In recent years, there’s been growing interest and support for social enterprises right here in Singapore. Perhaps the general public is more aware of enterprises that seek to develop innovative and sustainable business models to give rise to social good. With this peak in interest, the Singapore Centre of Social Enterprise (raiSE) has organised FestivalForGood.
FestivalForGood is the first ever two-day festival held on 20th and 21st August that has a wide array of activities for everyone from all walks of life. From a pop-up market to live performances to interactive workshops and learning journeys, they hope to continue raising awareness for the companies involved and give them more exposure to the general public.
Besides the main festival itself, that will be launched by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, fringe initiatives have already been running to get things going. [email protected] Gateway will be hosting plenty of handmade products that support marginalised individuals from around the region.
If you are a foodie, then you would be in luck as dining offers will be available for the whole month of August at participating social enterprises. Ranging from Eighteen Chefs to Garçons at The Pinnacle, there will be something for everyone. Simply download the coupons from www.festivalforgood.sg and present it at the said outlets.
Hoping to find out more and what is installed for festival-goers, Popspoken sits down with the raiSE team and asks them a few questions.
Popspoken: How did an idea for this festival come about?
We initiated FestivalForGood to raise awareness and support of the diverse and vibrant community of social enterprises here. Through FestivalForGood, we hope to show more Singaporeans the various ways to make a difference and join the #partofthegood movement by supporting social enterprises as a sustainable way to address social needs.
Since we launched raiSE in May 2015, we have seen tremendous growth in the social enterprise sector, and currently have over 300 social enterprise members spanning many diverse areas of impact and industries. We have been inspired by the incredible diversity and community spirit in our fast-growing social enterprise ecosystem. There are so many meaningful ways for every Singaporean to get involved, so we decided to put everything together in an immersive and engaging festival that fully expresses the vibrancy and diversity of the community.
Our approach has been very much ground-up and community-driven. This is the spirit that drives FestivalForGood and will hopefully encourage more Singaporeans to get involved and support social enterprises.
PS: Are the brands featured chosen by you? How does it work?
While some level of curation was involved (mostly due to space and logistical considerations), the entire process from start to end has been a collaborative effort between raiSE and our member social enterprises. In the initial stages, we invited our social enterprises members to be part of the process of planning the festival. We then conceptualised the festival, incorporating their feedback, ideas and the activities they would like to conduct at the festival.
PS: What is a must-see/do at this year’s festival?
We have put together an exciting line-up of activities for 20 and 21 August, and here is an overview of the various highlights:
Good food for a great cause
• Learn the basics of organic farming with social enterprise Edible Garden City, and bring home a plant to start your own farm at home. Edible Garden City is also working with 3 Timbre+ chefs to create a range of special dishes inspired by homegrown vegetables, available exclusively during the festival
• Brew coffee and create your own latte art at Bettr Barista, an internationally-certified coffee academy that trains underprivileged women and youth
• Treat yourself to free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream at the festival by ordering in sign language and show your support for the hearing impaired
Spruce up your look
• Shop at the pop-up market at FestivalForGood and support social good by browsing our curated selection of hand-crafted jewellery, bags and up-cycled accessories produced by social enterprises that help persons with disadvantages.
• Enjoy a signature mani-pedi, wine and cupcake at The Nail Social, a lifestyle salon that trains and employs local underprivileged women with a higher barrier to employment.
• Be the first to check out the launch of the new ‘Singapore Print’ collection inspired by Singapore icons at the Singapore Fashion Runway, featuring other socially-conscious handcrafted clothes, jewellery and accessories by fellow social enterprises WISE Enterprise, ONE+ONE and Purnama Outreach.
For the young, and the young at heart
• Marvel at incredible tricks performed by Circus in Motion, but don’t just stop there. Learn how to master these tricks yourself, including how to use ‘Diabolo’, a traditional Chinese circus prop.
• Enjoy a family brunch at Professor Brawn Cafe that employs people of different abilities, ages and socio-economic backgrounds while hearing about the founders’ inspirational social enterprise journey.
• Get an up-cycling kit at the Festival pop-up market by Sustainable Living Lab and help your children cultivate environmentally friendly habits while honing their creativity
Move to the groove
• Move to the beat and learn cajon drumming at a workshop by BEATA’BOX.
• Strike a pose at a Body Balance class that combines yoga, taichi and pilates, and test your endurance by joining a fitness challenge by Flow Fitness.
• Do your part for sustainability by picking up a new skill at FestivalForGood. Choose from our wide array of workshops and learning journeys, from sewing reversible book covers, pencil cases, cushion covers and wristlets with Sew Into It; designing your own tote bags with The LOOMs Workshop; to leather crafting by LienStudio.
A new perspective
• Step into a world without sight by embarking on an experiential tour in complete darkness with Dialogue in the Dark Singapore and Society Staples’ experiential trail.
• Read poems and appreciate art created by migrant workers at a pop-up booth by the SDI Academy.
• Get a behind-the-scenes experience of how social enterprises operate to fulfil their social outcomes – by visiting their premises and hearing directly from their founders, at the new Maker Space by Sustainable Living Lab.
PS: What more can be done to help raise awareness and patronage of these social issues/enterprises?
#partofthegood is a movement that goes beyond the festival. It’s about kickstarting the conversation and initiating a longer wave of change, by showing that everyone – from individuals to corporations – can be #partofthegood in many meaningful and sustainable ways. Following the festival, raiSE will continue to sustain public engagement through initiatives, partnerships and programmes that give social enterprises greater visibility, and drive knowledge-sharing with our upcoming conference. Through initiatives such as FestivalForGood, we hope to grow a strong and supportive ecosystem and encourage a better understanding of the breadth and depth of the quality work and social impact that our social enterprises make.
Date: 20th August 2016
Time: 10am to 8pm
Venue: JTC Launchpad, Timbre+ and Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) Ideation Centre
Date: 21st August 2016
Time: 10am to 6pm
Venue: Social Enterprises Island-Wide
Photography Credits: raiSE