Kowloon True Light Secondary School Innopower@JC: Sparkle in Service


In recent years with social innovation as an arising concept, people are increasingly concerned about various social issues and seek solutions to meet the various needs of society. As a social enterprise, Kaifong Tour is committed to promoting social change and progress through our services and public engagement.

Secondary school students can bring impact through social innovation

This time, Kaifong Tour was invited by Kowloon True Secondary School to introduce the concept of people-oriented social design to students, approaching liberal studies and social values through innovative thinking. The program was a tailor-made Design Thinking course preparing students to actively interact with their social environment, as an alternative to traditional extracurricular activities to demonstrate the power of “learning through play”. The course was carried out according to the principles and steps of Design Thinking, with the introduction of theories, applied exploration tools, community tasks assignments and guidance from our team members. To allow high agency and autonomy in the learning process, students were instructed to lead the research project on their own. From research design to producing final results, they started by discovering the needs of the community through observation, and came up with corresponding product or service plans. The process of independent exploration helped broaden their understanding of the cultures and environment in their community. Also, observation and communication skills were fostered with an empathetic and compassionate approach. We aimed to inspire them in envisioning their future roles in contributing to society.

Guest lectures from social organisations and thematic interview training

Speakers from three organisations dedicated to social innovation were invited to give guest lectures, guiding them to re-think what a community is and providing insights about launching community projects. Considering the students’ unfamiliarity with observation and interviewing skills, a series of interviewing skills training and practice sessions was designed, so that they will conduct the research well-prepared with skills and confidence. Before doing actual interviews in the community, students conducted mock interviews in groups surrounding the theme of “creating a barrier-free campus”. The goal of these arrangements is to allow students to experience the difference between “reality” and “imagination”, and to understand the importance of field observation and interviews in the districts.

Discovering local issues and designing services

Combining district visits and field observation, students were assigned to conduct research in two housing estates nearby, Nam Shan Estate and Tai Hang Tung Estate, as well as the areas of Kowloon Tsai and Kowloon Tong. We invited District councillor Mr HO Hin-ming, BBS, MH, to provide insights about current situations and issues in the district. Students were taught with specific skills and equipped with tools, to help them engage fully into the community experience and deal with ad-hoc circumstances with a positive attitude, in order to complete assigned tasks with an appropriate amount of guidance. During the research, students discovered issues that even the locals might not have been aware of. After summarising their findings, they came up with four major themes, including “Social facilities”, “Cultural heritage”, “Service for disabled children”, “Public space utilisation” to work on in four different groups. With a provided theoretical framework to reflect on and define the discovered problems, students designed suitable products for their respective service targets. In addition to “enquiry-led learning”, the team presented interviewing case studies and service prototypes, illustrating the process of developing prototypes and integrative thinking, so that they learn to be flexible in face of learning challenges.

Interacting with actual interviewees, students discover the discrepancies between their imagination and real-life experiences

Prototyping: growth through understanding the society from multiple perspectives

With autonomous exploration and hands-on experience, students increased their awareness about social actualities and learned to approach people with empathy and compassion. For example, they discovered that necessary facilities for wheelchair users are more than simply elevators; and while disabled children require specific attention, they also need more personal space for self learning and development. By understanding the limitations of imagination, they learned to question their subjective first impressions and intuitions, in order to reflect their attitude and mentality when interacting with others. In this process of discoveries, teamwork, trials and errors, students gradually grasped the skills in critical thinking, interviewing and team cooperation. They also became aware of concerns and priorities when developing solutions for service targets. Positive thinking and self-affirmation played an important role in nurturing the confidence in them when facing challenges.

Students realised the project was not “as simple as they thought,” while success and results are never guaranteed. Fortunately, the team contacted a father whose child suffers from the G6PD deficiency disease. Students interviewed the father regarding his challenges and journey of bringing up his child, being inspired by materials made by him to promote awareness about G6PD.

Through interviews, students learned more about the stress that sick children and families may face and what they do to cope with difficulties with a positive mindset. In the end, based on the stories from the interviewees, a pamphlet about children with ADHD was designed to let more people know their stories and improve their understanding of childhood diseases and their patients.


Guest lectures on social innovation:
Tuenmunality, Little Woods Nature Education, 「軸行·運動」

Ho Leung, a hearing impaired individual Angel, host of the channel 「大瞳小椅」

Guest Lecture on social actualities:
District Councillor Mr. Ho Hin Ming

Social innovation case studies and prototyping:

Extended Reading