New Government effort to engage youth: Grace Foo

The views, ideas and worries of Singapore's youth will take centre stage in a series of dialogues to be launched next month.

Much like the Our Singapore Conversation series of a few years ago, the new Youth Conversations is aiming to inform the young about important national issues as well as help them work out their differences by listening, negotiating and finding solutions together and with the Government.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, in announcing the initiative, said it will be different in two ways from previous efforts to engage the young people.

One, the Government will be more open.

"We will be sharing more policy thoughts and considerations with our youth," she said.

"We will listen more to understand our youth's views, concerns and aspirations. We will provide more support for our youth in generating and implementing their ideas."


Two, there will be new ways for the youth to get their voices heard.

"We are experimenting with different and novel modes of engagement," she said.

"Participants can expect the conversations to be candid and interactive. The conversations should broaden their horizons."

This will be a platform where young people meet not just like-minded peers, but also make new friends who may come from different backgrounds, and hold different beliefs and perspectives, she added.

New methods like hackathons, or mass hacking events, and citizen juries will be used to engage them.

A new online platform is also in the works, Ms Fu said, without giving details.

Later, Senior Minister of State Sim Ann and Parliamentary Secretary Baey Yam Keng told the House youth leaders will get first-hand experience from their attachments to social service organisations.

They will also get to meet their peers from Asean countries under an Asean Youth Fellowship Programme.