A group of students, including two from Fulbright University Vietnam, recently won the third prize in a contest calling for people’s initiatives to raise Ho Chi Minh City’s international status, organized by Tuoi Tre Newspaper and the HCMC Department of External Affairs.
Held between June 16 and August 16, the contest received more than 420 entries in the form of articles, slides, infographics, and video clips in both Vietnamese and English. Brother. In addition to Vietnamese applicants, many expats who are living in HCMC or have been to HCMC also sent entries.
Phan Hoang Dung and Hoang Ngoc Gia Huong (Fulbright University Vietnam), Nguyen Ky Nam (Sciences Po, France), Bui Le Mai Anh (University of Economics, HCMC), Truong Thanh Khoa (Hoa Sen University, HCMC) and Nguyen Thuy Dung (University of Architecture, HCMC) came up with the idea of the “Social Innovation Center” during the time of social distancing caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Subsequently, the students held online discussions to collect ideas for the introduction video and the infographic presentation.
Phan Hoang Dung from Fulbright University Vietnam said that this is not only a contest but also an opportunity for group members to do something for the city they call home.
“Ho Chi Minh City boasts a dynamic, creative and vibrant economy. The city is home to warm-hearted, generous and kind people. However, in the eyes of international friends, HCMC still lives in the shadow of the old Saigon – “the Pearl of the Far East”. For young people born and raised in HCMC like us, this is something we need to really think about. As we are young people studying and working in various areas, from public policy, media to entrepreneurship, we see the city’s branding efforts as a way for us to position ourselves in this big world. “What makes us different?” Although our discussions sometimes got disagreeable, we decided to believe in our common goal of this “Social Innovation Center”, Dung said.
The project aims to build the brand “Social Innovation Center” so that Ho Chi Minh City becomes a convergence point for businesses to create social impact and attract international friends to Vietnam.