the festival

What: The SMU Social Impact Festival 2017 is a week-long celebration of social innovation and impact in Singapore. The festival, which is open to the public, is hosted by the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University, and will take place around SMU’s city campus.

SIF 2017 will feature workshops, panels and activities by social enterprises, non-profit organisations, student groups and socially-minded consultants working on disability, social inclusion, technology, social-emotional leadership, photography, fashion, filmmaking, and storytelling. It leverages on SMU’s status as the first Ashoka Changemaker Campus in Asia and on LCSI’s strengths in unmet social needs research and tri-sector collaboration.

To learn more about the festival, check out our Festival Director’s message, and the schedule of events.

When: 11-16 September 2017 (Monday – Saturday)
Where: Singapore Management University’s city campus.

Festival Director's Message

Jonathan Chang

A very warm welcome to the inaugural SMU Social Impact Festival!

SIF 2017 is about putting you in the front seat. You decide what you would like to attend, and participate at the level at which you feel comfortable. The week has been carefully curated by my diverse team at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation to facilitate reflection and self-examination in the service of creating tangible impact. Hosting the festival at SMU is especially meaningful – the university is the first in Asia to be named an Ashoka Changemaker Campus, recognising its position among global leaders in facilitating social innovation and changemaking in higher education.

The events that form SIF 2017 are independently run by social enterprises, non-profit organisations, student groups and socially-minded consultants. Experience what it’s like to listen deeply to create spaces of possibility, healing and empowerment. Get a taste of what’s cooking in the social tech and impact investment space. Dig deep to identify the stories you could tell about yourself, your cause or your organisation, and learn how to creatively and effectively communicate these stories. Lean into different ways of fostering social inclusion. Join a diverse group of participants – including beneficiaries from four local organisations – in a photography workshop and trail around the Bugis/Bras Basah district. And, through it all, connect with panellists, participants, and the people around you, and share your experiences, ideas, and visions.

We encourage you to look within, to be brave and to challenge yourself. Think about your mission in life, and the small things you can do to get yourself to where you want to be. Think about what sort of social impact you want to have, and the legacies you wish to leave. Most importantly, think critically about your journey, and consider your role in nurturing a society that’s respectful and inclusive.

We look forward to interacting with you over the week. Let’s change the game, together.

Jonathan Chang
Executive Director
Lien Centre for Social Innovation

The lien centre for social innovation

The Lien Centre for Social Innovation, a partnership between the Lien Foundation and Singapore Management University, was established in 2006 to advance the thinking and capability of the social sector.

Our vision is to be a thought leader and catalyst for positive social change in Singapore and beyond. Our mission is to catalyse innovative responses to social needs through applied research and capacity building in collaboration with the public, private and social sectors. 


Tabula Rasa is a Singapore events agency founded on the spirit of generating experiences together. Through curating knowledge-based and industry driven conferences, and designing campaigns and festivals with a good cause, Tabula Rasa believes in sharing experiences and building communities.