The Future-Ready Society Impact Fund was launched on 10 May 2023 by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam. The fund is part of a $6 million contribution over three years by Tote Board (TB), also marking a new Knowledge Partnership with Lee Kuan Yew Centre for Innovative Cities (LKYCIC) and Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) in enhancing the future-readiness of Singapore’s social ecosystem.
SM Tharman engaged in a dialogue session moderated by LKYCIC’s Professor Chan Heng Chee, where he reflected on the global character of societal issues today, citing the pandemic as an example. They also discussed the importance of trust and resilience in preparing for future crises.
“We, nationally, and countries collectively, globally, have to pay more attention to prevention and preparation for future shocks, rather than lurch from one crisis to another and respond after crises,” he shared.
“We all share a common future. A unity of understanding, purpose and collective action as a “Future-Ready Society” will strengthen our social resilience to better meet the many challenges in an increasingly uncertain world. Through our futures-oriented and evidence-based research, LKYCIC hopes to contribute research insights and identify opportunities for solutioning with stakeholders and the community.” Professor Cheong Koon Hean, LKYCIC’s Chair
[Image 2. Mr. Tan Choon Shian, Chief Executive (Designate) of TB, Prof Cheong Koon Hean, Chair of LKYCIC, and Prof Chan Heng Chee at the launch event (left to right)]
About the Future-Ready Society Impact Fund and Knowledge Partnership
The Future-Ready Society Impact Fund supports the piloting of innovative solutions with the potential to result in an impactful transformation of Singapore’s social ecosystem. This could be new or alternative solutions to address society’s wicked problems, complex social dilemmas and emerging societal needs on the horizon. This aims to expand the range of tested and validated solutions that can be quickly leveraged in the various plausible alternative future scenarios that may arise. The pilots will be co-driven and co-created together with citizens and community partners.A key enabler that supports the Future-Ready Society Impact Fund is the Knowledge Partnership initiative. This comprises futures-oriented research and knowledge building led by LKYCIC; the goal is to surface potential gaps and opportunity areas for intervention in the futures space. Research insights will be distilled and synthesized into potential solutions to be piloted by IPS. This will tighten the nexus between evidence-based futures research and action-oriented futures solutioning.
Thematic focus of Future-Ready Society Impact Fund and Knowledge Partnership
The Knowledge Partnership will enable in-depth study in the following two thematic areas to provide an evidence-based identification of promising solutions to be piloted under the Future-Ready Society Impact Fund. The thematic focus will evolve as the partnership evolves with the learning from futures research and action-oriented futures solutioning.
Future of Resilient Families and Empowered Communities
This theme seeks to explore how we can better support vulnerable groups in Singapore, through building resilient families to serve as reliable sources of support for vulnerable individuals and empowering the community in coming together to form a broader network of support around these individuals. Potential pilots may include alternative modalities of organising community support and delivering social care, and broader strategies that contribute towards economic inclusion, social cohesion and social mobility.
Future of Civic Engagement
This theme will unpack the future of civic participation and how citizens’ voices can be better incorporated in the governance process in a manner that is equitable, effective, consistent, and constructive. With the growth of digital technologies and interactive platforms, it has become easier for citizens to share their views and for policymakers to capture public sentiments. To be future-ready, new forms of civic participation must be envisioned and spearheaded, guided by the following elements: inclusivity, transparency, and trust. Potential pilots may include alternative ways to bring citizens together to participate in civic processes and engage in collective deliberation to enlarge our common ground.
Learn more about the Future-Ready Society Programme: https://futurereadysociety.sg/