Centre for Social Innovation Studies,
HKIAPS, Chinese University of Hong Kong


Issues that we concern about


  • We study and promote the reduction of plastic waste in local communities, such as the wet markets, through conducting action research. Our action research projects engage students, consumers, businesses, artists and video producers for innovative solutions. 

Platform and
EM labour


  • We explore local farming practices that promote sustainability and transformation of the traditional consumer-producer relations through a diverse range of life-style movements. 

Community Journalism

  • We seek to understand the power of community journalism exemplified by editorial teams for district-based zines in Hong Kong, and view community-based social issue identification and innovation through their lens. 


  • Technological development has also led to the inundation of E-waste. We look into the repair movement, which advocates repairing instead of dumping electronic products, against the paradigm of planned obsolescence. 


  • We seek to learn from the marginalised community of LGBTQ+ their resilience in face of legal and social discrimination, as well as their participation in non-mainstream lifestyles such as spiritualism and vegetarianism. 

Green Jobs

  • We envisage the future of work by looking into potential green jobs that promote sustainability, environmental protection and decent livelihood of workers. 

Conflict Education

▊Social Innovation

How do we understand Social Innovation?

CSIS envisages social innovation as a process to transform existing social relations and inequalities. Social Innovation reveals the hidden human and environmental costs of our daily activities and proposes creative and community-based solutions.

Social innovation has been pioneered by traditional NGOs providing social services, and the business sector promoting the social enterprise model. In between these paradigms, CSIS thinks that a community-based and non-institutional approach to social innovation is much needed. We trust the power to transform comes from within the communities which in turn put to practice the change they wish to see in their lives.

The key goal of social innovation is to promote a society that achieves sustainability and resilience, in response to the predominance of excessive consumption, capital exploitation, and marginalisation of minority communities.

What is CSIS providing?

Interdisciplinary exchange platform

Our centre acts as a platform for researchers to provide mutual support, conduct interdisciplinary exchange, and cross-fertilize their research ideas for social impacts.

Our Executive Committee members include leading scholars in cultural studies, labour studies, social work, journalism and gender studies. They are Professor Wu Ka Ming, Dr. Cho Man Kit, Professor Fang Kecheng, Professor Suen Yiu Tung and Professor Wong Hung.

We conduct action researches and pilot studies that actively engage students throughout the process such as the Plastic Free Hong Kong — Chapters on Wet Markets project.

Our role

CSIS provides a platform for collaboration among teachers, researchers, students, and community initiatives.

Knowledge base for Social Innovation Project

We maintain a socially innovative project knowledge base

Student social innovation incubator

We act as an incubator for students’ innovation through engaging them in research and community interventions. 

Community engagement

We reach out to community initiatives in order to help disseminate their experiences to students and the public, as well as to facilitate their interaction.

Our Current Research Projects

Centre for Social Innovation Studies, HKIAPS, CUHK

The Centre for Social Innovation Studies (CSIS), Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, the Chinese University of Hong Kong was established in 2008 as the Centre for Civil Society Studies. The Centre is renamed as CSIS in 2015 responding to the evolving trend in civil society studies. The centre aims at promoting research, knowledge transfer and exchange between practitioners and academics in the field of social innovation and civil society. Our recent projects include Plastic Free, Fairwork, digital labour, platform cooperativism and social impact analysis.

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