Early in 2020, in the midst of my caring for Mizah in her battle for health, we spoke a lot about the impact of our work on cities & communities in our short careers. We wondered about our contribution to the city beyond client work, beyond our companies, and beyond our own lives.
Mizah and I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to chart new paths in Participatory Design & Placemaking with Participate in Design (P!D) and Shophouse & Co. However, we also know that there are many other issues in our city that need community-powered solutions. For example, problems of Urban Inequality, Climate Change, Data Privacy, Health, and more.
The work that we have started and the work on these other urban challenges will need a new generation of talent and set of ideas beyond us. And it was our shared hope that we can do our small part in supporting it. While Mizah and I never managed to shape this thought into reality together, it has become one of my personal goals to continue working on it.
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In the coming months, I will be starting an initiative to support new talent and ideas for a better city.
For a start, the initiative will focus on offering educational bursaries and mentorship to tertiary students who are pursuing their interests in community-driven solutions to our urban issues. The aim is to get this going in early 2021.
This is at the moment a personal project and is not a charity, non-profit organisation, society, or company. However, while I am seed-funding and driving this project, it can only be brought to life by the community, just like everything that Mizah and I have done in our careers.
I am pleased to share that Participate in Design (P!D), Shophouse & Co, and a few other urban practitioner peers have already committed to support this project in their own ways. Support is still needed in many other areas and if you would like to help, I’ll be humbled to have you shape this with me.
You can stay updated on the project by subscribing to the newsletter.
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How you can help
There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to get this initiative off to a good start. While I will be leading most (or all) of it for now, having the community’s involvement will be the only way that this can happen. In fact it is the very reason for this whole thing!
You can reach me at email@example.com to have a chat about any of the areas below or other forms of support that you would like to offer. Thank you!
‘Better City’ is a working title for this initiative and I think there is room for a better name! The initiative also needs a nice visual identity. If you are a designer or brand strategist, you might be the person to help me with this.
A key part of the initiative is to work closely with educational institutions and also other strategic partners. If you are involved in an organisation or project that would like to explore a partnership, do reach out.
This is a group of civic-minded urban practitioners and thought leaders that I hope will support me in identifying, selecting, and mentoring talent and ideas. If you have a suggestion on who should be in this, or would like me to consider you being part of this group, do reach out.
This initiative is currently seed-funded by a small personal donation from me. While additional support is appreciated, this is a one-man initiative with no official registration (yet), which means that there are no tax incentives nor legal structures to support your donation. If you would still like to make a personal donation to the initiative, please reach out directly to me.
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