Left with $16 at 39 - with a broken heart and broken business, you could say that the rug of life as I knew it (CEO, married…) was being pulled off from right under my feet. Yet this colossal collapse 11 years was probably the best thing that could have happened to me because I realised how little I need to live and give joyfully and meaningfully.
I started Hush, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar, as a social experiment in 2014 to bring silence and self care to the workplace through a tea reflection journey led completely by Deaf facilitators. Why? Because I care about how the incessant use of technology is pushing us further and further away from ourselves, and from what truly matters. Because I care about empowerment for the differently-abled people in our society., whether the Deaf, the special needs children, elderly, the vulnerable.
I also care deeply about the increasing polarization of our society and our world — whether race, religion, class, ability... In Singapore, we have the public discourse between the whites and the pinks, the haves and the have-nots, locals and migrant workers… Around the world, we have the Leave or Remain in Brexit, the marriage inequality postal vote in Australia, anti-Islamic rhetorics… The list goes on…
The implicit trust we have of each other in the society seems to be eroding. How can we create more and safer places for more understanding and acceptance, without waiting for the government to do this for us? How can we mobilise the collective wisdom of the community to bring us closer, not further apart?
I got together with Melissa Kwee of NVPC as co-founders (and I also as Founding Curator) to conspire A Good Space with a core group of changemakers as a community-led effort to transform ordinary spaces into places of purposes by convening catalysts to invent, innnovate, intersect and inspire communities.
This care, I have come to realise, is the fuel for innovation and action. And I’m sure many of you out there care deeply too about something in your community and/or society at large. Inspired by Nadia Eghbal, A Good Space, through its Open Community Labs pillar, wants to give away $1000 for you to take care of that care!
What kind of projects are we looking for?
We are looking to support ordinary people who have a burning desire to bring about greater social cohesion through innovative, ground up projects that are singularly focused on expanding perspectives and inspiring communities.
Most importantly, we’d LOVE to fund something that’s personally meaningful to you.
For example, you might propose:
- An escape room game for the elderly and the young
- A social experiment to explore certain beliefs in society between community groups
- A circle, gathering or workshop that brings strangers together and draw diversity from each other’s strengths
Feel free to get creative, we’d love to hear your ideas! Your project doesn’t have to be groundbreaking in impact. We’ll prioritise projects where:
- Funding isn’t readily available for this kind of project
- The idea is innovative or benefits a group of people who might not receive these benefits previously
- You have an unusual insight into the project or your backstory is interesting
- Can be implemented in the next 3 months
- Applicant resides in Singapore
When we say “no strings attached”, what does that mean?
We’ll give you 50% up front and then check in with you before sending the second half. After the project, we’ll do a quick followup phone call or meetup over coffee to hear how it went and that’s it!
Can anybody apply?
Yes: any age, nationality, industry, job title, philosophy, or stage of life. Although we ask that you reside in Singapore (see prioritisation above).
How will you get the money?
We can send money either through bank transfer (you’ll need a bank account) or via check.
How to apply?
- What your project is
- Why you’re doing it: We’re most interested in this part. Give us your story!
- Who does your project serve?
- How does your project help expand perspectives / learning something new?
- An estimated project timeline: Broken down by month (or week, if it’s a shorter project)
- A few links to anything that will make us feel like you’re a thoughtful and passionate person: Your online presence, social media, favorite YouTube video, or anything that can give us some context on who you are.
- Put all of the above in a two-pager!
Please follow instructions! As a first-pass filter, if you don’t do all of the above (including using only the exact email address above), we will automatically archive your email.
What’s the application deadline?
- December 5 ***Now extended to December 12*** (2359hrs): applications close. Please honor this deadline. If you send an application after this time, we will automatically delete it.
- December 19: Everyone will be notified by this date. Shortlisted applicants are invited to pitch to a panel of 5, including ourselves and board members of the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC). Nothing formal, just a casual session to hear your story in person and how we can better support you!
- 30th January: Announcement of 5 winners!
We will post here again when everybody has been notified. Unfortunately, we cannot respond to individual inquiries about application status. Rest assured that we will go through and consider each application carefully.
How many projects can you apply with?
As we are a small team of 2, we can only accept 1 proposal at this time so choose your best idea or the one you feel the most strongly about!
You have another question that’s not listed here.
Comment below and we’ll get to it!