NGO Panel Discussion
Esteemed NGOs will take part in a panel discussion, moderated by Chris Brown, founder and director of ReThink. ReThink is one of Hong Kong’s most ambitious annual sustainable development business conferences, in which Hong Kong’s business leaders, sustainability practitioners, and those involved with researching new sustainable strategies come together to collaborate and share solutions to solve our communities’ issues. These NGO leaders will discuss what 'impact' actually means to their organisations and how they plan for, measure, track and scale for impact.
Led by Chris Brown
Founder of ReThink
Chris has 19 years of experience working on large-scale business events. Originally from the UK, Chris has lived and worked in Hong Kong since 2015. Chris moved to Hong Kong to establish a North Asia office for a London-based trade expo organiser and launch a series of digital transformation events. The challenges of living sustainably and a developing concern around the exponential threats of the global climate emergency compelled Chris to “rethink” his own personal contribution to Hong Kong and how he could best make a positive impact on a city he now proudly calls home. Chris conceived, designed and launched the ReThink HK event during the first part of 2019 – undeterred by the challenges faced by live events at that time, due to civil unrest, the new event concept for uniting the full business and sustainability ecosystem, championing positive action and shared responsibility received excellent support. The inaugural 2020 event was, unsurprisingly, delayed due to Covid but finally ran, in-person, at the K11 Quarry Bay with 450 attendees and all delegate fees were donated to local charities. Chris’ experience in hosting content-led expo-style healthcare events in the UK, where partnerships and collaboration were crucial to scale and success, provided the foundation for Chris to widen the supporting-network of organisations and sponsors for ReThink HK. The event was moved to the HKCEC for the 2021 edition and resulted in Hong Kong’s best attended event dedicated to the business of sustainability, with over 2,200 attendees. Chris is proud to have maintained the event’s impact pledge; with all delegate fees contributing to impact projects with local Hong Kong charities.
Matthew S. Friedman is an American human rights advocate with an expertise in human trafficking and modern slavery. He is currently the chief executive officer of the Mekong Club, a Hong Kong-based organization that mobilizes the private sector to help fight modern slavery.
The Mekong Club works with the private sector to bring about sustainable practices against modern slavery across the globe. Companies can join the Mekong Club as Members to enjoy a range of benefits, anti-slavery tools, resources, and consultations. They have created a community of like-minded peers across different industries, working together to address modern slavery. Through these efforts, their mission is to inspire and engage the private sector to work together towards creating a slave-free world.
Catherine is a nonprofit leader with a communications and events background spanning over 15 years. As Executive Director of HandsOn Hong Kong, Catherine leads the team that empowers everyone in Hong Kong to volunteer—providing vital behind-the-scenes assistance to over 100 charities each year through more than 3,000 programs. Catherine has a passion for creating impactful community initiatives, empowering teams to reach their potential and moving people to take action. Since joining HandsOn in 2016, she has delivered talks to thousands of the city’s employees, families and students on the power of volunteering to address our social needs. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, Catherine led teams and ran flagship events at both OgilvyOne and The Economist Group. She holds a B.A. (Honours) in Communications from the University of Technology in Sydney.
Shalini Mahtani is one of Hong Kong’s most authoritative and respected voices on social issues, particularly diversity and inclusion and the plight of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities. Shalini has been a pioneer in civil society working in areas previously untouched in Hong Kong. She is the founder of The Zubin Foundation, a charity that works to improve the lives of Hong Kong’s marginalized ethnic minorities by providing opportunities and reducing suffering.
In 2012, Peggy opened Grassroots Pantry (GP) in Hong Kong with a mission to raise awareness of the inequities in our food system and to share knowledge on the benefits of whole food plant-based cuisine. Through conducting Zero Foodprint’s life-cycle assessment, GP became carbon neutral in 2018 and its first sustainability report was recognized by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals ESCAP as a best practice case study on sustainable sourcing and responsible management.
Over the years Peggy has emerged as one of the region’s most authoritative voices on organic sourcing and systems thinking design. In 2020, Peggy developed Grassroots Initiatives Consultancy to assist foodservice professionals in their transition towards best practices that meet both human and planetary health goals. Last year, she launched Zero Foodprint Asia to rapidly mobilize research, education and funding from the food and hospitality sector for agricultural climate solutions.
Dana has lived in HK for over 26 years and first got involved with environmental issues in 2007 when she helped drive recycling in Discovery Bay where she lives.
Seeing that it would take more than recycling to help solve the problem of plastic marine pollution, Dana joined PFS from the beginning to help promote change in people’s use of plastic through education and action. She has delivered hundreds of talks on waste reduction and personal behaviour change to students of all ages, and has been invited as a guest speaker by many corporate and community groups since 2013.