June 2023 Issue: Co-operator Newsletter Quarterly June 2023

SNCF Kickstarts Emerging Leaders Programme to Nurture Future Co-op Leaders

SNCF Kickstarts Emerging Leaders Programme to Nurture Future Co-op Leaders
Caption: SNCF Kickstarts Emerging Leaders Programme to Nurture Future Co-op Leaders

By Hayley Lim, with additional reporting by Sng Ler Jun 

Organised by the Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF), the inaugural Emerging Leaders Programme (ELP) saw several co-operators congregating at Bintan Island, Indonesia for a three-day boot camp.

Spanning across March to July this year, the boot camp marks the first outreach activity attended by participants who are between the ages of 30 and 50. These participants were amongst the few selected by their co-operatives to attend. As part of the training curriculum at the boot camp, participants had to undergo several training courses or activities, administered by lecturers from the Republic Polytechnic (RP) and Runninghour Co-operative, to bolster their capabilities as promising future leaders within the Singapore Co-operative Movement.

SNCF hopes to nurture 100 co-operative leaders via ELP in the next five years.

Problem Defining Template & Problem-based Learning

Much of the activities were centred around problem solving.

In one of them, some participants were tasked to toss a ball into the basket whilst blindfolded. Void of verbal directions, they had to rely only on hearing claps by their teammates to navigate about and eventually, hurl the ball into a goal post.  This activity is designed to encourage participants to reinforce their interpersonal skills and teach them to make decision by consensus.   

In another activity, lecturers from RP probed participants to come up with real-life scenarios that local co-operatives face. Thereafter, they are encouraged to adopt the Problem Definition Template (PDT), which aims to first analyse these problems and seek clarity on existing loopholes or lapses, to resolve them.

For the uninitiated, PBL is an approach that enables participants to refine their inquiry skills and apply technical know-hows to create solutions to real-world problems. Some of the core competencies taught include driving change, building relationships, developing people, and personal effectiveness.

“Rather than theoretical leadership concepts, we had the privilege of having RP lecturers to work with co-operatives to understand the real-world challenges they face,” Mr Alex Shieh, Head of the Youth & Women department which helms ELP, said.

“Participants can share on their own personal or co-operative experience and work towards possible solutions at the same time. This makes learning and sharing more authentic and closer to our hearts,” he added.

Participants were also introduced to the SCAMPER (Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to Another use, Eliminate, and Rearrange) tool, which was first introduced by author Bob Eberle and is famous for helping groups brainstorm creative ideas or solutions. This allows them to explore different ways to modify and improve on existing ideas or products, and even generate new ones.

Participants were also seen huddling in separate teams to come up with problem statements related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the next four months, they will work on a project related to one of the SDGs they have chosen for their group assignment. Some of these goals include ‘Goal 1 – No Poverty’, ‘Goal 3 – Good Health and Wellbeing’, ‘Goal 10 – Reduce Inequality Within and Among Countries’, and ‘Goal 12 – Responsible Consumption and Production’. The groups will receive monthly consultations from the Republic Polytechnic lecturers and mentors from co-operatives. The groups will share their sustainability solutions with key leaders and stakeholders of the co-operative movement in the later part of the year.

Stay tuned for more news on ELP. 

If you haven't already, follow SNCF at Click here to sign up to be a co-operative in Singapore or sign up for our newsletter.

Who we are

SNCF is the apex body of Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, and secretariat of the Central Co-operative Fund (CCF). Formed in 1980 with the aim of championing Singapore’s Co-operative Movement, the apex body represents majority of co-operative members in Singapore through its affiliated co-operatives.