The Birthday Fellowship Experience
The Fellowship Experience is segmented into two phases:
- Phase 1: Taking Root (November 2021 - February 2022)
Fellows were exposed to specially curated sessions with Industry and Thought Leaders amongst the topics of Futures, Leadership, and Social Activism.
- Phase 2: Lifting Off (March 2022 - October 2022)
A key objective of the Birthday Fellowship is to stretch our Collective’s ‘Hand’ Trust through the execution of a capstone project. As such, in “Phase 2: Lifting Off”, Fellows will plan and execute a capstone project of their own initiative and preference. The Birthday Collective will support each project with resources both financial and from our community of writers and volunteers. During this phase, our Fellows will also be closely mentored and advised by a TBC volunteer in the execution of their project.
Read on for a flavour of each session, and hear from some of our fellows on their experiences!
13 Nov 21 - Session #1: Introduction
On 13th November 2021, the Birthday Fellows were welcomed into the Birthday Collective and briefed on what lay in store in the months ahead. They also had the chance to meet one another as hear about the projects each Fellow was excited about.
28 Nov 21 - Session #2: Futures and Futures Thinking
“On 28th November 2021, the Birthday Fellows gathered online on Zoom with Adrian Kuah (Director, Futures Office, NUS), Chew Lin (who's just transited from government future to exploring futures in hospice and spiritual care with a Masters in Divinity), and Cheryl Chung (Programme Director, Executive Education SG Futures at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy).
This session’s focus was futures thinking, and the hopefulness in perceiving an infinite number of possible futures. With a wonderfully meandering discussion, the group shared ideas about structured dreaming, living in beautiful chaos, and how “futures work is daily flirtation with career suicide”.
The possibilities opened by contemplative and spiritual practices when doing futures work was also raised as a commonality between our facilitators.”
Anna, Birthday Fellow ‘21
22 Jan 22 - Session #3: Leadership
“On 22nd January 2022, the Birthday Fellows gathered in-person at The Red Box to learn more about leadership, empowerment and teams from speakers sourced from across the Birthday Collective.
The morning session was moderated by Choy Yong Cong (VP and Head of Region, Economics Development Board), with Grace Sai (Co-Founder, UnRavel Carbon) and Kai Tan (Founder, ONE Drop) who shared on the theme of Sustaining Teams.
Key takeaways for this session included the importance of effective recruitment, retaining and succession planning within an organisation and a leaders’ role in aligning values for the team.
The afternoon session was moderated by Shaun Seah (Programme Coordinator, The Birthday Fellowship), with Renita Sophia Crasta (Legal Counsel, Community Leader) and Ivy Tse (CEO, Halogen Foundation Singapore) who engaged the Fellows on the theme of Leadership as Empowerment.
We learnt how leaders can strive to create better ecosystems where every individual, team, organization and its beneficiaries and stakeholders can be equipped and supported, towards improved and more sustainable outcomes
On behalf of the Fellows, I thank the distinguished speakers for sharing their time and invaluable experiences with us all!”
Calvin, Birthday Fellow ‘21
27 Feb - Session #4: Social Activism
"What can we do with what we already have? How can we manage our energy sustainably? When is longevity not a good thing? And when is the time to prove ourselves, and when is the time not to?
On Sunday (27 Feb 2022), the 2021 Birthday Fellows gathered both online and offline to join in a restorative discussion on Social Activism, where we heard from the good folks who are creating and sustaining social impact through their respective work. There were so many nuggets of wisdom we received from the collective sharing - such as the importance of self-awareness; speaking truth in love and surrounding ourselves with people who can tell us that; remembering our intentions; how our inner work will always be our output; and sustaining growth beyond the services we provide and people’s exit from the system, etc..
So long as we are committed to diversity and conflict and embark to understand and accept the different parts of ourselves, we can continue to stay in the social activism space and not run dry.
A big thank-you to Kuik Shiao Yin from Common Ground, Yulianna Frederika from Lepak Conversations, and Lim Jingzhou from Cassia Resettlement Team! We are most grateful and energised from the sharing - it was truly a Sunday filled with goodness and will surely charge us well as we March ahead!"
Hui Ying, Birthday Fellow ‘21