Most people seldom use the word "ecosystem". I seldom use it because it has complicated meanings depending on who uses it. Scientists use it in a different way. Business people use it differently. The word is now used more often but many people steer clear of it. To "steer clear of" something means to avoid something or someone. I decided to discuss the word “ecosystem” instead of steering clear of it after someone told me about a Legislative Council meeting last week to discuss Hong Kong's Cyberport. When it opened in 2004, critics said the government's real intention of starting a Cyberport was to create a real estate project instead of a digital innovation hub.
The word "ecosystem" can mean all living things in an area and the way they affect each other and the environment. When biologists use it, they mean a biological community of organisms that interact with each other in a particular environment. The huge coral reef in the waters of Australia's eastern Queensland is the world's largest ecosystem consisting of coral reefs and marine life. When business people use the word “ecosystem”, they mean a group of businesses or business activities that affect and work well with each other. These businesses compete but also cooperate. Hong Kong's Cyberport is a good example of a business ecosystem.
During last week's meeting on Cyberport, Felix Chung Kwok-pan who represents the textiles and garment sector in Legco, said his recent visit to Cyberport with other legislators opened their eyes, which means to realize or see the truth about something. Chung Kwok-pan said Cyberport is not a residential project as many Hong Kong people still believe because he saw many high-tech start-ups and smart people. What he meant was Cyberport is a business ecosystem or a digital innovation hub. I have not been to Cyberport in many years. When I was last there it looked like a residential project. Chung Kwok-pan is my friend. I will visit again to see if it opens my eyes!
大多數人都很少用到“ecosystem”一字。我自己就很少用到此字，因為它取決於誰在使用而有着複雜的意思。科學家用的時候是一個意思，商人用時又是另一個意思。現在這個字愈趨普遍，但許多人steer clear of it。To“steer clear of”something即是去避開某物或某人。當有人告訴我，上星期立法會會議有討論香港的數碼港時，我決定要討論“ecosystem”這個字而非避而不談（steering clear of）這個字。數碼港於二○○四年落成，批評者說政府成立數碼港的真正目的，是去創建一個地產項目而非數碼科創中心。
而在上星期討論數碼港的會議上，在立法會代表紡織及製衣業界的鍾國斌，說他最近與其他立法會議員到訪數碼港，實在opened their eyes，意即大開眼界、恍然大悟，赫然發現了驚訝的事實。鍾國斌說數碼港並非如許多香港人所想般是一個住宅項目，因為他也見到許多高科技的初創和能幹的精英。他的意思是，數碼港是一個商業生態系統（business ecosystem），又或可說是數碼創新大本營。我已多年沒有去過數碼港了，我上次到訪時，確實像個住宅項目。鍾國斌是我的朋友。我會再去一趟，看看它可會開我的眼界（opens my eyes）！
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧