February 29, 2024

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Singapore Building a Future-Ready Social Ecosystem

Tote Board (Singapore Totalisator Board), a statutory board of the Ministry of Finance has contributed $6 million over three years to improve Singapore’s social ecosystem’s future readiness, partnering with the Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC) and the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) to encourage action-oriented, evidence-based futures solutions.

A total of $3 million will be directed towards the new “Future-Ready Society Impact Fund,” which will bring together community partners from the People-Private-Public sectors to collaborate on solutions for a future-ready social ecosystem.

Future research will inform these solutions, which will be co-designed with partners and driven by the community. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies established the Fund.

The Future-Ready Society Impact Fund promotes the piloting of innovative solutions that have the potential to improve Singapore’s social ecology. This could include new or different answers to society’s terrible issues, complex social quandaries, or emerging societal requirements on the horizon.

The goal is to broaden the range of proven and validated solutions that can be quickly deployed in the different possible alternative future situations that may emerge. The pilots will be co-created and co-driven by residents and community partners.

The Knowledge Partnership programme is a crucial enabler that supports the Future-Ready Society Impact Fund. This includes futures-oriented research and knowledge development led by LKYCIC, with the purpose of identifying possible gaps and areas for action in the realm of the future.

Also, the Knowledge Partnership will allow for in-depth research in the following two subject areas, resulting in the discovery of viable ideas to be launched through the Future-Ready Impact Fund. The partnership’s thematic focus will evolve in response to the learning from future research and action-oriented future solutions.

This subject intends to investigate how to better support vulnerable groups in Singapore by encouraging the community to come together to develop a bigger network of support around these persons and by building resilient families to serve as trustworthy sources of support for vulnerable individuals. Potential pilots could include new ways of mobilising community assistance and providing social care, as well as broader policies that promote economic inclusion, social cohesion, and social mobility.

This issue will explore the future of civic involvement and how citizens’ views can be effectively integrated into the government process in a more equitable, effective, consistent, and constructive manner. With the advancement of digital technologies and interactive platforms, citizens may now more easily voice their opinions and politicians can better understand public mood.

Interactive platforms have enabled citizens to engage in dialogue with their peers, fostering vibrant online communities centred around shared interests and values. This digital connectivity has created virtual spaces where individuals can connect, collaborate, and exchange ideas, leading to the formation of online communities and movements that amplify collective voices and promote social change.

The ease with which citizens can voice their opinions through digital platforms has also increased transparency in public discourse. It has become more difficult for governments, organisations, and institutions to ignore or suppress public sentiment, as digital conversations and feedback can quickly gain traction and reach a wide audience. This has prompted a greater level of accountability and responsiveness from decision-makers, who are increasingly compelled to listen to the voices of citizens and address their concerns.

To be future-ready, new kinds of civic involvement must be imagined and led, driven by the following principles: inclusion, transparency, and trust. Alternative methods of bringing citizens together to participate in civic processes and engage in collective deliberation to broaden the common ground should be considered as potential pilots.


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SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


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