SINGAPORE INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION
ore than half a year has passed, during which time world events have presented us with much optimism. From the historic Trump-Kim summit that was hosted by Singapore, to a daring rescue in Thailand that saw several nations combining their efforts to successfully extricate 13 people who were trapped in a cave, we’ve witnessed how cooperation between nations can lead to positive outcomes.
While traditional diplomacy between governments remains crucial, states that harness the growing influence of citizen diplomats have the edge. In this issue, I examine people diplomacy and the role it plays in building mutual understanding for a shared future.
How do we embrace our cultural differences while at the same time focusing on our commonalities to influence positive social change? We speak to Professor of Psychology David Chan, a social and behavioural scientist who details how seeing things from the perspectives of others can help to enhance our ties with the international community.
As Singapore continues to forge its way ahead as a smart city, British eco-architect Jason Pomeroy, who has been based here for a decade, highlights the need to include culture and people, in our embrace of technology. He also shares his vision of a carbon-lite future whereby ordinary individuals are wholly invested in sustainability.
Another major theme that’s explored in this issue is promoting social change through inclusivity in the arts. This was apparent in the staging of the Arts and Disability International Conference in Singapore in March. We also see it in “He(art) of the Matter”, where our Arts for Good fellows leverage their new connections to collaborate on programmes to help the disabled and marginalised.
We are constantly inspired by Singaporeans doing good overseas, from doctors who are building capacity to raise the standards of healthcare in developing countries, to an environmentally conscious individual who is encouraging people in China to recycle their used clothes through innovative methods. In each story about creating positive impact around the world, you’ll notice that sustainable change was made possible because people of different cultures were willing to overcome their differences to collaborate for a common good. We hope that these stories will inspire you to reach out and work with the international community in making the world a better place.