The Practicum The Practicum
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與香港社會創投基金創辦人魏華星先生對話 (第一章) Diagloue with Mr. Francis Ngai, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of SVhk (Part 1)

白了少年頭,那種風險很可怕,我經常想起這件事,也是推動我解決問題的方法。

Sam: Mr Sam Ng (吳志森先生)

Francis: Mr Francis Ngai (魏華星先生)

Sam: 今日很高興請來魏華星先生與我們談談有關社會企業的問題。魏華星先生以前有一段頗長時間曾經是電訊公司的高層,可以這樣說,在他事業如日方中時,突然決定轉行,創辦一個當時香港從未出現過的社企創投基金,到現時為止差不多有十年時間。
I am very pleased to invite Mr. Francis Ngai to talk to us about social enterprises.  Mr. Ngai used to work as senior management in a telecommunications company for a long time.  When his career reached nearly a peak, he suddenly changed his career path to become the founder of Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVHK) about 10 years ago.  At that time, it was the first of this kind.

Francis: 接近十年。
Nearly a decade.

Sam: 已經有十年,做就了很多成功的社企,數一數大家都會有印象的,例如「鑽的」、「黑暗中對話」、「要有光」、以前是「光房」,現在進步了成為「光屋」,還有「全城街馬」,「GREEN MONDAY」(綠色星期一)等等;有人稱魏華星做「社企之父」。
In these 10 years, there have been a lot of successful social enterprises, renowned ones such as “Diamond Cab”, “Dialogue Experience”, “Light Be” (previously “Light Home”, nowadays improved “Light Housing” programme), “Run Our City”, “Green Monday” etc.  Some people call you the “father of social enterprises”.

Francis: 不要這樣說…
Don’t say it in this way …

Sam: 你一聽到便連連說不。
As soon as you hear this, you don’t agree with this.

Francis: 真的不要這樣說…
Really don’t say it in this way.

Sam: 你叫別人不要這樣說,什麼什麼之父你最不喜歡聽到。不過這個社會創投基金,我形容它為社會的孵蛋器,我不知道一會談到的內容中你會否同意這個名稱,孵蛋器可能較貼切。今日我們和魏華星談談人生、創業、社企和追夢,討論社企怎樣賺錢,好嗎?
You ask people not say so, the father of something you don’t really like to hear.  However, I describe this social venture capital fund as a social incubator.  I’m not sure if you agree with this term “incubator!” when we talk about this later.  The term incubator may be more appropriate.  Today we are going to talk about life, entrepreneurship, social enterprises and dream-chasing with Francis.  We are also going to discuss how social enterprises make money.  Okay?

Francis: 好。
Sure.

Sam: 我想從基礎開始問你,很多人都問過你,你離開電訊公司高層的崗位,成立社會企業創投基金,你對很多傳媒說要為你的小朋友以身作則,教他們怎樣尋夢、怎樣追夢,過程當中你有沒有掙扎過?會否顧慮到這樣可行嗎?或是這樣會有風險嗎?你可否告訴我們你的心路歷程?
I would like to ask you from the basic.  A lot of people have asked you similar questions.  When you left the senior position of the telecommunications company to establish SVHK, you told the media that you did it for the sake of your children.  You wanted to teach them by examples, and teach them how to search and chase their dream.  I would like to ask if you had struggled during the process.  Did think worry about whether it would be possible to do so, or whether there would be some risks?  Can you tell us about your journey?

Francis: 如果說到追夢,我年紀較大才開始。人到中年,但兒子年幼、妻子年青,又是家庭支柱,我才開始談到追夢這回事。當然我不是自己一個人,我有整個家庭,包括我太太,當然她要支持,大家價值觀要相似才可。我經常說她才是香港社會創投基金創始人,而不是我本人。我當時也有掙扎過,想過很多不同的事情。當然一個家庭有很多事情要考慮,但相對很短時間,一個月內我就決定了辭職,嘗試做這件事。這是價值觀的改變,說實話以前在企業裡也不算什麼很高層。過程中的想法是:待事業成功後,或賺多些錢後不用擔心退休生活,才嘗試貢獻社會。我認為從小到大,都是「飲城市裡的奶水長大」,曾受惠於社會,所以經常覺得點點滴滴也要為社會出分力,不可以得了人恩惠但又不付出或貢獻。當時我想應該在退休之後,當自己有閑暇空間,或有多餘錢便可貢獻社會。但小朋友出世後,我的價值觀改變了很多。與其說轉行,倒不如說我還想當百萬富翁,但不是金錢上的百萬富翁,而是心靈上的百萬富翁。
When it comes to chasing my dream, I started a bit late.  I was a mature family man with a young wife and a child son when I was thinking about chasing my dream.  Of course, I am alone; I have my family, including my wife.  She had to support me, and we should have shared similar values before I could proceed.  I often say that she is the actual founder of SVHK, not I.  At that time I also struggled, thinking about a lot of different scenarios.  It is true that I had to consider my family from various perspectives, but finally I decided to resign in a relatively short period of time, within a month, and tried to do it.  This is the change in values.  Frankly, I was not at a very senior position in my previous company.  During the process of consideration, I always thought to contribute to the society when I had become successful or made a lot of money after retirement.  Then I wouldn’t worry about my retirement life but focus on contributing to the society.  When I grew up, I had gained a lot from the society so I always feel I have to contribute to the community bit by bit.  I cannot win the favour without paying or contributing.  At that time I always thought that I’d have plenty of time and sufficient money after retirement to make contributions.   However, my mind was changed when my son was born; I believe in a different value.  Rather than mentioning change of career path, I would say I want to become a millionaire, not money-wise but spirituality-wise.

Sam: 為什麼小朋友出世後價值觀會改變了?
Why was your value changed after the birth of your child?

Francis: 抱著剛出生像麵粉糰的嬰兒,為了他做什麼也可以,犧牲什麼也可以…
Holding a baby just like flour paste, I can do and sacrifice whatever for him.

Sam: 是的、是的…
True …

Francis:

我也會多想一些:這個社會不是我這一世完了就算,他將來或者下幾代也有很多路要走。可能我較為悲觀,看到將來世界有很多不好的事,有很多我自己覺得很不滿的地方。與其像以前在電視機前發牢騷,倒不如想想能否也為他們做些事。適逢我看到社會企業這個議題,這個不是我創辦的,所以我經常強調不能說社會企業由我創辦,全世界談及社會企業的也有很多,實實在在將這些社會的無力感化為一些自己可做到的事。這個理想應該點點滴滴為小朋友,不如就這樣告訴他們,如果你認為不滿的時候,除了發牢騷外,還應該動手利用身邊的資源做些事。
Perhaps I think more about something like my entire life not just that when it finishes.  He, and his following generations, will still have a long way to go.  I may be pessimistic to predict there will be numerous bad and dissatisfactory things in the future world.  Instead of whining in front of a TV as before, why don’t we try to think about doing something for them?  Coincidentally the issue of social enterprises was widely discussed.  I am not the founder, so I often say that social enterprises were not founded by me while the whole world was talking about that.  It was about turning powerlessness in the society to become something we can work out.  I think this idea should be bit by bit taught to children.  Rather than whining, it is better to tell them to make good use of resources around them to do something.

Sam: 當做一些之前從未做過的事情時,每個人都會有這樣感覺:不牢靠、不知道前面的路應該怎樣走,是嗎?我知道你也是基層出身,你也住過板間房,有否想過會否到最後什麼也沒有,輸掉所有?縱使不用住板間房,或房貸已還清,回到最初所享受的生活也不同了。有沒有想過那些不牢靠的情況,例如想想走到這步最後會怎樣呢?
When you are going to try something you've never done before, you may have some doubts: is it reliable?  What is the way ahead?  Do you have the same feeling?  I know you are also from a grass-roots family; you ever lived in a subdivided room.  Have you worried that you may lose everything but get nothing in the end?  Even though you may not need to live in a subdivided room, or your mortgage has been paid off, the living quality will be totally different.  Have you thought about such scenario and the consequence if you go for that?

Francis: 其實也有想過,可能想得太多。想到人出生時什麼也沒有,死後也是什麼也沒有。我想在於角度的聚焦點放在生命還是生活;說到風險我們最擔心的,莫過於很近期的,我們會顧慮下年還否夠錢支付生活所需,退休之後生活怎麼辦,著眼點考慮較近期的生活有什麼需要。但我們沒有考慮到另一種較遠的風險,就是生命結束前的那種風險,在於你有種抱負,曾經想過做些事,例如年青時想搞音樂,但臨終卧在病床上回想以前想做的事情時,原本打算退休時才做,但現在已經沒有精力;我認為這個風險很大。所有有夢想的人,我夠膽說他們都考慮到遠處的風險多於近處的風險,各自有不同的取向,沒有對錯之分,或許在人生不同階段有不同的看法。恰巧我內心產生了一種強烈的願力,所以我應該想些較遠的理想,而不是近在眼前的事。
I have in fact thought of that, perhaps thinking too much.  When we come to the world, we have nothing; when we leave the world, we have nothing either.  I guess it depends on whether we focus on life or living.  When it comes to risk, we are most worried about the very recent issues like whether we have enough money to pay for living next year, or how we live after retirement.  We focus more on our recent life.  However, we do not take into account the other risk that is the risk before the end of our life.  Such risk is that I have the kind of ambition to do something, such as engaging in music when I am young, but lying in bed just before we leave the world, we are recalling what we want to do; we originally intend to do it after we retire, but at that time we don’t have energy.  This is most risky in my mind.  I dare say that all those who have dreams taking into account the future risk instead of the recent risk, each with different orientations, no right or wrong.  Perhaps people have different views at different stages of life.  It happened to my heart a strong desire and passion, so I started to think of some future ideal, rather than the needs in front of me.

Sam: 考慮將來的事但也要考慮眼前的事,如小朋友的成長、小朋友的教育、小朋友的生活,會否令他們現有舒適的生活受到很大的影響等,這些因素佔你思考的過程中有多大部份?還是沒有考慮過,括出去做了才算?
Considering the future but also the immediate needs, such as children’s growth, children's education, and children's life, you may wonder if it greatly affects their current comfortable life.  How much do these factors account for in your thinking process?  Or didn’t you even think about that, but you have decided to go for it first?

Francis: 我想做每件事,像結交女朋友一樣,有時會不自覺被蒙蔽。如果你想做一個金錢的百萬富翁,即真的為錢,要賺很多錢的人,我又不會完全說他們心靈空虛。同樣地如果想做一個心靈的百萬富翁,那些人不會覺得他們生活會受影響。我經常說鳥兒餓不死,為何我們要那麼擔心?這個可能是想得太多,或者社企都會提到,兩邊都應該要平衡。
I guess when I do everything, like making a girlfriend, sometimes I’m unconsciously deceived.  If you want to be a millionaire money-wise, you do everything for money, and try to make a lot of money.  I won’t completely say that you’re spiritually empty.  Similarly, if you want to be a millionaire spirituality-wise, you won’t feel your living is affected.  I often say that birds can still make their lives, then why should we be so worried?  We may have thought too much, or it is mentioned in social enterprises that we need to balance both life and living.

Sam: 差不多十年了,根我理解從零七年開始…
Almost a decade, I understand that you started at the beginning of 2007 ...

Francis: 無錯…
Right …

Sam: 中間有沒有覺得很困難的時候,不知道怎樣再走下去?有想過不如放棄不做,有過類似的掙扎嗎?
Did you feel very difficult in the middle of the process, or unsure how to continue?  Did you think of giving up or have a similar struggle?

Francis: 其實很多事也差不多這樣的,如跑馬拉松等,或許一會兒談到這個,又或者像經營家庭等各樣事情也有這個經驗;一開始不容易…
In fact, a lot of things are very similar, such as running a marathon etc.  Perhaps we may talk about this later.  We may have similar experience in running a family or other things; it is not easy at the beginning ...

Sam: 都有的…
So you had similar experience …

Francis: 過程中也不容易,每次你聽過所謂的社企,其實也不能說它們完全成功,一路也掙扎著。我想別人會問當初為何會開始,或許我們做每件事也是一樣,讀書如是,到社會工作如是。小時候不用想太多,媽媽會照顧一切…
It is not easy during the process.  When you hear about so-called a social enterprise every time, it may not be as completely successful as people think of.  It may be struggling all the way.  I guess people may ask why it was started, similar to everything we have done, like going to school or working in the society.  We don’t need to think too much as a child as mum takes care of everything ...

Sam: 什麼也安排好…
Everything is taken good care.

Francis: 什麼也安排好、什麼也不用想。但到了某個位置或時候,當你自己有能力掌控的時候,要想為什麼要開始。我經常說「初心」…
Everything has been arranged and we don’t need to think.  However, when it comes to a certain position or time that we have the ability to manage, we have to think about why we have to start.  I often say the “beginner’s heart” ...

Sam: 是…
Yes …

Francis: 初心和初衷也非常流行,我們要經常記著為何要開始。如果你能記住開始的時候,對成敗不會看得太重。你會知道那件事困難與否是一個過程,最終成功與否也不是最大的考慮。最大考慮是這件事對我來說是否合理,是否應該要做的。
The beginner’s heart and the initial intention are both very popular.  We must always remember why to start.  If we can remember the reason for starting it, we won’t care about success or failure.  As you may know, whether it is difficult or not is a process.  Whether it becomes an ultimate success or not is not the most important consideration.  The most important consideration is whether this matter makes sense and whether it should be done.

Sam: 你也需要渡過些難關,有沒有什麼其他難關你也要解決的?怎樣想法、怎樣解決?
You also needed to resolve some difficulties.  Were there any other difficulties you had to overcome?  How did you think about and overcome them?

Francis: 我想有很多種複雜的思考,首先有時欺騙自己,不是太難的,嘗試一下。跟跑步差不多,欺欺騙騙,有時跑跑步看看風景,這樣便跑了過去。第二,當你知道你要達到某種理想時,你要經歷那件事;經歷只是一種過程,先要經歷,困難與否可視為一種遊戲,你要在解決難題當中找出有趣的原素。不過說到經營社企,我們會經常想出新穎瘋狂的構思,要經常有種新鮮感、有種興奮的感覺。夢想還夢想,如果夢想不夠大,想起時不夠興奮便實踐不了。當你想得很大時,要一步一步做,將它分成小件,如果一大件事壓著,像有十件功課,你便不想實行。先做一件,一步步慢慢來,欺欺騙騙就過了個人生。
I think there are various kinds of complicated thinking; first is sometimes to deceive ourselves, not too difficult to try.  Similar to deception in running, sometimes when we are running, we see the scenery, then we may find it easy to finish it.  Second, when we know we want to achieve an ideal, we have to go through and experience the process.  We experience first then regard overcoming difficulties as a game.  We can find interesting elements through resolving the problems.  When it comes to operating a social enterprise, we often come up with novel and crazy ideas.  We often need some fresh and exciting feeling.  A dream needs to be big enough.  If not, it is not exciting enough to put it into practice.  When we think big, we have to do it step by step, dividing it into small pieces.  If a big matter needs handling, say 10 pieces of homework, we don’t want to do them.  Start first piece of work, do it slowly step by step, and deceive ourselves in our personal life.

Sam: 欺欺騙騙,這個都幾好,有些糊里糊塗的感覺…
Deceiving ourselves sounds pretty good, with a kind of confusion feeling …

Francis: 無錯了…
Right …

Sam: 有些人這樣說:一個人人生最大的風險就是不敢冒風險。你怎樣理解這句話?你怎樣向年輕人道出你有關冒風險的體會?
Some people say: the greatest risk of a person’s life is not taking any risks.  How do you interpret this?  How do you share with young people about your risk-taking experience?

Francis: 或者我們先要認識何謂冒風險?正如剛才提到關於生命的風險,還是生活的風險,大家先要認真看清楚,我也不想盲目推年青人去死。需要看清楚個懸崖有多深,我不是指你預期會斷腳便跳下去,我不是這個意思。你要問清楚自己為什麼要跳?當你很清楚你的目標和要達成的理想,你便要去嘗試。當然如果你的初心或願力很強時而你又不實行,到將來有天它們會回來找你。夜闌人靜時你便會真心對自己說:為什麼當初我不嘗試呢?我們要想清楚這個風險,我不是說目前的風險不要緊,連同將來可能面對的風險兩個也同時考慮。這樣可能會令個真心和初心容易些表露出來。
Perhaps we should first understand what risks mean.  As mentioned earlier the risk of life and the risk of living, we must first think about them carefully.  I do not want to blindly push young people to jump a cliff.  They need to make it clear how deep the cliff is.  I don’t mean you will jump off to break your legs.  You have to ask yourself why you want to jump.  When you are clear about your goals and the ideals you want to achieve, you can go to try.  It is likely that if your beginner’s heart and passion are very strong but you don’t try, one day in the future they will come back to find you.  You will then ask yourself when you are alone at a quiet night: Why didn’t I try it at that time?  I suggest people think thoroughly about this kind of risk (the future risk), yet I don’t mean the current risk doesn’t matter.  Both types of risks should be considered together.  This may easily show our real heart and beginner’s heart.

Sam: 即是說到六十歲、六十五歲、七十歲時,回想起過去會後悔我沒有做到這件事,沒有決定這件事…
That is to say when I become 60, 65 or 70, I may regret that I did not do this or that, or I didn’t make the right decision on this matter ...

Francis: 是的…
Yes …

Sam: 後悔便莫及…
Regret it will be ...

Francis: 是的…
Right …

Sam: 到六十五歲時…
When I become 65 …

Francis: 白了少年頭,那種風險很可怕,我經常想起這件事,也是推動我解決問題的方法,想想如果因為小小錯折便放棄,將來會否後悔。我想這個後悔的原素是,尤其是年青時沒有想太多,我們經常假設前面有很長的路,永遠都是這樣;但不斷假設便成了習慣,到了五十歲時都會這樣想,等退休先做,但應該從今日開始,不需要向別人交代,在夜闌人靜時想清楚,究竟自己需要怎樣,我想這個是對自己需要的第一步。
Past time will not turn back; this kind of risk is terrible.  I often think of this so as to encourage my problem-solving approach; I think about whether I’ll regret in the future if I give it up because of a small mistake.  People feel regret as a result of this.  When we are young, we don’t think too much.  We always presume we have a long way ahead.  Having this kind of presumption may become a habit.  Even though when we are 50, we still think in the same way to wait to do it after we retire.  We should start today, and don’t need to explain to others.  When we are alone at a quiet night, we think about what exactly we need.  This is the first step to meet our own needs.
Submit Date
2017-05-31
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