Flower Market

Last weekend, I went to the flower market in Mong Kok. It started raining, and it was quite poetic, the smell of the flowers and the rain dripping off of the awnings, collecting in little streams and reservoirs along the edge of the sidewalk. Stimulating the senses – smell, touch, hear, see.

There are some things you can’t get from a screen.

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Do or wait?

A friend recently invited me to a panel on social entrepreneurship, hosted by Chicago Booth, as part of their Social Impact Leadership Series in Hong Kong.

The panel included Andrea Sreshta of LuminAID Labs, Francis Ngai of Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk), and  John Wood of Room to Read. The event was moderated by Linda Ginzel of Kids in Danger (KID).

What I found most interesting, was a cultural phenomenon that surfaced during the Q&A session.

Someone asked, “What should I do if I keep thinking and talking about doing a social venture, but just haven’t done it yet? How do I make the jump?”

Panelist, John Wood (Room to Read), said something to the effect of, “Stop talking and just do it.

Shortly after, Francis Ngai (SVhk) asked if he could present a different perspective and said something to the effect of, “If you’re asking this question, it means you’re not ready.” He then added to first do a small pilot to test out the idea, gather more information, and then dive in.

On first glance, it seemed that their perspectives clashed, sitting at opposite ends of the dinner table: one side calling out, “Jump right in!”, and the other cautioning, “Prepare more first, you must.” As a Chinese-American often teetering between two cultures, I found this juxtaposition reflective of a wrestle I had recognized in my own heart, to do or wait.

But in fact, the two panelists were saying the same thing: “Take the first step, get some skin in the game.” 

And so, we step…and pave our own path.






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