Almost a hundred professionals and volunteers from the non-profit and social impact space filled up our cosy venue at National Museum’s Food For Thought for our very first Fuze Night of 2017. Conceptualized by Be An Idea and co-hosted by The Social Co. and the Institute of Societal Leadership (SMU), Fuze Nights serves as a platform for our humble, local superheroes to relax, connect and learn from others in the same space. We were super excited to hear from our exciting line-up of speakers. First up, a huge thank you to all for coming as all proceeds (net of transaction fees) for ticket sales goes to our chosen charity for the month – Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS). The Cerebral Palsy Alliance Singapore (CPAS), was established in 1957 to provide persons with Cerebral Palsy and multiple disabilities with early intervention, special education, rehabilitation services, day activity centre programmes, vocational training and gainful employment in Singapore.
First up, we had our knowledge speaker for the evening, Josiah Ng, Content and Experiential Marketing Consultant from DDB’s Tango5, a marketing agency that drives advocacy work share about how they help organisations achieve greater social impact. Starting with these two questions, “Should we care?” and “Should we do?” Josiah reiterates that there is no better time to do social impact work, as 80% of all Southeast Asian consumers are willing to pay more for responsible brands. He encourages us to understand what a brand’s purpose is and that it is possible to support causes that are commercially viable, sustainable and beneficial.
Next up, we had our first inspiration speaker(s) share about the Dakota Crescent Project. Cai Yinzhou, founder of Geylang Adventures, shared about how he believes that trails are a great way to showcase the neighbourhood whilst simultaneously highlighting its social issues and how to solve them. He explained that 2016 was the expiry date for Dakota Crescent and how they were going beyond preserving stories – they have recently submitted a conservation report to the government. Jeremy Ho, from Run And Gun Media, came up next to share about how his experience with his interactive documentary Lahore Landing, encouraged him to want to do the same for Dakota Crescent. He shares about how the tok tok man, community centre and the residents of Dakota Crescent form a huge part of the estate and its memories. Moving forward, the duo and their team intend to create a toolkit and to complete their documentation via an interactive website, retrospective event, educational activities and eventually, placemaking.
Up next, Aziza Sheerin of General Assembly shares about how we are on the cusp of the 4th industrial revolution. This is the fusion of all technology - digital, biological, physical and this has the potential to increase the quality of life. The downside is that this could give a rise to social inequality as well. Aziza had some interesting statistics for us all - The global labour force is expected to be at approximately 3.5 billion people by 2020 and 65% of children entering primary school will end up working in jobs that do not exist today. General Assembly strongly believes in lifelong learning and how it is committed to changing the lives of people by equipping them with job-ready skills. She shared an example of how an ex-SMRT train operator is now a web developer. She also spoke about the opportunity fund and how it serves to fund those from lower-income families who cannot afford courses. Aziza closed her presentation with a word of encouragement to all corporates to partner with them and to make education accessible for all.
Having experienced a relatively sheltered childhood, Shuo Yan shared about his curiousity as to why poverty exists in seemingly perfect and modern first world countries like Singapore. He recognises that the world’s problems are insurmountable and that it isn’t something that the public sector alone can solve – the private sector must support on all fronts. He proceeded to share about shared value – the belief that a commercially viable business and social value can coexist. Shuo Yan about Grab’s strategic partnership with the World Bank (on their open traffic platform) and how the data gathered aids governments to manage traffic more efficiently. He also shared about their work with (these)abilities and how they worked towards making Grab accessible to all.
His parting words of advice - Know your market, meet real needs and stay human.
We then moved on to the Q&A session where speakers shared tips on how to better communicate an organisation’s results to their various stakeholders. The event ended with an open networking session where guests were invited to mingle and get to know each other better. Special shout out to Idea Ink for their wonderful illustrations - They simplify complexity in succinct visuals: making abstract ideas concrete, memorable, and meaningful.
Fuze Nights typically take place on the last Wednesday of each month. Look forward to more insightful talks and opportunities to connect every last Wednesday of each month.