ARNOVA-Asia Conference 2018: New Opportunities in Asia

On the 27 – 28 of July 2018, the Association for Research on Non-profit Organisations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)-Asia Conference 2018 took place in Hong Kong University. Themed “Evolving Government-Third Sector Relations in Asia”, the conference aimed to address changing roles of the third sector in public affairs, and implications for non-profit management, philanthropic practice, and volunteering.

This is the second edition of the conference’s Asian instalment, signalling an increased interest in the sector in this region. The 2017 conference took place in Beijing, China, and the upcoming edition of the conference in 2019 is due to take place in Tai Chung, Taiwan.

Hong Kong is moving in the direction of social innovation to meet social needs, shared Mrs.  Carrie Lam, GBS, GBM, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, who was the officiating guest of the conference. Conference attendees – made up of academics, non-profit executives, philanthropy practitioners, social entrepreneurs, and policymakers – presented on a broad range of themes, from trajectories of government-third sector relations, to processes of collaboration, to the use of ICT and social media.


ACSEP in Action

Two research staff from the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy presented their research. Dr. Frank Hubers shared results from his experimental study on “Does showing poverty affect donations?” while Ms. Hioe Zhi Hui Joanna shared preliminary findings from her and ACSEP Director Associate Professor Lam Swee Sum’s exploratory study on “Grassroots Philanthropy in the New Millennium in Singapore”.


Dr. Frank Hubers (top) and Ms. Hioe Zhi Hui Joanna (bottom) sharing ACSEP research.

“The conference was a good way to understand the social sector in Hong Kong,” said Dr. Hubers. Ms. Hioe concurred, “It was a pleasure to meet scholars and practitioners whose work centres in East Asia, and to hear of opportunities for the sector’s growth at this time.”