“Community” has been the overarching theme for the Law for Change Student Competition since 2018. A community brings individuals together and empowers them to work together in daily life, in pursuit of betterment beyond one’s self or group. The theme serves as a platform for potential collaboration and partnership across sectors, professions, generations, race, gender, and cultural identity.
This year, “resilience” is the chosen focus. Students are invited to develop projects that use the law to build community resilience. Resilience is the capability to respond, adapt and recover from challenges and adversities. Community resilience is the ability of a community to deal with internal and external disturbances and stresses while retaining its essence and to move towards a better environment, social and economic health and wellbeing. The Hong Kong community is facing enormous and unprecedented challenges: a pandemic, the widest wealth gap in 45 years, ongoing social and political unrest – building community resilience is especially important in these turbulent times.
A resilient community provides capacity and resources for its members to cope with adversity and can withstand and deal with internal conflict. As members of the Hong Kong community, we should utilize our creativity, knowledge and skills, rise up to the challenges and take responsibility for our collective future.
While law is often seen as a tool to serve the interest of the powerful few, this year’s competition challenges participants to devise projects that use the law to build community resilience. In particular, students are encouraged to find methods of collaboration within the community, especially in the areas of health and well-being, social cohesion and good governance. Projects could aim at capacity building, legal empowerment, policy change/law reform, creating strategic partnerships, among others.
City Resilience Index, developed by Arup with support from the Rockefeller Foundation
Community Resilience Framework, by the International Consortium Organizational Resilience
2018 Making Hong Kong A Resilience City: Preliminary Assessment, by Dr Timothy Sim and Dr Wang Dongming, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
2016 Hong Kong 2030+: A Smart, Green and Resilient City Strategy, The Planning Department, Hong Kong