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Social Engagement Center teams up with 5% Design Action to cultivate professionals


(Provided by Social Engagement Center) “Sustainability alone cannot save the world: we need to set up a cross-disciplinary avengers’ alliance!” National Sun Yat-sen University signed an MOU with a newly-established social enterprise – 5% Design Action - Social Design Platform. In the future, both parties will strive to establish a base for design co-creation in southern Taiwan, establish a mechanism to cooperate for the cultivation of design professionals, use the local influence of NSYSU to support social innovation and industry-academia cooperation in southern counties of Taiwan, and connect with local enterprises to promote sustainable development.

The MOU was signed by Professor Ching-Li Yang, the Executive Director of NSYSU Social Engagement Center, and Kevin Yang, the Executive Director of 5% Design Action - Social Design Platform. NSYSU President Ying-Yao Cheng pointed out that social responsibility and sustainable development – now global trends, with the concept of social innovation, will enhance the effectiveness of the University's social responsibility. NSYSU has a solid academic foundation; when leaving the campus to step into the community, we should integrate the expertise of different fields to link the academic capacity with social needs and connect with the global resources for the benefit of the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area and the development of southern Taiwan, he said.

Executive Director of 5% Design Action - Social Design Platform Kevin Yang emphasized that enterprises and individuals can be the heroes of sustainability issues, and they should tie a “Sustainability Avengers’ Alliance”. Using The Avengers, a superhero film from 2012, as a metaphor, he said: “We should integrate the expertise of different disciplines in an alliance to solve more social problems with the maximum force.” Social innovation cannot save the world alone, we need to integrate the knowledge of various disciplines and implement design thinking to find new solutions for social problems. He said that he hopes that the alliance with NSYSU can inject a greater innovation capacity into social innovation and local development in southern Taiwan.

Professor Ching-Li Yang emphasized that NSYSU has been promoting sustainable development in five major aspects: marine education and research, social issues, industrial development, southern Taiwan culture creation and support for local governance, as well as connecting with the local environment. The University has gained rich experience in both science and technology research and local participation. For example, in search of possible solutions to the serious air pollution problem in southern Taiwan, the Aerosol Science Research Center helped China Steel Corporation in reducing pollution emissions. Also, the Art Center brought art and culture to Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital for medical care and to bring happiness to the elderly. What is more, in response to the government's local revitalization policy, NSYSU Senior Vice President I-Yu Huang convened a counseling team with the members of the Social Engagement Center and the Institute of Public Affairs Management to help revitalize local public institutions in remote areas.

Social Engagement Center said that in the future, together with the 5% Design Action - Social Design Platform, the NSYSU Social Engagement Center will promote the education of professionals with social innovation skills and sustainability thinking, participate in industry-academia social innovation projects in southern counties in Taiwan, and establish a base for design co-creation in southern Taiwan. Social Engagement Center will also strive to connect the public sector, NPO, enterprises, and non-governmental organizations to address issues in sustainable development in southern Taiwan, find opportunities for innovation and solutions, and inject social innovation capacity into the Kaohsiung and Pingtung area.

(Edited by Public Affairs Division)
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