Recently, I had the privilege of being with a group of passionate and inventive Social Entrepreneurs. While I was invited there for an opportunity to hone my Graphic Recording skills, I had the chance to fully participate in one segment of the workshop.
As part of the Discover phase of Human Centred Design, the task given was to have a team member go for lunch on a wheelchair, and it was not just to the office canteen at that, but at a hawker centre a few MRT stations away.
In the process, my role was as an observer and at some point, a caregiver. This certainly heightened our appreciation of the physical environment, the conveniences as well as the limitations. We were able to understand how someone in a wheelchair might not be an independent as he might wish to be.
Besides this activity, it was also great finding out about the various kinds of Social Enterprises that the participants are involved in. For instance, Keith, the team-mate in the wheelchair, started Captain Panda to help children with special needs but who are not able to get a subsidised place which best fits them. Marc works with Artsolute which aspires to create a caring and active society through the arts.
The support which raiSE, the Centre for Social Enterprise, provides, such as the workshop I was a part of, certainly goes a long way. You can find out about the variety of SEs in Singapore using raiSE’s directory.