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Volume 1.

Issue 4

Si

The Sustainability Institute

An Invitation to Café Si!
By: Natasha Dalmia

Welcome

to Sustainability Institute!
.Lasting Positive Impact.
“Leading for a Sustainable Future.”
By: Jacqueline Wong

“What does it take for a future to be possible?”

A past invitation to Discover more of Who you Are.
“Are you a seeker, filled with curiosity, a will to learn? Are you ready to take flight and wish to know if there are others too? Are you a chrysalis waiting to become a butterfly?”

The quote was taken from a book (entitled For a Future to be Possible) that I bought in Phuket, Thailand; and which was written by the Buddhist Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. I was not there on holiday. In fact, I had just emerged from a session where I facilitated a three-day intensive community retreat for a group of sixty-seven social sector leaders who are part of a very important national organization: the theme was on Building [Sustainable] Communities. By that point, I have been working with the same organization for three years as an external process consultant. Si Presentation at CUGE Seminar: on June 14 Si’s presentation had focused on the importance of multi-stakeholder, community engagement for creating a sustainable city that is not only flourishing in its urban greenery but also flourishing in social capital – the bonds built within the cohesive community. “Facilitating a multi-stakeholder, wholesystem approach to policy-making to stakeholders, for stakeholders.”
As a typical Singaporean, having lived here for the most part of my life, I have enjoyed a world where education is affordable; the transport system is easily accessible; facilities for business and recreation are well-developed and widely available; and I could walk outside alone at midnight without fear of being mugged.

Now, we invite you to Café-Si – Dream!

July 15 - Thursday at 6pm Re-affirm your Passion (If you know what it is :) Explore for your Passion (If you do not know what it is :) Dream of your Ideal Self (Further than the Real Self :)
... in a fun, reflective and relaxed atmosphere through our process with friends.

Greg Mortensen: author of “Three Cups of Tea” & “Stones into Schools” For me, it was an immensely moving experience to have had the opportunity to listen to Mortensen’s talk. Sound governmental policies that favor gender equality, thus, is a vital aspect for communities to develop their economy. It is only through providing educational opportunities to both male and female children, that countries are able to manage and develop their communities in a sustainable fashion for future generations,

By: Azliza Asri

420 North Bridge Road North Bridge Centre #05-39/40 Singapore 188727 Email: info@si.com.sg Website: www.si.com.sg

Add your name to the ever-growing movement of people who is energized to the discovery of our communities’ hopes & aspirations.

By: Zafirah Mohamed

*Volunteering opportunities* Email us at : info@si.com.sg www.imaginesingapore.sg

“Leading for A Sustainable Future.”
By: Jacqueline Wong
“Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am determined to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy and hope. I will not spread news that I do not know to be certain and will not criticize or condemn things of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I am determined to make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.” ~ The Fourth Mindfulness Training – Deep Listening & Mindful Speech Extract from Book “For a Future to be Possible” by Thich Nhat Hanh

The quote was taken from a book (entitled For a Future to be Possible) that I bought in Phuket, Thailand; and which was written by the Buddhist Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. I was not there on holiday. In fact I had just emerged from a session where I facilitated a three-day intensive community retreat for a group of sixty-seven social sector leaders who were part of a very important national organization: the theme was on Building [Sustainable] Communities. By that point, I have been working with the same organization for three years as an external process consultant. Considering that it is an organization that has over 64 affiliate organizations, 12 social enterprises and 500,000 members nation wide, they have achieved a lot to forge a strong vision ever since a new leader came on board. By the time we ended the session, everyone knew the titanic task that was ahead of them, and that the change must start from within each of them – as the father of TQM, movement, Dr Edward Demings once said, “There is simply no organizational transformation without personal transformation.”

What does it take for a future to be possible?
I think the answer to that question lies in a few subtle shifts that will be required - in our focus of attention, our perception, and our quality of listening so that we are able to deal with an increasingly complex world.

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

The

Leadership Dragonfly
Sequoia Consulting Pte Ltd TM

Our Si Programmes & Workshops:

Richard Boyatzis, whom I had the chance to study with at Case Western Reserve University’s (USA) MPOD program, and Annie McKee in their book Resonant Leadership, echoed this perspective in their research on emotionally intelligent leaders who embody the qualities of mindfulness, hope, compassion and renewal. What has this got to do with leading in the future? We assert that these qualities have great relevance for leading in an increasingly uncertain and complex future and we will share with you our perspective in framework that we have come to call The Leadership Dragonfly (See inset on following page).
TM.

Appreciative Inquiry Certificate in Positive Organisational Development SEEDS: Enrichment Programme for Youths Sustainable Design Labs Executive Coaching

For more information, Visit us at

We have found that we are able to apply the same framework working with human systems at all scales - teams, organizations and society. By no means prescriptive, the framework is meant to be a guiding idea to bring attention into the elements that are needed to be attended to for personal, organizational and societal sustainability. Ultimately seeing and leading for the future is very much about being able to look far enough, so that we are able to map out the implications of our actions, and plan for it, while we still have time. We surmise that it requires very different capacities than leading for the present, which has been the focus of most literature on leadership we find today.

www.si.com.sg

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

The

Leadership Dragonfly
Sequoia Consulting Pte Ltd TM

Alignment Accountability

P u r p o s e & V a l u e s

Aspirations Awareness

Sequoia Consulting Pte Ltd TM

“What’s needed to lead for a sustainable future?”
The notion of sustainability is not just about organizations and the environment. It is also about the leaders’ own sustainability and renewal. Leaders need to cultivate the capacities for Awareness, Aspiration, Alignment, Accountability, and Authenticity in themselves and in others. The dragonfly is used as a generative metaphor for these five capacities because dragonflies are one of the most resilient existing species that have survived the prehistoric era. It is also often used in different cultures as a symbol of balance and grace. The wings of the dragonfly reflect and refract light and great leaders do the same – reflecting the light of those whom they lead and allowing others’ light to shine through. -end

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

Si Presents “Creating Sustainable Solutions through Multi-stakeholder engagement” at CUGE Seminar (June 14, 2010) By: Zafirah Mohamed

Our presentation had focused on the importance of multi-stakeholder, community engagement for creating a sustainable city that is not only flourishing in its urban greenery but also flourishing in social capital – the bonds built within the cohesive community.

On the 14th of June, Director of Sustainability Institute – Ms Jacqueline Wong, presented on the topic of “Creating Sustainable Solutions through Multi-Stakeholder Engagement” at the recent the Centre for Urban Greenery & Ecology (CUGE) Seminar. Centred around the theme of Creating Liveable Cities through Community Gardening, the seminar was attended by a myriad of representatives from landscape industry professionals and architects, to community grassroots leaders and policy-makers. Si’s presentation had focused on the importance of multi-stakeholder, community engagement for creating a sustainable city that is not only flourishing in its urban greenery but also flourishing in social capital – the bonds built within the cohesive community. Citizenry Engagement for sustainability were evident in cities such as Curitiba, Brazil which won the “Globe Sustainable City Award”. Some of their activities include the ‘green exchange’ programme where residents can exchange recyclable material for groceries for low-income neighbourhoods, municipal schools and social service entities. This focuses on social inclusion with benefits to the society and the environment at the same time.
Jacqueline’s presentation at the CUGE Seminar.

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

Keynote speaker: Nigel Colburn (Royal Horticulture Society - United Kingdom) Speakers:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Simon Longman (Director/Streetscape: National Parks Board - Singapore) Liak Teng Liat (CEO Alexandra Hospital - Singapore) Dr John Rayner (University of Melbourne - Australia) Wilson Wong (Founder & Administrator of Green Culture - Singapore) Arno King (Arno King Landscape Architects Pty Ltd & Associate Director Deicke Richards Pty Ltd Australia) Jacqueline Wong (Director Sustainability Institute Singapore) John Tan (Vice-President Landscape Industry Association of Singapore) & Damian Tang (President of Singapore Institute of Landscape Architects)

6. 7.

Another example was of Cleveland, USA where 700 stakeholders from NGOs, government, business, schools and civic organizations came together at the Sustainable Cleveland Summit in 2009. Guided by the Appreciative Inquiry process, together they envisioned and planned for Cleveland for the next 10 years, committed to “Building an Economic Engine to Empower a Green City on a Blue Lake”. The engagement had proved successful in empowering citizens to care for their community, and enabled the creation of business solutions for social and environmental needs. The Sustainable Cleveland Summit will be held on an annual basis to ensure alignment and progress on the city’s masterplan. In Singapore, citizenry engagement has also enabled the permeation of a more green, environmentally and socially sustainable culture. Through the Imagine Singapore movement, residents in Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC had come up with the “Green Fingers” Project that aims to cultivate more community gardeners and rejuvenate the ‘kampung spirit’ amongst residents.

On June 14, our Sustainability Institute Director, Jacqueline Wong presented at the Centre for Urban Greenery & Ecology (CUGE) Seminar. It was held at Orchard Parade Hotel.

Visit CUGE at: www.cuge.com.sg

Si’s presentation at the CUGE seminar was appreciated for its highlight on the relevance and opportunities that community gardening can have in building a flourishing nation – in a ‘City in a Garden’ where the people are engaged, resilient, harmonious, and connect through affirmative relationships.

-end

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

“Facilitating a multi-stakeholder, whole-system approach to policymaking by stakeholders, for stakeholders.” By: Zafirah Mohamed
“Instead of looking just at the problems, people were invited to look at the foundation they have built, what they would like to conserve and what the future could look like…”

As a typical Singaporean, having lived here for the most part of my life, I have enjoyed a world where education is affordable; the transport system is easily accessible; facilities for business and recreation are well-developed and widely available; and I could walk outside alone at midnight without fear of being mugged. The needs of life are provided for thanks to a pragmatic, corruption-free, efficient government. However, as a small island state with limited natural resources, we are dependent on human, intellectual capital, and there is stiff competition amongst businesses to survive and thrive. So, although well-intentioned for the sustainable development of Singapore, most national policies have been prescribed by the government and accepted by the general public. But times they are a-changing. The government is involving more of the public, allowing them more voice in policy formulation and, in some cases, enabling them to drive the policy change itself. One such example through my work experience, was the Ministry for Community Development, Youth and Sports' (MCYS) development of a Masterplan for the Voluntary Children’s Home (VCH) Sector. The VCH Sector comprises of independent organisations looking after children who are unable to receive care from their families (for example, those under Child Protection Orders or beyond parental control). The process included stakeholders from the whole system including staff and caregivers from the VCH, the Heads of Homes, their Board of Directors, the Ministry staff that served the VCH plus other sectors that are associated with the VCH, and most importantly the children themselves.

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

The process involved:  Meetings with the Heads of Homes during which the process was explained and the Appreciative Inquiry methodology introduced.  Discovery interviews between staff whereby positively framed questions revealed the positive core of the organisations, appreciating their strengths and the work involved as well as the unique service the different Homes provide. Staff were also asked how they would envision the best Home five years down the road.  Similar discovery interviews were conducted with the children, of course in a more fun and engaging manner (which some staff reveled in too!) and articulating the results visually. The children’s paintings were later used in setting up the stage for the 2-day Masterplanning discussion.

Initially, the idea of conducting system-wide appreciative interviews was met within an apprehensive, obligatory, albeit curious response. However, as the process gained more support and momentum, the core group continued to show up at each meeting, with some looking forward to the next event as they had been invigorated by the discovery interviews that were happening back home as the formal sessions progressed. The process we facilitated brought them to understand the current situation through recognition of their current strengths and positive core, as well as analysis of trends that can affect these and/or be leveraged upon, as well as their collective aspirations for the future. Instead of looking just at the problems, people were invited to look at the foundation they have built, what they would like to conserve and what the future could look like, and how they could work as a whole system to achieve the vision for ideal care and development for the children. Outputs included: a clear collective vision and mission for the sector; strategies owned and driven by different groups based on their strengths; tactics and ideas to implement improved care for children, engage partners, and become more sustainable.

Politics in the sense of win-lose has, in this case, become secondary as everyone is on the same road of development towards the future. Instead of taking either a top-down approach or bottom-up approach, the Ministry adopted a whole-system participatory approach as a means of mining ideas and gathering inputs from participants as policy ideas. Spinoff benefits from this engagement also included networking between representatives from different Children’s Homes and a realisation that they can support themselves, form stronger bonds, and leverage on each others’ strengths. This multi stakeholder engagement effort forged a co-creation platform for different groups in the sector. It aligned the direction of growth and through collective dialogue, reflection and consensus, strengthened relationships and increased the momentum for the VCH Sector. The key insight from this experience is the participatory approach – the creation of a platform that asks not what the government can do for us, but what can we do together to create the future we want? -end

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

Greg Mortensen’s visit to Singapore (March 2010) By: Azliza Asri

“We all make mistakes & fail. In order to succeed, we must fail & learn from mistakes. Let go, empower people, take risks.”

I spent an inspiring time with fellow friends attending a talk by “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones into Schools” author, Greg Mortensen. For me, it was an immensely moving and overwhelming experience to have had the opportunity to listen to Mortensen’s talk. In the brief hour that he spent with the audience (that included students, members of academic institutions, interested individuals in development sector, social sector), he shared with us his journey that began in 1993 when he was determined to conquer Mount Everest. After much anguish and disappointment, his trip have led him to begin his work building schools for girls in a remote village of Afghanistan and of which his journey still continues today. His diligent work in creating educational opportunities (by building schools) for girls in the remote lands of Afghanistan and Pakistan gave me great admiration and respect for the humbled and approachable 2006 NoblePeace Prize nominee. His belief is simple: to make education a top international priority and that only through education that misunderstandings can be eradicated. He shared that according to recent United Nations (UN) statistics, there are close to 120 million children around the world lacking education and 78 million of these children are females. Specifically, in Afgahnistan, (in 2000) there were only 800,000 children between the age of 5 to 15 who were literate and today (in 2010) there are approximately 8.5 million children (both males & females) who are literate. Mortensen shared that in refugee camps, education is often most neglected, and radical groups would find it easy to enter to opportunize on peoples’ misfortune. To mitigate such instances, education is key. It is the “double dividend” that is received through the education of girls. They are able to provide a heightened quality of life – for themselves and also family members. Further, it reduces infant mortality rates, reduces fertility rates and the lower illiteracy rates only means lesser misunderstandings among societies; creating sustainable communities for future generations. Hence, sound governmental policies that favor gender equality through a multi-stakeholder engagement, is a vital aspect for communities to develop their economy. It is only through providing educational opportunities to both male and female children, that countries are able to manage and develop their communities in a sustainable fashion for future generations, too. -end

“Educate a man, you educate an individual. Educate a woman, you educate a community.”
Persian Proverb

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

Our Si Events

A past invitation to Discover More of Who You Are.
“Are you a seeker, filled with curiosity, a will to learn? Are you ready to take flight and wish to know if there are others too? Are you a chrysalis waiting to become a butterfly?” by: Natasha Dalmia

What is Café Si?
Starting with the self, our first series of Café Si focuses on ‘the construct and development of the Self.’ Each series comprises of four sessions, distributed with an evening session carried out every alternate month. Our process is inspired by the ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ methodology; “Discover-Dream-Design-Destiny.” Soon enough, it became clearer to us to begin hosting the first session of Café Si. Our first café, Café Si‘Discovery’ was hosted on May 12, 2010. It was held at a cozy café called “Chatters at Silvers Spring” (located at the ground level of Parkview Square). The café was initiated by a group of inspiring and motivated retired seniors.

Sharing his group’s ideas with everyone.

Inspired by Proust’s quote, the principles and the intention have formed the frame of our first Café Si session with hopes to encourage the group of the first twelve Café-Si participants on the path of Discovery of aspects of their ‘Real Selves’ anew. The cafe buzzed with sharing of stories, perspectives, strengths, playing with the constructs of the ‘real self’ and the ‘ideal self’, inspired by Richard Boyatzis, Sperry, Ned Hermann, Psychology, to culminate in the participants spearheading conversations on: Exploring The Human Desire to be Whole – Understanding self; with an analogy of an onion with layers!
A discussion during a paired-sharing.

‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ (Proust)

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg

Join us on July 15 at 6pm!
Where: Casa Latina Grill & Bar 42 Waterloo Street, Singapore 187951
Café-Si-Discovery is a journey and every person present, a traveler (be it travelling from Singapore to another country or mapping this journey of life).

Ben Piercy Hughes (from the UK)
“Thank you for running such a relaxed and yet a candid session. It was good to feel integrated into a group of largely unknown people. Café Si-Discovery was particularly apt for me as a newcomer to Singapore in search of employment. Through the various role plays and 'discovery' games, I was able to re-connect with a strong sense of my 'self' and a determination to focus on finding employment that would partner my strengths and passion for life. Most importantly, I was able to do this within an environment of mutual respect and support.”

Mathia Lee (from Singapore)
“Conversation cafes like Cafe Si are a potluck of ideas and views. Everyone brings with them their favorite creation and lays it out for everyone and anyone to try. We get to approach the potluck table with a huge spread of different thoughts, we sample each one, savor each one. For what we like, we go back for another helping. There's nothing we cannot try, yet there is nothing we must try. It's inclusive, yet there's so much freedom of thought and expression. That's what I love about Café Si.”

Ibrahim Iqbal (from Singapore)
“The dynamic, organic discussion ... I like how both the hosts explained the underlying psych theories, not too much for some people to get bored, but just enough to give an insight to increase knowledge and awareness. Overall it was a very refreshing reflective process which I thoroughly enjoyed.”

Facilitators; Natasha Dalmia & Zafirah Mohamed gathered the participants for an inspired evening in ‘Discovering’ their selves, using simple tools & games.

Editor: Azliza Asri Article Contributors: Jacqueline Wong, Zafirah Mohamed, Natasha Dalmia

Sustainability Institute © 2010

.Lasting Positive Impact.
www.si.com.sg