Registered as a non-profit organization in 2014, Liber Research Community consists of a group of people who undertake independent research with the development of Hong Kong in mind. Liber Research Community is a testing ground where people with different research interests can get together and improve the research capacity of society as a whole.
We have developed a unique approach to continue our research over the past few years. Here are the details of our ideals and operation model:
1. We do research for the community outside the ivory tower
- Our members are active participants in the public discourse, aiming to narrow the gap between knowledge production and social issues.
- Our research covers ten topics, including land supply and usage, housing policies, town planning, redevelopment, environment, agriculture, archives and files and global state-capital nexus. With concrete research, we provide more perspectives on different issues.
- Outside of conventional academic platforms, we deliver our research in different ways, such as press articles, forums, press conferences and booklets, etc. Through various channels of communication, such as infographics, online maps and videos, we want our messages to spread further afield.
2. By locals, for locals
- Unlike tertiary institutions which focus on topics that the global academic community is interested in, we study topics that Hong Kong people care about. We compile figures and details about cases which are closely related to Hong Kong people, set up databases and archives and provide a knowledge base for public discourse.
- We also plan our own academic courses regarding social issues, enabling in-depth knowledge exchange. In 2014-2016, we conducted almost 50 courses covering different topics, with about 800 people in attendance.
3. Community-wide collaboration: everyone can be a researcher
- Full-time members do not only do research but also set up groups covering different research topics. These groups engage the public and encourage group members to interact with each other. Group members include students, professionals and other local residents.
- With over a hundred brainstorming sessions, reading groups and seminars, we actively share our research experience with other organizations, aiming to connect the research community and strengthen the discourse and research capacity of society on issues of public concern.
- We hope the public will be well informed about the role and importance of independent research, so that the valuable contribution of, independent researchers can become established.
4. Independent research: we persevere
- Our operation is now sustained by public donations. About 270 passionate donors support us continuously by providing $100 to $1,000 monthly, bringing about $65,000 in monthly income. This becomes the strongest foundation of our research.
- The monthly donation model enables independent research to continue without the clout of consortiums, the government and vested interests. We speak independently without fear or favour.
- One member gave up his civil service job, which pays over $50,000 monthly, to join us and embark on independent research. Monthly income of our full-time members ranges from $12,000 to $20,000. We are also most grateful to have volunteers supporting our research.
- We aim to provide this platform for our researchers, so that they can focus on their research topics and have a profound impact on our community.