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Singapore Polytechnic and People’s Association collaborate on social innovation projects to build social capital

Published on 13 September 2012

Singapore, 13 September 2012 – Social innovation is a fast evolving field worldwide. Creative solutions are being developed to keep pace with the ever-changing needs and challenges in society.

With this in mind, over 200 Singapore Polytechnic (SP) students collaborated with People’s Association (PA) to see how to better engage residents and address community needs via SP’s Social Innovation Project (SIP) programme. Using Design Thinking process,students created innovative ideas for more than 50 community-related issues around the themes of active aging, environment, healthcare and social integration.

One project revolving the theme of social integration is a mobile application titled “Fieldstagram”. The application aims to make events more inclusive for everyone by allowing residents to make friends with each other and also sending out an alert whenever the community club or an individual organises a new event. Users can sign up for the event with a simple click of the button.

It is one of some 500 projects created by close to 2,400 second-year students who took the compulsory SIP module. A selection of projects was exhibited at SP’s Eleven Square as part of the annual Design Thinking Summit 2012.

In his keynote speech, Mr Yam Ah Mee, Chief Executive Director of PA illustrated how PA has been applying Design Thinking principles in its journey of building communities and strengthening social capital. 

Mr Yam said, “We saw the collaboration with SP on the SIP module as a way for PA to continue to deepen our understanding of residents’ needs and concerns, and a meaningful avenue for PA to engage the SP students in innovatively solving community issues. In the process, we hope to help the youths develop a deeper understanding, appreciation and ownership of community issues as well as to encourage them to take greater interest in community involvement.”

Mr Tan Hang Cheong, Principal of SP added, “The application of Design Thinking for the compulsory SIP module is meant to encourage students to empathise and see the world with their heart. We have created a unique opportunity to empower students to create a positive impact within the community. It is also heartening to note that most students have no experience in volunteerism when they began the SIP module but in the end, it has succeeded in seeding the notion of volunteerism in them.”

Mr Marco Low, Chairman of Yuhua Community Club Youth Executive Committee said, “SP’s SIP module is a very meaningful initiative as it increases the students’ awareness of social issues. By applying the Design Thinking process to their challenges, they are able to craft innovative solutions that could address these real problems in the near future”.

This is the third year that SP is organising the Design Thinking Summit, where participants from various industries come together to learn about design thinking and how it can be applied to their workplace to transform their business. Previous invited speakers have included gurus in the field of design thinking such as Professor Heather Fraser, Director of DesignWorks & Rotman’s Design Institute as well as Professor Roger Martin, Dean, Rotman School of Management.


We would like to invite you and your photographer to the SP Design Thinking Summit 2012 and hear insight from Mr Yam Ah Mee.Chief Executive Director, People's Association (PA) on PA’s collaboration with SP students through SIP programme to identify innovative ideas for community-related issues.



SP Design Thinking Summit 2012



Thursday, 13 September 2012



9.0am – 12.00pm



SP Convention Centre







Design Thinking Summit 2012: Thursday, 13 September 2012



0800 hrs


0900 hrs

Welcome Address by Mr Tan Hang Cheong
Principal, Singapore Polytechnic

0930 hrs

Keynote Address by Mr Yam Ah Mee
Chief Executive Director, People's Association
Topic: Bonding Communities and Developing Strong Social Capital

1030 hrs

Tea Break

1100 hrs

Keynote Address by Professor Timothy K Stanton
Director, Overseas Studies in Cape Town at Stanford University
Topic: Sustaining Social Innovation: A Partnership Approach to University-Community Engagement

1200 hrs

Lunch-cum-viewing of Social Innovation Projects (SIP) @ eleven2

1330 hrs

Parallel Sessions
Our distinguished speakers will be sharing their insights and experiences on the following themes:

- A C T I V E A G E I N G @ LT12A -
Topic 1: Driving Society Forward through Creative and Innovative Design
Speaker: Carrie Chan

Director, KYDZ International LLP

Topic 2: Communication Products for the Elderly
Speaker: James Lam

Business Development, Foresight Manufacturing (S) Pte Ltd

Topic 3: SIP Project Presentation on "Designing a Liveable HDB Town for Active Agers"
Speaker: Roy Ang Chong Wei

Senior Lecturer, School of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering, Singapore Polytechnic

- E N V I R O N M E N T @ LT12B -

Topic 1: The Rail Corridor
Speaker: Sherry Berg

Executive Planner, Physical Planning Group, Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)

Topic 2: Bt Timah Railway Corridor
Teck Whye Secondary School
Topic 3: Amazed
Methodist Girls' School

Topic 4: SIP Project Presentation on "Eternal Bond" - The Rail Corridor
Speakers: Joh Yi Quan & Phyo Thu Ya Thet Min

Students, Singapore Polytechnic

- H E A L T H C A R E @ LT14B -

Topic 1: 'Redesigning' Healthcare - The Fortis Story
Speaker: Dr. Jeremy Lim

CEO, Fortis Healthcare Singapore

Topic 2: Navigating Healthcare Delivery
Speaker: Dr. Jason CH Yap

Chief Knowledge Officer, Knowledge Management Division, Agency of Integrated Care (AIC)

Topic 3: Innovations for Healthy Ageing
Speaker: Madhura Chavan

Design Strategist, SP Innovations for Healthy Ageing, Singapore Polytechnic

- S O C I A L I N T E G R A T I O N @ LT14A -

Topic 1: The Chain Reaction Project, Inspiring Catalysts for Change
Speaker: Zhang Tingjun

Co-Founder & Director, The Chain Reaction Project

Topic 2: Partnering the Community in the Reintegration of Offenders
Speaker: Patrick Lau

COO, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE)

Topic 3: SIP Project Presentation on "An Integrated Design Thinking Experience in Community Engagement: Educator, Students & Partner"

Ong Wooi-Hsen

Lecturer, School of Communication, Arts and Social Sciences, Singapore Polytechnic

Augustine Tee Kim Soon
MacPherson Community Club's Youth Executive Committee/ Member - PAYM Central Youth Council

Tay Kuan Yu
Student, Singapore Polytechnic

Note: The programme is subject to change.

1630 hrs

Tea Break-cum-Closing Session

1700 hrs

End of Event


For more information:

Mr Frank Chua
Corporate Communications Officer
T: 6870 7043 / M: 9771 7871

Ms Jaime Goh
Corporate Communications Officer
T: 6870 6122 / M: 9106 1969



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