Let’s Talk

Frank and open conversations on social causes is a great way to get people thinking about causes, effects, and solutions, and hopefully get involved. The Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and the National Youth Council did just that; they organised a six-month programme for youths to come up with policy recommendations or ground-up initiatives.

We may grow skeptical of such events. Sometimes, conversations fizzle out and ideas die as no stakeholder is willing to step up to concretise and own proposed solutions. At other times, though, ideas take off and inspire some to act in their own small but nonetheless meaningful ways. The difference? Concrete, feasible solutions were proposed. 

How can we go beyond surface-level discussions to reach such depth?

One of the things I learned at the AMEX Leadership Academy with Common Purpose last year was brainwriting, or a slight variation of it, for rapid idea generation. It’s easy to pick up.

  1. Form a group of at least three people and examine your chosen issue (e.g., how can we address the stigma and discrimination experienced by youths with mental health issues?).
  2. Sit in your own personal space, and think of three solutions to the issue. Pen your ideas on three different pieces of post-it notes.
  3. While you have a kopi or teh, look at your friends’ post-it notes and add on your ideas as well.

Now, look at all the solutions the group has come up with. Isn’t it interesting how people’s minds work; how some ideas are along the same vein, while others are totally off on a tangent?

I invite you to share your solutioning experience with us at Caritas. If you looked at issues faced by youths with mental health issues, let us know. We may use your ideas at the upcoming BRAVE – Catholic Youth Mental Health Conference on 22 February, jointly organised by Clarity Singapore and Caritas.

Anita Sebastian is part of the Communications team at Caritas Singapore. She is ‘dinosaur-ing’ around the office with Class 95 FM songs in the background.