Clive Lee

[IBWSC13 Feature Stories] Lessons from a Round-the-World Social Entrepreneur: Social Entrepreneurship Using Social Media

August 14, 2013 / by / 0 Comment

Referencing the Chinese saying “One idea can change everything”, HKU Graduate Mr. Clive Lee, opened the week-long lectures of the Hong Kong based chapter of this year’s IB World Student Conference.

Entitled “Lessons from a Round-the-World Social Entrepreneur: Social Entrepreneurship Using Social Media”, Mr. Lee illustrated ways in which he used the power of social media to gain support for his charitable organisations such as GEILI and EnvisionHK.

GEILI, which stands for Global Exchange in Leadership Initiatives, also means giving power in Cantonese and has become such a popular word today that it has been used in official government documents and variations of the word, such as Geilivable, can be heard amongst youngsters.

According to their website, GEILI is a global platform to empower aspiring global leaders and foster global exchange in culture and volunteerism through an alliance of youth organizations around the world. The organisation strives to provide volunteer opportunities for aspiring leaders all around the world.

Mr. Lee used his desire to travel and knowledge of social media tools as a propelling force to launch the initiative, although even he was surprised when he received over 100 responses in less than 24 hours to the idea of volunteer tourism which he launched on Facebook. Today the foundation has partnerships with important institutions around the world, including the Clinton Foundation.

His travels have taught him that the philanthropic world is active, but disorganised. This is something he hopes to tackle working with projects such as the IDEA project in Cambodia, building a pre-school in an underprivileged area of the country.

The students also had the opportunity to see first hand how inspiring travel can leading to the discovery of new countries and cultures as well as outstanding people who one meets along the way.  One such encounter was with an African rapper who taught himself English and had to walk two days to reach the nearest internet connection.

Envision HK, another charitable organisation that Mr. Lee is Founding President of, offers mentorship programs to underprivileged Hong Kong high school students. The program’s statement is simple but powerful: “Do you want to inspire people to become you?” and challenges youths from deprived backgrounds to re-discover their dreams.

The organisers believe there are too many young people, who for a multitude of reasons, have been told that there are very few options available to them in life. Envision HK challenges this and, while it does not offer a direct path to achieve the dreams, it enables people to discover the dreams they harbour inside.

Mr. Lee told students how he managed to reach out to people such as Mr. Lee Ka-shing, Hong Kong business magnate and Asia’s riches man, via social media to gain support for his charities, and invited them to use the social media tools they take for granted as a way to do good.

Finally, he invited the students to think about how they could change the world and what  their elevator pitch would be if they had to pitch their idea in just a few minutes to someone who could make a difference.

Angelina Draper, from JMSC, HKU