#Hashtag Hong Kong



    Listen to #Hashtag Hong Kong every Sunday morning at 8.15

    Focussing on issues affecting civil society, we'll hear from representatives of NGOs, associations, statutory bodies, and non-profit groups.

    (Sundays 8.15am - 8.25am)



    Paul Chan, Co-founder and CEO of Walk In Hong Kong

    World Heritage Day 2024 marks on 18th April. The significance of this occasion resonates deeply within me. Beyond its global celebration of heritage conservation, this day serves as a call to action for communities worldwide to reaffirm our dedication to protecting our heritage and cultural identity. Today, I'm compelled to share my thoughts not just as a seasoned heritage and cultural tour operator, but also as a passionate advocate for the preservation of our city's rich heritage and culture.

    Heritage transcends mere buildings and historic sites; it embodies the essence and identity of a city, weaving together the stories and memories of generations. Whenever I lead heritage tours and delve into the archives of old Hong Kong photographs, a profound sense of nostalgia washes over me. When I saw old pictures of the elegant colonial architecture of Central, the charming row of walk-up shophouses of Kowloon, or the rustic beauty of the New Territories – these are not mere structures but repositories of our collective history and livelihood. Sadly, many of these architectural gems have succumbed to the pressures of rapid urbanization and development.

    Witnessing the loss of our heritage is truly heartbreaking, as each demolition represents a potential loss of our remaining sites if we do not take decisive action. Once these architectural marvels are gone, they cannot be replaced, and with their disappearance, we lose a vital part of our cultural identity. Missed opportunities to leverage our heritage as a unique selling point for our city are evident, especially as we work towards revitalizing our tourism industry

    post-pandemic. Nevertheless, there is still time to effect change. Transitioning into a heritage advocate has led me to frequently ponder the relevance of my cause. To me, the answer is clear – we have a duty to conserve what makes our city exceptional. In a world saturated with standardized attractions and tourist traps, our heritage stands as a beacon of authenticity and uniqueness.

    Safeguarding our heritage is imperative if we wish to maintain our status as a leading tourism destination."

    That is the major reason why we launched the conservation campaign to save the State Theatre, the largest surviving standalone theatre building on Hong Kong Island. During the campaign, we've adopted a comprehensive approach with the hope of enhancing the survival chance of this building. Not only did we successfully lobby the theatre from a Grade 3 proposed Historic building status to that of Grade 1, but we also enhanced the public’s emotional attachment to the

    site through talks, walking tours, and interviews, etc. To this day, we persist in refining our strategies to strike a balance between conservation with economic sustainability.

    We know that heritage conservation isn't just about preserving physical structures; only by also excavating its stories and memories can we truly preserve the spirit of a place. That is why we have produced To Be Continued, a documentary which chronicles the life and legacy of State Theatre’s founder, Harry Odell, the first impresario in Hong Kong, whose relentless efforts to invite best performers from the world to Hong Kong has made our city already a “East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange” in the 1950s.

    We also recognize the crucial role of integrating heritage with sustainable tourism as a way to deepen our present connections to the past. As part of this recognition, we have launched a tourism innovation project supported by the Countryside Conservation Funding Scheme. Our project aims to revitalise the villages of Sha Tau Kok and Yan Chau Tong areas by introducing immersive and sustainable tourism experiences in their Hakka villages. By leveraging the rich heritage of Hakka houses and the picturesque village landscapes, we curate unforgettable experiences such as seasonal dining against the backdrop of a majestic Hakka mansion. These immersive experiences enable both visitors and locals to connect with and embody the stories, memories, and rituals, thereby passing on the spirit of the past and its cultures to the present. We firmly believe that such emotional encounters are integral to our ongoing efforts to advance the cause of heritage conservation.

    As the Chinese proverb wisely reminds us, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Next Thursday, on 18th April,  I encourage you all to think about the ways we can increase awareness regarding the preservation of important monuments and cultures. Perhaps the most straightforward way to celebrate one’s cultural heritage on World Heritage Day is by authentically living one’s life in a way that embodies who we are and where we come from, but we can also think of the little ways we can protect our shared heritage and humanity. Look online to see if any community events are going on in the city that tell stories about our surroundings. Spread awareness by posting pictures of little-known historical sites on social media. World Heritage is about the humanity and stories we share, and our collective responsibility in keeping these stories and sites alive.

    I urge you all to join me in this journey to protect and preserve our heritage. Let us celebrate our past, embrace our present, and safeguard our future.

    14/04/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    14/04/2024 - Paul Chan, Co-founder and CEO of Walk In Hong Kong


    02 - 04


    Ryan Yeung, Founder and CEO, Happy-Retired Charity Action


    Erica Lee, Director, The Hong Kong Down Syndrome Association


    Christina Lee, Director of Wofoo Social Enterprises


    Joe Lo, Convenor of The Long Term Tobacco Policy Concern Group


    Fiona Nott, CEO of The Women's Foundation


    Innocent Mutanga, Founder and CEO of Africa Center Hong Kong


    Professor Edwin Ho, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) researcher in the School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

    Professor Edwin Chan, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) researcher from CUHK

    My name is Edwin Ho Yin CHAN, and I am a professor and an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) researcher in the School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Since 1999, I have been dedicated to researching the pathobiology of rare neurological disorders that affect the nervous system. My ultimate goal is to translate my basic research into therapeutic treatments for these devastating diseases.
    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis affects the nerve cells responsible for voluntary muscle movements such as walking and talking. These nerve cells, known as motor neurons, can be divided into two groups. The upper motor neurons extend from the brain to the spinal cord, while the lower motor neurons extend from the spinal cord to the muscles. ALS gradually deteriorates and kills both groups of motor neurons, leading to a loss of muscle function.
    While the cause of ALS is unknown for the majority of cases, about 10% of individuals with ALS have a genetic cause that can be identified. How does ALS impact daily life? ALS has a significant impact on mobility, breathing, communication, and mental well-being. These symptoms progressively worsen over time. Muscle weakness is a common manifestation of ALS, particularly in the limbs. This weakness, primarily affecting the arms and legs, can hinder mobility and coordination. Initially, the distal muscles, such as those in the hands, feet, calves, and forearms, are typically affected. Upper limb weakness can make tasks like writing difficult, while lower limb weakness often impairs walking. Breathing difficulties are common in individuals with ALS due to weakness in the chest and diaphragm muscles, leading to chronic respiratory failure. This weakness in the respiratory system can result in breathing problems and frequent lung infections. Eventually, some individuals may require a ventilator to assist with breathing. Cognitive decline is another aspect of ALS, with approximately half of patients experiencing brain-related and behavioral changes at some point. Frontotemporal decline, a form of dementia, also affects some individuals with ALS.
    In summary, ALS significantly impacts daily life by affecting mobility, breathing, communication, and mental health. Managing these symptoms requires various strategies and interventions to maintain overall well-being and independence for as long as possible.
    To find out more about the disease biology of ALS, we have specifically studied a genetic mutation that is responsible for 35% of all ALS cases complicated with frontotemporal dementia, and have found a new direction for therapeutic development. Through our experiments on various research models with the University of Oxford, we discovered that a cellular factor becomes dysfunctional in the spinal motor neurons of ALS patients. This dysfunction affects the ability of these neurons to form connections (synapses) with each other, which is crucial for proper communication between nerve cells in the brain. This disruption of synapse formation contributes to the neuronal defects and muscle weakness observed in ALS.
    In addition to studying the basic pathobiology of ALS, we are also developing a group of biological drugs called "the BIND peptides" that aim to slow down the progression of the disease. The affinity of BIND peptides to their drug target has now been enhanced by 1,000 times and we are hoping to start clinical trials on this drug next.
    I would like to share a song called "Fight Song" by Rachel Platten. In an interview, Platten mentioned that she wrote this song with determination and a refusal to give up on herself. This song has inspired millions of people, including people suffering from ALS and some of them were featured in a recent ALS documentary film called “No Ordinary Campaign”. It is remarkable how something so personal and resonant can have a universal meaning. We all have the potential to be inspirational, but sometimes it just takes courage to express it. Whether it is through a song, research, or a random act of kindness, when combined, our efforts can fill the world with love and care.


    18/02/2024 - 足本 Full (HKT 08:15 - 08:30)

    18/02/2024 - Professor Edwin Chan, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) researcher from CUHK