Charting the Future of Singapore’s Design Sector
The DesignSingapore Council (Dsg) is Singapore’s coordinating agency under the Ministry of Communications and Information, responsible for driving the design sector in Singapore. Its mission is to develop the design sector, and to help Singapore use design for innovation, growth, and to improve lives.
Dsg appointed Eden Strategy Institute to moderate and facilitate a full-day retreat for Dsg Board members and leaders from the private and public sector to review the long term strategic plans that would shape the future of design for Singapore.
Prior to the retreat, Eden identified and distilled key strengths, roles, and capabilities of Dsg via in-depth interviews, past reports, and trend research. This helped us design exercises that could elicit creative ideas from the Dsg Board Members and leading private sector designers in Singapore that we were co-creating the retreat with.
The event started off with three presentations by international experts to stimulate new paradigms for the future of Singapore’s design sector. This was followed by an internal review highlighting Dsg’s milestones in the past years. In this process, Eden distilled key trends from past Dsg engagements and initiatives, strengths, and challenges for participants to reflect upon. After setting the context of Dsg’s core competency and potential growth opportunities for the Singapore design sector, Eden led an envisioning exercise where participants crafted an ideal vision of the future of design for Singapore.
The envisioning exercise then set the stage for subsequent discussions at the retreat. We synthesized participant aspirations as themes that different workgroups could elaborate on. These themes covered the participants’ aspirations of design as a strategic economic contributor, and design playing an essential role in driving public sector innovation and nation building. Participants discussed in detail Dsg’s role in realizing these aspirations in terms of the success factors, time line, skillsets and resources required for operationalization. As the four workgroups shared their findings, Eden highlighted common initiatives across the workgroups and prioritized areas of focus for Dsg in the short, medium, and longer time horizons. The session resulted in a constructive evaluation on Dsg’s long term vision and strategies by articulating focus areas for Dsg to align and build its core capabilities, rationalize its existing programmes and initiatives, and examine future strategies and resources that would optimally shape the future of design for Singapore.
"The DesignSingapore Council organised a full-day strategic planning retreat with the Council’s Board members and leaders from the private and public sectors on the future of Design for Singapore. We decided to engage Eden to moderate and facilitate the retreat as we valued the team’s experience in strategy development in the public service context, as well as their commitment to add value to our event. Calvin and his team were creative in designing meaningful exercises to engage the retreat participants, which enabled a fruitful time of discussion on strategic issues and long term opportunities for the Singapore Design sector. During the retreat, Calvin successfully moderated a series of presentations and panel discussions by international experts, in which we benefitted from a thoughtful discussion on emerging developments relevant to Design. Prior to the retreat, Calvin and his team worked closely with us to familiarise with the Design sector landscape, and we most appreciate the quality insights shared by the team, as well as their commitment to work with us to ensure success for the retreat.”
– Jeffrey Ho, Executive Director, DesignSingapore Council