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Self and Society_Lecture at Hong Kong Institute of Education

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Guest Lecture (2-hrs) given on Oct 16. Sharing my journey and some easy-to-understand insights for young Hong Kongers wondering how to navigate the job market ahead + career decisions.

Guest Lecture (2-hrs) given on Oct 16. Sharing my journey and some easy-to-understand insights for young Hong Kongers wondering how to navigate the job market ahead + career decisions.


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Self and Society_Lecture at Hong Kong Institute of Education

  1. 1. Opportunities and Challenges for Young People in the Digital Age Guest Speaker Elliot Leung, Founder and CEO, Gaifong App Oct 16, 2015 Institute of Education, Hong Kong
  2. 2. A little about me Finding my way Sa Pa, Vietnam (2015)
  3. 3. One of the first video-conferences in HK! (1994)
  4. 4. One of the first video-conferences in HK! (1994)
  5. 5. • After Form 5, went to “United Nations” school • 200 students, 90 countries • “UWC makes education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future" • FREE! United World College (Italy)
  6. 6. United World College (Italy) • Living out my passion (piano,
 travel, art) • Learned Italian • Brought choir to UN headquarters
  7. 7. Academia • MA Sociology and Anthropology, University of Edinburgh • Learned Latin and Greek • Research Assistant (Prof. Chan) • Tutor (HKU) Last tutorial, Dec 2011
  8. 8. Fung Global Institute • Learning via Writing • Circular Economy • Sustainable Lifestyles • Low-Carbon Financing
  9. 9. Entrepreneur • Learning by doing • Founded Gaifong App • App for resource-sharing with friends and neighbours: • Together we have everything we need @HKIRC Digital Marketplace 2015
  10. 10. Spreading the message Clockwise from left: Apple Daily, RTHK,
  11. 11. “If you’ve got 1 year left in your life, is this what you’ll be doing?”
 (Once-upon-a-time an interview question at AirBnb) Linking Self and Society Brian Chesky, AirBnb
  12. 12. YOU are different Jobs are different Workplaces are different Understand: = a successful, fulfilling life
 (at least, more likely!)
  13. 13. 1. YOU are different
  14. 14. Know this word: Millennials Mille latin. = thousand; annus latin. = years
  15. 15. Your first computerMy first computer Macintosh Plus iPhone 3GS
  16. 16. Millennials rising • Millennial population overtook boomer in 2014 (US) • versus: Gen X (1960s - 80s); Baby Boomers (post-WWII); Silent (1920s-1940s) • Population dynamics shape consumer markets, politics, work cultures. 
 No more gerontocracy
  17. 17. Digital Natives - Connectedness • 2.5 more Facebook friends than our parents • In HK: Average 3.5hrs on mobile devices; 9.7% “cannot bear
 spending a day without mobile device (HKFYG YRC, 2013) • 71.3% use mobile devices before they sleep (HKFYG YRC, 2013)
  18. 18. Search for Meaning Scan here: or:
  19. 19. Search for Meaning Global Perspectives Barometer, 2015
  20. 20. Specifically, products sharing: • 42 percent (ages ~15-34) are likely to rent products from others in (digital) sharing economy • vs.
 17 percent of global Generation X (ages 35 – 49) and 
 7 percent of global Baby Boomer (ages 50 – 64) • Electronic devices, power tools, bicycles, clothing, household items, sports equipment, cars, outdoor camping gear, furniture, and homes. Nielsen, Global Consumers Embrace the Sharing Economy, 2014
  21. 21. World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders Position Paper 2013 What makes millennials special: • Not wish to inhabit a world which is depleted of value • Want to own less, be more connected with others and part of something bigger than their individual selves
  22. 22. In sum: • Embrace your difference • Respect others’ differences as well
  23. 23. 2. Jobs are different Economic growth will come from very different places
  24. 24. Peter Thiel, CS183b, Stanford
  25. 25. “K-waves” - Innovation Cycle
  26. 26. Facebook, 2005
  27. 27. The age of infinite scalability • Jan 2004, launched in Harvard • After one month, half of undergrads in Harvard signed up • Two months: Stanford, Columbia, Yale (Uni. email address) • Ten months: 1 million users • Ten years: 1,500 million users
  28. 28. Cover photo of Mark Zuckerberg Map of all FB friends
  29. 29. Look forward to 2025, what do you see?
  30. 30. Driverless Cars Image: Mercedes-Benz
  31. 31. Delivery Drones image: shutterstock
  32. 32. Solar Panels on every Roof Mario Goebbels, CC 2.0
  33. 33. Jobs you’ll be doing probably don’t even exist today • Sharability Auditors • Privacy guardians • Personality engineers • University designers • Aging specialists • Robot trainers • Cultural architect • Air tester
  34. 34. Even today, 
 Only 27% work in a related field
  35. 35. That’s not all… Amazon launches Amazon Flex
  36. 36. Rise of the “gig economy” • Jobs separated into minutes, rather than years • “This on-demand, or so-called gig, economy is creating exciting economies and unleashing innovation. But it is also raising hard questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.” 
 Hilary Clinton
  37. 37. Taskrabbit - 
 Get someone to pick up your dry-cleaning/wrap gifts
  38. 38. DogVacay - babysit pets!
  39. 39. Guess how much I paid for this video?
  40. 40. Fiverr - Professional services in small units
  41. 41. Fiverr - some examples
  42. 42. Karl Marx He is a hunter, a fisherman, a herdsman, or a critical critic, and must remain so if he does not want to lose his means of livelihood; while in communist society, where nobody has one exclusive sphere of activity but each can become accomplished in any branch he wishes […] and thus makes it possible for me to do one thing today and another tomorrow, to hunt in the morning, fish in the afternoon, rear cattle in the evening, criticise after dinner, just as I have a mind, without ever becoming hunter, fisherman, herdsman or critic. This fixation of social activity […] is one of the chief factors in historical development up till now. German Ideology, 1845
  43. 43. In sum: • Broaden your horizons: the jobs you’ll be doing probably don’t even exist yet • Don’t be caught off-guard and end up in a dying industry
  44. 44. 3. Workplaces are Different
  45. 45. 1960 - factories
  46. 46. 1990 - cubicles
  47. 47. 2015 - Gaifong’s office… sort of Cyberport Hong Kong, Co-working space
  48. 48. CUHK report • Number of co-working spaces in Hong Kong 0 10 20 30 40 50 2010 2015 43 3 Kowejko & Au, 2015, Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons
  49. 49. A different Work Culture • Annual Leave? • Free lunch • Free working hours • Emphasis on “serious play” and 
 “creative confidence” Corus Entertainment Offices
  50. 50. Rise of the “Digital Nomad” Remote workspace in Bali
  51. 51. Stuart McDonald, “I can run most of the business from my iPhone, though in practice I normally use my laptop. This gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility, so it’s easy to jump on my bicycle, ride down to the beach 10 minutes away and work away to the background thunder of surf.”
  52. 52. “Digital Nomads are individuals that leverage technology in order to work remotely and live an independent and nomadic lifestyle.”
  53. 53. No wi-fi, no king Clockwise from left: Zion National Park, Cyberport, Pacific Coffee
  54. 54. Something to think about? Variation on the 80/20 rule •Define tangible goals •Eliminate distractions •Automate simple tasks •Liberate yourself from traditional baggage
  55. 55. In sum: •Embrace your millennial identity and difference •Keep an open mind when planning; things change rapidly •Look forward to the world out there: it’s great
  56. 56. Enjoy. Questions/comments:
  57. 57. Recommended Reading. Dowejko, M. and Au, K., 2015, Crouching Tigers, Hidden Dragons page/research-crouching-tigers-hidden-dragons/ dowejkoau2015crouchingtigershiddendragonshkstartupreport.pdf Graham, P., 2012, How to Get Startup Ideas
 Botsman, R., 2010, What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption
 Available on Gaifong or from your school library