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Foreword by Lee Hsien Loong (Prime Minister, Republic of Singapore)This book is about the art and science of finding solutions to helping families in crisis, and making a real and lasting positive difference in their lives. It is about helping people in need, as well as lessons on adversity, aspiration and action when multiple different stakeholders work together in the helping process. The book is organised into two parts. Part 1 discusses the issues in an unprecedented real-life interim housing project in Singapore that helped families in crisis over several years. Part 2 contains chapters critically reflecting on the experiences and lessons learned from the helping process in this project. Collectively, the chapters in this book address salient questions on helping people in need and implications for building a strong Singapore society.
Academic abilities play a critical role not only in school settings but also in practical work situations and other problem-solving contexts that involve important intellectual task demands. However, we will not achieve the intended positive outcomes if we give too much emphasis to academic abilities and neglect non-academic attributes such as personality, interests, motivations, values, information-processing styles, self-concepts and attitudes.What non-academic factors do we need to pay more attention to? How do we approach the issues and effect changes with meaningful impact? What is the relationship between education, work and various notions of success? How are academic and non-academic factors related to civil society and politics, and what lessons can we learn from mistakes and successes in the ways we use or treat these related abilities, attributes or attitudes?This book explores these and other issues about going beyond academic abilities. The book is organised into four parts. Part 1 provides an overview of the issues in conceptualising and assessing academic abilities and non-academic attributes. Part 2 discusses education in Singapore and the adaptive Singapore workforce. Part 3 analyses the relationships linking academic abilities and non-academic factors to civil society and politics. Part 4 addresses specific questions on staff and public engagement, similarities and differences across public, private and people sectors, dealing with feedback and viewpoints, political and public service leadership, and relationships between people and government.This book will provide new perspectives and possibilities on what it means to say ‘much more than academic abilities’, as we aspire to live a better life, make a positive difference to others, and build a stronger society.
When policymakers, communities or advocates make decisions and take actions, they do so with the purpose of achieving some desired goal. But sometimes, unintended consequences occur. These are outcomes that are not the ones intended by the purposeful decision or action. Unintended consequences can be positive or negative, although the discussions often focus on the unexpected adverse impact that may result from well-intentioned policies or public actions. It is tempting to say that unintended consequences happen because we live in an uncertain and unpredictable world, and that there is not much we can do to prevent their occurrence or prepare for them. In fact, many unintended consequences are neither predetermined nor random. It is true that whether or not unintended consequences happen will be affected by many economic and social factors that Singapore is confronted with, but much will also depend on how we approach these factors and the potential consequences. This book, based on the proceedings at the Behavioural Sciences Institute Conference 2017, explores various issues about unintended consequences in Singapore. The book is organised into four parts. Part 1 provides an overview of issues involved in thinking about unintended consequences. Part 2 examines unintended consequences in the context of Singapore’s goal to become a smart nation and compares the perspectives between public and private sector organisations on dealing with uncertainty. Part 3 analyses the relationships linking unintended consequences to healthcare outcomes and the management of race relations in Singapore. Part 4 addresses specific questions on unintended consequences in Singapore in terms of the nation’s history, immigration, education, meritocracy, civil service culture and mindsets, and relationships between people and government. This book will provide the reader new perspectives and possibilities related to achieving intended societal goals and building a strong Singapore society.