The inaugural NUS – Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Symposium 2011 will be held tomorrow, November 2, 2011, at 3 pm, in the Chua Thian Poh Hall in the new NUS University Town. The symposium will coincide with the launch of the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme in NUS.
As part of the symposium, a panel of interesting international speakers, including community leaders as well as scholars who research on community leadership, have been lined up. The symposium will end with a networking dinner.
About the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme
The Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme in National University of Singapore (NUS) aims to develop Singapore’s next generation of community leaders. These future leaders will not only be intellectually engaged with social and community issues in Singapore, but will also be passionate about addressing social and community challenges. They will be tomorrow’s change makers, driven by a sense of true calling to mobilize the community to collectively solve social problems.
Each year, a small number of NUS undergraduates, majoring in various disciplines, will be admitted into the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme. The students admitted into this programme will participate in the following activities:
(i) Credited modules
Each student will be required to take at least 2 modules from a slate of modules relevant to the topic of Community Leadership. Possible module offerings include Virtue and Leadership, Reflective Practice in Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, and Community Development. These modules will provide students with the theoretical grounding to better appreciate the characteristics and motivations of community leaders, as well as the potential impact of community development and social entrepreneurial efforts.
(ii) Research projects
The students will form project teams and engage in research on topical social issues. Examples of possible research topics include poverty, chronic unemployment, ageing and the elderly, youth, disabilities, mental health, gambling, and marginalization and social exclusion. These research projects will be student-led and -driven. However, the student project teams will receive guidance from academics, as well as practitioners from the social service sector. Each year, the findings of these research projects will be presented at a symposium and also published as an edited volume. Such research opportunities will enable students to analyze pertinent social issues, critically evaluate public policies that aim to address these issues, and propose alternative solutions.
Each student will be required to engage in an attachment of at least 40 hours with a social service organization. The attachment will enable the student to initiate a project with his/her host organization, thereby adding value to the organization. Examples of possible projects include public education activities, fundraisers, social audits of organizational impact, and pilot tests of new programmes. Such attachments will sensitize students to the challenges that social service organizations face in responding to beneficiaries’ needs, promoting public awareness of social issues, meeting stakeholder expectations, and mobilizing financial, human and other resources. More importantly, these attachments will also provide an avenue for students to develop values such as sensitivity, empathy and compassion.
(iv) Talks and workshops
An “In Conversation” series will be launched. Outstanding local and overseas community leaders, social service organization leaders, social entrepreneurs, and academics will be invited to conduct talks and workshops for students. Through their conversations and interactions with outstanding practitioners and academics, students will learn of the best practices in community development, and be inspired to initiate community involvement programmes.
When the students successfully complete the requirements of the Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme, they will each be presented with a certificate.
The Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme is made possible with a gift of $5 million from Mr Chua Thian Poh to NUS. The Chua Thian Poh Community Leadership Programme is supported by the NUS University Scholars Programme.