World Economic Forum’s UpLink Initiative Recognizes Hong Kong’s Family Mask and its #PPEforALL Initiative as an Official COVID-19 Cohort Member

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HONG KONG, Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The challenges facing the world are overwhelming, from the climate crisis to stubborn rates of poverty, inequality and systemic discrimination. Family Mask seeks to empower our next generation to stand-up, start-up and scale-up.

Jessie Chung, Kenneth Kwok and members of the Family Mask and the MXA Group team celebrating the milestone of 1,000,000 surgical-grade masks donated during United Nations General Assembly 2020 Week
Jessie Chung, Kenneth Kwok and members of the Family Mask and the MXA Group team celebrating the milestone of 1,000,000 surgical-grade masks donated during United Nations General Assembly 2020 Week

At Davos 50th anniversary in January 2020, the World Economic Forum (“WEF”) launched UpLink, an open platform to scale up bright ideas the world needs. The platform seeks to forge new approaches to address the world’s most pressing challenges set out in the United Nations and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (“SDGs”). UpLink aims to connect the next generation of change-makers and social entrepreneurs to networks of leaders with the resources, expertise and experience to create an impact.

“It was truly exhilarating. We just finished the latest session on innovation and the circular economy at the SDG Tent on Promenade 139 when the announcement was made,” reminisced Kenneth Kwok, Founder and CEO of Global Citizen Capital. “There was definitely electricity in the air amidst the young SDG leaders community.”

By tapping into the network effect to unite the world’s brightest problem-solvers with the clout of the WEF’s community, UpLink is an ambitious new crowd-engagement platform which aims to speed up the delivery of the SDGs.

“Initiatives shouldn’t just come from enlightened business leaders or governments. We have to engage people,” said WEF’s Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab. “They have ideas. We have to give them the means to translate their ideas into action.”

Co-Founder of LinkedIn, Allen Blue, said UpLink promised to fill what he called ‘the network gap’, by providing resources and connections to entrepreneurs working on the most important crises facing the planet. “Some people have these strong networks, and some people do not.”

Fast forward 10 months, WEF UpLink has achieved tremendous success, launching 12 global challenges. One such challenge is the COVID-19 Social Justice challenge. Between disproportionate numbers of fatalities among African Americans, the LGBTI community facing compounded systemic discrimination and prejudice, and wide-ranging healthcare disparities for women and girls, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing systemic inequalities across societies. These inequalities are marked by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, class and other factors. The virus has the potential to infect anyone and spread indiscriminately, and emerging demographic data has revealed unequal distributions of COVID-19 testing and unequal access to healthcare.

During UNGA Week 2020, UN SDG Action Campaign gave a shout-out to Family Mask for its social impact work, which started in Hong Kong, subsequently expanded across Asia Pacific and now covers rest of the world. The team, led by Founder Jessie Chung and Co-Founder Kenneth Kwok, has engineered a hybrid for-profit and non-profit circular impact model to allow anyone in our beautiful planet to purchase, gift and request donation of surgical-grade PPE with a few clicks here. As a United Nations Global Compact member, Family Mask commits to uphold the Ten Principles and to further realization of circular economy and systemic equality.

Now, as a cohort member of UpLink’s COVID-19 Social Justice challenge, Family Mask and #PPEforALL seeks to leverage on its existing manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong and Mainland China and advance the Tech Access Alliance (“TAA”). In partnership with the MXA Group, #PPEforALL and TAA aim to open-source know-how in PPE production with global change-makers and social entrepreneurs across less and least developed countries, to support their transformation or to repurpose existing facilities to create PPE. The Company also seeks to advance its Family Mask Academy program to support youth around Asia lead and create more impactful and sustainable projects for the well-being of local communities.

“We are honored to represent Hong Kong as an official cohort member of UpLink. SDG 16 – Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions – is very close to our hearts, and we seek to amplify our impact through formation of meaningful business and partnerships,” comments Jessie Chung. Kenneth Kwok adds, “SDG 10 – Reduced Inequalities – is as well a core part of our corporate and personal DNA.”

As of the date of this article, Family Mask is the first start-up from Hong Kong and surgical-grade PPE manufacturer globally to have received the accreditation as an official cohort member of UpLink.  

Jessie Chung and Kenneth Kwok join Family Mask’s global ambassadors for the UN75 #TurnItAround initiative of UN SDG Action Campaign
Jessie Chung and Kenneth Kwok join Family Mask’s global ambassadors for the UN75 #TurnItAround initiative of UN SDG Action Campaign

About the Author:

Joe Wong, Founder and CEO, The MXA Group
Joe Wong, Founder and CEO, The MXA Group

Joe Wong, Founder and CEO, The MXA Group

Joe Wong is a serial entrepreneur and has over 20-years of experience advising and successfully executing on the vision and deliver on business strategies from start-ups to MNCs. 

Joe has over 15 years of investment banking experience across UBS AG, Deutsche Bank, ANZ and more, spanning corporate finance, sales and trading, private wealth, and institutional banking.

For the last 5 years, he has developed and grown GO Logistics and Storage (“GOLS”) in Hong Kong, an e-commerce, logistics and fulfilment solution platform focused on the systemization and streamlining of e-commerce fulfilment and fostering the sustainability of his clients’ businesses and operations through the efficient combination of innovation and technology, with a touch of good old fashion hard work.

His other venture, the MXA Group, focuses on developing an ecosystem with three primary pillars of e-commerce (provision of goods to all), technology (working with Ntuple and SyncTree to drive productivity and sustainability) and social impact (simply making a difference).

Both GO Logistics and Storage and the MXA Group are strategic partners to Family Mask and its #PPEforALL initiative.

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