How do you use technology/policy to improve citizens’ lives? Tell us about your role or organisation.
I work in the space of using digital media for social impact. At The Hidden Good, we are a social enterprise and community-centred media platform that collaborates with advocates and partners to raise awareness on social issues and inspire action. We make the good in the world less hidden by inspiring social change through leveraging the power of content and community. It is built on the belief that there is good out there is a lot of good out there – we just don’t see it.
The Hidden Good started in response to the increasing negativity and apathy online and also offline. Our goal is to increase civil society participation by using social media for social good. We work with non-profits, fellow social enterprises and other organisations to address social issues in a way that brings civil society into conversation for more long-term systemic change.
Our work is to bring out the good that’s being done through narrative building on social media and through sector collaborations to engage youth and the public to become more aware and more involved – to make a difference wherever they are.
We started an incubator called The Hoodie Lab, where we incubate social impact projects run by youth. The Hoodie Lab addresses issues such as diversity and inclusion, using technology and digital media as a way to promote a more peaceful, inclusive, and equitable world. To date, the incubator has reached over 500,000 people and been a key platform in youth engagement.
We’ve partnered government agencies like the Info-communications Media Development Authority and National Youth Council on this initiative and it has received very positive feedback for being a tool for young people to create and communicate the change they hope to be in the world.
What has been the most exciting thing that you worked on in 2018?
The most exciting thing for us this year was building partnerships in the region to amplify impact and to share our work in the region. Singapore is uniquely located not only geographically and economically but also digitally, to be a hub for the rest of Asia in terms of doing good and digital literacy.
If you were to share one piece of advice that you learned in 2018, what would it be?
Learning that it’s okay to say no. That it is more important to choose projects and partners that align with our values than just to say yes because it’s an exciting new opportunity.
And the importance of articulating and aligning expectations – a lot of the time, we assume we know what the other party wants and needs and expects, but only until we articulate and align our expectations will we be able to have a common understanding of what success looks like for all parties involved.
What tool or technique particularly interests you for 2019?
Using data and insights to inform our decision-making processes, and also in building our systems and processes that function more effectively. And building systems and processes that are efficient but also flexible and adaptable – I feel that too often, when we try and systemise everything, it ends up making us rigid. I would like us to develop systems and structures that allow for more innovation and openness and experimentation, but at the same time, optimisation and efficiency.
What are your priorities for 2019?
Our priorities for 2019 are to diversify our content, building our international presence, and being an agency for good. In doing so, our goal is to help 100 nonprofits and social enterprises build their impact narrative and to amplify their impact digitally and on the ground.
What is one skill that has helped you the most throughout the course of your career?
Communication. It helps me connect with people from all backgrounds and contexts, and to make information more accessible to those who need it. It enables me to articulate what we do and to inspire people to be part of it.
What advancements do you predict will happen in your field in the next ten years?
With increasing advancements in technology, I believe there will also be a bigger need for human connection. Our work is in that space. How do we continue to enable human connection through technology instead of technology disconnecting us?
Coffee, yoga, music… what powers you through your day?
Sunshine, soup, yoga, journaling, spending quality time with my husband, family and loved ones, and seeing stories of good become less hidden in our world.