From the Dean

From the Dean

Professor Houmin Yan

Nature's gift comes hand-in-hand with the realisation that the most distant pacific island is submerged in millions of pieces of microplastics. As the Himalayan ice caps melt and the Amazon burns, the talk is of climate emergency. Our very ecosystem is under threat.

The Call from the Heart is to make all our ecosystems sustainable.

From the air that we breathe, to the power stations that supply our energy, the people who catch our fish, the infrastructure that ties us together, and the hospitals which are at the heart of our healthcare systems, we are in this together.

In Call from the Heart we examine sustainability from the perspectives of energy provision, migrant workers, infrastructure funding, and healthcare systems. We also carry a unique overview of sustainability as informed by ancient Chinese thinking. Professor Chao-shiuan Liu, President of the Foundation of Chinese Culture for Sustainable Development in Taiwan, shows how The Wang Dao Sustainability Index, grounded in Confucianist thinking can guide us towards sustainability in the modern world.

The most appropriate sustainable energy solutions will vary according to local circumstances. From a Hong Kong perspective, Dr William Chung argues that we can enjoy a sustainable, cleaner energy by relying on natural gas whilst at the same time contributing to the greening of the Belt and Road through carbon offsets and reforestation. By contrast, Professor Chi-yuan Liang of the National Central University in Taiwan examines the question as to whether Taiwan's nuclear-free vision is feasible, arguing for a diminished role for coal, a modestly increased future for renewables, alongside a continuing role for nuclear.

The Call from the Heart extends to the plight of migrant workers. We hear a lot about blockchain's role enabling crypto currencies but much less about how it might alleviate human suffering. Modern slavery by Mark Blick, Head of Government Solutions at Diginex, demonstrates how blockchain technology can enhance transparency in the labour recruitment process especially across borders, and help end the scourge of modern slavery.

In choosing to invest in green technologies, banks can play a crucial role in supporting progressive infrastructure projects. In The green economy transition, Alexander Plekhanov and Richard Jones of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development show how green, inclusive and resilient infrastructure projects are being funded across Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Finally, closer to home, Dr Eman Leung follows The road less travelled and brings heartening news of how CB's Theme-based Research Scheme project on healthcare is helping provide more efficient and humane systems to improve care of the elderly in Hong Kong.

A big thank you to all who entered our photo competition For a Better World, and congratulations to our winner Boss Cheng whose "Dancing turtle" can be found on our centre pages.

I do hope you enjoy this issue.

Houmin Yan