Capacity Building of Secretary Generals of Atolls Councils of Maldives started

As a part of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s approach of ‘neighbourhood first’ policy, India is building capacities of civil servants of neighbouring countries to meet the emerging challenges in governance and assured public service delivery to improve the quality of life of people.

The National Centre for Good Governance (NCGG) has entered into an MoU with the Civil Service Commission of Maldives for capacity building of 1,000 Maldives civil servants by 2024. The agreement was signed during the state visit of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, to Male on 8th June 2019. As part of the agreement, NCGG is the nodal institution for designing customized training modules after considering the requirements of the countries and their implementation. So far, more than 550 officers of Maldives Civil Service including the Permanent Secretaries of the Govt of Maldives have been imparted training in India. The 18th capacity building programme started in Delhi from the 5th of December for the Secretary Generals of various atolls councils of Maldives.

Bharat Lal, Director General, NCGG in his inaugural address, emphasized the role of civil servants in improving the quality of life of people and underlined the need to strengthen women’s role in decision-making. He gave examples of various programmes in India wherein the indomitable spirit of women has been tapped to bring transformation. He shared numerous examples of how with opportunities and an enabling environment, women have brought profound changes in the public service delivery and governance, ensuring transparency and quality in works, water, sanitation, public health and waste management in villages.

He urged the Secretary Generals of various councils of atolls to continue focussing on protecting the environment, improving sanitation and carrying out waste management in a big way, saving energy and promoting circular economy. He said that Hon’ble PM Shri Narendra Modi’s mantra of ‘LIFE – Lifestyle for Environment’ is the way forward. Highlighting that in a true sense this is a reorientation and sensitization programme, he also urged the participants that in next one week, in the context of new learnings and exposure in India, they should think about how to further improve and bring change in administration of atolls to tackle emerging challenges.

The training module includes lessons from various initiatives taken in India such as e-governance, digital India, CPGRAMS, approach to sustainable development goals, public health initiatives, water security on islands among other important areas. It also includes exposure visits to prominent places like the Pradhan Mantri Sanghralaya, the office of UIDAI, the Parliament, etc. where participants will see the best practices in e-governance.

The inaugural session commenced with a briefing on the structure of the capacity building programme by Prof. Poonam Singh, the Nodal officer (training) and the ways to emulate the learnings. In addition to the civil servants of Maldives, the programme was also attended by other senior officials of the NCGG.



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Hong Kong – Building a Multicultural Workplace Job Fair kicks off today

Building a Multicultural Workplace Job Fair kicks off today (with photos)


     The Labour Department (LD) is holding the Building a Multicultural Workplace Job Fair at Southorn Stadium today and tomorrow (November 24 and 25) to enhance employment opportunities for job seekers, including those from ethnic minorities (EM). More than 50 participating organisations and training bodies will participate in the job fair.


     The Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Ho Kai-ming, together with representatives from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong Ethnic Minorities Service Centre and local ethnic minority leaders, attended the kick-off ceremony of the job fair this morning to express their support to build an inclusive workplace.


     Speaking at the kick-off ceremony, Mr Ho said the Policy Address delivered last month clearly pointed out that the Government will further enhance the support for EM, including recruiting more EM members for appointment as Employment Assistants in the LD. He noted that the job fair for EM job seekers is a dedicated measure by the Government to facilitate their employment and integration into the community. He appealed to all sectors of the community to provide more employment opportunities for EM and make a concerted effort to build a caring and inclusive city.


     The job fair offers around 3 400 vacancies spanning a wide variety of positions, including telesales representatives, room attendants, surveillance assistants, laboratory technicians, receptionists, shop assistants, theme park attendants, aero engine repair trainees, security guards, bus captains, storekeepers, technicians, bartenders, cooks, waiters/waitresses and packers. Job seekers of different cultural backgrounds are welcome to apply. For more information on these vacancies, job seekers may visit the LD’s Interactive Employment Service website (

     The LD launched the Racial Diversity Employment Programme (RDEP) in 2020 to provide one-stop employment services for EM job seekers on a case management approach. The LD will regularise the RDEP and also recruit more EM members as Employment Assistants and General Assistants starting from the first half of 2023 to enhance their employment opportunities.

Hong Kong – Twenty-three building plans approved in September

Twenty-three building plans approved in September


     The Buildings Department approved 23 building plans in September, with nine on Hong Kong Island, eight in Kowloon and six in the New Territories.

     Of the approved plans, 14 were for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, four were for commercial developments, three were for factory and industrial developments, and two were for community services developments.

     In the same month, consent was given for works to start on six building projects which, when completed, will provide 70 486 square metres of gross floor area for domestic use involving 791 units, and 4 126 sq m of gross floor area for non-domestic use. The department has received notification of commencement of superstructure works for five building projects.

     The department also issued 30 occupation permits, with five on Hong Kong Island, 12 in Kowloon and 13 in the New Territories.

     Of the buildings certified for occupation, the gross floor area for domestic use was 189 023 sq m involving 3 453 units, and 244 256 sq m was for non-domestic use.

     The declared cost of new buildings completed in September totalled about $48.8 billion.

     In addition, six demolition consents involving six building structures were issued.

     The department received 2 859 reports about unauthorised building works (UBWs) in September and issued 2 062 removal orders on UBWs.

     The full version of the Monthly Digest for September can be viewed on the Buildings Department’s homepage (

Hong Kong – Building Safety Symposium held as finale of Building Safety Week 2022 (with photos)

Building Safety Symposium held as finale of Building Safety Week 2022 (with photos)


     More than 600 building professionals, members of the building management sector, government officials and academics exchanged views on the topic of “Innovation and Technologies for Building Safety” in the Building Safety Symposium organised by the Buildings Department today (October 28).

     Speaking at the symposium, the Secretary for Development, Ms Bernadette Linn, said that the Government has been committed to promoting wider use of innovative technologies in different stages and aspects of building developments. They include developing the Common Spatial Data Infrastructure, which can facilitate city planning and design of the built environment; actively promoting wider adoption of building information modelling by the industry; developing the Electronic Submission Hub to enable paperless submission of building plans; and promoting digitisation of public works projects and extensive use of modular integrated construction to enhance site safety.

     Ms Linn pointed out that in order to meet the challenges of ageing buildings, the Government would continue to make good use of innovative technologies in its roles as the facilitator, promoter and guardian. While committing resources, it would also encourage the industry to adopt various innovative technologies to enhance safety and promote the importance of building maintenance among the community.

     The Director of Buildings, Ms Clarice Yu, in her closing remarks said that the Building Safety Symposium provided a good opportunity for the industry to add value and exchange views. The experience shared by the speakers on innovative design and construction methods, as well as digital supervision of works and the use of big data, would lead to further discussion and sharing of insights among the participants. She said she anticipated that, with the joint effort of the Government and the industry in adopting innovative technologies in building design, construction and repair, buildings in Hong Kong will become safer, more environmentally friendly and more liveable.

     In the symposium, a number of local experts gave presentations the following topics:


  • Innovative Building Design, Construction and Supervision;
  • Application of Technologies for Enhancing Building Safety;
  • Fire Engineering and Safety Management for Mega Projects;
  • Big Data and GIS Application: A New Era of Promotion of Building Rehabilitation and Preventive Maintenance; and
  • Challenges of Drainage Disrepair in a Dense Urban Environment.

     In addition to the speeches mentioned above, the symposium also featured two panel discussion sessions.

     Held at the Xiqu Centre today, the Building Safety Symposium was the closing event of Building Safety Week 2022. Over the past week, the Building Safety Carnival and the Buildings Department Inno Tech Open Day were staged to let members of the public experience the convenience and advancement in the building industry brought about by innovative technologies.

Good Coworking Flagship Adaptive Reuse Building Lands Prestigious Green Building Certification from USGBC, LEED Gold

 1808 Partners LP in partnership with anchor tenant and hospitality provider Good Coworking, has achieved LEED Gold certification for their dynamic, creative coworking, office and loft building on the East side of the Cedars neighborhood, a rapidly growing creative community just South of Downtown and Deep Ellum. This project is the first coworking space in DFW to obtain LEED Gold certification, and the first coworking space in the world focused on inclusive sustainability and wellness, powered by solar.

The LEED journey started in the design and construction phase, where building owners, Good Coworking, and the Architect, Gary Gene Olp, LEED Fellow FAIA of GGO Architects, collaborated with the new owners on a plan for the adaptive reuse of the 66,000 square foot 1950s warehouse building.

When coworking members and guests arrive at the space, it just feels different than other workspaces, from the welcoming, good energy of the people, to the green building features that give it a warm, energizing feel. People are choosing Good Coworking as their workspace because of the sustainability and wellness features, as they know that they are working at a space that cares about the community’s social and environmental impact. The business has attracted entrepreneurs and nonprofits from all over DFW, and they continue to amplify their impact through events and partnerships.

The abandoned building, discovered by Good Coworking Co-Founders, was a brick masonry and reinforced tilt-wall concrete structure, it was dilapidated, but not beyond restoration.The design team recognized the potential of the building. Good Coworking pushed the design team at every turn to maximize the health and productivity of their member community and to realize the most significant reduction in environmental impact possible.

The location of the two story warehouse building was once a thriving neighborhood and business community in the 1950s. The neighborhood fell into decline during the 60’s when the major expressways carved up the neighborhood and drove out the original owners and businesses, and then became home to manufacturing plants and wholesale produce facilities.

The heavy masonry construction was the foundation to realizing the building’s incredible energy efficiency. Studies have shown that even a new building can’t achieve the level of sustainability that the adaptive reuse of an existing building can. The roof was reconstructed utilizing optimized insulation and a white TPO roof membrane, which has a high Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). This roof reflects the sun, which reduces heat gain, keeping the building naturally cooler. Points are awarded in LEED for mitigating urban heat island effect.

Cutting edge technology was designed for the mechanical systems, providing exceptional thermal comfort and increased ventilation at minimal cost. The indoor air quality of the space exceeds by far that found in most of the commercial buildings in Downtown Dallas, and allows for a healthier and more productive work environment.

The building also features 454 PV solar panels providing 149.8 Kilowatts of power, offsetting 46% of the energy demand compared to conventional commercial office space. Good Coworking and 1808 received the solar array through a grant from local NGO Downwinders at Risk’s Sue Pope Fund, to offset air pollution, and benefitted further from a partnership with Sunfinity Renewable Energy to maximize the array and energy rebate.

Good Coworking Co-Founder Amy King is a former employee of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) national organization, whose mission is to transform how buildings are designed, constructed & operated through LEED. USGBC’s vision is that buildings & communities will sustain the health of all life. Amy had learned about coworking as a concept when she was working at USGBC in D.C. and this is when she developed the vision for a coworking community aligned around social and environmental impact, using the LEED framework to ensure environmental rigor for the project.

“In the sense that coworking is a shared workspace, it is inherently a more eco-friendly choice than a business leasing their own building, because it leverages the sharing economy. Good Coworking has served as a sort of living lab for ESG, where we have leaned into the frameworks of LEED, WELL and Certified B Corp, to incubate environmental and social responsibility into every business that works in the space. Our membership is diverse, being 40% African American and 65% female and we come together to get good work done. Part of our imperative is to ensure that anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur has access to this healthy, energizing workspace.” -Amy King – Good Coworking Co-Founder

“Rarely are buildings built like this today. The most sustainable buildings are those that are already built. Not only did I design the project, but I chose to relocate our firm’s office to this location because of its adjacency to downtown in this dynamic redevelopment area and the raw industrial chic of our design. ” -Gary Gene Olp, FAIA, LEED Fellow

“The first time I walked through the property it was in extreme disrepair and was almost slated for demolition. The building had great bones and I could feel the potential to make it a destination for shared workspaces and a resource to support the business community of South Dallas.Amy and Gary’s vision was crucial to the success and community that has flourished there since day one.” -Steve Kinder, Building Co-Owner + Good Coworking Co-Founder

About Good Coworking

Local and woman-owned, Good Coworking was co-founded by conscious company and brand strategist Amy King and co-founder and building co-owner, Steven Kinder – industrial designer, serial entrepreneur, and Loftwall Founder. Its mission is to model and grow a responsible business culture that has a net positive impact in the world.

Good Coworking is the first solar-powered coworking space in the world that is focused on inclusive sustainability and wellness. It opened in early 2018 and has over 200 active members in its vibrant community. Good Coworking is dedicated to serving the growing needs of active entrepreneurs, freelancers, creatives, and small business owners, who need everything from 24/7 office and meeting space, to a part-time place to connect with and learn from others or get focused work done.

The workspace is a welcoming space for women, minority-owned businesses, and freelancers through partnerships, programming, mentoring opportunities, and a hub for educating and inspiring people to embrace sustainable and ethical practices as they incubate their business.

A green courtyard provides a central reprieve, and glass whiteboards around every corner create hubs to begin catalyzing potential ideas into tangible change. The coworking space spans roughly half of the 60,000 sq ft building, offering over two dozen offices and workspaces, ample conference space, and naturally-lit community environments.

About GGO Architects

GGOArchitects ( is an innovative, environmentally focused studio. The practice was founded to effect a fundamental change in the application of the craft of architecture based on an understanding of environmental stewardship. The efforts of the award-winning studio reflect an enterprising approach to energy efficiency, passive solar techniques, natural day lighting and enhanced fresh air systems with an emphasis on reducing construction waste and the use of natural, non-toxic building materials.

For More Information on Good Coworking or their partner organizations, contact Amy King #214.289.6069 or visit

Good Coworking

Amy King


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Amy King Direct Mobile: 202.288.8335



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