GIRL TALK: Penny Low, Founder, Social Innovation Park

Why CSR and Social Innovation is Everyone’s Business

So in September, I attended the CSR and the Social Innovators Forum.

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I had no idea what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised when I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Penny Low, founder of Social Innovation Park, an impartial, not-for-profit organisation based in Singapore that incubates social entrepreneurs worldwide to bring positive innovations to lives and societies.

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Excerpt taken from Social Innovation Park’s book Top 50 Social Innovations Changing Our World.

Of course, the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies, Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, lent some star power mega star power to the event.

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I had never thought about Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Innovation prior to this, despite being in business for the past 5 years. Mainly because I had always had the impression of it being something that only applied to large corporates because of the extent of their influence.

But, at this forum, I learnt quite the opposite. CSR and Social Innovation is everyone’s responsibility. And to make any significant kind of change, efforts have to be made from the “ground up”. This means the responsibility is yours and mine.

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CSR and Social Innovation can be as simple as participating in Food Bank initiatives.
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Like this Food Bank Project X-pired –  Converting Food into Fashion!
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Me and Penny

Find out more about the inspiration behind Social Innovation Park and what entrepreneurs can do to contribute to this cause, watch my interview with Penny here:

MentorMission – EVENT INVITE: Jamiyah’s 24th Exemplary Mother Award

Honouring Extraordinary Mothers with Awards, High Tea & Fashion.

As you might know, I have the privilege of being mentored by Claire Chiang, Senior Vice President and Co-Founder of Banyan Tree Holdings. A mentoring lunch turned into a mentoring afternoon because she brought us (me and another mentee, Amu) to a press conference at Jamiyah Singapore after lunch.

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From Left to Right: Amutha Saravanan COO of the Da Vinci Group, Our mentor and original Supermamapreneur, Claire Chiang, and me at Jamiyah Singapore.

This is where I learned about the Exemplary Mother Award (“EMA”) and the Award ceremony that will be held on 22 October 2016. This year’s award presentation ceremony and high tea also comes with a Charity Fashion Show.

Every year, the EMA Committee receives different inspiring stories from mothers of all walks of life, races and religions and who have contributed to the community. Claire was one of the judges. These mothers have been extraordinary in being a role model for their children, by nurturing them with strong moral values, persevere for a better life and education for their children. Their exemplary attitudes continue by going the extra mile to contribute their time and energy through involvement in career and community services, without compromising their parental roles at home.

Thus, this meaningful event promotes inter-faith and multi-racial bonding and enhancing reverence for mothers in general. It also places paramount importance on filial piety.

This year, there will also be a very special fashion show by 3 local designers, Adlina Anis, Kavita Thulasidas and Sylvia Lim, who will all use batik prints by Batik Master, Sarkasi Said, in their designs.

On a personal note, when I asked Claire how and why she is involved in so many community projects, she told me that she learned the need for support when she was very young.  She grew up on Race Course Road with the Malay and Indian community and her mother would often get her to bring food to their neighbours. And when her mother had a stroke when Claire was 17, her neighbours helped them out by buying food, for example.

This gotong-royong* concept of mutual help and reciprocity and the Kampong** spirit was how she grew up. I don’t think I’ve ever thought as much about the community around me until now.

Event Details: 

Date: 22 October 2016, Saturday

Time: 2.30pm to 5pm

Venue: Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Singapore

Ticket price: $100

Guest of Honour: President of Singapore, His Excellency Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam

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If you’re interested in giving back to the community and supporting this meaningful event or even if you’d just like to make a donation, please contact Nora at nora_r@jamiyah.org.sg or call 6743 1211.

*gotong-royong is a conception of sociality familiar to large parts of Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia. The phrase has been translated into English in many ways, most of which harken to the conception of reciprocity or mutual aid.

*Kampong means village in Bahasa Melayu.

Date Night: Of Art, Dinner & Great Company

At the National Gallery Singapore Gala 2016

Instead of the usual dinner and a movie, date night this week was at the National Gallery Singapore Gala, thanks to our friends Jean & Pauline. It was such a lovely tour of the National Gallery.

This year’s Gala was held during the opening of the opening of Artist and Empire: (En)countering Colonial Legacies which marks an important collaboration between the Gallery and Tate Britain.

We were invited to a private viewing of the Exhibition and all funds raised for the Gala would be going towards enabling the Gallery to deepen their curatorial research, as well as grow, preserve and present their collection to the world. It also funds community and education programmes that inspire audiences of all ages.

Besides the wining and dining, there was a live auction and a silent auction as well. I believe they managed to raise over $1million that night.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take as many photos as I would have liked because I was minding my gown whenever I walked.

But I felt so pampered the entire evening – perfect for date night! Right from the time we pulled up in front of the National Gallery where the valets took over our car and we walked up the stairs (so New York!), disappearing into the one of my favourite buildings in Singapore, taking photos at the entrance…

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Arrival at the gala

and we went up more stairs and breezed through the exhibits, arriving here for cocktails…

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..taking wefies with the beautiful background..

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Minister Grace Fu was the Guest Of Honour. 
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The gala was presented by Vacheron Constantin

 

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Weihong with  Jean Nasr, Managing Director of Mouawad Singapore

..and of course meeting up with our gracious hosts for the night, Pauline Chan and Jean Nasr…

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Our lovely company for the night

…to dinner with great people…

….To the end of the night where we were whisked away to another room in the National Gallery and exquisitely spoiled by a dessert table that offered turkish delight, giant trifles (one had coffee jelly in it instead of the typical jam jelly – so good!), berries, cakes, and gorgeously coloured meringues…

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And this wasn’t even the biggest trifle bowl!

AND a cheese table. Any kind of cheese you could imagine, it was there!

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Mmmm cheese!

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What a night!

This was a great way to spend a Friday night – with the husband, good food, great company and a worthy cause!