YSA held its first corporate planning exercise on 11 August 2012. The attendees included invited community leaders, representatives from partnering agencies that have worked closely with YSA and YSA executive committee members, both past and present.

The morning kicked off with a speech by the founding YSA President, Mr Hernaikh Singh, who had been at the helm of the organisation since its inception. Hernaikh provided some background into the forming of YSA and the challenges it faced in its early years. He also recollected the milestones and achievements YSA had garnered in its short but meaningful history.

Mr Malminderjit Singh, the current YSA President, then provided a glimpse into YSA’s role moving forward. He highlighted some of the challenges facing the community at present and suggested ways in which YSA could expand its role.

Following the two opening addresses, Professor Kirpal Singh, Director, Wee Kim Wee Centre, Singapore Management University, YSA’s invited guest speaker, spoke about the challenges that organisations such as YSA are likely to face and made a compelling case for the need for innovative and fresh approaches to engaging the youth in Singapore and abroad. Professor Kirpal has been involved in YSA’s programmes and has been intimately following its progress over the years.

The participants were then involved in the next section of the exercise on taking stock of YSA’s initiatives and identifying opportunities and challenges for the community in the coming years. It was a truly engaging session as everyone was very candid and forthcoming with their views. The exercise was very fruitful and captured a diversity of views and ideas, which helped set the tone for the Executive Committee to deliberate upon in the later part of the day.

Before the session broke for lunch though, YSA’s Advisor and Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Mr Inderjit Singh, provided his thoughts on the proceedings for the morning and highlighted a few key areas where the organisation could place greater focus going forward. He also presented tokens of appreciation to Professor Kirpal and to the three key founding members of YSA who had stepped down from the Executive Committee earlier this year after nine years of dedicated service to YSA – Mr Hernaikh, and former Vice Presidents, Mr Satwant Singh and Mr Sukhbir Singh.

During the second half of the session, the Executive Committee and some members of YSA’s partner organisations participated in a brainstorming session on strategies pertaining to the key issues and recommendations highlighted during the first half of the day and to assess how these could be incorporated into YSA’s work plan. Facilitated by Mr Sarjit Singh, a community and grassroots leader, as well as a friend of YSA, the session was very enriching for the Executive Committee as it helped streamline the collective objectives of the team into a focused set of strategies and provided the new team with an opportunity to strengthen their bonds.

Some of the ideas originating from the full-day exercise will be brought into fruition over the next two years as the new Executive Committee leads YSA into a new chapter of its history. The Executive Committee aims to provide YSA’s stakeholders and constituents with an enriching and enjoyable experience on this journey.

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