IAFHK Facilitation Project - PolyU Jockey Club "Operation SoInno" - Empathizing with Elders in the Workplace
The IAFHK team is at work again!
On 26th January, while a IAFHK team was facilitating JC COIL’s Hackathon for Sustainability, we (Rita Chan, me and other 8 team members) worked hard for another facilitation project.
Our team of 10 was invited to help the Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University design and facilitate an activity on the theme “ Empathizing with Elders in the Workplace ”. The event aimed to raise awareness and discussion on elderly employment.
The event hosted around 120 participants. We explored these questions during our discussions: How do we improve the working environments of elderly manual labourers with low income so that they can gain more respect?
What kind of support can we offer to elderly persons who are worried about their employment opportunities? What can we do to help them lead a working life again?
We showed some interviews that we’ve filmed earlier, in which 6 seniors shared their happiness and struggles in their work. Then, we used an empathy map to jot down what we’ve observed from the videos. The empathy map helps us understand the seniors’ situations from their angles.
After that, we used a list of focused questions, modelling on the World Cafe, to help participants express their ideas in small groups. They also listed out some proposed solutions to the problems seniors face.
I’m happy for the opportunity to co-work with IAFHK members! Many of our team members are first time participants in IAFHK’s facilitation projects. We all had a fun time! Not only were we able to use our facilitation skills to lead a discussion on a social issue, but we were also gained a deeper understanding of the social issue itself.
We’ve been thinking about how to apply facilitation in discussions on social topics, and how to improve our design and facilitation skills. At the same time, facilitation is an education, a learning process and a self-cultivation process of everyone in Hong Kong. It applies to how we listen to opinions that are different to ours, how we integrate with people who are different than us, how we walk together with people with different ideas, from different backgrounds. This is a cultivation of our intellect, or willingness to try and apply what we’ve learned. As facilitators, what roles are we playing in this society?
Let’s work hard and build a better Hong Kong through meaningful dialogue!