IPS Conference on Civil Society 2013



The Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) is holding the IPS Conference on Civil Society 2013 on the theme ‘Our Future’. It will be held on Monday, 11 November at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

The Guest-of-Honour who will speak at the closing Dialogue Session of the Conference is Minister for Law and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr K Shanmugam.

It has been fifteen years since IPS organised a conference on civil society – that form of voluntary, associational life which lies between the State and the Family. Many developments relating to this sector in Singapore have taken place since then.

The 2013 Conference will allow civil society activists and thought-leaders to take stock of those developments and their impact on society and public policy-making. It will examine the trends that will affect the future development of this sector. It will also explore ideas for cultivating a vibrant civil society that fosters social capital, trust and cohesion. We hope to attract between 250 to 300 participants to the event.

There are five sessions to the Conference – Change, Continuity, Agenda, Crafting our Future and a Dialogue Session with the Guest-of-Honour.

This first session of the Conference called ‘Change’ looks at three trends that have brought or might bring change to civil society in Singapore. These are the rise of new and social media or broadly, the changes in information technology; the changes in the demographic landscape; and finally, prognostications of change in politics, laws and the rule of law that relate to civil society over the next decade in Singapore. They are called ‘Technology’, ‘People’ and ‘Politics’ for short.

The second session of the Conference called ‘Continuity’ looks at three areas which affect or are central to the operation of civil society in Singapore on an on-going basis. These are its relationship with policymakers; its capacity for intra-sector cooperation and collaboration and with other non-government sectors of society and finally, the tension between the different impulses that drive civil society here. These are called ‘Engagement’, ‘Collaboration’ and ‘Ideals’ for short.

The third session of the Conference called ‘Agenda’ is a group of five parallel sessions that look at future trends in five areas of civic life in Singapore and seeks views and recommendations from participants for further development. These areas are: the Many Helping Hands Approach, the Self-Help Ethnic Groups Sector, Youth Activism, the Legislative Landscape relating to civic activity and the Democratic Culture in Singapore.

In the fourth session, the chairpersons of the five parallel tracks report on the discussions at a plenary session. It is called ‘Crafting Our Future’.

As participants are rich with analysis and ideas from the day’s deliberations, they engage with the Guest-of-Honour, Minister Shanmugan in the closing Dialogue Session with their views and concerns about civil society in Singapore as we move into the future.


Please click here to view the programme.


 Media Reports:

Monday, 11 November 2013
8.30 am – 5.00 pm (Registration begins at 8.00 am)

Grand Ballroom (Level 4)
Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel Singapore
392 Havelock Road
Singapore 169663
(Dress Code: Office Attire)