Embracing our Past, Shaping the Future

Nine senior American journalists from major US media titles visited Singapore in March to discover the head, heart and soul of our island-state.

From 13-19 March 2014, the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), in partnership with the East-West Center (EWC) hosted nine senior American journalists from the United States (US) on a visit to our shores.  The visit was part of the 2014 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowships (APJF) programme – a programme aimed at strengthening understanding between Asia and the US through study, dialogue and field visits to the Asia Pacific region for American journalists.

The visiting journalists comprised a good  mix of American broadcast, print, and online media titles - the Huffington Post, Fortune, Washington Post,  Seattle Times, CNN International, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Miami Herald International Edition and USA Today. Their visit programme was designed to provide a comprehensive overview of Singapore, including insights into little known aspects of life here.

Among the highlights of their week-long study trip in Singapore were a dynamic and stimulating dialogue session hosted by Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Law, Mr K. Shanmugam, and engaging roundtable discussions with representatives from the business and education sector. The journalists also participated in industry visits to the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the Marina Barrage, to understand and learn about Singapore’s Water Story, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), for an overview of Singapore’s drive for research and development as well as to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), to have an understanding of Singapore’s urban challenges of public housing and planning.

Another highlight of the visit was an insight into Singapore’s growing social enterprise scene – with the group’s participation in the SIF hosted event, Singapore Insights: Social Innovation and Enterprise and the witnessing of the Closing Reception of the SIF Young Social Entrepreneurs’ (YSE) Programme.

Together with our partner, the East-West Center, we look forward to hosting more US journalists in the years to come!

We’ll leave you with a sampling of quotes taken from our visiting Fellows, and take you through a visual representation of the visit programme via our photo montage below.

From 13-19 March 2014, the Singapore International Foundation (SIF), in partnership with the East-West Center (EWC) hosted nine senior American journalists from the United States (US) on a visit to our shores. The visit was part of the 2014 Asia Pacific Journalism Fellowships (APJF) programme – a programme aimed at strengthening understanding between Asia and the US through study, dialogue and field visits to the Asia Pacific region for American journalists.

The visiting journalists comprised a good mix of American broadcast, print, and online media titles - the Huffington Post, Fortune, Washington Post, Seattle Times, CNN International, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Miami Herald International Edition and USA Today. Their visit programme was designed to provide a comprehensive overview of Singapore, including insights into little known aspects of life here.

Among the highlights of their week-long study trip in Singapore were a dynamic and stimulating dialogue session hosted by Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Law, Mr K. Shanmugam, and engaging roundtable discussions with representatives from the business and education sector. The journalists also participated in industry visits to the Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the Marina Barrage, to understand and learn about Singapore’s Water Story, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), for an overview of Singapore’s drive for research and development as well as to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), to have an understanding of Singapore’s urban challenges of public housing and planning.

Another highlight of the visit was an insight into Singapore’s growing social enterprise scene – with the group’s participation in the SIF hosted event, Singapore Insights: Social Innovation and Enterprise and the witnessing of the Closing Reception of the SIF Young Social Entrepreneurs’ (YSE) Programme.

Together with our partner, the East-West Center, we look forward to hosting more US journalists in the years to come!

We’ll leave you with a sampling of quotes taken from our visiting Fellows, and take you through a visual representation of the visit programme via our photo montage below.

This place is the future. Incredibly enhanced and efficient. Amazing. Mr Ryan Bradley, Senior Editor, Fortune

I was tremendously impressed with Singapore and honestly surprised by how much I learned and how much I didn’t know. It was truly eye-opening! Ms Veronica Stoddart, Travel Editor, USA Today

A radically different, ruthlessly logical place that does things Americans would never accept to accomplish social goods we would never think possible. Ms Lydia DePillis, Reporter, Washington Post, Washington DC

Kicking off the programme proper was a dialogue session hosted by Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Law, Mr K. Shanmugam.

The journalists engaging in a lively coffee session debate with Minster after participating in a walkabout session starting at Chong Pang Community Club.

Spirited roundtable discussions with representatives from the Business sector. Speaking to the group were Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of the Singapore Business Federation (gentleman in black suit in centre from right) and Mr Ang Yuit (seated right of Mr Ho), Vice-President for Membership & Training for the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises.

At the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) - gaining insights on Singapore’s urban planning and public housing.

Being introduced to Singapore’s growing social enterprise scene with participation in SIF’s Singapore Insights: Social Innovation and Enterprise and SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme. At the Joan Bowen Café with guest speakers - Mr Loh Teck En (Standing clad in black, in picture on left), Director, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises, sharing insights on the Yellow Ribbon Project and Mr Khong Yoon Kay (Standing clad in a purple shirt, in picture on right), Founder of the Joan Bowen Café, sharing how he and his wife, through the café, have reached out to a community of people with special needs to lead meaningful lives with gainful employment.

Visit to Comcrop at *SCAPE and dialogue with Mr Allan Lim, Chief Executive Officer of Comcrop. YSE Workshop Closing Reception with SIF Executive Director, Ms Jean Tan (from left in picture), YSE 2014 American participant, Mr Derrius Quarles from the YSE team - Million Dollar Scholar (second from left) and SIF Governor and social entrepreneur, Ms Elim Chew (centre in picture).

The journalists exploring Punggol 21 - Singapore’s first public eco-precinct to feature solar panels powering common areas, cool walls and greening on the roof decks to lower the ambient temperature.

Discovering an organic farm in the heart of a housing estate - Kampung Senang; an organic farm within the housing district of Tampines, managed by volunteers who grow organic fruits and vegetables for consumption by beneficiaries. The journalists’ sampled edible crops grown at the farm, were treated to a home-grown locally produced vegetarian lunch and also learnt about a traditional Chinese medical clinic run by volunteers doctors offering free treatment and consultation to patients.

Getting a sneak peek into the daily lives of Singaporeans – sampling local fare at the ever-popular Tiong Bahru Market and touring one of our oldest neighbourhoods, Tiong Bahru.

This account of the 2014 APJF JVP Programme was contributed by SIF staffer Jane Lee.

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