Youth are our literal future. What does the leading edge of Singapore youth tell us about Singapore’s future?
When I started this project, it was with a certain assumption that Singapore youth who are already so globally connected might want to study and work overseas and not return to Singapore, taking with them their skills and talent with them. I wanted to find out then what were their motivations, their decision making process and which cities they chose to relocate to. Another consideration was values shift. Ten years ago being a chef still carried blue-collar connotations, but now foreign and local celebrity chefs are routinely celebrated in the media and are viewed as very viable and indeed, desired career options. What could this study tell us of possible values shifts to come?
And so this study is not focused on the mass of Singapore’s youth, whose job and career aspirations are generally accommodated within the opportunities available to them in Singapore. We wanted to focus on the youth at the fringes. We wanted to find out what youth on the leading edge might tell us of Singapore’s future.
Our partners in this study, Flamingo International, have been crucial in helping us access a segment of youth that we could not have possibly accessed by ourselves. A big thank you from us.
We have published the outcomes of the study in two output formats.
The first is a more conventional output of a large slide deck with methodologies and the results of the study and recommendations. There will be a shorter version that can be used for quick presentations (20min or so) and a heavier version to allow deep dives if detail is needed. You can download the large slide deck (displayed below) here and the shorter version here.
The second is a lifebook, a more graphics-heavy snapshot of the lives of the youth participating in the study. The lifebook is best read as a large printout (double A4 per page). Download here.
As to the question, “What happens next”?
Asian youth, like their Singapore counterparts, are some of the most connected, empowered, entrepreneurial people you’ll meet, and they are also committed to social change. What does the leading edge of Asian youth tell us about Asia’s future? How can Singapore be a focal point to enable the leading edge of youth both in Singapore and throughout Asia to fulfill their careers, their values, their commitments? My belief is the country or city that taps on the incredible creative energy of these youth will be in a good stead entering the future.
These are all questions worth answering.