July: You're Hot & You're Cold
This month is much like the weather in HK at the moment - it's boiling outside but you're freezing under the ridiculous aircon, it's sunny on weekdays but stormy on weekends. I would quote a certain Alanis Morissette song, but that would be paradoxical (sorry).
Things continued to progress here at OurConservatory, although the biggest lesson learnt is that going backwards is also important and valuable progress. I am happy to report that our portfolio continues to grow, and our commitment to doing things RIGHT would hopefully mean that our foundations are stronger than ever!
OurConservatory is now a proud member of AVPN!!!
AVPN is a unique funders’ network based in Singapore committed to building a vibrant and high impact social investment community across Asia, through advocacy, capacity building, and cross-sector platform support to improve the effectiveness of members across the region.
OurConservatory aims to support the growth of the impact investing ecosystem through bespoke deal facilitation, and the support of this cross-sector leader means so much - we hope this important step would help accelerate our ability to drive tangible change for the space!
Cross-sector Partnership requires Cross-sector Learning...
Representing OurConservatory, I was honoured to be part of the GIFT HK Young Leaders Programme, which engaged 26 cross-sector participants to investigate "the DNA of Hong Kong", and figure out how we can promote & maintain the unique advantages of our city!
The 2-week programme was intense, eye-opening and humbling - unique experiences ranged from a visit to a landfill (which smelled ok by that point, after a longer-than-hoped for stint at the rubbish processing plant) to a >2 hour chat with students from all around HK from public to international, assistance-dependent to art & design geniuses.
The hands-on, time-pressured, highly personal experience of working with such a large group of diverse teammates really hit home the opportunities and challenges of HK, of what we are trying to achieve at OurConservatory, and of what we can all do individually to make things a tiny bit better.
Interesting reads this month (NOT exhaustive!)
Co-investment Partners of HK's Innovation and Technology Venture Fund announced (24 July) - the framework sets up matching funding of 2x, and although this is not directly related to social, this significant ecosystem development is an important step forward in the HK govt's policy support for venture capital development in the city. More on the implications to follow in my blog...
China will take over HK in terms of impact investing in a heartbeat. If you haven't come across CGPI's Ma Weihua (former Chairman of China Merchants Bank) in the impact conference circuit, this translated opinion article underscores his push for the sector (and is more concise too).
Skin in the Game - this glorious rant by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is at times eyebrow-raising, at times laugh-out-loud outrageous, but always thought-provoking. Don't take it too seriously, but ultimately he makes an interesting point - how can we balance and create more balanced risk-sharing?
This month took me to places I've never been (and probably would never go again), and I also witnessed & experienced changes and developments in my work that were new and alien - this is the month where I felt like I am now firmly NOT in my comfort zone. It has been frustrating, but FUN.
I'm preparing to further develop my lessons learnt in a long-overdue blog update over the next week, whilst I'm relaxing on the Gold Coast :)
Be back soon,