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HKBU champions sustainable health at THE Global Sustainable Development Congress with Four Research Clusters


Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) recently showcased its commitment to sustainability and interdisciplinary scholarly excellence through its active participation as a key sponsor of the Health, Well-being and Demography track at the Global Sustainable Development Congress 2024 (GSDC). This event, organised by Times Higher Education (THE) and held from June 10 to 13, 2024 in Thailand, gathered an international cohort of over 3,000 specialists and aficionados to discuss and promote sustainable practices. 

The congress provided a dynamic stage for HKBU's scholars to join internationally renowned speakers to disseminate their wealth of interdisciplinary knowledge on the symbiotic relationship between physical, mental, and digital health, and their collective impact on a sustainable future. Spearheaded by the HKBU Research Office, the sponsored track featured a series of keynote sharing and panel discussions on relevant topics with research-backed insights. 


Professor Lyu Aiping, Vice-President (Research and Development), delivered a keynote address highlighting the unique integrative medical system in China that combines traditional Chinese medicine with Western medicine, and its potential to drive a more sustainable future for healthcare. Professor Lyu shared his insights on how higher education institutions could effectively leverage interdisciplinary research and collaborate with other sectors, to apply these novel approaches and improve healthcare systems at scale. 

Professor Yannis Pitsiladis, Head of the Department of Sport, Physical Education and Health, and a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Medical and Scientific Commission, shared his latest research findings and expert insights on the nuanced connection between mental health and sustainability, enriched by his extensive experience with elite Olympic athletes. He also showcased the latest technology and gadgets adopted by HKBU at athletic activities and how these innovations could aid in monitoring athlete status and risk of injury, while contributing to the protection and enhancement of athlete health and performance. 

In a thought-leadership panel discussion, Professor Christy Cheung, Chair Professor of the Department of Management, Marketing and Information Systems and Director of the Research Office, was joined by Professor Jason Thatcher from the University of Colorado Boulder and Dr Marten Risius from the University of Queensland. The panel delved into the cultivation of trust and safety in social media interactions, and explored the foundations of a sustainable digital ecosystem within professional and scholarly environments. 

Dr Mu Jingwen, Director of the Office of Institutional Research and Strategic Planning (OIRP) and an internationally recognised expert in university rankings, was invited to join the workshop and masterclass on rankings and SDGs at the congress. Dr Mu provided attendees with a deep dive into innovative approaches for research evaluation. Her presentations offered valuable guidance on optimizing organizational structures and leadership strategies to effectively implement sustainability initiatives.

The resonance of these presentations with the congress attendees underscored HKBU's role as a vanguard in research that confronts pressing global sustainability challenges. The university's branded exhibition complemented the speaker sessions, creating a nexus of engagement where visitors were introduced to HKBU's sustainability and interdisciplinary initiatives. The exhibition emphasised the university's dedication to interdisciplinary research collaborations, encapsulated within its Four Research Clusters.

The participation of HKBU in the GSDC 2024 through insightful presentations and a compelling exhibition was a constructive addition to the global conversation on sustainability. The event served as a platform for the sharing of innovative concepts and groundbreaking research, and encouraged the establishment of valuable partnerships, which may facilitate collaborative endeavors and meaningful progress in sustainability initiatives going forward.

For more information: 
-    Keynote:Two medicines, one health: Embracing cross-cultural healthcare for a sustainable future by Professor Lyu Aiping
-    Keynote:Getting up to speed with the science of the Olympics by Professor Yannis Pitsiladis
-    Panel:Empower your team with sustainable trust and safety practices on social media by Professor Christy Cheung, Professor Jason Thatcher & Dr Marten Risius 
-    Masterclass:Beyond sustainability and the SDGs: Tracking social justice, integrity and transformative education for impactby Dr Mu Jingwen, Professor Kevin Dunn, Ms Jen Dollin