Visits & Insights
Singapore Insights: Social Innovation and Enterprise
“From the perspective of man and environment, Singapore has been able to turn disadvantages into assets. Take for example Singapore’s water problem, the country has been able to overcome this disadvantage by implementing various water initiatives yet still ensure that Singaporeans live in harmony with the nature.”
Reflections by Ms Wang Mengyuan,
Student Representative, Renmin University
SIF organised a session of “Singapore Insights: Social Innovation and Enterprise” for a visiting delegation of Chinese scholars from the Siyuan Programme (思源计划) on 24 August 2016. The one-day session, for 66 students and 7 teachers from Renmin and Xiamen University, introduced SIF’s work in bridging communities to do good.
As part of the programme, the students and teachers had the opportunity to dialogue with representatives from three Young Social Entrepreneurs programme alumni – Soule, Society Staples and The Dorsal Effect. The dialogue offered insights into the motivations and challenges behind the enterprises as well as the creative solutions that the young Singaporeans are working on various social issues.
The group also took a tour of the Marina Barrage Sustainable Singapore Gallery to learn about the Singapore Water Story that tells how the nation has met its water needs through innovative policies and research. The tour also gave insights into the vision of Singapore’s waterways of the future.
The programme concluded with an environmental patrol and clean-up session with Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Waterways Watch Singapore, allowing the students to be actively involved in a social cause. The participants also experienced first-hand the Marina Bay reservoir that was formed as part of the Marina Barrage development, a result of the Singapore Water Story.
The students of the Siyuan Programme are selected from six Chinese universities based on their academic excellence and leadership potential. The programme is envisioned as a scholarship to cultivate social responsibility and the spirit of service among outstanding Chinese students. Students are trained in social innovation, leadership and community engagement in the three-year programme.
“The main thing that moved me is that although Singapore has a waste problem, it has come up with many diverse ways of tackling the problem, from increasing the number of cleaners to educating the public.
The key take away from this afternoon’s programme is Singapore’s perseverance to solve problems. China also faces many challenges and we can learn from Singapore to keep providing solutions and work towards building a better country.”
Reflections on the programme by Mr Wang Bingjun,
Student Representative, Xiamen University
We run Visits & Insights programmes for policy leaders, decision-makers and opinion-multipliers to strengthen international understanding and inspire action for good. World communities are introduced to Singapore's policy innovations and way of life, to gain understanding of Singapore and increase opportunities for cross-cultural collaborations.
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