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Syinc Blog

Here we muse about creativity & innovation, and document (some of) the work we're doing about it in Singapore.

Think&Drink12: A Special Syinc-IDEO Collab

Bernise Ang

Our latest Think&Drink was a special one - our first (public) collaboration with the good folk at IDEO. We're particularly excited about this one - we've been exchanging ideas with the guys at the Singapore office for a while, and now we're co-designing a small project together (more details later lah). But doing a Think&Drink together and sharing some creative craziness with a larger crowd was too fun an idea not to do.

Some backstory: During UP Singapore in mid June, an urban innovation festival in Singapore which Syinc is a partner of, we presented some of our ideas on ground-up innovation. What it looks like, what are the conditions neccesary for it to flourish, and to what extent government should step in (or rather, step back). Less than 48 hours later, we find out that our friends at IDEO had been thinking about pretty much the exact same theme, and got approached to co-host a Think&Drink. How's that for serendipity.

And so the topic for Think&Drink12: Community Ownership and Ground-Up Change. Moderated by no less than Paul Bennett, Chief Creative at IDEO (who happens to be in town!).


Daryl Arnold / Newton Circus as innovative+sustainable business guy
Allan Lim / The Living Project as ground-up community action guy 
Leon Voon / Public Service Division as enlightened civil servant
Bernise Ang / Syinc as creative+social+business gal
Paul Bennett / IDEO as Oprah



More pics on our FB page here - like us if you, well, like!

Some of the more poignant dialogues between the panelists and our moderator proved to be very insightful, such as Daryl’s response to Paul’s question on why he was so positive regarding active interaction between citizen and government, saying that it was because the Singapore government has found positive results with such a method and was trying to make it systemic, quoting that Singapore had “incredible openness, but it is hard to notice it from the inside looking outward.”
Another issue that came up was on the capability for social media to evoke change in which there was a unanimous call for responsibility by both citizen and government. Allan mentioned that the government and policy-makers needed “thicker skin” by trying not to read anything that is politically slanted, while Paul suggested that while there would always be naysayers, it was essential to include these naysayers in the design process to make the product better.

As Paul went into the subject of how do we keep the conversation simple and away from hysteria about measuring every phase and yet staying on track, he came up with an alternative meaning to the acronym KPI: keeping people interested. Bernise suggested the reason for this phobia of KPIs is that the majority of mistrust is due to misinformation about these indicators. She suggested having more success stories of organizations that have met their objectives while hitting KPI targets, while returning these KPIs to first principles so that there is understanding at a human level, which coincided with Leon’s point that there are many individuals who have much to contribute, but have fallen through administrative cracks.


Another update coming soon - stay tuned.