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The Recipe to Eradicate Poverty in Singapore

A breakthrough solution means finding new, unique approaches that have not been attempted before. Yet, when participants of the =Dreams Asia Breakthrough Prize signed up for this competition, we bet none of them expected that the journey would include cooking dishes and baking cakes!

In order to equip participants with additional knowledge and skills, and to promote interaction, bonding, and out-of-the-box thinking, we organised a series of innovative workshops to engage them. In October and November, participants took part in these creative events, taking away learning points that may be useful to them in the future.

The series of workshops kicked off on 15 Oct at the Baking Industry Training College with an experiential team building activity. Over 6 hours, the teams were able to bond meaningfully and get to understand each other’s working styles and preferences by collaborating to create dishes and a new cake that showcases their personalities. They also presented to and networked with other teams of changemakers.

Team Leader: Cathy Siapno

Team Members: Iking Uy, Sheila Gonzales, and Pen Roque


After a delicious start to the participants’ learning journeys, Professor Tan Ern Ser from the National University of Singapore gave their brains a sweet treat with a detailed dialogue and analysis of the poverty situation in Singapore. The teams also got the chance to share their ideas and get feedback from fellow changemakers and the Professor himself.


The third workshop was conducted by Ruth Tan, Executive Director of the South Central Community Family Service Centre. During the workshop, Ruth shared extensively on different paradigms and approaches to community development. She also encouraged participants to focus on the assets of communities living in poverty, as well as the strengths within their own teams, to find creative value-adding possibilities for their ideas.


The fourth workshop was conducted by Dr Dean Williams, the president of The Leaders Compass who has authored multiple books on leadership. In this session, he focused on the idea of breakthroughs in a goal-oriented way. Participants also had the opportunity to share their ideas and to get them validated.


The final workshop was by Mr Rajesh Varghese from the South Central Community Family Service Centre. He focused on the importance of impact management, which allows for the assessment of effectiveness of a campaign, providing insight that can help teams refine and improve on their action plans.


“I found the session on measuring impact hugely eye-opening. As someone who has always been resistant to the creep of metrics into the world - and highly skeptical of quantifying social life - this workshop really reversed my thinking. I came out of it seeing impact measurement as a smart device for planning projects for social impact, in a way that allowed us to really clarify what we are trying to achieve.” said Joshua Comaroff from Team Lekker Architects.

We are entering the final stretch of this competition - with the finish line set in May 2023. We look forward to bringing you more exciting updates about the teams and their progress. Stay tuned to this space and join us on this exciting journey!

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