In light of the climate crisis, economic inequality and the ever-present threat of social fragmentation, this conference examines whether communities can participate meaningfully to address issues that have deep structural roots and distal causes. Is social change the purview of only well-resourced governments and large organisations, or does the “community” have a critical role to play? Who makes up the community anyway, and does this exist in Singapore? Are the actions of small groups — sometimes rooted in their neighbourhoods — destined to be insignificant, or can local action add up to greater social impact?
We explore these issues through three dimensions of community empowerment:
- Peers — Can the small group be a meaningful unit of transformation?
- Places — How do we tap into the unique strengths of a specific locality so that people are activated to support one another?
- Platforms — Empowered communities may be local, but they are often open and connected; how can platforms connect communities and create commons?
We will also hear from the participants who went on a Scotland study trip on what they learned about its Community Empowerment Act, what Community Development Trusts do, and how Scottish Community Centres look like.
Click here to view the programme.