Majulah Community is a youth organization that creates pathways for members of the Singapore community to create a better Singapore for all.
There’s a quote by Apple founder Steve Jobs on a group of people he calls “the crazy ones.”
(The full quote is at the end of this page so if you can’t stand suspense, feel free to scroll down. We’ll wait patiently for you to come back.)
While we looked out at 50 enthusiastic faces on a Saturday morning at Lifelong Learning Institute - and again the next day, a weeknight after that AND another rainy Saturday morning at Our Tampines Hub, making it a full 5 days out of 9 if you’re counting - that was exactly the words I would’ve used to describe each and every one of these people.
The crazy ones.
They started off as strangers. While other hackathons often allow participants to sign up in groups, the team behind Changemakers Assemble - or #assemble for short - decided to get everyone to register as individuals and form teams during the first half of Day 1. In the spirit of breaking social isolation and echo chambers (two out of the three challenge statements the teams would unpack and tackle with the third being hate spin), we challenged everyone to have teams that were as diverse as possible.
And they did it. Each and every team had a mix of individual strengths, backgrounds and passions. To give you a taste of the diversity within each group, the winning team Stranger Thinks had a designer who just graduated from her studies, a civil engineer and a social activist with years of experience in the field - all of whom had never previously met.
But assembling a team was merely the first step. Hacking issues revolving around the chosen theme of social resilience, prototyping a solution to these issues and preparing a 6-minute pitch to a panel of judges sounds like the kind of thing that would take normal people months. But these were the crazy ones and they pulled it off - with the help of a lot of late nights, good food, positive energy and, most important of all, experienced mentors to guide them along the way.
To list every single individual who invested time and effort to share their insights with the changemakers would be impossible…but we’ll try and do it anyway.
The charismatic panelists who sparked the deep discussions of the issues: Mr Remy Mahzam, Mr Sujadi Siswo, Ustaz Ridhwan Basor, Ustaz Izhar Roslan, Ms Nurul Jihadah and Mr Goh Lih Shiun.
The lead trainers who imparted skills and opened new ways of thinking: Mr Ibnur Rashad (and his lovely team!), Mr Mohksin Rashid and Mr Ambar Machfoedy.
The dedicated and ever-smiling mentor-facilitators: Hanafi, Hidayah, Humairah, Hyrol, Linna, Tengku Hafidz and Wan.
Our all-female, all-awesome changemakers involved in a multitude of social initiatives: Ms Dhaniah Wijayah, Ms Durriah Pitchay, Ms Ameera Begum, Ms Mathilda Ho, Ms Nur Khairiana and Ms Faraliza Zainal.
The panel of judges who not only listened but gave incredibly useful feedback and advice: Mr Syakir Hashim, Mr Azree Rahim and Mr Mohamed Irshad Arshad.
All of the social enterprises who contributed towards making #assemble awesome: Bliss Catering, Food Rescue and Box Green.
And finally…the crazy ones. The Purifiers. Break The Class. Stranger Thinks. Kash & Co. FriendZone.sg. PowerHouse. MYA yOUR Hub. The Opener. Alleviate SG. Break The Echo. SyaLiSi.
If there’s one thing the organising team took away from #assemble, it’s this: creating a more resilient society isn’t about coming up with a magic spell. It isn’t about developing one single idea that will cure all our problems.
It’s about creating meaningful relationships across diversity. It's about building a team of like-minded changemakers. It’s about assembling a community.