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Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI)

GLAA Conference for Humanitarian Innovation & Entrepreneurship: SDG Impact through Service-Learning

Date: 16 - 17 December 2019    

Location: The Cityview, Hong Kong


“The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.”    ---United Nations

HK skyline


Universities and colleges are striving to create positive impacts and serve the needs of society. One way of achieving this goal is through service-learning and knowledge transfer. By integrating service-learning and knowledge transfer into a university’s curriculum, it allows students to:

  • make connections between their formal education and the real needs of the society,
  • train and develop themselves as problem solvers to global challenges, and
  • become socially responsible citizens who can look beyond their own needs.


The Joint-Humanitarian Summer Academy organized by Lingnan University, Oberlin College, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and Rutgers University, offered an extraordinary interdisciplinary learning experience, bringing impactful service-learning projects to 5 global locations. Students were able to work on pressing issues with what they’ve learnt under faculty supervision. Feedback from students is uplifting.


As members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA), Lingnan University and Hope College see tremendous benefits in connecting more GLAA universities to the programme. Higher involvement of GLAA faculty and students from around the world would greatly amplify the learning and service impact of the programme. Collectively, the service impact of the programme would promote and strengthen joint research and teaching among GLAA members. This conference is designed to share programme experience, framework and results among GLAA members to garner support for furthering programme impact through a GLAA partnership.

About the Conference

This conference will bring together about 40 GLAA university members to Lingnan University to develop a long-term project partnership for contributing to SDGs through global service-learning programmes. GLAA faculty will co-design a GLAA Summer Academy based on the Joint-Humanitarian Summer Academy model. The conference will also showcase Lingnan’s approach in bringing technology, innovation and entrepreneurship into service-learning to generate greater global impact. Lingnan’s service-learning programme is partnering with the world’s most engineering-heavy schools (e.g. MIT, CMU and Lehigh) to apply technology to advance the well-being of citizens in less developed regions of the world.


This conference is first of its kind in GLAA history. It will make GLAA the leader in bringing impact to global locations through service-learning. By connecting GLAA members to a joint global programme through this (annual) conference, GLAA will become the recognized leaders in Global Service-Learning. Through a concerted effort, GLAA will jointly make a measurable contribution to selected SDGs in the next 3-5 years. 


In this conference, members of the Global Liberal Arts Alliance (GLAA) will:

  • Develop strategies and models to make targeted contributions to SDGs via partnerships,
  • Explore opportunities for creating Summer Academy among GLAA members in 2020,
  • Facilitate more service-learning project collaborations among members of GLAA in Asia and around the world,
  • Create an inventory of SDG contributions by GLAA members, and
  • Identify opportunities to create undergraduate research and course connection.

Key Topics

The conference will use seminars, discussions and workshops to focus on:

  1. Making impacts on SDGs via partnerships
  2. Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Service-Learning
  3. Humanitarian Technology
  4. Design and Innovation
  5. Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Scope of Discussion

The conference will aim to develop new learning opportunities, such as:

  1. Undergraduate research opportunities and potential course connections
  2. The strength of Liberal Arts Education in meeting social needs,
  3. Education of Humanitarian Innovation and Entrepreneurship through Service-Learning
  4. Development of long-term collaboration among GLAA members

When and where will it happen?

Date: 16-17 December 2019

Location: The Cityview, Hong Kong

Registration Fee: Free


Organizer: Office of Service-Learning, Lingnan University

Co-organizer in alphabetical order: Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Research & Office of the Associate Dean of Global Education, Hope College


Contact: Dr Taihua Hu (+852 26168077 /



16 December 2019 Monday





Light breakfast will be provided

10:00 - 10:30

Welcoming Speech

10:30 - 12:30

Highlights of The Past Projects (plenary session)

An Introduction to Joint-Humanitarian Summer Academy: structure, logistics, and international and inter-university collaboration

Dr Albert Ko, Lingnan University


Lunch will be provided

14:00 - 15:30

Parallel Sharing Sessions

Student and Staff sharing – Summer Academy 2019 in different global locations

15:30 - 17:00

Parallel Discussion (Calling for topics)

Developing new GLAA partnerships – exploring new locations

Potential course and research connections – how to make them work

17:00 - 19:30

Free time. Dinner to be self-arranged.


 (Optional) Networking tour at Victoria Peak


17 December 2019 Tuesday



9:30 - 10:30

Sharing of IEEE SIGHT Projects

Dr Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University

10:30 - 11:00

Tea Break

11:00 - 12:30

SDG Theme-based Project Parallel Discussion (Calling for topics)

SDGs as themes for potential projects


Lunch will be provided.

14:00 - 15:30

SDG Theme-based Project Parallel Discussion (Calling for topics)

SDGs as themes for potential projects


Closing Remark


(Optional) Networking dinner