Envisioning the Future of our Youth
National Youth Council (NYC), a division of the People’s Association, is Singapore’s national coordinating body for youth affairs in Singapore. It seeks to advocate and aggregate voices and represent interests of Singaporeans nationally and internationally; enable young people to pursue aspirations and contribute positively through NYC’s programs and grants; and partner with youth organizations and congregate youth leaders to develop a vibrant youth ecosystem.
NYC was keen to work with a consulting partner to review its strategy and facilitate an interactive session, where NYC staff could envisage their long term aspirations and vision for Singapore’s youth, as well as surface potential initiatives and programmes that can align with NYC’s revised strategic objectives.
Eden Strategy Institute was appointed and our approach encompassed five phases. In the pre-event stage, we performed an exhaustive review of youth sector literature, studied NYC’s previous initiatives, engaged directly with NYC staff members to understand the organizational context, and build ideas about possible domains. This phase helped to develop hypotheses about major driving forces and surface opportunities for organizational development.
During the offsite workshop, we shared a scan of the latest youth sector megatrends and global sector development good practices, in order to introduce fresh thinking to some 70 NYC attendees. Participants then worked on a future-gazing exercise, and collaboratively built a ‘Gallery of the Future’ which expressed their aspirations to each other. Based on these shared insights, participants worked in teams to identify a range of future unmet needs for various youth archetypes.
Articulating these unmet needs led NYC towards several new strategic thrusts to consider, in order to better meet the future needs of Singapore’s youth. Finally, the teams surfaced a range of internal and external enabling factors that would further help in the successful implementation of these major themes.
The event was well-received as the participants learnt new insights, felt that they were able to contribute effectively to tangible outcomes, and enjoyed themselves in the process. 78 percent of the participants agreed that the session was well-structured and organised, and that Eden was able to encourage them to think in creative and innovative ways and deliver the learning objectives, while 88 percent agreed that the session encouraged them to think about their work in new ways.
“NYC needed to relook at how we engage and communicate among ourselves and with the community we serve, and identify any ‘missing elements’ in understanding our interactions with various groups of people. We selected Eden over other providers as we could see that they walked the talk and could inject new ideas that could bring about a paradigm shift. We found the substantive content that Eden brought to the engagement to be thought provoking and energising for the cranium. It opened up avenues not previously explored, and gave us a capability to moot social conversations. Working with the Eden team, we most appreciated their intuition about our needs and their ability to think on the feet, and recommend them unreservedly especially for their ability to deliver within various time and organisational constraints.”
— Sofia Leong, Head (Sector Development), National Youth Council