Past Themes & Essay Questions

Born Digital = Disconnected?


In her book “Disconnected”, Carrie James calls attention to the moral and ethical blind spots, as well as the disconnects in the use of the internet, particularly in social media and peer-to-peer online interactions. She discusses the need to consider moral and ethical implications of online behavior to foster good citizenship. Reflect on your use of social media and share the ethical dimensions of a personal experience.

A Positive Mindset


Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we will be happy. In his book The Happiness Advantage , Shawn Achor draws on large-scale research to show that in fact the opposite is true. When we are positive and happy, we are actually able to be more engaged, creative, and productive, and therefore, become more successful.

Describe how you adopted a positive mindset to be more engaged, creative and productive or to improve your relationship with others.



“Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day-in, day-out. Not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years. And working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” - Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, author of Grit

Think about what you are passionate about, what you have shown not just enthusiasm for but also endurance. Share an experience that shows how you have demonstrated and/or cultivated grit in your own life.



“The latest neuroscience research suggests that developing our creative potential will lead to greater success and fulfillment – in our personal and professional lives.” - Dr. Shelley Carson

Give 2 examples of how you have cultivated creativity in your life and what creative ambitions you have.



"It's a small world after all” may turn out to be more than just popular song lyrics as globalisation and technological advancements expand and diversify our social networks. Recent multi-disciplinary research shows that social networks have a powerful influence on our choices and behaviour, from fashion preferences to food selection, from what makes us healthy to what makes us happy.

Think about your own social network – your friends, family, school community as well as people you know mainly through the Internet – and describe either how your social network has influenced a major decision you have made OR the way you express your creativity.

A Good Society - What Money Can't Buy


Drawing from your personal experience and/or observations, what do you think Hong Kong needs that money cannot buy?

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