Supervisor, HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity
Chairperson, Make A Difference Institute
Convenor & Director, Good Lab Foundation
Ada Wong has led a varied career as solicitor, educator and social innovator. She is a staunch advocate of creative education and social and public sector innovation.
Ada founded Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture (HKICC), a unique non-profit cultural organization whose mission is education innovation and a creative civil society. HKICC founded the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity in 2006, a senior secondary school dedicated to the nurturing of talents for Hong Kong’s cultural development.
In 2010, she co-founded the Make A Difference (MaD) initiative (www.mad.asia), a creativity for good platform for young changemakers in Asia. In 2012, she founded The Good Lab (www.goodlab.hk), a do tank and social innovation hub to enable tri-sector collaborations for positive changes in society. In early 2016, Ada has been invited by the Mayor of Seoul, Mr PARK Won-soon, to join as member of his “Advisory Group for Seoul Innovation" together with social innovation leaders around the world.
Since 2016, Ada, in her capacity as a Director of Ednovators, led and designed the Innopower Teacher Fellowship, which aims at building the innovation capacity of teachers in Hong Kong.
Ada was an elected member of the Urban Council and Wan Chai District Council between 1995 and 2008 with the last four years as Chairperson of the Wan Chai District Council. She received her BA (Hons) from Pomona College, California USA, and M Ed from the University of Hong Kong. She is an Honorary Fellow of Lingnan University, Hong Kong Education University and the Hong Kong Baptist University.
While more artists now focus on art as a social practice, curating community engagements as aesthetic experiences through human interaction to inspire social exchange and debates, how could the idea of art education be expanded from the well-understood skills-based approach to creating platforms offering community-wide learning and encouraging empathy through artistic inspirations?
In the last decade, I have founded three non-profit entities which all look to different ways to respond to issues at the community level. The Make A Difference (MaD) Institute is a cultural NGO that believes in the social potential of creativity. Through participatory programmes, MaD facilitates young people to explore creativity for good, meets cross-disciplinary changemakers, and inspires young people to come up with creative and innovative responses to social challenges. The HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity (HKSC) is a unique senior secondary school with creative education as its focus. Students have to take modules in performing arts, design, film and digital art, and spatial studies. While art related subjects are core components of the HKSC curriculum, students and teachers frequently go beyond their classrooms to anchor themselves in different communities, understand issues of concern for different stakeholders and through a creative experience with folks in the community, students build confidence and empathy. Finally, Ednovators, an advocate of different forms of education innovation to respond to students' needs, has used the creative process of design thinking to empower teachers to identify issues in their schools and incubate new and creative ideas to respond to them.
I will share cases and examples from these three organizations to bring insights to the future of art education, to use the power of art to embrace and respond to changes in the society.