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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.

Filtering by Category: Happenings

FORK Wrapup: Recaps, Photos, Reactions, and More!

Bernise Ang

Can't believe that FORK is over. It's taken this long to really *get* what we did at Artistry last Thursday: our collective hopeful uncynical creativity made tangible. FORK seemed to strike *something* – hanging your "work" out there at it's most raw point, and trusting that no one would tear it apart, but to aid in putting it together. Brutal criticism is too easy, but so too is a casual "that's nice" too. Finding that creative middle-ground is what FORK is all about. So thanks to all our terrific speakers: you guys really did insanely great – giving raw, heartfelt, innovative, and irreverent presentations.

Shaun referring to his speaker notes. Hey, "it's a work-in-progress"!

Hanyang from Funbie Studioes shared stories from their 3D printing adventures – yes, they have a makerbot folks! – building stuff like a Mario Cube Side-Light, just for funsies. As people found out when they touched it, it does indeed light up, and make that da-ta noise we're all familiar with. No magic flower power yet though. Something for the todo list Hanyang!

If you're interested in knowing more about 3D printing, or getting someone to make something, Hanyang's your guy.

He was also the reason why we were so lucky to have the giant red robot. More on that later.

*Update: *Just 3 days later, Hanyang's already created a 3D printed model of Yen's Social Art Project at 13 Wilkie Terrace. Creative collaboration woot woot!

Norvin's starting a movement – to rid the world of rote learning, and build one where students really grok what they're learning. That's easy to say, especially when you've been doing it the "right" way all along. But Norvin wasn't: for much of his student life, he excelled at memorising stuff – so much so that he went on to compete in national memory championships (memory palaces FTW). Yeap. He was the model for rote learning.

In fact, he demonstrated his abilities with a feat of memory daring do – asking the audience to pick out any of the first 1000 digits of Pi (kindly providing us mortals with a pre-calculated list), and with furrowed brows, recalling the accurate number sequence at will.

"Not magic, just memory association techniques. Remember TOA/CAH/SOH?"

This changed when something obvious occured to him – why do I spend so much effort on creating artificial associations between concepts, when I could try to deduce what I need from understanding the fundamental underlying concepts. He illustrated by blowing through puckered lips in contrast to an open mouth exhalation. One feels warm, the other cool. Why? HINT: speed. Bonus HINT: email him!

His plan to turn this into a movement involves bringing together successful professionals on Facebook to share what's really needed in the real world. I'm imagining a Pixar type "It gets better" video now.

At a semi-secret location in Singapore, Yen Phang is transforming an old bungalow into a temporary collaborative art space ("Displacements") challenge artists to engage with the world around them (their immediate physical space and surrounding geography), and encourage them to actively embrace and shape our local cultural identity.

And that's all we're allowed to say :x

ideed.gd by Ling Fu

Ling Fu introduced us to ideed.gd, an online creative craft marketplace dedicated to raising funds for good causes (with crazy, spunky creativity). Gorgeously designed, we're definitely putting some of our work there, if we ever get into making "stuff". She's looking for cool stuff to bring on ideed.gd, so if you know anyone who's made something cool, get in touch!

Also, we really really love that domain name. I mean seriously, ideed.gd?!

Yang from Swarm Studios

Yang (Swarm Studios) blew our minds with a real-time data visualisation of mobile phone gyroscope tracking. That means that he asked everyone to log on to a website, and in real-time, coloured dots started to appear on the black screen in front of us – which moved as we waved our phones around. Neat!

He also explained that he hadn't figured out "the point" to the visulisation yet, just that it was for fun. Which is entirely the point of FORK. Thanks Yang, for explaining FORK better than Shaun did!

Also, we've got a few ideas to use that tech – collaborative art project anyone?

Sid with QuirkCycle

Quirk Quirk Cycle! We're super proud of these guys. Born at UP Singapore's Environment Hackerthon, QuirkCycle was a group of hackerthon misfits (castoffs from their original teams) that found common cause – in enlisting hipster chic in making recyling not just cool, but artistically fun too. It matches people's unwanted "junk" to artists that repurpose them into fantastic works of art. We've got a close eye on them, and you should too ;)

And that's our very first FORK line up. We'll be back in April! Sign up on our mailing list+FB to get notifications.

Thanks to everyone that came, and special props to everyone that helped make FORK a big success!

*Speakers: *Hanyang, Norvin, Yen, Ling, Yang, and Sid

*Venue: *Artistry's Prash, Sam and Marcel (who were incredibly gracious in letting us use their space)

*FORK Team: *Pinji, Shree, Bern, and Shaun

*Photographers: *Eddie, and Josh (gorgeous photos no?)

And special thanks: *NYC for their kind support, *Bart for his (big red robot!) and Hanyang again for helping assemble it!

STUFF PEOPLE SAID ABOUT FORK

Amin from Qiscus:

It was really awesome. The crowd’s amazing. The pitches are really cool.

And spotted on STOMP (yeah, we know...):

S'pore's got talent: Meet the giant red transformer of Victoria Street

STRAY NOTES & OBSERVATIONS

– BIG RED ROBOT. The breakout star of the night, who ended up staying over at Artistry over the weekend. T'was designed by Bart, and painstakingly put together under the hot sun by Bart and Hanyang. FUN FACT: We didn't plan to have a big red robot! Hanyang showed us a picture the day before FORK – and after we saw how it dwarfed Bart (who was standing next to it) we just HAD to have him here!

– MORE Q&A time! Yup, we heard you – there will be some group Q&A time at the next FORK. We wanted to spend as little time as possible with FORKers on-stage, and more time with mingling discussion. But we noticed that there wasn't large enough crowds around FORKers as we thought. So more group Q&A time! Also, we're gonna try to nurture discussion clusters – more on that soon.

– WANNA BE A FORKer? Inspired by what you saw, or know anyone working on something cool too? Tell us – we'd love to have them in our next lineup!

– As you can tell, we could use some people help! If you're into marketing/graphic-design/presentation-management/helping-hands, drop us an email. We're super friendly crazy people who love making nice things happen.

think&drink4: canteen operator politics, and others

Zelig

 (Panelists of Think&Drink4. L-R: Simon Tay, Tessa Wong, Gillian Koh (moderator), Chan Meiyi and Benjamin Lee aka Mr Miyagi)

think&drink4 was different from our other sessions so far – it had a panel, it had politics. It was also all about the biggest thing that’s happened in Singapore since Boon Tong Kee Chicken Rice. And what lies in the road ahead.

The where and when: TAB bar, Wed 25 May, 7-9pm (well, til later, really)

We had a former NMP and environmental champion (Prof Simon Tay), a ST political journalist (Tessa Wong), a freshly baked graduated History major (Chan Meiyi), and one of the most influential bloggers in Singapore (Benjamin Lee aka Mr Miyagi). Moderated by a socio-political policy expert (Dr Gillian Koh).

The audience: A motley mix of bankers, techies, greenies, wonks/experts, public servants, creatives, students, and other fellow social sector folk. 60 people turned up, way more than the 30-40 we were expecting. 29 people also tuned into the Livestream – nearly 50% of the people physically present! We're definitely going to consider doing them for future events.

Twitter: was a MASSIVE hit with everyone online #thinkdrink4

 

KEY THEMES which emerged (and interesting insights which popped up)...

Social media and GE2011

Tessa noted that opposition parties were more effective in using social media in their election campaigns, which may have created a dominant opposition bias in the social media battleground

Canteen operator

Interesting analogy from Simon - Imagine a network of school canteens which are run by a monopoly operator. This operator is a syndicate which allocates stalls to its favoured stallholders which they believe has a track record in serving the best quality food for the students and staff. On the other hand, illegal hawkers just outside the school merely seeking to make a humble living try fruitlessly to serve their fare, being not in the favoured list of this monopoly operator.

Greater participation, greater polarisation?

Gillian offered the idea that social media has had the ability to hasten the polarization of views. There were interesting mixed responses to this!

What we need for democracy 

Tessa expressed the wish that a more critically thinking and deliberative mindset is needed, if we want to experience democracy in our society.  And a mature media landscape is key to that.

Social media and national discourse 

Mr Miyagi commented that social media provides a check and balance, or simply an alternative, to the mainstream media. One issue to consider was whether social media might hasten or hamper the evolving maturity of discourse and diversity of viewpoints

And the most dominant theme

How much space ordinary Singaporeans have to engage and participate in the political process, not just via social media but beyond as well.

And of course ...

We can't finish this without BIG THANK YOU'S to: Ridzuan Ashim for live webstreaming, Cheesey, Nurul Shahida Sharafudin, Allan Lim & wife for photography, Rick and Ezra Er for videography, Douglas O'Loughlin for mediation on standby, and of course, TAB for your awesome help + venue!

       

L-R: Our lovely panel in action; Gillian picking up on thought-provoking tweets; You can't tell from the pic, but Simon's doing some great stand-up here; Bernise thinking aloud about Singaporeans' values and what people want in the media; And our kickass volunteer team (the guys are NOT taller than the girls, they're just on a platform)

Wanna join in the conversation? Check out our FB page.

think&drink4 | #sgelections: what now?

Bernise Ang


heard rumblings of something really interesting next Wednesday?

 
I'm here to confirm that the rumours are true: Syinc is hosting think&drink4 – featuring a panel of smart people saying interesting things about the #sgelections, what what it might mean for our future.
 
Moderated by Gillian Koh, the panel features Simon Tay, Tessa Wong, Chan Meiyi, and Mr Miyagi of SG blogosphere fame.
 
Wednesday, 25th May
7-9pm @ TAB bar (upstairs lounge L3)
Bring interesting friends!
 
 
SOCIAL MEDIA GEEKS: use the hashtag #thinkdrink4. unfortunately, ampersands get no hash love.

Think & Drink!

Bernise Ang

Have you ever had a little fine wine (or potent coffee!) and found yourself thinking - or talking - more unconventionally?                                                                                                                                                  
Syinc and TEDxSingapore are putting this to the test with the first of our Think & Drink events - informal gatherings of weird and wonderful people over a cocktail mix of interesting conversation. 

On Apr 7, we're proud to have with us 3 Ashoka Fellows - each of them world changing social entrepreneurs - to share their stories on what they do.                                                                                  
The Low-Down
Wednesday, 7 April
7.30pm - 9.30pm
hackerspace, 70A Bussorah Street                                                                                                                
Cost: nothing! (suggested $5 to cover nibbles and drinks)
Sign up on our fabulous FB event

Our Special Guests
Preeyanan has organised Thailand’s first cross-sector network of medical malpractice victims, doctors, lawyers, media, and consumer activists into a collective force that is having a measurable impact on public health policy, the judicial system, public opinion, and the standards of the country’s healthcare institutions and medical profession.

Joyce Djaelani Gordon (Indonesia)
Joyce is changing the way Indonesia sees and responds to drug abuse and addiction. She learned that in Indonesia drug abuse was more effectively addressed in the context of families and communities, and has created the first integrated and holistic recovery programme that includes aftercare to help young drug users, and involves their families in prevention, public education, and rehabilitation efforts.

Padmanabha Rao (India)
Rama Rao and Padmanabha Rao, directors of RIVER, have developed a learner-guided method to teaching that not only increases learning but also re-engages teachers in their responsibility as educators. They have created an innovative, cost-effective, and proven methodology that results in higher levels of student learning, increased teacher ownership and greater school accountability.

 

Global Social Innovators Forum

Bernise Ang

The Global Social Innovation Forum is here in Singapore! Organised by Social Innovation Park, it will feature Jet Li as keynote. (For those who don't yet know, he's setting up One Foundation in Singapore to train and groom leaders for the future. See an ST article here)

Do check out the Open Forum on 30 Nov, which is free. The organisers welcome people from all sectors and students of all institutions to attend.

 

Details

30 November 2008 | 9am - 2:30pm | Fusionopolis                                                   Program | Registration | Venue

Curious? www.socialinnovatorsforum.org

See you there!

A Blueprint for Sustainability?

Bernise Ang

Hear ye! There's a public forum happening on sustainable development 28 October.

Yes, yes, we know... "yet another consultation" and all that. But here's what's interesting: This effort is being spearheaded by an entity called the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Sustainable Development (or the IMCSD), that's pulled together from different government agencies. Policy analysts sometimes call this a "whole-of-government" approach, and it's quite a rare opportunity that this much coordination effort has been put in for something like sustainable development.

And we know this is for real - we were one of the (approx) 8 representatives from academia, private and non-government sectors involved in one of the consultations. So thumbs up for the effort taken to engage other folks!

 

Details

28 October 2008 6:45 - 9pm | URA Auditorium, 5th Floor 45 Maxwell Rd

More info and sign-up here