70 pre-university students from the ASEAN countries gathered at SUSS from 11 to 15 March for the STEP Sociovation Forum, organised by the Centre for Experiential Learning (CEL), and supported by Temasek Foundation International.
Sociovation is a combination of the words “social” + “innovation”, with a mission to imbue in our participants an empathy-driven approach to innovations in various sectors.
Over the five days, participants explored three main social themes: ageing, disability and environment sustainability through visits to community partners such as WOW Kampung, Dignity Kitchen and St Luke’s Eldercare. Using design-thinking frameworks, participants then came up with innovative ideas that may be applied to the social, public, or private sector.
The group focusing on Disability Inclusion headed to Dignity Kitchen - Singapore’s first and only community food court run by people with disabilities and the socially disadvantaged.
The ASEAN students learnt how to order kopi, teh and Milo in local Singapore sign language from Uncle Peter, who has a hearing impairment. After identifying broken communication as a key pain-point, the students decided to create a viral dance video to teach universal sign language when ordering drinks.
"Overall, it was a very fruitful and enriching experience. I gained new insights and perspectives about this community. Persons with Disabilities are all talented in their own ways, and there is definitely so much more we can do to build a more inclusive society in Singapore.
One of the more significant moments of the forum was when the participants presented their findings and solutions on the last day. Even though the design-thinking concepts were new and foreign to most of them, they tried their best to use these concepts to come up with innovative solutions for the beneficiaries." - Lai Jue Yun, Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Year 3.
"When interacting with my group, a lot of them shared their excitement to apply design-thinking towards their own problems in their various countries. I thought it was great that there were people from various walks of life as it allowed the groups to brainstorm and discuss through different lenses and perspectives." - Nurul Qistina Binte Mohammad Rizal - Bachelor of Social Work, Year 2.
An ASEAN participant going through an ageing simulation exercise, which was designed by our SUSS Sociovation Student Leaders.
Our SUSS Sociovation Student Leader (Jeff, Part-Time Business Student) facilitating his group’s design thinking applications.
One of our Environmental Sustainability groups collected 300 kilos of vegetables, which were at risk of being thrown away by provision shops.
Our Disability Theme members learning how to order kopi (in Sign Language) from Uncle Peter, who works in Dignity Kitchen.
Our ASEAN participants attempting to prepare rojak at Dignity Kitchen, after they observed a stroke survivor do the same with one arm.
Our Disability Theme members performing the dance which teaches others sign language.
All our ASEAN students presented their ideas and collected feedback from community mentors from the three themes.