Alfie Othman heads the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE), which was set up to boost support for social enterprises in Singapore and encourage their growth as a sustainable way to address social needs.
raiSE has gained support from multiple stakeholders in the government, community and corporations. It has secured up to $30 million in funds to grow social entrepreneurship over the next 5 years through grants and impact investments.
Alfie also initiated the formation of the first urban Micro Credit Business Scheme in November 2011, meant to support the micro business initiatives of under banks.
Prior to his current role at raiSE, Alfie had a successful banking career for over twelve years. Apart from working in the private sector, Alfie also devotes significant time to the public arena and civil society.
Arnel Paciano Casanova is the former president and CEO of Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) – a government development corporation mandated to transform former military lands into alternative, productive civilian enclaves.
Some of the projects under his belt included the Bonifacio Global City and the country’s first smart and disaster-resilient metropolis, Clark Green City.
The trained lawyer is currently a faculty member of the Ateneo School of Government and UP College of Law, where he teaches social entrepreneurship and law, while mentoring other social enterprises involved in healthcare, poverty alleviation, environment and housing.
Arnel is also part of CARD Inc, the biggest microfinance institution in the Philippines. He founded AvantChange, a social enterprise organised in Cambridge that aims to promote social entrepreneurship in Asia, and is among the pioneers of Kaya Natin! (We Can!), a social movement for good governance and ethical leadership.
Growing up poor in the slums, Arnel is a staunch supporter of youths, believing in the promise and vast possibilities that they can do, given the right opportunities. He hopes his rags-to-riches story can motivate others to work hard and reach for their dreams.
Arnel has a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In 1997, he was awarded the prestigious Philippine Legion of Honor Medal for his work in the peace negotiation process with former military rebels. He was one of the youngest recipients of such an award under the presidency of President Fidel Ramos.
Ten years ago, Ben Cheong sat on the board of directors of several companies. But he walked away from it all to embark on a full-time journey to help the underprivileged and champion multiple charity causes.
He strongly advocates the importance of education, as he feels that it is the key to changing and empowering the future of underprivileged children in the rural villages of Asia. His motto of “empathy is the essence of every human and compassion does not have a race, language or religion but comes from the heart”, has led many to follow and support him on his journey.
Ben believes that any ordinary person can become extraordinary, if they dare to feel the pain of the hopeless and to reach out to the poor, needy and discriminated.
Today, he has raised enough funds to build and launch almost 30 schools, 2 medical centres and many other educational facilities and training programmes in the region. He has organised free medical camps, bringing up to 50 doctors and volunteers to set up temporary clinics in schools and villages, and initiated humanitarian relief missions when natural disasters strike, like the Nepal earthquake in 2015.
Ben set up Magical Light Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand in 2012 to reach out to even more underprivileged and displaced people in the region.
He also mentors, advises and acts as motivational speaker to groom future generation of compassionate young people in Singapore. He has been engaged to speak at functions, schools and charity organisations.
Ben was nominated for The Straits Times’ Singaporean of the Year award in 2015. His philanthropic journey was documented by Channel News Asia in a television programme called "A Singaporean Abroad". His charity causes have also gained recognition in various regional newspapers in the countries that he rendered aid to.
Professor David Chan
Lee Kuan Yew Fellow & Professor of Psychology
Director, Behavioural Sciences Institute, SMU
Professor David Chan is also adjunct principal scientist at A*STAR and co-director of the Centre for Technology and Social-Behavioural Insights, which is jointly established by A*STAR and SMU.
Professor Chan has received numerous international scholarly awards, and is the first non-American to get the Distinguished Early Career Contributions Award from the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. His works have been cited over 4,000 times in various disciplines.
He has served as editor or board member on several journals, and is elected fellow of several international psychological associations. He also sits on various national councils, advisory panels and board of directors for organisations in the public, private and people sectors.
Professor Chan is a recipient of the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and the Special Recognition Honour Award from the Ministry of Home Affairs for his contributions to the Home Team in the field of psychology for over two decades. He also received the Public Administration Medal (Silver) National Day award from the President of Singapore.
Professor Chan is an invited columnist for The Straits Times, where he writes on social issues, and consults on several documentaries and programmes for Channel News Asia.
Dr Goh Wei-Leong is a family physician in a low-income neighbourhood. He established HealthServe, a non-profit organisation that offers a free meal programme as well as basic medical, counselling, social and legal advisory services to the marginalised communities of migrant and commercial sex workers, as well as the local poor in Singapore.
HealthServe has two clinics and is largely run by more than 200 volunteers. Over the years, it has developed partnerships with regulatory authorities, agencies, schools and corporate organisations to initiate public health awareness, research projects and social enterprises.
Dr Goh also co-founded Linking Hands, a platform that establishes a membership database of voluntary medical professional healthcare workers, partnering them international healthcare and humanitarian agencies.
He serves with Operation Mobilisation in East Asia Pacific (Relief and Development) too, and is currently the chairman of the board of OM MTI (Mercy Teams International). He received an honourable mention at the Healthcare Humanity Award 2015.
Dr Goh is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Family Medicine department of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, where he teaches third-year medical students an interactive Family Medicine module on Migrant and Global Health, which he designed.
Jeff Cheong heads both Tribal Worldwide Asia and Tribal Worldwide Singapore.
He rebuilt and rebooted Tribal Singapore from a 4-person crew to an agency of 105 (and counting) award-winning talents. The company attained an A-list agency status in 2009 and has maintained top 3 positions for Singapore and South East Asia for DDB Singapore.
Jeff is a proven creative and business leader who led projects for global brands like Unilever, Nokia, Heineken and McDonald's, among others. He also produced some of the most memorable works in Singapore for SG50, The Future of Us showcase and Changi Airport.
Always curious and looking for new ways to interact with people, the trained graphic designer created 'Singaporean of the Day' (create hyperlink: www.singaporeanoftheday.com) – a social documentary that gives day-to-day citizens a voice to tell their story in a 2-minute interview.
Jeff is an active member of various advisory councils like Temasek Polytechnic, ITE, and Singapore Media Festival.
Koh Seng Choon started Project Dignity in 2010 to give employment, training and dignity to people with disabilities. His current staff of 61 is made up of 42 physically or intellectually disabled workers, who are financially-challenged.
They work in Dignity Kitchen – Singapore’s first hawker training school for the disabled and disadvantaged, and Dignity Mama – stalls selling donated used books in hospitals. In September 2016, Project Dignity received the President's Challenge Social Enterprise of the Year award.
Seng Choon holds a dual honours degree in engineering and business administration from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom. He also has an MSc in Computer Integrated Manufacturing from the UK’s Cranfield Institute of Technology.
Upon graduation, Seng Choon was involved with the management of a steel foundry, and later, in the foundry’s merger and acquisition of businesses in China, Indonesia and the United States. He then worked as an ISO 9000 assessor in the UK before returning to Singapore as a senior manager with the then Coopers & Lybrand International.
Seng Choon set up his own management consultancy firm in 1997 – focusing on small and medium enterprises – in the areas of strategic planning and business development of mainland Chinese and Indian companies. He consulted with several state-owned Chinese companies in South China and major Indian family-managed businesses. His invaluable knowledge of India and the Middle East led IE Singapore to appoint him as one of their coaches to help local companies develop their business overseas.
In 2005, Seng Choon was made executive director of Restaurant Association of Singapore. He was responsible for restructuring the country’s food and beverage industry, and assisted with the setting up of a Chinese culinary training school.
In his free time, Seng Choon lectures on the subject of entrepreneurship to MBA students at S P Jain Centre of Management. He also helps former and current inmates of Selarang Drug Rehabilitation Centre and Changi Prison to realise their entrepreneurial ambition.
Seng Choon has also written three books, one of which was on the bestseller list in New Delhi, India.
Kuik Shiao-Yin is co-founder and creative director of the Thought Collective, an organisation she launched with a group of friends and comprises four companies.
The first one is School of Thought, a civic education centre set up to deal with the problem of growing apathy among youths. It offers tuition for General Paper and Language Arts.
There’s also socially-ethical restaurant Food for Thought, which recently opened its third branch at the Singapore Botanical Gardens; Think Tank Publishing, which publishes magazines for students; and Thinkscape Learning Journeys, which offers learning and heritage trails for schools.
Shiao-Yin enjoys talking to youths about the power of possibility through taking ownership of their personal stories. She speaks often on social entrepreneurship and the roots of creativity and change.
Shiao-Yin served the public sector as a Nominated Member of Parliament since 2014. She currently sits on the board of *SCAPE – a non-profit organisation aimed at supporting youth, talent and leadership development, as well as facilitating youth-oriented programmes and support within various communities of youth interest.
Lynna Chandra established Rachel House – named after a close friend who died of cancer – in 2006 and pioneered the first paediatric palliative care service in Indonesia for children from marginalised communities living with cancer and HIV.
She is also a strong advocate for farmers, whom she says are responsible for the food on everyone’s table and yet often remains at the bottom of the food chain.
In 2011, the ex-investment banker co-founded Absolute Impact Partners (AIP), aimed at alleviating poverty by creating equal access to healthcare, education, sustainable energy and clean water, as well as providing equal opportunities in employment and financial assistance mentorship. AIP is currently active in Indonesia and Myanmar.
Lynna was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2012 for the impact her work had on Indonesia’s national health system. She serves on the Board of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN) to advocate for better access to palliative care for children globally. She is also a board member of Bamboo Capital Management – a leading impact investment private equity firm and Ashoka: Innovators for the Public (Singapore) Limited.
Prior to setting up social impact organisations, Lynna spent over a decade in the banking industry. She was at UBS and Bankers Trust, where she was involved in the structuring and marketing of debt and equity derivatives to Asian clients. She was also involved in venture capital work in technology and healthcare sectors at Abacus Capital and corporate advisory work at Absolute Partners.
Ong Boon Hwee heads a thought leadership centre that focuses on promoting stewardship and governance of companies and organisations across Asia. Based in Singapore, the centre is a member of Temasek Management Services.
Prior to his role at Stewardship Asia Centre, Boon Hwee worked extensively in the civil and commercial sectors. He was a Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces and held key command and staff positions there, before leaving public service to begin a corporate career in management and business.
He joined Temasek Holdings as the managing director responsible for strategic relations and projects, and was also the CEO of Temasek Management Services, managing subsidiaries of diverse businesses including logistics, IT, training and consulting. He led the establishment of new institutions like the Business Leadership Centre and the Wealth Management Institute.
Boon Hwee was also once the COO of Singapore Power (SP). He was responsible for its business units in Singapore and group corporate functions, while driving the business growth of the company’s regional consultancy arm – SP Global-Solutions. He also started Beyond Horizon, a consulting company that focuses on leadership development and strategic planning.
Boon Hwee currently serves on the boards of companies of diverse sectors, ranging from infrastructure and technology to security, telecoms and learning institutes. He also sits on the board of, and actively contributes to, non-profit organisations, including research agencies, foundations, and youth development centres.
Boon Hwee graduated with First Class Honours in Economics from the National University of Singapore, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Military Arts and Science from the United States Command and General Staff College.
Dr Patrick Liew earned a doctorate degree in education from the University of Southern California. He also graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, has an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University of New York, and holds an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University.
Patrick was previously a regional director at the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate, and was executive chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd, a public-listed company on SGX-ST.
Patrick founded Success Resources, touted to be the largest seminar organiser in the world. He also set up an e-learning company, rated by Deloitte and Touche as the 11th fastest growing tech company, and may be the first to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He has also written a Chinese book on business systems.
He is a keynote speaker at many international conferences and has conducted training for participants from more than 60 countries. He has organised conventions for prominent leaders and shared the speaking platform with luminaries like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Richard Branson and Anthony Robbins.
Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He actively supports humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes, and has helped put together many social missions. In the process, he has helped to set four records in the Singapore Books of Records and one in the Guinness World Records.
Patrick has won numerous awards for his work, including the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and the Global Leader Award.
Veronica Colondam is a social entrepreneur who focuses on youth development and uses financial inclusion to provide education for the underprivileged youth.
The head of YCAB Foundation – a social enterprise set up in 1999 that has empowered more than 3 million youths in a sustainable way – dreams of creating measurable social change and putting the organisation onto the global map.
By 2020, the foundation hopes to impact 5 million people and raise US$50 million in impact investment fund for its conditional micro-finance programme, where education becomes the pre-condition to loan. To date, it is operational in 5 other countries, namely Pakistan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Uganda and Mongolia.
In 2015, the organisation ranked number 63 in the top 100 NGO list by the Global Journal in Geneva, Switzerland, as the only one of Indonesian origin. In 2016, it made number 49 in the journal’s top 500 NGO list.
Veronica has a Master in Social Science from Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is also an alum of the Global Leadership Program at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Leadership Lab at MIT, Social Entrepreneurship at INSEAD and Impact Investment at Oxford’s SAID Business School.
Veronica was the youngest recipient of the United Nation’s Civil Society Award in 2001, and was appointed a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum in 2006. In 2015, Forbes named her one of the 10 most inspiring women in Indonesia.
Veronica has written several books on youth development and behaviour. She lives in Jakarta with her husband and three children.
Last updated on 11 Sep 2017 .