Volunteering is a ‘Real World’ education — Dinner with Durrie Hassan, Executive Director of Carlton Mansfield Capital

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their ventures.

There is far more than what meets the eye when it comes to Durrie Hassan, Executive Director of Carlton Mansfield Capital one of Hong Kong’s many financial services providers.

Though known mostly for building companies and fundraising, Durrie is also a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, has worked with multiple social enterprises, and is currently developing the venture philanthropy and impact investment division for the Carlton Mansfield Capital head office.

Over dinner, Durrie talked about what drives him to give back so much to society and the importance of learning something new.

What’s your life philosophy?

Always be kind to others.

That’s what I always aspire to do. I extend that kindness to everybody, those who I work with and even strangers. I’ve always liked Google’s motto of ‘Don’t be evil’ and now ‘Do the right thing’. Kindness translates into patience and empathy, and those qualities can get you a long way in life.

Is there a habit you’d like to share?

I try and make it a point to learn something new everyday.

It doesn’t matter if its trivia, studying for an online certificate or a simple skill. When there is something that I find interesting or don’t understand, I will look it up immediately. Just today I was reading about Myanmar’s independence from the British in 1948. The point is, I can now annoyingly interject into almost any conversation (if relevant) saying “By the way, did you know that …”. I like to think that it is useful.

Is there something outside your profession that you can teach us?

I can teach you some beginner level stencil making and spray painting! I learnt these skills from volunteering with an NGO called Street Poppy, which works with at-risk youth from deprived communities. We recently decorated a new children’s psychiatric ward in Kwai Chung Hospital. So as a takeaway:

Volunteering is not just about helping people, but it’s also a lot of fun.

What is one action that you want everyone to take away from tonight’s meeting?

Since I am working on a new project related to waste, water and the environment, I’d like you all to think about doing something good for the environment that also makes you happy. Whether it’s picking up a piece of trash on the beach, or planting trees, or even going vegetarian for a week.

Thank you Durrie for raising 106 volunteer hours to The Yeh Family Foundation, Hong Kong Guide Dog Association, HKUST Sustainability Unit and more!

Big thanks to our photographer Tsz Yin from KaChick for the awesome photos!

For more amazing opportunities, visit Time Auction to volunteer and meet inspiring mentors!

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Time Auction is a charity that advocates volunteerism. We encourage volunteering with inspiring experiences, while connecting skilled-volunteers with NGOs.