Philanthropy – In Conversation Series: Dr Pamala Wiepking : An Academic Overview of Philanthropy in the Netherlands and Europe

Philanthropic Speaker series talk with guest speaker, Dr Pamala Wiepking, Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research focuses on cross-national and interdisciplinary explanations of philanthropy and is funded by a veni grant from the Netherlands Scientific Organization. We present an overview of the academic literature on philanthropy, divided in two parts: 1. Who gives how much; 2. Why people give. In part 1 Dr Wiepking surveyed the literature on characteristics of individuals and households that are related to giving. In part 2, she identified eight mechanisms as the most important forces that drive giving: (1) awareness of need; (2) solicitation; (3) costs and benefits; (4) altruism; (5) reputation; (6) psychological benefits; (7) values; (8) efficacy. Her research evaluated the progress in the almost 500 studies they reviewed and suggested directions for future research on philanthropy.

Art Activism Symposium, co-organized with NUS Museum

ACSEP and the NUS Museum co-organized an Art Activism held in The Salon, National Museum of Singapore, as a parallel event of Singapore Biennale 2011. At this symposium, an audience of about 100 individuals listened to the inspiring stories of 4 south-east Asian artists, who shared how they used art as a medium to raise awareness of social issues and challenges and how to effectively, through art, engage in social intervention. Mr Tisna Sanjaya from Indonesia spoke on his efforts to clear a garbage dump site and build a cultural centre in its stead. Ms Alma Quinto from the Philippines touched the audience with her story of how she used art to bring about healing and reconciliation among marginalized communities of women and children. Mr Kamin Lertchaiprasert from Thailand talked about his project to create a cultural space for young alternative artists and social artists to dialogue, network and engage the public. And Mr Mark Salvatus from the Philippines shared how he used street art to engage communities from different parts of the world, getting them to reflect on their identities and their connections to material things and the environment. At the conclusion of the symposium, members of the audience were moved to reflect on how they could also engage in social intervention in the context of their own workspaces.

In Conversation Series: Ms Casey Wilson, Founder Wokai, China

Ms Casey Wilson is a young American woman who through her personal travels in China gave her motivation to create Wokai, an SE program designed to help raise funds for livelihood programs for young women from the rural communities. The creation of Wokai is the culmination of her experiences working with young women who traveled far from rural communities to the cities to look for work and then finding out that many of them receive little money and suffer long hours at work with little chance for career development. The talk was also notable for the depth of participation by the audience, many of them students from China who were deeply interested to see how Wokai was helping their country in the areas of social enterprise and community development

Bangladesh Social Entrepreneurship tour

This was an event facilitated by Eddy Chong from ACSEP and Ms Cindy Chng, a recently graduated NTU student and founder of an eco-travel agency in Singapore. Cindy was the Regional Youth Caucus of Singapore rep at the Commonwealth platform and recently appointed as the Deputy Regional Chair for the Commonwealth Youth Programme in Asia. In her capacity as Singapore rep in the Commonwealth Youth Leaders Conference held in Chandigarh in De the year before, she was asked to help facilitate a SE tour in Singapore from officials from the Department of Youth Development in Bangladesh and key representatives from various NGOs. Bangladesh faces an issue of high unemployment rates for the youths with 120 youths to 1 job. Hence the government, NGOs and civil society has been actively trying to assist youths with skills training and encouraging entrepreneurship. The presentation by NUS AIESEC student leader, Josh Toh introduced the Bangladesh delegates to AIESEC and the activities that the club organizes to facilitate the growth of interest and support for social entrepreneurship scene in Singapore. One of the key learning points that came from the presentation was the SE Befriender Scheme which drew interest in the crowd who were intrigued by how corporates can play their part in the value adding to social enterprises through AIESEC.

In Conversation Series: Mr Anugraha John, Founder Global Citizens for Sustainable Development, India

Anugraha is the founder of Global Citizens for Sustainable Development (GCSD), a non-profit organization based in Bangalore, India. To an engaged audience of about 20 students, Anugraha spoke on how youth today can play more positive roles as global citizens for effective development. In particular, he discussed the concept of sustainable development, and how youth voluntarism can be effectively tapped to attain this form of development. He also shared with the audience the various volunteer opportunities in India that GCSD offers. At the end of Anugraha’s sharing session, a number of students stepped forward to discuss these volunteer opportunities with him. One of these students, Sivaranjani Suresh, intends to lead a team of NUS students to India to work on a sustainable development project with GCSD. The planned project will focus on waste management for the agricultural sector in India.