Skip to Main Content
Liberal Arts Education Transformation For Life Emerald Publishing
Start main Content

Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative (LEI)

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

Date: 16 - 17 December 2019    

Location: The Cityview, Hong Kong

A Program Rundown can be found here

“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

Venue: Crystal Ballroom, the CityView



09:30 - 10:00


10:00 - 10:15

Welcome Speech

Speaker: Joshua Mok, Lingnan University

10:15 - 10:30

University Innovation Fellow Pinning Ceremony

The University Innovation Fellows program was started by Stanford University that empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. Lingnan University is proud to be a member of this global community. The Lingnan Entrepreneurship Initiative is celebrating the graduation of its second batch of University Innovation Fellows by this Pinning Ceremony.

10:30 - 11:30

Plenary Session

A Blue Print of Liberal Arts Universities for Achieving SDGs

Speaker: Albert Ko, Lingnan University

Setting Goals and Priorities are important. This session will be used to catalyze our actions on how Liberal Arts Universities can gather force to create even greater SDG-impacts: What criteria to adopt in selecting SDGs? Should we double down on what we do best or pioneer changes in underserved communities? How do we track progress among GLAA contributors?

11:30 - 12:00

Tea Break

12:00 - 13:00

Plenary Session

Incorporation of UN SDGs and Resilience Framework in the Management of Refugee Camps: A Case Study of the Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Speaker: Md Shammin, Oberlin College

This session will highlight ongoing research on the environmental and related socio-economic impacts in the Rohingya refugee camps. It will explore how UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and resilience framework can be integrated into camp management.

13:00 -14:00


14:00 - 15:30

Parallel Session

Developing Immersive Programs for Humanitarian Technology and Entrepreneurship Education


Aloysius Wilfred Raj AROKIARAJ, Lingnan University

Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University

Facilitator: Jasper VAN HOLSTEIJN, Lingnan University

This session will share existing projects/programmes for establishing student exchange, and team-teaching opportunities to better serve the vulnerable populations around the world.

SDG-impact Projects through Research

Catalyst: Muhammad Akhyar Farrukh, Forman Christian College

Facilitator: Taihua Hu, Lingnan University

Research is a critical component of higher education. It is crucial to providing answers, achieving solutions to complex SDGs and creating better impacts. New research initiatives will be shared and used as a catalyst for this session.

15:30 - 16:00

Tea Break

16:00 - 17:30

Parallel Session

Combating Discrimination and Exclusion in Accessing Essential Resources

Catalyst: Shamsher Singh, FLAME University

Facilitator: Aloysius Wilfred Raj AROKIARAJ, Lingnan University

How might we combat discrimination and exclusion in accessing essential resources? Human dignity, survival, well- being, overall human development, and more can be significantly improved and secured if essential resources are more readily available to the neglected. This will be illustrated using access to clean water as an example.

Making Equal Opportunity Meaningful


Bushra Usman, Forman Christian College University

Evelyn Odonkor, The American University of Paris

Nukhbah Langah, Forman Christian College University

Rebekah Rast, The American University of Paris

Facilitator: Priyanka SEN, Lingnan University

Catalysts in this session will share their research and experiences on how they navigate the complex social inequalities ranging from women's education to migrant integration.

18:00 - 21:30

 (Optional) Networking tour to Victoria Peak


17 December 2019 Tuesday

Venue: Exhibition Hall, the CityView



9:30 - 10:30

Plenary Session

Insights from IEEE SIGHT SDG-impact Projects

Speaker: Khanjan Mehta, Lehigh University

The IEEE Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (SIGHT) is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) program, instituted by the IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC). This global network of groups consists of IEEE members and volunteers who identify and address local problems by applying their technical skills and partnering with their local communities. Khanjan will share with us how IEEE SIGHT conceptualize, start and run SDG-impactful projects.

10:30 - 11:00

Tea Break

11:00 - 12:00

Plenary Session

Sharing the Experience of Using Social Entrepreneurial Education Towards SDGs

Speaker: Duncan Rinehart, Al Akhawayn University

Duncan will share his experience from his entrepreneurship course and the Service-Learning component of his leadership courses. In the courses, he aids students to start and run businesses, addressing at least one SDG, that also benefits the poor and illiterate of the Ifrane area, Morocco. Most businesses simply resell something to AUI students and donate the proceeds to local associations who then provide the benefit/SDG impact.

12:00 - 13:00


13:00 - 14:30

Parallel Session

Faculty Engagement and Course Connection: Applying Service-Learning For SDG-Impact to Local Communities


Abdelghani El Asli, Al Akhawayn University

Faiza Rafique, Forman Christian College

Julie Flowerday, Forman Christian College

Kenji Ishihara, International Christian University

Facilitator: Zoe XIAO, Lingnan University

Discussions on how to bring local voices to academia to enrich teaching, learning and research. Service-Learning being an important part of the pedagogy in Liberal Arts Education, this session will discuss how faculty members can use this global network to enhance interdisciplinary learning and nurture future generations of humanitarian innovators and inclusive entrepreneurs.

Software Support for UN SDG Projects

Catalyst: Michael Jipping, Hope College

Facilitator: Nicholas OOI, Lingnan University

Every project specified to attain UN Sustainable Development Goals will likely need some form of software support, whether that be in data gathering or databases or mobile app development.  This project will establish guidelines and recommendations pertaining to ways computer science and software engineering students and faculty organize and efficiently receive project requests and work together to produce viable software products.

14:30 - 14:45

Tea Break

14:45 - 16:15

Parallel Session

How GLAA and other Liberal Arts universities can contribute to SDGs as a group?


Albert Ko, Lingnan University

Simon Gray, Global Liberal Arts Alliance

To build on the momentum, what actions we will take as a group after this conference is crucial. This thematic discussion will be held in two separate groups facilitated by Albert and Simon. The two groups will later come together for a Report-back Session for future actions.

16:15 - 16:20


16:20 - 17:00

Plenary Session

Report-back Session

Facilitator: Albert Ko, Lingnan University

Curating action items as a group to take the conversation forward