The best of British innovation in Hong Kong

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/13 16:03:39

Ministers and speakers gather in the UK and Hong Kong to mark 50 days until the start of the GREAT Festival of Innovation. Photo: Courtesy of the GREAT Festival of Innovation

 World-leading innovators from the UK and Asia will take part in the GREAT Festival of Innovation, which will be held from March 21 to 24 in Hong Kong. The festival will be a platform to connect cutting-edge businesses and brilliant thinkers who will drive trade partnerships of the future while highlighting the UK's position as a global center for innovation.

The GREAT Festival of Innovation will showcase over 100 speakers across 60 engaging sessions, panel discussions and interactive workshops which will explore how innovation and technology are set to change the way we work, live, play and learn in the future.

Leading the discussion will be an impressive line up of some of the world's brightest minds, business pioneers, innovators and policy makers from the UK and Asia. Some of the key speakers set to take the stage include Charles Bowman, Lord Mayor of London; Paul Priestman, chairman of PriestmanGoode; Richard Deverell, director of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Tea Uglow, creative director of Google's Creative Lab in Sydney and Eiji Uda, chief technology innovation officer of Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

The core program of the festival will explore four key themes over four days.

Day one: Work

Centered on a core theme of work, day one will focus on topics such as sustainable energy, cyber security, FinTech, workplaces of the future and a discussion on some of the most pressing issues around artificial intelligence. Notable speakers will include Robert Hannigan, the former Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) director and Alex Kong, founder and CEO of TNG Wallet.

Day two: Live

The discussion will move to the way we live and guests will explore a wide range of topics from smart cities to autonomous transport and sustainable farming to alternative energy sources. Andrew Wong, chef and owner of A Wong; Jack Oclee-Brown, head of acoustics at KEF Audio; Paul Thompson, vice-chancellor of the Royal College of Art; Elaine Yan Ling Ng, artist and founder of The Fabrick Lab and Shinya Kukita, chief engineer at the Global Business Unit at NEC will all feature in what promises to be a fascinating glimpse into how our daily lives might look in the not-too-distant future.

Day three: Play

Speakers will reimagine how we play, discussing how innovation, technology and creative thinking will alter the future of fashion, luxury, art and sports in a climate in which consumers are becoming curators. Highlight speakers will include Chester King, founder and CEO of the British eSports Association; Tom Aikens, chef; Tristram Hunt, director of the V&A Museum and a leading historian and journalist and Duncan Pescod, CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

Day four: Learn

The festival will conclude with insights into the future of education and learning. Through talks and hands-on events led by educators and students alike, audience members will understand how leading sectors are engaging with learning institutions to strategically link higher education, research and business to help create a better tomorrow. Andre Fu, architect, designer and founder of Andre Fu Living will be among the key names featured on this day.

Attending the festival will be business leaders and decision-makers, with a strong delegation coming from the UK, looking to create new business partnerships with their Asian counterparts.

Supporting the festival is a rich cultural program showcasing the best of British talent. Taking place across multiple venues, in unexpected places and into the evening, the program will showcase the most captivating music, dance, visual art, literature, theater, food and drink, providing a moving image of the UK today. From storytelling to sound scapes, live music to wearable technology and even immersive food and drink experiences, the GREAT Festival of Innovation promises to tell the story of UK culture in a truly original way. In conjunction with the invitation-only festival will be a host of satellite cultural events open to the public, the full program of which will be announced shortly.

Director General of the UK Department for International Trade in Hong Kong Paul McComb said, "Taking part in a historic moment for UK and Asian economies, the event highlights that the UK is open for business and committed to Asian trade partners. The festival will serve as a platform for creating new partnerships and strengthening relationships between British and Asian business leaders and investors that will drive a future of free trade and prosperity."


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