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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 Tag: Think&Drink

Call for Open Mic Pitchers now Open!

Bernise Ang

Clue: Wizard hats? Yes really!

OPEN MIC IS BACK!

Once again, we're looking for folks-with-crazy-world-changing-ideas! If you've been struggling alone with questions like "is this actually a good idea?", or looking for potential teammates/mentors/funders, get in touch.

We'd love to provide you with an audience of 50-60 such folks eager to help you "figure it out".

See what our previous open mic shenanigans looked like. (Spoiler: folks from Saught, The Everyday Revolution, and others)

Email tnd@syinc.org with a brief description of your idea by Feb 14.

Jamming with IDEO, again

Bernise Ang

Hi y'all!

Thanks to everyone who came along to our creative jamming night this week - we had a truly terrific session, fuelled by your unbridled quirky creative idealism.
 
This was our second Syinc IDEO collaboration this year, but in a totally different style from the first, and it blew us all away. For those not in the know, we had a night of creative concepting, coming up with weird, wacky and wonderful ideas. Everything sprouted from a single OpenIDEO challenge
How might we inspire and enable communities to take more initiative in making their local environments better?
 
So what happened on the night? (Not everything was an app!) Here's a snapshot of the concepts - and there were many more: 
 
 
THE TIME MACHINE: Mobile App that crowdsources the history of spaces in Singapore (like Foursquare check-ins, but for events in our past). Also by getting folks to submit old photos, a virtual world alá PhotoSynth could be generated – now imagine scrubbing across the screen to jump backwards and forwards in time.
 
 
PARTY TRAIN: Late night MRT trains wired up to party – with speakers, a DJ, and moodlights – it's not to difficult to imagine that revellers can continue their partying all the way home, secretly getting them home without drunk driving. It's like the best anti drink driving solution ever. Maybe?

(also, this was voted crowd favourite!) 

COMPLAINTEREST: What if complaints were creative opportunities? Well… they are! This team decided that by aggregating complaints, they'd be able to craft community calls-to-action: getting community innovators/entrepreneurs to take on the challenges. After all, one man's complaint is another man's business case right?

(COMMUNITY) LIBRARY OF EVERYTHING: So how do you solve the "I'd like to use something, but only need it infrequently" problem? Well, that's what we've used libraries for (books). Why don't we extend that metaphor over to -hardware tools, cooking implements, instruments, "stuff", or even services?- everything else? Imagine walking past to what appears to be a wonderfully curated garage sale – but year-round, and with no money ever changing hands. It's like a community Library of Everything.

Now go make it real, or someone else will. ;) Start here.

   

L-R: Khairu, Haresh & gang. Quintessential Dave. In the thick of it. More great pics here. Credit: Shawn Danker

But seriously. We'd really like to see some of these ideas (and the others, and others) happen. With a little bit of TLC, we can cause a little creative joy & spontaneity. If you've gotten just as stoked as we have - and have already posted a bunch load of things on the OpenIDEO challenge page - get in touch. We may have fun(d) things for you.

Think&Drink13: A "design night" experiment

Bernise Ang

So - we've been having a bunch of TED-style talks and a coupla talkshow-style panels. ADD-esque as we are, we were itching to try out something new. 

We'd been toying around with the idea of, well, toying around. We've always got lots of ideas we want to get our hands on, and lots of challenges out there we feel are problems worth tackling. 

It just so happens that we had recently concluded a consulting project* on migrant workers, which reveal some really good insights about the situation of foreign domestic workers in Singapore. (Our client was HOME.) Along with that, our investigations threw up a whole bunch of opportunity areas on particular dimensions of the issue - industry practice, socio-cultural attitudes, power dynamics, motivations and aspirations, etc. We had such rich data, and not enough resources to take the concepts we'd developed further!

So we thought: Why not throw it to our (very awesome) Syincommunity to (semi)crowd -generate some more concepts?

*We'll be putting together a mini-series of presentations on this. If you're keen, watch this space.

Here's what happened. 

PS. Larger images of resulting concepts: Aid network hotline, Daycare NS -meets- MaidBook, Gov unit bridging employers and employees, Back-to-basics Kampung Spirit.

The spread | Shaun, our host extraordinare   

 

 

Team C deep in discussion | Team D hard at work  

 

 

Team A: aid network hotline (go figure!) 

 

 

Team C: Bridging the employer-employee gap
Winner! Team D: Kampung Spirit  

 

 

Team B: NS Daycare meets MaidBook
And *that's* how it's done.

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!).

ON THE SOFA:

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.

Think&Drink11: Everything is a Remix

Bernise Ang

Yes, everything is a Remix. We've always tinkered around with creativity, concepts, stuff that comes outta brains.. the whole, "ideas having sex" thing. It kinda came to how all this stuff is... combinatorial, really.

So when we came across Kirby Ferguson's video series by the above title, we were totally inspired! It came across to us as part history lesson on the borrowing and mixing of ideas, and part socio-political commentary on intellectual property. Eye-opening. 

The evening: A no-ads, no-frills, beer-in-hands screening of all 4 videos. (We highly recommend 3: The Elements of Creativity and 4: System Failure. Actually, we just recommend you watch the whole thing, it's so good. And support Kirby's effort if you can.)

Best surprise of the night: Kirby coming on Skype (!) to answer our motley Q&A! Thanks Kirby for being such a sport.

This event is a tribute to Remix as a framing of all things cultural and creative. Cheers.

Preliminaries  

 

 

Indeed.

The audience (and we should mention, the great venue at Pigeonhole!)Kirby! Kirby! Kirby! (no lah, the chanting didn't actually happen. It IS Singapore you know. Lol.)The thinking before the drinking (oh wait, beer's already in hand)Ceteris paribus, drinking aids thinking. (Except for you kids under 18!)Good conversation, we reckon, is also combinatorial. (Of interesting people. ;))That's all folks ;)

T&D10: The Open Mic Experiment

Bernise Ang

So we realized that since we were sick of lectures and that after all it is T&D’s 10th edition. We wanted to do things really differently.

So as our guest speaker for this time … we had you.

Ten unknown speakers from startups or not-yet-started-ups pitching their ideas looking for support, funding or just simply your facebook like. 

The very very quick low-down on the line-up:

Pamela & Adeline • Saught

Jewellery from scrap metal from decommissioned mines in Cambodia. Instruments for war into pieces for peace.

Sophia • The Everyday Revolution

Art from autistic adults who slip through the cracks after their education. And they can draw really well.

Alan • Unheard Theatre

A performing arts group for the hearing impaired.

Dione • Kenyan Riders

So that talented athletic Kenyans can have employment – through having them cycle professionally. Because there has not been an African Lance Armstrong yet in history.

Ivan • BagoSphere

Providing employability training for rural Pinoy youth so as to bridge the gap between call centres saturated in Makati City, and rural youth seeking jobs and opportunity.

Kenneth & Linan • openlectures

Quality, free education through video lessons online. Because education should not be given to only those with money for tuition.

Desiree

Because Singapore isn’t that boring. So why do people say so? Shadowing cool Singaporeans and their lives might just show otherwise.

Hui Ying (and Yong Hao)

For soil, people and community. Promoting urban gardening to help the community at large.

Brennan • Geeks & Gov

Connecting geeks and government. Because geeks have good ideas, and gov could use some of them.

After the 9, we made an impromptu call for anyone else who felt inspired to pitch after hearing everyone - and we had one! Rusydi from Reactor, which builds up students with entrepreneurial skills through mentorship in schools. The plug: for alumni of all schools to join the effort!

Rusydi plugging Reactor, impromptu

At the end, we had the pitchers in a firing squad-ish formation of sorts, as they took questions via paper aeroplanes thrown by the audience.

We were really chuffed 1) because the turnout was good and even made Broun Café rather cramped, 2) because the number of people wanting to pitch were way beyond our expectations and 3) because the participants shared that they found it useful - whether this was because of the feedback they got from the flying paper aeroplanes or the people. 

You can bet that we’ll be having another such event soon. And that all the other people who we didn’t managed to squeeze within our time will have another chance to engage a crowd as large as this time. Watch this space.

 

Think&Drink 9: The Kid

austin

It’s not often that we ask fourteen year olds to speak at T&D. And it’s not often that these fourteen year olds can boast to have been involved in getting a million trees planted.

Actually the number is 12.5 billion. But then we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

Felix Finkbeiner was working on a school assignment about climate change when he was nine. His research led him to Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai and her campaign to plant 30 million trees in Africa. That inspired him to plant his own tree in his school in Bavaria.

It’s been five years since that first tree was planted, and now his campaign has gone global. Since then he has spoken in front of the United Nations (his biggest challenge so far according to him), and with his team has conducted 112 "academies" (workshops run by Plant-for-the-Planet) in 16 countries. The entrepreneurial youngster even has his own new retail product, Change Chocolate, coming up this year.

He does what he does because, in his own words – “the year 2100 is within his lifetime”. The future which is abstract to many adults will be a reality for his generation (and ours!). And it’ll be too late by the time he’s an adult.

At the moment, he already has twelve and a half thousand children with him. His goal for 2020 is for a million people worldwide planting trees with him, and to even create the world's first global political party. “When people work together, they have power – and enough to make our own revolution if necessary."

His dad, who was there with us, shared (rather candidly, and in good humour) that he doesn’t think that he’s all that special (his words!). He just reckons it’s in Felix’s personality to be speaking about these things. But as Felix mused, all this could not be possible without his family – his father to travel around with him, and even allowing the first employee of Plant-for-the-Planet (Felix’s organization) to use their house as an office.

Despite having the facts about climate change at the tips of his fingers, and (from what we understand) a fairly substantial young female fan base, Felix is humble. Upon being asked why he thinks adults make the bad decisions he’s fighting against, he just shrugs his shoulders and says frankly “I don’t know”. 

But don’t take him too lightly. Just a few days ago Felix gave a presentation to a business conference. Usually the applause and the standing ovations come at the end. This time it came in front, and not just any business conference – two thousand CEOs stood in applause as he walked into the room to give his speech.

During the evening, he also said that there are always people who don’t take you seriously. But then, there are always people who don’t take the issues seriously too. Neither should stop you from doing what you do.

So thank you, Felix (and dad), for an inspiring evening – a night with a fourteen year-old who has planted so many trees, and who we reckon will inspire many more over his lifetime.

think&drink7: The day we tackled some of the shittiest issues on Earth

austin

Or a night at the friendly Pigeonhole with WTO founder, Mr. Jack Sim.

That’s right. WTO.

The World Toilet Organisation.

Jack told us about his childhood, about talking too much in class and getting caned on stage. He thanks his education experience for not making him too comfortable – having no other opportunity after leaving school, he went into business.

So, “good things come from bad things too”. He went on to start 16 companies over his adult life. One of them was the Restroom Association of Singapore and the WTO, organisations doing us all very very big and dirty services by campaigning for cleaner public toilets - and soon placed him on the international social entrepreneurship map.

By self-admission, he wants “everything” in life. In a poignant moment, he mused: there's no need to live life as a scoreboard (contrary to what our system teaches all good Singaporeans). He also saw no point in “buying chocolate coloured Louis Vuitton bags to one-up each other”? He’d rather do something that he likes with other … chocolate coloured stuff.

That white shirt he’s wearing in the photos? He bought it because it reminded him of toilet tiles.

Jack Sim "the shirt"

And why would he not? He shared a golden insight relevant to so many people in Corporate Singapore: why trade dollars for minutes – especially after you’re already satisfied. Why be a prostitute selling your body for money to your boss or company?

Jack talks about enjoying every moment in his life – including on the toilet. And whether his business, his wife (he thanks her for “forgiving him for what he is”, to his upcoming Toilet film and toilet museum under the WTO, he clearly likes what he is doing. And he advises us to do the same.

After all, in his words, “if you can't shit, life has no meaning.”

think&drink6

Chris

Davide Bonomi showing us a picture from the Shawshank Redemption17 Dec 2011

Syinc held our last think&drink for 2011 at The Pigeonhole - and it was a night of some introspection and lots of conversation.  

We opened with Davide Bonomi from Dufresne Research sharing his experiences organising the EV Li-ion Battery Forum and the Energy Storage Forum. Davide talked about the need for greater collaboration to spur innovation - hence, Dufresne specialises in creating networks and stimulating co-creation through their events. What was particularly interesting? Well, Dufresne's events are often highly technical - with each event having a certain niche that attracts select users. By doing this, Davide is able to move the industry discussion deeper on those specific niche areas. And did you know that Andy Dufresne from the Shawshank Redemption was the source of Davide’s inspiration for this company? Because of his fierce optimism in the bleakest of moments, because of his moral fibre, and of course, his eventual triumph. Perhaps a spirit that will resonate with many, many change makers.

Then, we tried something new to think&drink. We had 2 special guests make pitches on projects they were working on.

(This is an idea we're testing out: that people not only want to see those who've done impressive stuff, but also get a whiff of stuff that's still brewing and in the works.)  

Vincent Perrier-Trudov 

First off, we had Vincent Perrier-Trudov from Citizens for Social Business and he shared with us that social businesses are sustainable businesses dedicated to tackling poverty or an alleviation of an issue related to poverty. Vincent's goal is to promote the concept of a social business worldwide. And it seems the triple bottom line is fast becoming the new black and if you aren't on that train... well, it's never too late. Check them out if you want to learn more!

Right after that, we had Tan Hang Chong, an active environmentalist in Singapore, come up to spread the message regarding a petition for Bukit Brown to be conserved. He gave an impassioned speech about the history behind the site and preserving the local flora and fauna - even throwing out the wild idea for it to be sited as a tourist attraction. We're curious to find out what happens with the petition! 

And in typical think&drink style, lots of conversation continued after. And hey, don't fret if you missed this one; stay tuned in the new year coz we have lots lined up! Till then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 

Aug 13 Double Bill: RYSEC Workshop 2 + think&drink5

Zelig

AFTER SUNRISE: RYSEC Workshop 2

THE STATS: 40 young social entrepreneurs. 13 speakers+panelists. 8 workshop segments. 1 speed-dating lunch.

40 young aspiring social entrepreneurs came for our full-day workshop held at the Lexmark Headquarters @ Novena Square. On the menu: Root Cause Analysis, Strategy Planning, Business Model design, and other tools for business fundamentals. But all tools and no stories is boring-as, so we threw in not one, but two panels featuring awesome folks like Meng Weng Wong (serial entrepreneur, angel investor and breakout star of the day), Rob Kraybill from Impact Investment Exchange Asia, and other great peeps. The panels: "What makes a great entrepreneur?"; and "Moolah: Where can I get it?". 

Check out some snaps below, courtesy of none other than Meng Wong (also a guerilla photographer) unless otherwise stated. Also, more pics on our Facebook page (go like us!). 

 

Panelists Zhixun from SPRING (wearing striped tie) and Anna from MCYS

Allan Lim of Alpha Biofuels shares his insights on being a SEpreneur. He will wear any teeshirts you give him, so FREE MARKETING. Also a RYSEC 2011 mentor (and wears a few other hats too ;o)Robert Kraybill, MD of IIX and RYSEC 2011 mentor. So that means if you apply to RYSEC, you'll be connected to awesome mentors like him.Behind the scenes: The team hard at work making RYSEC 2011 awesome. (left-to-right Zelig Lee, Haresh Tilani, and Francis Chua of Lexmark)

AFTER SUNDOWN: think&drink5

After lots of brainstorming (and brainstuffing) over the day, it was time to let our hair down. We headed down to Group Therapy coffee @ Duxton Road for think&drink5 which we aptly themed around SE as well - Social Entrepreneurship: Realities of transitioning from theory to practice.

Our eclectic panel: Tong Yee (School of Thought), Olivia Choong (Green Drinks Singapore), Meng Wong (silicon valley rockstar + awesome person). 

"It's good to share with your peers your ideas prior to setting up your enterprise. Competing ideas is good.." (RYSEC + think&drink5 panelist Meng Wong). Photo by Shaun KohLEFT: "Entrepreneurship in Singapore is still very top-down. The bottom-up mechanisms need more work here." (think&drink5 panelist Tong Yee, Co-Founder of School of Thought) RIGHT: "I founded Green Drinks because I felt very strongly for the environment," (think&drink5 panelist Olivia Choong, Founder of Green Drinks Singapore)Spirited conversation: This is what Think & Drink is all about.And these great conversations and ideas don't stop here. If you missed the workshop, and Think & Drink (we forgive you), you can still get in on the action: 

Registration for RYSEC 2011 is OPEN till 27 Aug 2011 - find out more at http://bit.ly/oaz3nn  

Double Bill: RYSEC workshop + think&drink5

Bernise Ang

RYSEC workshop 2

We've got a great double bill coming right up on Aug 13: a workshop and think&drink5 for mingling afterwards.

For those not yet in the know, RYSEC is the Rotary Youth Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, a social business plan competition. It's a collaboration with Rotary in Singapore which we supported them in the creation of in 2009, continue to be involved in its evolution, and huzzah it's now the 3rd year running.

We had a first workshop on Aug 6 covering the basics of SE for those curious about the idea of social enterprises. This Sat Aug 13 will be our second workshop (there are only 2!) for those who are preparing to launch their ventures (or who may have just done so), covering slightly more technical topics like strategy mapping, business model generation, etc. 

Here's a sneak peak of the good stuff we've lined up for you:

What Makes A Good Entrepreneur? Why do some fail, and others succeed?           MOOLAH: Where can I get it?                                                                      SEpreneur Clinic - Sharpen Your Idea                                                            

(and a heckuva lot more, but that'll be giving it away)

 Our rockstar presenters and panellists include the likes of:

  • Meng Wong, serial entrepreneur
  • Tong Yee, co-founder of School of Thought (and the Thought Collective)
  • Gwendolyn Tan, co-founder of SGEntrepreneurs and Partner at Thymos Capital
  • Stefan Jacob & Pin Kwok, co-creators of BoP Hub
  • Bernard Leong, co-founder of Chalkboard
  • Allan Lim, founder of Alpha Biofuels
  • Harveen Narulla, co-founder of GreenPost

(and more, of course.)

think&drink5 (special surprise version!)

And because the workshop will lead in straight to think&drink5, we HAVE to make a special mention because - this one will have a similar theme! Social Entrepreneurship: The Hype, The Highs, and What You Don't See.

Featuring Olivia Choong, Meng Wong, Tong Yee. Moderated by lovely new entrant to Singapore's shores, Lara Dudley.

The low-down:

Group Therapy @ 49 Duxton Rd (it's on Level 2)

7pm - 8:30pm (or.. whenever, really)

Featuring - The Above

SEE YOU THERE.

(And because we like you, here're some snippets from Aug 6, right below.)

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 with Casey Wilson of Wokai (我开)

Bernise Ang

Left: our lovely crowd; Right: Casey Wilson from Wokai.org

Where it happened | Players Bar @ Clarke Quay

When | Mar 5 Saturday

Who | Casey Wilson, co-founder of wokai.org

This Think&Drink was a big eye-opener on microfinance in China, and what Wokai is doing in that space. We learnt heaps on what's happening with Wokai and with China's MFI space - operationally, legally, financially. For example, did you know that Kiva, a similar web portal for peer-to-peer microlending of global reach (and made famous by Oprah), chose not to enter China because of the regulatory issues they would face? (Extra props to Casey and team for taking this on.)

Btw, anyone with any mandarin language abilities whatsoever should check out Casey's interview (comes in 3 parts!) on Phoenix TV in China. Her Chinese is impressive (and would put many Singaporeans to shame!).

More Pics

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.