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    Training problem solvers in the field of Humanitarian Technology and Inclusive Business

    Lingnan University’s new MSc in Humanitarian Technology and Inclusive Business (HTIB) aims to train individuals who can develop the kinds of appropriate and affordable technologies and services required by those at the bottom of the global pyramid. Typically, these technologies are mature, cheap and universally available – for example, LED light, servo motors and various sensors – but even some applications of artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) technology may be appropriate.

    Dr Lee cites the example of a 3D VR-enable showroom which helps the growth of inclusive business in a remote area of Bangladesh. By adopting this innovative approach, customers’ satisfaction and confidence are gained by experiencing the spatial requirement and bathroom setting with the toilet they would like to purchase.

    “Catering to this customer demographic is not a volunteer job, or a charitable act. Instead, it is a significant business opportunity that has yet to be fully tapped into.,” Professor Albert Ko, HTIB Programme Director, points out.

    Aims of the MSc in HITB  

    The purpose of the programme is to cultivate professional problem solvers and entrepreneurs who can lead a team in coming up with creative ideas, and subsequently transform them into inclusive business solutions, explains Prof Ko. After graduation, students will be equipped with the fundamentals of inclusive business and innovative design process for humanitarian technology – which will enable students to implement creative solutions effectively, cooperating within interdisciplinary teams of professionals such as engineers and medical workers.

    Structure of the programme 

    Alongside lectures, tutorials, workshops, and seminars, the programme aims to provide extensive hands-on training through community-based and project-based experiential learning.

    The first core course, Inclusive Innovation: Design for a Better World, is one of the highlights of the HTIB programme, notes Dr Jasper van Holsteijn of Lingnan’s School of Graduate Studies. In this course students are taught various innovation skills and how to solve real-world problems

    By the end of the programme, students will work on a capstone project – Design Innovation for Addressing Social Challenge – in collaboration with one of Lingnan’s renowned regional and international partner organizations. Students can shape the direction of their project based on their specific interests and future goals to prepare them well for their careers after graduation.

    Lingnan: the perfect launchpad for a future in HTIB 

    The programme is a perfect expression of the fundamental ethos and guiding principles of Lingnan. The university is always looking for ways to fulfill the promise of its motto of “Education for Service”, so the teaching of problem solving skills to tackle global challenges is a key element within the programme and the university.

    In short, the programme aims to equip students with critical problem-solving skills that are essential for creating enterprises that contribute to building an inclusive society. Graduates will have diverse career opportunities, including pursuing postgraduate studies, working with NGOs and development organizations in Hong Kong and overseas, while others will be looking to launch their own companies. Our graduates will be well-equipped to address global challenges and contribute to positive social impact on a local and international scale.