ENABLING IMPACT IN TRANSFORMING THE SOCIAL SECTOR
A decade ago, a dedicated team of individuals sought to bridge the gap between the social sector and volunteers by empowering skilled talent to strengthen social good organisations. On 21 Aug 2021, Conjunct Consulting hosted its 10th Year Anniversary Event and celebrated over 250,000 hours of impact made for the social sector by more than 600 skilled talent. As a social sector enabler, Conjunct works with university students and working professionals, connecting them to the social sector through pro and low-bono consultancy services.
The event featured Dr. Ang Hak Seng, the Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth as the Guest of Honour and event attendees ranged from a pool of directors, staff and volunteers across Social Service Agencies to universities and corporates.
The two-hour event invited reflections and discussions about the evolution of the social sector while nodding to the active trends that affect the sector. Through the deep discussions, appreciation speeches and odes to community members, it became apparent that there is a need for more players to enable the sector through collaboration and co-creation of solutions to yield long-lasting sustainable impact on communities.
“When faced with a crisis, one can either go against the grain, or ride the wave”, Dr. Ang noted during his speech, “The social sector faces three prominent trends of rapid change, increasing stakeholder expectation and resource constraints”. He also noted that as social issues become more complex, there is a fresh impetus for the social sector to these trends as an opportunity for reflection and improvement. This includes the need to invest in areas such as developing efficient solutions with enhanced speed, embracing value creation, and collaborating through alliances.
Dr. Ang also emphasised that it was timely for the social sector to “pool people and resources together to create economies of scale for the social sector to serve more effectively and deliver greater impact”. Having economies of scale would allow for more convenient, efficient, and quality service for beneficiaries. The goal is to build a social ecosystem where beneficiaries can access quality services, where volunteers can be easily and meaningfully matched to opportunities and, where Social Sector Agencies are able to partner with each other and work collaboratively.
While such an ecosystem would assist in addressing the current challenges the social sector faces, Dr. Ang mentioned an essential part this ecosystem needs to achieve is to cultivate an environment where co-creation of solutions is prioritised. Co-creation allows for organisations and groups to focus on what they do best and outsource other areas to sector partners with more expertise.
With this ecosystem in mind, organisations like Conjunct Consulting act as a first step in achieving this goal. Having enablers connect and partner with other existing organisations is a second step closer to building a collaborative and inclusive ecosystem as collaboration creates a deeper level of impact. Conjunct Consulting not only connects large numbers of volunteers to social sector opportunities for more efficient solutioning, but they also run extensive training workshops for volunteers to deepen their sector knowledge. During the 10 Year Anniversary Event, Conjunct Consulting unveiled a new initiative in collaboration with the National Volunteer Philanthropy Centre’s Ground Up Central to support aspiring initiatives by citizen groups in their development. Such initiatives foster deeper connections and allow for systematic impact to be developed.
While all these models, tiers and enablers can create a lasting impact, none of this can be achieved without the dedicated and passionate individuals giving back to the sector. Kwok Jia Chuan, Co-Founder and Chairman of Conjunct Consulting, shared that over the past 10 years, “we have seen volunteers who were with us at the beginning come back and share their expertise with current volunteers and staff,”. The drive and empathy of such individuals are the heart of the social sector and will continue to catalyse the changes the social sector needs to evolve and flourish. Conjunct Consulting will continue to bring together talent to enable the transformation of the social sector and invites individuals who have this passion to rise up and work to enhance the sector further.