Sgp Youth Final Debrief Presentation Deck


Published on

What does the leading edge of Singapore youth tell us about Singapore's future? As well as Asia's youth, as many of these values are shared

  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Sgp Youth Final Debrief Presentation Deck

  1. 1. MTI Youth Study November 17, 2009
  3. 3. Background & Objectives 3 BACKGROUND Youth are the literal future of Singapore. The broad base of Singapore’s youth are fairly certain of their future(s), and their career aspirations are largely met within the opportunities available in Singapore. This qualitative study investigates the fringes: youth whose career aspirations may be harder to accommodate, due to their unusual or creative interests, or due to a lack of recognised systems to aid their progress. This youths collective are vocal, affluent, relatively well travelled, and locally educated. They are also ambitious talented and worldly. MTI's Futures Group’s interest is to study the “Leading Edge” of youth.
  4. 4. Background & Objectives 4 OBJECTIVES A LIFESTYLE AND ATTITUDINAL INVESTIGATION To understand the targets’ lifestyles, aspirations, habits and motivations in terms of their lives and work/study/family etc in Singapore, in order to provide insight into the targets’ ATTITUDES towards Singapore as a place for their working/leisure lives; their career progression and their futures. TO UNDERSTAND THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS – When and how do they decide on their futures? What are the drivers and motivations? – Where/what is the sense of opportunity in Singapore? – What are the attractive options (either within Singapore or outside) and why? – Where do they end up going? Why? How do these destinations compare to Singapore? –Within the decision-making process, to understand the target’s influence spheres in broader terms – be this peer– to–peer; parental/familial; media etc... TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENTIATING FACTORS.. – Are the youth today really fundamentally different from youth of previous generations? – What is the appetite for risk today? What drives/negates this?
  6. 6. This group of youth are a unique set, they are not the “masses”; they are not the “average”... they are a group who are bright, worldly and enthusiastic. We found those who were educated, relatively well travelled, articulate, and lively. These were to be the young people who are tomorrow’s industry leaders, a small but representative sample of the youth who will take Singapore into the future.
  7. 7. Methodology and Sample 7 ATTITUDES & LIFESTYLE • The larger proportion of the study: those youth who’ve taken, or intend to take, a slightly alternative path in study or career – this usually means creative or humanities-related careers – dance; visual arts; culinary arts etc… • Retaining a healthy representation of those who are taking a more-or-less mainstream path. • Driven, talented, energetic, youthful, spirited, worldly. • With a high potential to study or work overseas • Potential entrepreneurs
  8. 8. Methodology and Sample 8 CORE YOUTH DEMOGRAPHICS • Youth defined as 16- 24 years old • Male and female • Multi-racial • All youth caught at important “Breakaway Points” A VARIED AND INCLUSIVE SAMPLE • Inclusion of foreign Asian students studying in Singapore • Inclusion of Singaporeans working / studying outside of Singapore (UK; Australia) • Inclusion of SOTA student • Inclusion of 27-year old e-entrepreneur A TARGET SAMPLE SIZE OF: 23 • 14 blogs • 8 ethnographic interviews • 1 face-to-face interview Additionally: stakeholder interviews were conducted with the MCYS; EDB; OSU and MOE; and expert interviews in the academic and creative fields.
  9. 9. Methodology and Sample 9 AN EXPLANATION OF BREAKAWAY POINTS Respondents were those caught at the various breakaway points. Those who have JUST MADE the choice of educational or career path, or are about to. The sample is more heavily weighted on those who are ABOUT to make the choice. BREAKAWAY  BREAKAWAY  BREAKAWAY  POINT #1 POINT #2 POINT #3 NATIONAL JC UNIVERSITY FIRST JOB SERVICE SECONDARY SCHOOL POLYTECHNIC FIRST JOB BREAKAWAY  POINT #3 The significant attitudinal / lifestyle differences that emerge in these breakaway points need to be uncovered, understood and leveraged into realistic and tangible recommendations...
  10. 10. THE APPROACH
  11. 11. To engage with this group, we had to utilise methods which were up-to-date, collaborative and immersive. A qualitative study felt essential. Blogging and ethnography were the methodologies most suited to this target and study.
  12. 12. Methodology 12 WHY QUALITATIVE? In order to get “under the skin” of such a young target, we need to immerse ourselves in their world – which means immersing ourselves in their world, on their terms. Interviewing them in a regular focus group facility felt unreal and static as their lives and their own environments are alive with clues to their inspirations, aspirations and their day-to-day lives. Quantitative studies are useful in gathering data and certain type of information, but a qualitative research method will provide the depth, detail and real reflection of the attitudes and lifestyles of these young people. …Further qualitative methods are able to visually represent the world of youth with materials from the interviews and blogs. Qualitative research provides the HOW and WHY, quantitative will only provide the WHAT.
  13. 13. Methodology 13 WHY BLOGS? - Emergence and growth of the ‘blogosphere’ is indicative of an era where people are increasingly empowered to create and disseminate their own content - This trend is harnessed as a research tool with blogs enabling research teams to access people’s lives over a given amount of time Blogs are particularly good because… They address the target on a platform that they are comfortable with and speak to the target in a language that they are used to. They encourage the inclusion of audio-visual material to bring the subject at hand to life. They provide an intimate, private and personal forum to express yourself. They allow for time to reflect.
  14. 14. Methodology 14 WHAT IS ETHNOGRAPHY? It takes place at the actual ‘site’ of consumer behaviour and decisions – in a bar, in a shop, in a gym, in somebody’s home. It provides a more holistic and nuanced view of what is actually going on. Actual sites potentially include – • The consumer in their workplace • The consumer in a social place • The consumer in a retail space • The consumer in their home with their family
  17. 17. A New Way of Thinking 17 ACHIEVABLE DREAMS! This target now live in a culture where they increasingly feel anything is possible. The mass media and the internet are huge, active promoters of realisable success, and therefore the gap between “’FAME AND FORTUNE” and the “AVERAGE JOE” is that much smaller. PASSIONS NOW SEEM MORE REALISABLE!! Reality and talent shows, and the proliferation of peer-to-peer media (blogs, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter) are examples where participants are able to achieve success on their own terms, with their own talents.
  18. 18. A New Way of Thinking 18 ACHIEVABLE DREAMS! Examples locally and internationally of this trend of “Achievable Success”… American Idol finalist turned actress and Oscar winner – Jennifer Hudson Internationally acclaimed Singaporean Chubby Singapore Idol winners Hubby blog Taufik Batiste, and Hady Mirza American recording artist Christian Siriano Esmee Denters – Project Runway discovered on Youtube winner.
  19. 19. A New Way of Thinking 19 PEER-TO-PEER INSPIRATION …and a young Singaporean who has made his name internationally! Acclaimed Singaporean Designer Ashley Isham
  20. 20. A New Way of Thinking 20 REALISTIC BUSINESS INSPIRATION The proliferation of online businesses in Singapore – further proof that the internet is a medium which is changing habits, especially for young people. All in all, this generation lives in a world which feels smaller and more accessible!
  23. 23. A New Way of Thinking 23 1. THE NEW SUCCESS A SEARCH FOR A MORE HOLISTIC FORM OF “SUCCESS” – More balanced, lifestyle, family and quality-oriented, than materialistic. – Success means achieving material AS WELL AS intellectual and emotional goals: these two are not isolated areas. – A feeling that a Western view of success is more holistic and inclusive than the Asian viewpoint, which seems too bound in the material / face-saving aspects. WITHIN THIS HOLISTIC VIEW: ACCEPTANCE AND VALIDATION OF FAILURE – Understanding that this is a learning curve: failure is an opportunity as well! – Trying to achieve is better than not trying at all. – This feels very new, as this type of exploration doesn’t seem to be part of the current learning / education system. “I’m Asian and a student. Success seems to be “My peers from school mostly define defined by the university you get into.” success with sporting and academic achievements. This is the general mindset - Miki, 16, Aspiring Lawyer of most Singaporeans as I feel they define success with grades alone.” “I think [Singaporeans] are too driven by success for - Haresh, 19, Passion in Rugby and a fear of falling out of the middle-class life.” Aviation - Professor Chua Beng Huat, NUS
  24. 24. A New Way of Thinking 24 1. THE NEW SUCCESS REJECTION OF MYTHS OF “TRADITIONAL SINGAPOREAN SUCCESS” – The regular icons and methods of success seem outmoded in a world that is increasingly more integrated, less hierarchal, and more diverse. – “5Cs” and regular but un-inspiring careers (Doctor; Accountant; Lawyer, Engineer…) don’t HAVE to be the ways to succeed. – Money / the material is important, but as a compliment to an intellectually and emotionally fulfilling lifestyle. “Sadly society defines success as material success. 1st class honours? EM1? Scholarship? 5Cs? High “I would rather much do something impractical net worth? I must say it has been ingrained in but enjoyable like Journalism than be dulled to Singapore which has a winner-takes-all mentality.” death in something sensible like Law.” - Daniel, 25, Entrepreneur in online fashion – Zachary, 17, aspiring journalist/photographer retailing “I feel I’m a special person doing things that people don’t normally do… most want to become lawyers.” – Sencai, 17, aspiring male ballerina
  25. 25. A New Way of Thinking 25 2. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT EXPOSE ME! – Youth are keen to expose their talent not only locally but on a global forum – this seems achievable, especially through the internet. – …for material, intellectual and emotional gains. CARVING THEIR NICHE – Able to see a gap in the market, which aligns with their talents. – Singapore is a stable place incubate ideas and inspiration. – Singapore provides the structure, youth provide the idea. “I am turning 25 and I own a couple of small “I started pursuing my interest in design as a businesses- a shipping hedge fund, a youths career- it was one of the best things I have events and marketing company, an online done in my life.” shopping company and an educational firm.” - Si Ping, 22, Graphic Design Artist/ - Althea, 24, Entrepreneur Entrepreneur “I am taking my first step to achieve this dream of mine. Luckily this dream is not bound by monetary constraints. People have come forward to tell me what a great idea it is. This definitely whets my appetite for success. Of course, there is always that fear when you take the road less travelled?” - Daniel Lim, 25, Entrepreneur in Fashion Business
  26. 26. A New Way of Thinking 26 2. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT NEW BUSINESS MODELS – New business models abound, especially with the advent of e-business and online transactions. – New business models are horizontal and dynamic. They don’t exist based on established hierarchies – youth are able to make their own rules and execute as they feel fit. – E-businesses, in particular, are the greatest examples of new business models: low cost, no overheads, 24 hours, international etc… – Examples exist the world over – collaboration; user-generated content; super-bloggers; online retailing etc. these examples are taken to heart by budding entrepreneurs. – Rather than remaining online some online retailers have reversed norms, and taken their store into real space to compliment their online shops. – Business now feels POSSIBLE, no longer daunting, or complicated. “I am taking my first step to achieve this dream of mine. Luckily this dream is not bound by monetary constraints. People have come forward to tell me what a great idea it is. This definitely whets my appetite for success. Of course, there is always that fear of taking the road less travelled.” - Daniel, 25, Entrepreneur in online fashion retailing
  27. 27. A New Way of Thinking 27 3. EXPLORE NOT ESCAPE Overseas exposure does not equate to youth wanting to “escape” Singapore. They yearn for exposure, inspiration and “the thrill of the new.” THEY WANT TO EXPLORE, NOT NECESSARILY ESCAPE! Youth feel the need to travel overseas for different reasons… CULTURE & VARIETY EDUCATIONAL PROFESSIONAL “Our youths are, by circumstance, more outward “I think, there is no fear in Singaporeans to go out looking than Japanese, Koreans or Taiwanese. If and see the world, you can’t try to tell the youth you take the ones who are at least A-level “No, don’t do this.” You should try to let educated, they are very aware of their everybody see the world. I think those who see vulnerability - this is drummed into them. They the world can benefit society when they return.” are aware of the reality that Singapore needs the world.” - Chris Lee, Founder of Design Boutique ‘Asylum’ - Professor Chua Beng Huat, NUS
  28. 28. A New Way of Thinking 28 3. EXPLORE NOT ESCAPE CULTURE AND VARIETY – The urge to explore a different culture abroad, bolstered by Singapore’s small scale, and equatorial weather patterns. – Exposure to non-Asian (most often Westernised) cultures is particularly sought after, as it provides a very different view of life. EDUCATION – For many who want to enter alternative career fields, overseas education is essential, as the level or type of education needed might not be available locally. – This is particularly important for “under-developed” industries In Singapore. – Western cities are considered most highly for education. Due to reputations of established schools (Ivy League; recognised arts schools etc); and and a logical language fit. PROFESSIONAL – Professional exposure to markets which are more advanced or less saturated than Singapore provides impetus to work abroad. – This is particularly important for “under-developed” industries In Singapore. “Tokyo satiates my intellectual curiosity like only New York does, but perhaps with better food.” - Jacinta Lim, 25, Lawyer (UK)
  29. 29. A New Way of Thinking 29 4. FAMILY MATTERS FAMILY REMAINS IMPORTANT – Traditional values, but ones which are essential – as the root for this globalised generation. – Values simply accepted as “the way it is” – no resistance, or aggression towards them. – The family figures into all major decisions. – Respect for the family exists, but it is a constant struggle for youth: follow their own path or follow the wishes of their parents. – Supportive parents instill a sense of confidence and pride in their children. – However, an obvious gap in parents awareness of their children’s real dreams and aspirations, and their relevance in the modern world. – In the absence of knowledgeable or supportive parents, mentors become increasingly important… “All I want to do is cook, but my parents are not “There was an issue with me freelancing. open about it… They are very Singaporean, they People would ask my father what I am doing, just want me to study here…” and he would say ‘she is doing part-time jobs’ or ‘doesn’t have a job yet’. I think it is a “My parents won’t sponsor me to study overseas, security thing - they are used to a life where so I am saving money by myself. I have to sweat people go to work, but freelancing was for it every inch of the way, but it feels very good something that I did from home.” when you’re there!” - Faz, 23, Fashion Editor of VIP Magazine - Iliya, 18, Aspiring Chef
  30. 30. A New Way of Thinking 30 MENTORS All too often, parents are unaware of their children’s interests and aspirations. More so, they are are often less aware of HOW their children will achieve these aims. Particularly in the case of the more artistic and unusual careers, where local industries are under-developed, a mentor can be an inspiration as well as a guide. A mentor is a role model who has had relevant industry experience, and who is available to guide or provided assistance to youth on their journey towards achieving their goal.
  31. 31. A New Way of Thinking 31 5. GIVING BACK GIVING BACK - A new and emergent value: the sense of social consciousness where youth feel they want to contribute back to their home country, i.e.: coming back home. - Philanthropic efforts in addition to economic benefits i.e.: via business giving back to the community. “I feel whatever you do you should contribute to society... I would come back to be an instructor, to educate and teach dance or have a school.” - Sencai, 17, aspiring male ballerina
  32. 32. SINGAPORE
  33. 33. A New Way of Thinking 33 SINGAPORE Singapore is more than just a home for this youth group, it is a place that annoys and inspires at the same time There are many different viewpoints on aspects of Singapore – the government, the social practices, infrastructure etc. Important to note that there are very few polarised viewpoints – this group are aware and accepting of both the positives and negatives of their home country! POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE Positivity around: Negativity around: 1.Singapore’s / governmental infrastructures 1.Education system 2.Family values which are encouraged 2.General conservative attitudes of society locally – especially kiasu-ism, conservative 3.Safety and security attitudes 4.A feeling of “belonging” / rootedness 3.Lack of depth and variety, especially in 5.Globality of Singapore creative culture
  35. 35. Key Observations 35 KEY OBSERVATIONS Given all the different values of this group of youth, and looking at the challenges and drivers for different typologies, there are a several key observations which aid in understanding and activating this target… NEW WAYS OF THINKING ENGAGEMENT WITH SINGAPORE 1. BARRIERS TO 1. NEW VISIONS ENGAGEMENT OF SUCCESS WITH SINGAPORE (EDUCATION SYSTEM; SOCIETAL VALUES) 2. ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT 2. GLOBALITY 3. EXPLORE NOT ESCAPE 3. A SAFE & STABLE PLACE WHICH ENABLES WHILE 4. FAMILY VALUES PROTECTING 5. GIVING BACK 4. A MAGNET FOR FOREIGNERS
  37. 37. Key observations 37 1. LATERAL THINKING ON CAREER CHOICES Education and exposure legitimises alternative career paths: introduce/enforce the concept of a “Career Constellation”. Lighting/Sound In the outer rings – the Technicians careers which surround and support the “artist” at Set Designers varying points, with varying levels of At the very core – an involvement. “artist” – a small % of Physiotherapist practitioners who are able to Allowing for greater survive professionally. involvement from a variety Dancer of professional and educational backgrounds Choreographer and interest brackets. Costume Designers Theatre Management
  38. 38. Key observations 38 1. LATERAL THINKING ON CAREER CHOICES THE CAREER CONSTELLATION CAN BE INTRODUCED AT THREE POINTS: 1.Within the education system – career counseling programs etc… as a culture within an institution 2.To the student directly 3.Within the family – education of parents and relative stakeholders
  39. 39. Key observations 39 2. HARNESS THE SPIRIT OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP The drive towards entrepreneurship is ALREADY well-established, this needs to be encouraged with exposure and financial aid, in particular in blossoming industries such as online businesses. “ was started last December and things have been going well and thus I have decided to focus on it. Nothing beats doing what you are passionate about. Gives you a reason other than the monthly pay check to go to work everyday.” - Daniel, 25, Entrepreneur in online fashion retailing
  40. 40. Key observations 40 3. MENTORSHIP Utilize a network of industry professionals and successful entrepreneurs to mentor youth from an early age, in particular in more alternative paths. Mentors legitimise youth interest in a field and provide insight that will otherwise be out of reach. Particularly relevant for under-developed creative industries in Singapore “My friend’s mom told me that I can cook better than she can. She wanted to help me out and she got a career consultant to come see me. I cooked for her, and they said I had real talent, and they want me to help out at Iggy’s - One of the top 100 restaurants in the world. If all goes well, I can apprentice with him by the end of the year.” - Iliya, 18, Aspiring Chef
  41. 41. Key observations 41 3. MENTORSHIP Potential Mentors… Ashley Isham (internationally recognised Singaporean fashion designer) Jeffrey Tan (winner NAC scholarship; retired dancer, currently teaching) Chris Lee (Creative Director / owner of Asylum, currently mentoring in various design schools) Furqan Saini, Johnny Khoo, Dolphin Yeo – fashion stylists Justin Low – chef / restaurateur Beyond these famous names, a possibility to tap into a network of local and overseas professionals.
  42. 42. Key observations 42 4. SUPPORTIVE FAMILY UNITS Educate and inform the entire family unit, in terms of careers and future choices. Enable a generation of parents to be in touch with their children’s true needs and hopes in the modern world, and help them understand how to realise those dreams. (Links closely to the Career Constellation) “It’s just the way it is. My mother still thinks it’s a sin not to use your hands to work, rather than using my brain to create something that other people can understand.” - Keith Ng, 27, Founder of Digital Media Company Swoozh
  43. 43. Key observations 43 5. CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN TRAINING AND CAREER Offer educational avenues which facilitate a clear career path for more alternative careers. Partnerships with overseas institutions; financial aid, more grants and opportunities for alternative careers etc. Equipping young Singaporeans with the best foundation for their futures. At the school level, this is already being initiated with the establishment of SOTA (Singapore School of the Arts) and SSS (Singapore Sports School). “I would probably be overseas in New Zealand or Australia studying and getting a degree in Aviation Management since none of the local universities offer it here.” - Haresh, 19, rugby player
  44. 44. Key observations 44 6. EXPLORE NOT ESCAPE Recognize the desire for overseas exposure and exploration, whilst at the same time encouraging young Singaporeans to bring this learning and cultural enrichment back home. They are generally not looking for escape in any case. “I visited Tokyo last December during winter for “In 5 years, I hope that I would be, or have already, about 10 days. I must say it was the most stayed overseas for a period of time. I would love to interesting 10 days of my life. Tokyo definitely lives experience life in a difference country- immersing up to its reputation as being one of the most vibrant myself in that culture.” cities in the world. It is a vast metropolitan buzzing with energy. It is a unique mash of the old and new, - Daniel, 25, Entrepreneur in online fashion retailing traditional and cutting edge.” - Daniel, 25, Entrepreneur in online fashion retailing “Australia has remodeled me into a completely different person - I am definitely a more independent individual, and my aspirations and drive are derived purely from self.” - Laura, 22, student in Australia
  45. 45. End