Discussions about Singapore’s inequality and class divide problems have dominated headlines in recent weeks, and with the plethora of speeches, commentaries, and editorials – as well as a new national conversation in the pipeline – Clarence and I thought that having a face-to-face discussion among young Singaporeans will help to nudge the discourse ahead. So after a brief exchange on Twitter and over text, within the span of five days, we drafted a write-up and a programme outline, before sending invitations to guest speakers.
So here’s the three-point pitch, for the event on July 14 (Saturday), 10am to 12.30pm. If you’re interested to join us as a facilitator or as a participant, register your interest (below). Find out more about the guest speakers and pre-discussion resources too (below):
1. A structured discussion on income inequality and the class divide: The focus is on the participants (between the ages of 16 and 35), who will share their personal experiences, discuss the problem, and explore solutions. Guest speakers will help to provide context and to nudge the discussions, and before the session reading resources will also be offered.
Three 45-minute segments are planned, for now: First, sharing by guest speakers (on the problems); second, small group discussions (participants sharing their experiences); and third, a panel discussion (on potential solutions and how to move ahead).
2. An emphasis on participation and diversity: Especially for the second segment – with the small-group, World Café-styled discussions, during which participants will reflect on their experiences based on guiding questions released before the session – there should be diversity in terms of race, school and educational background, as well as socio-economic status.
3. An iterative and ongoing endeavour: Before the discussion and throughout the registration phase, suggestions will be sought from the guest speakers. Participants, thereafter, will also shape the steps after the discussion.
Register for the Discussion: July 14 (Saturday), 10am to 12.30pm
Guest Speakers and Pre-Discussion Resources
Chan Lai Fung
Permanent Secretary (Education), Ministry of Education
Lawyer, Poet, and Co-Founder of ReadAble
Senior Education Correspondent, The Straits Times
Associate Professor Ho Kong Weng
Associate Professor of Economics (Education), School of Economics, Singapore Management University
Dr. Leong Chan-Hoong
Senior Research Fellow and Head, IPS Social Lab, Institute of Policy Studies
Associate Professor Irene Ng
Associate Professor of Social Work and Director of the Social Service Research Centre, National University of Singapore
Alvin Sheng Hui Tan
Head of Public Policy, South East Asia, Facebook
CEO, Halogen Foundation
This discussion is a closed-door event. Only registered participants will be allowed entry.