Business of Design Week 2023 Officially Kicks Off at Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District

PRNewswire December 1, 2023

Three-Day Summit Invites Innovations Towards a Circular Future

HONG KONG, Dec. 1, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Business of Design Week 2023 (BODW) Summit, Asia’s premier annual event on design, innovation and brands, opens on 29 November, 2023, setting the scene for East-meets-West discussion and collaboration around the vital topic of circularity. 

Featuring keynotes and panel debates from over 60 creative leaders, policymakers and entrepreneurs, the three-day summit “Game Changers” is organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) and supported by the Netherlands, BODW 2023’s Partner Country, and its platform for creative pioneers CreativeNL, together with Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) as the Lead Sponsor and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) as the Co-organiser.

The Guest of Honour, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, GBS, IDSM, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, extends warm greetings via video to inaugurate this annual flagship event. Other officiating guests attending the opening ceremony today at Freespace, West Kowloon Cultural District include Mr Kevin Yeung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionMs Barbera Wolfensberger, Director-General of Culture & Media, Ministry of Education, Culture & Science of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mr André Haspels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to China, and Prof. Eric Yim, MH, JP, Chairman of Hong Kong Design Centre.

This year’s summit aims to identify critical challenges, innovative ideas, and smart design processes driving circular design, bringing together policymakers, business executives, and creative leaders towards a common vision for a sustainable future.  Under the three key foci Urban Planning and New Urban Models, Transformative Brands and Consumers’ Experience and AI, Technology and Future Trends, the summit will explore themes around smart placemaking, innovation and technology, and how business and government can collaborate to enhance consumer offerings and drive towards a more sustainable future.

Highlights of this year’s BODW Summit include keynotes on visionary guide of a futuristic city by Ben van Berkel, Founder & Principal Architect of UNStudio; Japanese aesthetic design by Kenya Hara, President & Chief Executive Designer of Nippon Design Center, Inc.; panel discussion on sustainable luxury by Prof. José Teunissen, Director & Professor of Amsterdam Fashion Institute, and Cai Jinqing, President of Kering Greater China as well as discussion on Chinese auto industry featuring Yao Yingjia, Vice President of Group Lotus and Janice Tsang, Head of Innovation of Porsche China.

The 50-strong Dutch delegation attending this year’s BODW is seeking to establish dialogue and long-term relationships with like-minded organisations in Hong Kong and other cities in the Greater Bay Area. Among the delegates are Marthijn Pool, Co-founder & Partner, Space&Matter, Michiel Roosjen, Co-founder, Despace and Marieke Rietbergen, Founder, Design Innovation Group. This marks Hong Kong’s pivotal position as the East-meets-West centre for international cultural exchange as promulgated in the National 14th Five-Year Plan.

New for the 2023 summit is “Emerging Voices“, which presents progressive, diverse thinking from the next generation in the field of circularity. Six emerging leaders from Hong Kong and the Netherlands, including Sophie Chapman, COO & CFO, EcoBricks LimitedJacqueline Chak, Co-founder & Director, EDITECTURENaman Tekriwal, COO & Co-founder, Breer Limited, Borre Akkersdijk, Co-founder & Creative Director, BYBORRE, Nienke Hoogvliet, Designer, Studio Nienke Hoogvliet and Lucas De Man, Founder & CEO, Company New Heroes, will introduce out-of-the-box insights and spark fresh conversations around circularity.

Mr Chan Kwok-ki, GBS, IDSM, JP, Chief Secretary for Administration of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, says in his welcome video to the opening ceremony, “Apart from knowledge exchange, BODW fosters international partnerships. I’m pleased to know that the Netherlands is the partner country this year, bringing in a top-notch Dutch delegation to exchange design mindsets and creative solutions with other participants. Hong Kong as an international city where East-meets-West is the right place to drive such dialogue and our government spares no effort to develop Hong Kong into an East-meet-West centre for international cultural exchange.”

Ms Barbera Wolfensberger, Director-General of Culture & Media, Ministry of Education, Culture & Science of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, says, “Irrespective of the distance between the city of Hong Kong and the Netherlands in terms of miles, we face the same challenges in the transition to a circular economy. We are convinced that by joining forces, sharing our knowledge, and inspiring each other, together we can initiate global change.”

“We are dedicated to leveraging the city’s unique blend of East-meets-West advantages, aiming to generate value through design. Throughout history, design has been a driving force behind innovation, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and challenging the status quo,” says Prof. Eric Yim, Chairman of HKDC, at the opening ceremony. He continues, “as we expand our strategic partnership with the Netherlands commenced last year, it allows us to further embrace the Dutch design philosophy, drawing inspiration from their forward-thinking approach and unparalleled creativity, and fostering a global exchange of ideas as we explore the theme of ‘Game Changers’ throughout this week.”

For live updates and ticketing details on BODW 2023, please visit the official website at and follow bodw+ on the below social media channels: Facebook (bodw+), Instagram (@bodwplus), X (@bodwplus), LinkedIn (bodw+) and YouTube (bodw+).

Ms Barbera Wolfensberger, Director-General of Culture & Media, Ministry of Education, Culture & Science of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, values the collaboration with Hong Kong Design Centre in BODW 2023, fostering circularity discussion from the lens of design and creativity while looking forward to a long-term partnership with the city.

Prof. Eric Yim, MH, JP, Chairman, Hong Kong Design Centre, introduces the exciting concurrent programmes, acting as a global platform to showcase Chinese culture and creativity through design to a wide international audience.

Press materials 
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About Hong Kong Design Centre (
A non-governmental organisation registered in 2001 and established in 2002, Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) is a strategic partner of the HKSAR Government in advancing Hong Kong as an international centre of design excellence in Asia. Our public mission is to promote wider and strategic use of design and design thinking to create business value and improve societal well-being.

About Business of Design Week (
Asia’s premier annual event on design, innovation and brands since 2002, Business of Design Week (BODW) organised by Hong Kong Design Centre (HKDC) gathers some of the world’s foremost design masters, brand leaders and entrepreneurs from Hong Kong as well as overseas, driving discourse on the value of design and innovation to inspire global audiences and explore new business opportunities.

About CLICKNL / CreativeNL (
From the Netherlands, CLICKNL, the knowledge and innovation network of the Dutch creative industry, is responsible for the programme. We work closely with various companies, knowledge institutions, educational institutions, and industry associations. CLICKNL has entrusted the implementation of the partnership with BODW 2023 to CreativeNL.

About Create Hong Kong (
Create Hong Kong (CreateHK) is a dedicated office set up by the HKSAR Government in June 2009 to spearhead the development of creative industries in Hong Kong. From 1 July 2022 onwards, it is under the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau. Its strategic foci are nurturing talent and facilitating start-ups, exploring markets, promoting cross-sectoral and cross-genre collaboration, and promoting Hong Kong as Asia’s creative capital and fostering a creative atmosphere in the community. CreateHK sponsors HKDC to organise Business of Design Week (BODW), BODW City Programme, DFA Awards, Knowledge of Design Week (KODW), Fashion Asia Hong Kong, Design Incubation Programme and Fashion Incubation Programme, among other projects, to promote Hong Kong design.

Disclaimer: Create Hong Kong of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region provides funding support to the project only, and does not otherwise take part in the project. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials/events (or by members of the project team) are those of the project organisers only and do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau, Create Hong Kong, the CreateSmart Initiative Secretariat or the CreateSmart Initiative Vetting Committee.

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SOURCE Hong Kong Design Centre

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