Taiwan’s digital-democrat, Audrey Tang, joins World Urban Forum

Digital Minister Tang schools UN Forum on Taiwan’s social enterprise

Audrey Tang speaks for the second time at a UN Forum. (Image from GovInsider)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang, (唐鳯), participated remotely in the United Nation’s (UN) ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 9) this week. 

Tang posted on Facebook on Tuesday that she was excited to receive an invitation to participate in the forum which was held in Kuala Lumpur. Tang participated in a similar UN forum on internet governance, also remotely, in December, according to CNA.


(CNA image) 

Tang’s presentation focused on how social enterprise exists in Taiwan, and its business model designed to solve social problems. Social enterprise is a business that operates out of social concern, not simply for profit.

Social enterprises in Taiwan include organizations such as the Children Are Us Foundation and Homemakers Union Co-op. Certain crowdfunding campaigns also generated social welfare, like Agoood's, which raised over NT$1 million to change the role of street vendors to provide more needed services like WiFi hot spots and phone charging, Tang wrote in a Medium article

According to Tang, 4 out of 5 Taiwanese support the idea of social enterprise whereas only 1 out of 5 Taiwanese can name one.


(Image from Audrey Tang's Medium article) 

Tang is part of the Social Innovation Lab in Taipei, a space which provides government services to over a hundred social enterprises and other creative ventures. There are four similar spaces around Taiwan, in Kaohsiung, Taichung, Chiayi, and Hualien.

“The 17 Sustainable Development Goals put forward by the UN are not only a world vision, but are also embodied in Taiwanese society and offered to the world, strengthening the possibilities for transnational connection,” said Tang.

In addition to Tang, members of Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) also participated in the forum and discussed a project to develop tourism in Belize, according to CNA.

Since the UN does not recognize Taiwan yet Tang participated in the discussion, albeit remotely, attending Chinese representatives voiced protest to her presence.   

Tang is famous for supporting radical democratic and digital policy as well as an increasingly transparent government. She won’t answer questions on policy, for instance, unless the information can be published publicly.

Below is the full video published by Tang on Facebook and Twitter: