People & Purpose Theatre

Our Talent Ecosystem: Closing the Sustainability Skills Gap

Day 1 : 15:05 – 15:55

The job market has been undergoing a wave of change, as companies increasingly look to bring in and nurture talents to move from pledges to progress in their sustainability transformation. With Gen Zs in particular bringing on a different set of values, by the way they focus on positive work culture, authenticity, utilising technology, implying flexibility, diversity and inclusion, ways for personal development, they have been creating impact and challenges to the hiring scene. How should decision makers adapt to these changing needs and values as a part of their talent matching and development strategy, and create opportunities within the ecosystem? 


  • What is the state of play in Hong Kong?  
  • How can business leaders create a strategic advantage for their businesses to retain and groom talents? What are some key sustainability skilling challenges that business leaders should look to address? 
  • Perspectives from specialised sustainability positions, and wider roles that require upskilling for sustainability expertise  

Post-event actions 

  • Gain insights on how businesses are to manoeuvre around in times of change and adapt to attract talents as they thrive and grow 


Kathryn Weaver


Kathryn Weaver is an employment law partner at Seyfarth Shaw, an AmLaw 100 full-service international law firm. She heads up the Asia Pacific employment practice and has over 15 years’ experience in advising on employment law matters for multinational employers. She is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion and regularly advises clients on their DEI strategies, as well as delivering client training, drafting articles and speaking at conferences on the topic.

My Sustainability Goals for 2023:

For Hong Kong to adopt the mantra of “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle” and for the Government to legislate for, and dedicate more resources to, improving sustainable practices.

Edouard Blanchard

Executive Partner & Director

Édouard Blanchard is a Founding Partner of Humans Matter, a cognitive design company with a mission to develop individual and collective ability to act.

He has spent 25 years in the transformation and business consulting industry, leading and empowering multinational corporations and organizations in their transformation journey, from business strategy to mindset and cultural shift, from capacity and soft skills development to organization redesign.

A true sustainable change agent, Edouard believes that a successful transformation is first and foremost a matter of accompanying the people leading and living through it.

My Sustainability Goals for 2023:

We are witnessing a fresh restart of Hong Kong, attention and effort being focused on changing behaviors for more sustainable ones.

At Humans Matter, we are committed to support and equip transition leaders with the relevant meta-skills and mindsets they need to pursue their sustainability missions.

Ajay Manissery Konchery

Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Ajay Manissery Konchery is the Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Swire Group. He is a native of Kerala, India. He served in multiple HR Director roles based in Southeast Asia, India, the US and Hong Kong and spent 21 years in Colgate Palmolive before joining Swire. Ajay holds master’s degrees in Psychology and HR Management and is a published, award winning poet.

Fanny Lau

New World Development Company Limited

General Manager – Human Resources

Fanny Lau has more than 20 years’ experience in human resources sector, including external consulting and in-house HR partitioning. She was the consultant and provided advisory services to hundreds of corporates in different areas, not only in day-to-day HR operation management, but also organization development, recruitment, performance management, learning & development, etc. She also had corporate and strategy planning experiences and led M&A projects. Not only in Hong Kong, she also worked in the mainland China, Singapore, Vietnam as well as leading projects in Southeast Asia.

She joined the Human Resources Department at New World Development in 2020 and currently she is taking care of HR Transformation, HR Business Partner, Culture, Talent Acquisition, Compensation & Benefits and Learning & Development Teams. Throughout different projects initiated from the group level, she works closely with different business units in New World Group.


Tim Smith

Business Director

Tim has twelve years of APAC recruitment experience and over this time has managed diverse teams specialising in Sales & Marketing, Retail, Professional services, FMCG, B2B, Travel / Tourism, Ecommerce, Fin-tech, Construction, Property, Engineering and Manufacturing recruitment. Tim now leads the Hays Sustainably practice, recruiting mid to senior level roles within the Sustainability and ESG space across Asia.

His success has come from executive search assignments where he has successfully placed some of the region’s most influential sustainability leaders. As organisations map out ambitious sustainability targets, Tim and his team are well geared up to identify great talent to assist companies accelerate towards these goals, through strategic talent acquisition.

My Sustainability Goals for 2023:

Hong Kong to prioritize sustainability by closing the green skills gap and fostering a workforce that is equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement sustainable practices across all industries. As without gtreat talent, none of our environmental and social ambitions will be realised.

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