacy and safety policy in the virtual reality world and how the internet should be regulated and governed in a nuanced approach to reflect both the values of the new economy and the protection of user rights and interests.

TGI has several main pillars of work including teaching and learning, research grants for relevant topics and fields, public policy scholarship, and exchange programs with the social media giant’s headquarters in Silicon Valley and other Facebook partner universities in the United States.

The TGI is currently housed at the Centre for Civil Society and Governance (CCSG), with support from faculty members of Social Sciences and the social networking site’s Asia Pacific team.

About the Centre for Civil Society and Governance

The work of the Centre is grounded upon an appreciation of, and a commitment to, a knowledge-based approach to collaborating and engaging with the community in pursuit of a sustainable future for all.

Through their impact projects, the Centre develops and experiments with policy actions and solutions to cope with policy challenges and to induce systemic changes leading to sustainable development.

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