Here Are 7 Ideas That Could Change Singapore for All Migrant Workers


On 29th May, our Listening Living Labs w/ Migrant Worker Communities (MWL3) team held our second of five workshops at Penjuru Recreation Centre. A follow-up from the Listening Circle, the session sought to further refine the ideas generated and get participants to form work-groups around ideas that resonate with them. 

The MWL3 process.

Like in the Listening Circle, we were able to sustain the multi-stakeholder nature of the MWL3, as we gathered migrant brothers and domestic sisters; NGO representatives; employment agencies; healthcare professionals; academics and many more.

Prioritising Ideas by considering Resources Required and Impact Generation

Before the session, the Leaders’ Roundtable assessed and streamlined the 20+ ideas generated in the Listening Circle by considering the resources each idea required, and the potential impact it can produce. Prioritising the ideas as such was crucial in allowing us to devote energy to ideas that could be piloted in 6 months, so we can move from mere talk to action.

Ideas were placed in a matrix according to Resources Required and Impact Generated.

After rating the ideas, we focused on the High Impact ideas with varying Resources Required, so we can produce both quick-wins and achieve long-term goals.

High Impact ideas are highlighted here.

BINGO!: Find someone who…

To kick start the session, participants played a game of Human Bingo. They had to find people who matched the statements given on the bingo card, such as ‘Find someone who represents the Academics sector‘ and ‘Find someone who stays in the same part of Singapore as you’. This way, we hoped participants could loosen up and  expand their network by connecting with others outside their traditional work or social circles.

Walk, don’t talk: Finding what interests me

Afterwards, participants partook in a gallery walk where they spent some time at each idea board and were encouraged to to think about which issue area they would be most interested to work in.

Who am I?: Identifying my Stakeholder Group

The next segment of the session was a precursor to forming multi-stakeholder teams. With the AGS Secretariat Team holding up stakeholder placards at different areas of the hall, participants moved to the stakeholder group they most identified with. Doing so provided a visual indication of the representation and diversity in the room which would facilitate team formations later on.

Why are you here?: Finding my Tribe

Once everyone settled down at their stakeholder zones, they were invited to speak to others in the same zone revolving the question: Why am I interested in this area?. This gave space for participants to interact deeper with their potential team members while also allowing them to verbalise their motivation, which will get them going through the journey ahead.

It took minimal effort for the participants to self-organise into multi-stakeholder teams, which was such a pleasant surprise especially given the amount of time the team had dedicated for this segment! Quoting an interview with Anthea Ong, the Co-Chair of the Leaders’ Roundtable,

It really validates, for me, that there is so much wisdom in the collective…they organised themselves in a way that they know they’re going to actually sustain this team to do the change.

The groups were then prompted to come up with team values that would guide how they interact, approach and commit to each other and the MWL3. 

Team Interim Good Company's team values.

Working Backwards to Chart the Impact We want to See

Now with a formal assembly of members, teams got to work in planning how to bring the ideas to life. They attempted to answer the following questions: 

  1. What is the problem I am trying to address and why is it important?
  2. What is the end goal I wish to see for this issue?
  3. What are 2 – 3 main things that must change in order to achieve this end goal?
  4. What is something we can create in 6 months that will help move towards this end goal?

Afterwards, the Team Leader of each group presented their framework to the collective. It was heartening to see the shared thought put into the questions prompted as well as the chemistry within and between teams! It was also insightful to observe some common themes across the teams, including:

  1. the importance of data to better contextualise their idea/issue
  2. the desire to produce something that is sustainable and not one-off, including doing so through mindset shifts
  3. the value of recognising the eco-system needed to push ideas, including having to acknowledge the dynamics between stakeholders 
  4. the necessity to keep asking ‘why?’ to clarify and strengthen intentions of our actions

Our Learnings – Things to Celebrate

The team is grateful to have had participants who were motivated, open and mindful towards each other as well as to the MWL3 journey. We appreciated that the importance of multi-stakeholder representation is now actively practised by the participants themselves, as seen in the way they had self-organised into diverse teams within a short span of time. With participants willingly producing team cheers and engaging in the human bingo icebreaker activity, a sense of fun and play was sustained while discussing complex social issues.

Our Learnings – Things to Improve

While the session generally went smoothly, the team acknowledges certain areas we could have given more thought to in reaping the most benefit from the gathering. This includes:

Have more diverse participants to create stronger multi-stakeholder teams 

Some stakeholder groups had less representation than others which made it slightly difficult to form organic multi-stakeholder teams. This could have been better facilitated by reaching out to more folks from different backgrounds to join the collective.


View what the teams are up to, amongst other things, in our MWL3 Portal!

Before our next session on 3rd July, the collective will be actively connecting the work-groups to resources, skills and expertise that they require to prototype their ideas. 

If you would like to learn more about the teams’ ideas and find out how you can contribute to them, do visit our MWL3 Portal. Should you need to seek further clarifications, feel free to reach out to us via email at livinglabs@agoodspace.org .

Picture of Sarah T
Sarah T

Sarah is a Social Changemaker Intern at A Good Space. She is a full-time cat mom who loves all things batik.

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