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Magazine Article

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Throughout history, young people have been the energy and driving force of change in society. Today, that is all the more true. With the prevalence of social media, youth and young adults have the unique ability to infl uence others, and to a greater extent than parents or schools can. Since they are able to shape attitudes and values so greatly, it is important to empower youth with the necessary knowledge and tools to be a force for good, and to make positive contributions to society. Young people have shown their ability to create change and broad awareness of social needs through their involvement in volunteer welfare organisations (VWOs) and civil society groups. In Singapore, citizens often look to their government for solutions, which it is able to provide, though only at the “macro level”, i.e. issues that concern a large segment of society. However, there are many other “micro-level” problems affecting smaller groups that can be better addressed by self-organised interest groups. Examples of these include causes for animals, issues that concern a neighbourhood rather than a country, and support groups for special populations—for example, loved ones of persons who have committed suicide. These interest groups, which can be composed of young adults and youth, can generate awareness among their peers and family about various issues, including the need for recycling, renewable energy, or the respectful treatment of domestic workers, to name only a few. Many causes benefi t from the amplifying voices of youth and the new forms of information exchange of which they are masters.


Civic and Community Engagement | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology of Culture


Social Space




Singapore Management University

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Singapore Management University

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