Early this year, TOUCH launched our very first design incubator programme – SOAR! 2022. The 10-week programme aims to create an environment for outcome-focused, ground-up solutioning and encourage innovative, client-centric, evidence-informed approach to meet evolving community needs.
Participants of SOAR! 2022 – TOUCH’s first design incubator programme.
Through SOAR!, tertiary students aged 18 to 28 years old had to form groups of three to six members and choose from 10 challenge statements on themes like mental wellbeing and digitalisation. After equipping themselves with skills and knowledge through programme design workshops, each team would pitch their project idea and stand a chance to pilot their projects.
Situational Analysis Masterclass
The programme kickstarted with the Situational Analysis Masterclass, where 25 students gathered online to learn key handles of identifying the problem and target audience. They also learnt the importance of designing solutions with empathy, and analysing problems using surveys, interviews, and existing literature.
Ella Haarmee from Temasek Polytechnic introducing her team and what inspired them to join SOAR!.
Ella Haarmee from Temasek Polytechnic shared, “My team chose the challenge statement on resolving malnutrition among seniors because we’re keen to learn more about this topic. We’re excited for the opportunity to discuss with our Food Science course classmates and apply our newfound knowledge to resolve this issue.”
Programme Design Bootcamp
Participants learning about the programme life cycle during the Programme Design Bootcamp.
Held across two weekends, the Programme Design Bootcamp provided an opportunity for teams to ideate, consider their strategies in a logical and evidence-based manner, and obtain feedback from their mentors. Participants also had time to bounce ideas with fellow like-minded participants.
TOUCH staff mentors giving participants feedback on their project proposals.
“My team found the ‘Desired Change’ portion quite challenging because we had to seriously consider if our programme would make an impactful change to seniors – our target audience. We can have 101 ideas, but it all boils down to what will be impactful and meaningful, and what will change the problem,” shares Dafinah Helmi from Republic Polytechnic.
After 10 weeks of hard work, the teams gathered to present their ideas to the judging panel. The panel comprised Dr Liow Chee Hsiang, the Vice-Dean of Education at the National University of Singapore's Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health; Ms Wong Li Peng, Assistant Director of TOUCH Elderly Group; and Mrs Anita Low-Lim, Chief Transformation Officer at TOUCH Community Services.
Panel of judges giving feedback during the pitch.
The teams applied the skills that they learnt and pitched evidence-based, outcome-focused, and innovative solutions to address social issues such as mental well-being and caregivers’ needs in the community. SOAR participants also got the opportunity to interact with TOUCH staff who work directly with beneficiaries and obtained feedback to refine their solutions.
Champion Gabriel Lee from the National University of Singapore pitched for a one-stop hub to support caregivers of special needs individuals. “It was such a meaningful experience to compete with other teams to tackle social problems. I’m thankful for such a platform to bring down the barrier to access for solving social issues,” he shared.
Champion Gabriel Lee together with TOUCH’s Impact and Research team.
Congratulations to all SOAR teams! Look out for more updates as the teams embark on their journey to pilot their project ideas. For more information about our 30th anniversary, please visit www.touch.org.sg/30yearswithtouch