On April 30th, Shake to Win founder, Emily Cheung, was invited as a panelist for the 2021 World Summit on the Information Society Forum (WSIS) under the theme of “The development path of public welfare organizations driven by new technologies– Bridging the digital gap under the influence of COVID-19 epidemic”. This session of the event brings together several young social influencers to discuss the development of public interest organizations driven by new technologies from the perspective of information access. Alongside Shake to Win, other speakers also at the event are from Youchang Consulting, Shangyuan Strengths Education, Impact Hub Shanghai, Planet Net Zero Project, Coding Girls Club, China House, Linyin Public Welfare, and China Youth of Tomorrow (CYOT).

The World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2021 represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for the development community. The WSIS Forum, co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP, and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line Facilitators/Co-Facilitators, has proven to be an efficient mechanism for coordination of multi-stakeholder implementation activities, information exchange, creation of knowledge, sharing of best practices and continues to provide assistance in developing multi-stakeholder and public/private partnerships to advance development goals. This Forum provides structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation. Furthermore, the 2021 WSIS Forum will provide an opportunity to serve as a platform to track the achievements of WSIS Action Lines in collaboration with the UN Agencies involved and provide information and analyses of the implementation of WSIS Action Lines since 2005.

The discussed topics include business initiatives on, circular economy, education, mental health, sustainability, as well as discussions on social challenges that are the focus of the target for building a better world for everyone. Shake to Win also tries to play a part in terms of building socially responsible tourism through its mission. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a great impact not only on the tourism-related industries but also on society. Anti-Asian hate crime emerged and remains an issue for the safety of Asian travelers worldwide. In order to fight against this discrimination, Shake to Win established the #ItsaSmileBehindtheFace social media campaign in February 2020. Here, several of our B2B partners, as well as normal individuals, took part in a social movement to drive positivity, harmony, and connection between cultures, in effect, working to raise awareness on anti-discriminatory ideas and bring the world together as one. Businesses alongside Shake to Win also participated in raising money for the region of Wuhan, China which was largely impacted by the virus. Through the initiative, we were able to help fund the “Special Action to Fight Against Coronavirus” for those most affected by the virus with the help of the Shanghai Charity Foundation which is managed by the Shanghai Municipal Committee, the Shanghai Municipal Civil Affairs Office, and the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

Over the course of the pandemic, the world has turned to digital solutions such as live streaming, online promotion, e-commerce, and other services. However, it is without a doubt that digitalization within the tourism industry is still an overarching issue that will affect its future. Digitalization comes at a cost and many business owners lack the relevant resources or infrastructure within their regions to jump right in. While borders remain closed, it has become more difficult for such businesses to connect with Chinese consumers. Keeping these pain points in mind, Shake to Win has been working with the local public and private sectors to build a better, more sustainable path for SMEs within our ecosystem. Taking into consideration the UNWTO standards as a basis, we have worked to build an ecosystem that targets issues such as over-tourism, cost-efficient digitalization services, as well as awareness on how to scale a business for the Chinese audience. Our wide range of services allows businesses to build brand awareness, engagement, and online conversion, while also creating new opportunities for institutions and organizations to preserve, educate, and share their culture and heritage with China.

Many insights shared throughout the WSIS brought about potential synergies among participants working on great social and environmental projects, all together working towards the same goal– driving positive impact for the world for those who need it the most. While there are many roadblocks ahead for the entrepreneurs taking on these challenges, the panelists expressed enthusiasm and eagerness for the upcoming recovery process and further collaboration at the end of the event.

“It was a great pleasure to speak at the WSIS conference organized by the UN last Friday. Connecting with the 10 outstanding Chinese entrepreneurs from NGOs and the sustainability category has been very eye-opening. I am happy to be able to discover such amazing projects that leverage technology to bring the world closer. I hope people will appreciate what we have done and continue spreading our mission around the globe.”

Emily Cheung, Founder & CEO of Shake to Win