SINGAPORE: Sixteen individuals were appointed on Saturday (May 18) to engage with youths on their hopes and dreams for the future of Singapore in 2025.
As part of the SG Youth Action Plan initiative by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), the 16-member panel is made up of youth leaders including CEOs, entrepreneurs, a musician and civil society activists.
It is co-led by Senior Minister of State Sim Ann, and Mr Edward Chia, co-founder and CEO of Timbre Group.
Under the SG Youth Action Plan, the ministry said it hoped that engagements could ultimately turn conversations into concrete steps, including policy recommendations.
From now till July 2019, the first round of conversations will come up with focus topics and possibilities for the country’s future – both offline and online via YoCo.sg.
A subsequent round, from August 2019 to March 2020, will call on youths to take part in projects and engagements on policy recommendations based on feedback from the earlier round.
Youths will partner the Government and other stakeholders to come up with projects.
On Saturday, more than 100 youths aged 16 to 40 participated in a three-hour dialogue session at The Red Box in Somerset.
One of them was undergraduate Nur Hazeem Abdul Nasser, 20, who said that it was heartening to see that those present at the session were willing to walk the talk and suggest ways to tackle common concerns.
"IMPORTANT" TO HAVE DIVERSE GROUP
One panel member, singer-songwriter Inch Chua, 30, noted that diversity among the panel members was crucial.
“It's important to have a diverse group of people to speak from different walks of life, various social classes as well as races to be represented on the panel, so I'm very glad to be one of those many voices," she said.
Another panel member said that it was important to find out the concerns of youths in order to develop effective solutions.
"I think no matter what the first part is, we need to find out what they are concerned about and what really riles them, what they think is important for them for their future," Ms Shahira Abdullah, 31, vice-president of Mendaki Club said.
"So from then on, what we can do is we can target our solutions to this concerns of theirs to make it a more effective solution for them and for us," Ms Shahira added.
Ms Sim said: “We foresee a lot of youth inputs in terms of policy making and certainly, we want to also seed and grow many grounds of partnerships, so that the youths can make a difference in various social movements they are interested in."
In 2018, dialogue sessions called Youth Conversations saw more than 8,000 youths voice their concerns on topics like social inclusivity, environmental sustainability and mental well-being. The SG Youth Action Plan will build on insights gained from those sessions.