The Social Innovation Regional Forum (SIRF) 2021 was successfully held from October to December 2021 by the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (JCDISI) as part of the PolyU Jockey Club Operation SoInno Project. Under the theme “The Making of Age-friendly Communities in Rapidly Ageing Societies”, SIRF 2021 invited leading experts and social innovators from the Asia Pacific to discuss the role of social innovation and participatory design in the making of age-friendly communities, exchanging insights on solutions that better support older people in working, playing and living.


Reaching out to the community, two out of the four SIRF 2021 events - an age-friendly carnival and a design thinking workshop - were held at 7 Mallory Street and Central Market respectively in October 2021, facilitating knowledge transfer with stakeholders from different sectors and members of the public in fun and engaging ways.


A thematic session was then live streamed in two parts from the PolyU Shenzhen Research Institute (SZRI) and the Hong Kong campus in November 2021, discussing cross-sector collaboration and innovations for system change with 10 experts from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Australia.


The Main Forum which took place on 10 December 2021 was attended in-person by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong as Guest of Honour, as well as Head of Charities (Grant Making) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Ms Winnie Ying and Deputy President and Provost of PolyU Professor Wing-tak Wong. Experts from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom then shared inspiring age-friendly initiatives, and discussed opportunities and challenges ahead in their keynote presentations and the panel discussion. The Main Forum achieved an impressive attendance of over 99,000 audience members through live streaming.


In total, SIRF 2021 was attended by more than 100,000 participants and had over 30 speakers from seven territories in the Asia Pacific and Europe. The events of SIRF 2021 are available for review on the Forum’s website.