Home > newsletter > Soristic Newsletter March 2019
(Photo Credits: YMCA Singapore)


Dear Friends of Soristic,

Happy new year! Excitement is brewing for two of our current research projects at Soristic, do look out for our next Social Connex Speaker Series when we present the two research findings!

Shoutout to volunteers and venue partners! We are looking for tech-savvy volunteers with creative eye to help us revamp our website, and to create a new microsite for our Social Connex Speaker Series. If you do know of any individual or organization who like to be our partner to curate a Social Space to host our Social Connex Speaker Series, do reach out to us at connect@soristic.asia

Passion and Good Intention To Serve: Is It Good Enough?

Sharing a reflection post from Soristic’s intern, Max Chen


(Photo Credits: YMCA Singapore)


Despite youth volunteerism being on the upward trend, and many youths setting out on both local/overseas community projects enthusiastic to aid the community in any capacity they can – one critical question stands – Are these good intentions good enough? What impact are our youths really making on themselves and the local/overseas communities they serve? Last week 100 Youth Expedition Project (YEP) volunteers from various institutions gathered to discuss these issues with a panel of speakers experienced in facilitating various community projects – Mr. Raja Mohammad Fairuz, a Lecturer in Ngee Ann Polytechnic overseeing a credit-bearing service-learning module in design and environment; Dr. Tan Bang Kiang, an Associate Professor at NUS, who guided her NUS Architecture students on an award-winning community project in Cambodia by using participatory design approaches; and Ms. Tay Jia Ying, a creative producer, who engages the public in end-of-life issues through the community-based arts platform: Both Sides, Now.

Volunteers reflected on the notions of identity and purpose within local/overseas community projects and the need to stay mindful of the impact that such projects impose on the community – community members may see value and benefit very differently from volunteers.  We need to look beyond one dimensional view of community members as mere “needy” beneficiaries – instead, we need to recognise community members’ strength/qualities, build on them so that the community projects and volunteers’ engagement can be purposeful, sustainable and impactful.

The panel speakers further emphasised the importance of relational-building, identifying real community needs and the need for volunteers’ intentional efforts to ensure long-lasting impacts for communities we serve. Many interesting questions were raised from the audience – relating to funding of community projects, knowing when we have done more good than harm, and how we can help to facilitate volunteers’ perception of “failures” of a community project. What I learnt was the importance of assessing the long-term impacts of community projects; real impact takes time to evolve and we should not judge efforts too soon. All in all, the discussion was lively and we want to encourage youth volunteers to think deeper into their motivations before embarking on their local/overseas community projects. This small effort will ensure a purposeful and impactful experience for both volunteers and community. #SoristicBeyondGoodIntentions

Leading a Purpose-Driven Business for SMEs: Possibilities for Success

Upcoming talk in collaboration with Social Collider and Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry – 3pm to 5.30 pm 20th March 2019 at Social Collider

What is a Purpose-driven Business? Why and how can we build purpose in business? Contrary to beliefs, size does not matter for any business that wants to create both business and social impact. In a competitive business landscape, how can small and medium enterprises stand out from doing good, contribute to society and compete with the big boys?

In this upcoming Talk in collaboration with the Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Social Collider, we aim to engage the audience in building collective insights on how to build purpose into your business. Shout out to all business owners to join us and contribute to this conversation!

Basic Needs Gaps (BNGs): Connecting with social realities of those who fall through the cracks

Written by Max Chen


What are BNGs?

Basic Needs are necessities relating to an individual’s daily life, this could be access to food, water, healthcare, transport, one’s ability to pay for bills, schooling needs for children etc.

Why the need for this research?

The BNGs research was launched when Soristic noticed a trend where low-income individuals and families were turning to Facebook “Blessings” groups to request for basic needs support like food rations etc.  These Facebook Groups  are made up of people who “Bless” or donate various basic needs items, and we begin to question: Despite the support that low-income individuals and families are receiving from the government or other community organisations, why is there still such high traction and demand for basic needs on “Blessings” groups? How are these individuals and families falling through the cracks?

What we have done?

We have engaged and interviewed different stakeholders like beneficiaries who are members of these Facebook Blessings groups, social workers, admins of these Facebook Blessings groups. More insights are to come, do look out for our next Social Connex Speaker Series when we share the outputs of this research!

Ever wonder what happens when Wall Street investment tools are brought into the realm of the social services?

Written by Esther Tang


(Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8254472/mediaviewer/rm1857580544)


“The Invisible Heart” (2018) by Canadian director, Nadine Pequeneza, explores the effectiveness and unintended consequences of using social impact bonds (“SIBs”) to tackle some of society’s most complex social problems.

Also known as Pay-For-Success financing, SIBs band governments, private investors, social service providers together in a unique financial arrangement. Private investors fund new and innovative social programmes, and are repaid the principal sum of their investment and interest at the end of a fixed period, based on the success rate of the social programme implemented. Since 2010, SIBs have been issued in over 24 countries and touted as a new way to improve lives while delivering financial returns.

However, amidst all the hype, do SIBs measure up? Can the success of a social programme ever be accurately quantified, and what are the implications of accepting SIB financing for social service providers?

“The Invisible Heart” will be screened for the first time in Singapore by Soristic, in mid-2019. Come ready to engage in a post-film discussion with relevant stakeholders in the industry on the relevance of SIB financing in Singapore. Stay tuned to our newsletter, and follow our Facebook page for more news!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *