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The Peak highlights 10 philanthropic and social enterprise leaders in this year’s Power List

Singapore, 3 November 2016 – The Peak, Singapore’s leading luxury lifestyle magazine, honoured 10 philanthropists and social entrepreneurs in its annual Power List this evening. Advocates of social change, these individuals have worked tirelessly for a sustainable future and, in doing so, have become leaders and influencers in the local and regional space of giving.

The unveiling of the Power List was held at Sheraton Towers Singapore, in collaboration with presenters Bentley and DBS Insignia, both of which also sponsored the gifts to the 10 honourees. Alcohol partners of the event were The Macallan and Snow Leopard. The Macallan Brand Advocate Randall Tan was present to share his expertise of whisky pairing with over 100 VIP guests.

Every year, the annual Peak Power List highlights 10 personalities who best represent a specific theme. Last year’s Power List was dedicated to women leaders who have shattered the proverbial glass ceiling and scaled the corporate rungs.

For this year’s edition, the six-month long selection process was conducted in collaboration with the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), and with counsel from Laurence Lien, co-founder and CEO of the Asia Philanthropy Circle.

Candidates were shortlisted and selected by The Peak together with a judging panel, which included NVPC’s CEO Melissa Kwee and Ramandeep Sidhu, who oversees venture philanthropy and social impact at NVPC; Ming Tan, Director of the Como Foundation and Susan Sy, Executive Director of UBS philanthropy and values-based investing.

The selection criteria included the candidate’s proven record of exceptional generosity, demonstrated by contribution of financial resources and voluntary commitment of time to supporting the community and social cause(s). The individual’s leadership, vision, his or her ability to lead change, involving relevant stakeholders for change to happen, as well as the organisation’s social impact and sustainability, were also considered.

The candidate and his or her organisation must have spearheaded innovative and disruptive approaches to social problems, advocated collective action, and activated collaboration to reach greater impact. Through the course of his or her work, this individual’s civic and charitable responsibility should have encouraged, inspired and motivated other individuals or organisations to give time, talent or treasure towards community causes.

The select group of 10 represents a wide spectrum of social causes, from autism, environment and food wastage, community development, the overlooked communities, to equipping the disabled with employable skills (Refer to Appendix A).

One father, after finding that local facilities and support networks were lacking here, founded an organisation that has since transformed autistic education and caregiving. A former top executive gave up a cushy job to concentrate on her social enterprise that aims to create job opportunities for the disabled. Yet another has purposefully invested in social enterprises that tackle poverty-related issues such as education and homelessness.

For over 30 years, The Peak has documented the success stories of the nation’s most powerful individuals. Ms Jennifer Chen, Editor of ThePeak, said: “The honourees this year are forces in philanthropy, mentorship and social enterprise, bettering the lives and prospects of those around them. The Peak is proud to recognise their work in our 2016 Power List.”

The Peak is published monthly and delivered to the doorstep of Singapore’s C-suite executives and top-tier professionals. It’s also available in a tablet edition and online at www.thepeakmagazine.com, both of which offer content that is exclusive to the digital platforms.
 

Appendix A

1. Keith Chua, Trustee for the Mrs Lee Choon Guan Trust Fund
Besides supporting education and healthcare in Singapore and abroad, Keith is particularly invested in the need for philanthropy to keep up with the times. He proposed the idea of introducing philanthropy as a subject of mainstream study at the university level, which culminated in the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy at the National University of Singapore. He believes that in order for philanthropy to maintain relevance and be sustainable, research into the subject has to be conducted in the context of society and culture.

2. Ho Swee Huat, Chairman of Autism Association (Singapore)
After finding that local education facilities and resources in autism were lacking here, Swee Huat and a group of parents co-founded Autism Association (Singapore) in 1992. The organisation has grown from an outfit run entirely by parent volunteers into a progressive organisation that has been instrumental in advancing the landscape of autistic education and caregiving. It has more than 200 paid employees operating two Eden Children’s Centres, one Eden School, and two adult Eden Centres that provide daycare.

3. Ko Siew Huey, co-founder of Artswok Collaborative
Since founding Artswok Collaborative four years ago, which promotes arts-based community development, Siew Huey has been working to harness the power of the arts to create dialogue, invite social participation and build bridges across different groups. This has resulted in high profile projects such as Both Sides, Now and Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival, the latter being a platform for young artist hopefuls between 13 and 18 years old to stage productions with a strong social consciousness, under the mentorship of theatre professionals.

4. Lim Siong Guan, Founder of Honour (Singapore)
The Group President of GIC stresses the need for honour and “other-centred” living, both of which he believes are vital to Singapore’s continued success. Since Honour (Singapore) was launched in August 2014, it has been holding CEO forums and symposiums that encourage leading with integrity. It also launched an initiative supporting young filmmakers in producing a series of short films that reflect the different perspectives of honour, especially among the younger generation.

5. Nichol Ng, Co-Founder of The Food Bank Singapore
Nichol has made it her personal mission to redistribute as much excess food as she can to the needy in Singapore. Set up four years ago, The Food Bank Singapore now receives about 60 tonnes of unused food (mostly from corporations) monthly to be sent to 100,000 beneficiaries from 183 partner organisations. Besides being the Managing Director of FoodXervices, her family’s food service distribution business, Nichol is also President of non-profit organisation One (Singapore), which aims to eradicate poverty and inequality. 

6. Sim Sin Sin, Founder of Social Food Inc
When she realised that her social enterprise Laksania wasn’t completely fulfilling her vision of hiring persons with disabilities, Sin Sin pivoted her business model to set up Social Food Inc. Besides operating as a food services training centre for disadvantaged individuals, it is a central kitchen that offers private catering services and serves as an auxiliary workforce for other F&B businesses. 

7. Anurag Srivastava, Co-Founder of Billionbricks 
He threw his support behind social enterprise Billionbricks, which aims to eradicate homelessness. Its signature product Weather Hyde, a simple, element-proof tent that provides shelter, is making waves globally, getting endorsements from US actor Ashton Kutcher and rapper Lil Wayne. Anurag also funds the Ability Aids Foundation that helps poverty-stricken children in India get an education. Anurag is Co-Founder of venture capital fund Jungle Ventures and Space Matrix, Asia’s second largest interior design company.

8. Veerappan Swaminathan, Co-Founder of Sustainable Living Lab
Veerappan set up Sustainable Living Lab (SL2), which is modelled after public access tech workshops in the US, to bring different communities together to build a sustainable future through experimentation and invention without boundaries. Building its business around cause-based initiatives, as opposed to the typical beneficiary-based social enterprise, SL2 pulls diverse groups of people together to fulfil this vision.

9. Tay Lai Hock, Founder of Ground-Up Initiative
After giving up a lucrative IT career and backpacking around the world for four years, Lai Hock came to a realisation that the future would not be sustainable if the existing gap between the population and nature continued to widen. Since founding Ground-Up Initiative eight years ago, his mission has been to bring Singaporeans back in touch with nature and spur a mindset change by building a community that creates change together.

10. Teng Ngiek Lian, Founder of The Silent Foundation
Backed by a $50 million endowment fund, The Silent Foundation focuses on overlooked causes and looks after those “unloved” by society, including environmental and animal causes. Ngiek Lian also initiated The Silent Minority Compassionate Bursary, which offers financial assistance to children from minority races to complete their education, in the event of a catastrophe like the death of the sole breadwinner. The foundation also supports the Malay Heritage Centre to promote Malay culture. Last year, it partnered World Wildlife Fund to support an eco-school in western Mongolia to champion the endemic snow leopards.

The 2016 Power List is also available at: http://thepeakmagazine.com.sg/the-peak-power-list-2016/.

A photo of the 10 winners can be downloaded at: https://we.tl/xynWscQj9s

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