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Keogh 12 Nudges: Hong Kong Protests

December | Leadership Development | Read time: calculating...

12 Holiday Nudges: Hong Kong protests

Nudge 9: A Leaderless Movement 

At Singularity Summit earlier this year, Hong Kong-based human rights activist Denise Ho talked about how technology (online forums, messaging and live streaming) has helped build a powerful leaderless movement – demonstrated by the recent events in Hong Kong.

The mass protests, umbrellas and tear gas have become a regular sight on western news outlets. It’s a mass movement with no central leader; a movement that started with a pink suitcase. 

Protesters occupy the road in Admiralty, Hong Kong.

The inciting incident began when Poon Hiu-wing failed to return to Hong Kong from a Valentine’s Day trip last year. Her boyfriend would later tell Hong Kong police that he had strangled the 20 year old and dumped her body in a suitcase they’d bought together days earlier. 

The Hong Kong government cited the case to propose legislation that would theoretically allow extraditions to mainland China. It’s clear Carrie Lam’s government underestimated the public fear and suspicion of Beijing on the semi-autonomous state.

Since the failure of the Umbrella Movement five years ago, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy opposition had been on the back foot. Using social media platforms they have been able to organise and rally other concerned citizens to the cause.

How might technology alter or improve your role as a leader? How might it enhance collaboration within and outside your organisation? 


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