the skillseed difference

At Skillseed, we occupy a unique space as both practitioners and trainers. Our training is informed and nuanced by our experience and insights gleaned from over half a decade of field work, research, and consulting, both in Singapore and overseas. We are candid about sharing real case studies of both success and failure, reflecting upon our own experiences, as well as the best practices shared by our global network of community partners doing outstanding work in their respective fields.

We look forward to sharing what we have learned with you!


Social iNnovation tools

Build your capacity to innovate and make sustained impact. Cultivate creative confidence, encourage entrepreneurial dare, empathise with your stakeholders, learn to identify assets, and work together for sustainable solutions! Curate your own personalised program from our suite of offerings, or opt for the whole package for a comprehensive training in entrepreneurial approaches to social impact. See samples of the canvases we use during our workshops here.

Design Thinking For Social Impact

1. CRASH COURSE: 3 hours

2. FULL COURSE: 11 hours over 2-3 sessions - recommended as we include exercises to increase creativity!

3. TRAIN THE TRAINERS: 12 hours - intensive training for educators or leaders who wish to adapt our curriculum for a specific event, project or camp. Inquire to find out more.

Hands-on workshop, participants to work in pairs. For up to 100 participants!

A human-centric approach to crafting solutions addressing identified needs, customized by Skillseed to target social issues, or issues faced by youths today, such as body image issues or parental pressures.

This particular framework that we used also incorporate empathetic interviewing skills and rapid prototyping of solutions, which are critical to participants’ implementation of their ideas.

 Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD)

3 hours - Lecture and hands-on team activity

An applied methodology for development, sustained and anchored by a community's diverse assets.

ABCD builds on DT by encouraging participants to identify and leverage a community’s assets when designing their solutions. This enhances the practicality of their proposed solution and improves the longer term sustainability.

We strongly recommend that organizations experience the ABCD and DT modules together for greater effectiveness.

Theory of Change

3 hours - Lecture and team activity

Theory of Change is a methodology that defines long-term and short-term outcomes and maps them backwards to identify the necessary preconditions and partnerships needed to promote the intended social change.

Logic Model

3 hours - Lecture and team/individual activity

The Logic Model is a systematic, visual way to represent the relationships between various facets of a program, and map the outcomes and impact of projects in relation to the work that participants planned.

The Logic Model module equips participants with the means to conceive their intended impact or outcomes from the very start, working backwards to plan the resources and activities that they need for a successful project

Social Business Model Canvas (SBMC)

3.5 hours - Hands-on team or individual activity

The SBMC adapts the traditional business plan for ventures and projects with a social mission, articulating and communicating the vital facets of a project’s financial sustainability and its social value proposition succinctly on a one-page canvas.

Using the SBMC, participants work in teams to capture the different elements of their proposed solution, including their strategies for sustainability, partnerships, marketing, and more.


Human-centered leadership and community engagement

DSC_0302-6.jpg

In our line of work, it’s not just about what you do, but how you do it.

At Skillseed, we developed a suite of Human-Centred Leadership tools designed to equip participants with the necessary sensitivities, competencies, and contextual awareness to maximise their time and impact in communities. Social sector work requires a deft touch: on top of mastering technical skills, it is paramount that one communicates and collaborates with diverse stakeholders respectfully, in a manner befitting their dignity..

Level 1

These are foundational modules to introduce the concepts and frameworks that we will be sharing. We strongly recommend them as equipping modules for students’ service learning projects, corporate CSR projects, or as refreshers for staff and teachers working in the service learning or social impact field.

EMPATHY Exercises

1.5 hours

Bespoke exercises exploring the complexities of privilege, identity, and emotional self-awareness, cultivating empathy between individuals, within teams and across borders. Talk to us to find out more about our range of EEs targeting different themes and topics!

DIGNITY AND STEREOTYPES

1.5 hours - Theory and games/simulations

The nature of community service projects presents an inherent power asymmetry given that there are ‘providers of service’ (often relatively more privileged individuals) and ‘beneficiaries’ (the recipients of the service). Such disparities in experience and power sets up the conditions for unintentional dignity violations by the providers of service, thus sowing the seeds of potential conflict from the onset and compromising the intended outcomes of such projects.

The Dignity and Stereotypes module will therefore introduce the concepts of unexamined biases and stereotypes, conditions that lead to dignity violation, types of dignity violations and essential strategies for dignity promotion.

EMOTIONAL AWARENESS

1.5 hours

Emotional Awareness is fundamental to effective leadership, and to building sustainable relationships. In this module, participants will learn and practise fundamental skills for developing Emotional Awareness. These include:

  • Awareness of emotional and mental patterns

  • Frameworks to navigate emotions

  • Strategies to change patterns of negative emotions

IDENTITY AND POWER

3 hours

Interacting with those who are different from you can be scary, messy, and confusing. Questions of identity and power quickly come into play. In this Module, participants will explore concepts that are fundamental to developing mutually empowering relationships across difference, such as:

  • Personal and Social Identities

  • Spheres of Influence

  • Informal and Formal Power

  • Collaborative Forms of Power

By beginning with awareness of one’s own identity, position, and power, participants will then understand how their identity fits into their wider community and complements or conflicts with the identities of others. Once an awareness of the self within the collective is established, participants will be equipped with the skills to share power effectively, a fundamental part of any asset-based service project.

Effective facilitation

2 hours - Theory and hands-on team activities

Being able to hold space for powerful, difficult, and important conversations is a skill that is indispensable for leaders, employers, educators, parents, or anyone who works with people-centred processes.

Effective Facilitation will introduce participants to the skills and frameworks most fundamental to effective facilitation, such as:

  • Styles of Facilitation for Different Contexts

  • Modes of Communication for Different Contexts

  • Core Facilitation Skills and Strategies

  • Facilitating Across Language Barriers (when applicable)


Level 2

These modules offer an added challenge to participants or organisations who may be operating in the field/social sector/education sector and are interested in building further capacity in human-centred leadership skills and community engagement competencies. They are also appropriate for student leaders and CSR leaders.

RELATIONAL COMMUNICATION COMPETENCIES

3 hours - Theory and hands-on activities

Recommended Prerequisite Level 1 Module(s): Emotional Awareness, Dignity and Stereotypes

Relational Communication Competencies (RCC) focuses on equipping Participants with relevant skills to effectively relate to and engage with their target audience, be it community partners or their project team members. In this module, participants will learn and practise the following skills which build upon each other to achieve the most effective community engagement outcomes.

  • Active Listening

  • Affirming Responses™

  • Relational Questions


Sample case studies

Tying together our different social impact tools the training and program development experience of the Skillseed trainers, Skillseed aims to create robust programs that allow our participants to learn, challenge themselves and be empowered to be changemakers in their communities.

SEYTP1-0214.jpg

1) rAISE Social Enterprise Young Talent Programme

SEYTP1-9947.jpg

Skillseed was appointed by Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) to be the trainer and program organizer for their Social Enterprise Young Talent Programme (SEYTP), which took place from Mar -Sep 2017 (1st batch) and from Sept 17 to Feb 18 (2nd batch). The aim of the SEYTP was to develop a strong pipeline of high quality and passionate young talents to drive growth in the social enterprise sector. We taught the select group of outstanding youths social innovation tools, and equipped them with skills such as:

raise seytp.jpg
  • Design Thinking for Social Impact (DT applied to social causes, rather than focused on entrepreneurship)

  • Identity and Goal Setting (Especially for Youth who may be embarking on their first careers; to align personal goals with professional aspirations)

  • Empathy Exercises (Team-building for a purpose; simulations of social issues in order to build empathy)

  • Collaboration Zen (Teaching about project management and collaboration tools for effective project management especially in a fast paced and manpower constrained social enterprise/non-profit)

We also curated learning journeys and workshops with other fellow social enterprises to introduce them to the diversity of causes and innovative solutions that are currently being spearheaded.

YDP_+79.jpg

2) SPD (Serving People With Disabilities) Youth Development Programme (YDP)

Skillseed was the appointed trainer for SPD’s signature Youth Development Programme (YDP), where we trained youths with disabilities in social innovation and project management skills to become change makers who will able to enhance community inclusion through social inclusion projects. The programme was designed from the get-go to leverage the assets of community members in order to maximise their social impact. For this programme, we redesigned and customised the Social Impact Toolkit for our participants and organised mentoring sessions throughout the program.

IMG_4841.JPG

As of 2019, Skillseed has successfully carried out two iterations of YDP. In the spirit of continuous improvement and co-collaboration, the second iteration saw teams that comprised both able-bodied youths and youth with disabilities, thus furthering our cause by making the entire journey and learning process inclusive from within.

Our proud alumni from the two YDP programs have gone on to pursue their own initiatives that include: activities that simulate the experience of people with visual impairment, an inclusive library, and a card game designed to raise awareness of disabilities among primary school students.


SEYTP1-0160.jpg
Thank you to the Skillseed team for always going the extra mile to ensure that our participants have a fruit- ful learning experience, and for always being so reliable and responsive. It has been a pleasure working with all of you and we are grateful for the support we have received to make the raiSE Social Enteprprise Young Talent Programme a success. Keep up the good work!
— Ho Yen Yee, Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise
WhatsApp Image 2019-05-24 at 17.01.21 (1).jpeg
I was one of the eight participants for the inaugural cohort of the Engagement in Leaders (EIL) programme, and would like to commend the team on designing one the most engaging classes I have ever attended in recent times!

I did not even check my emails during classtime over the entire two days, simply because the trainers were excellent in keeping the class engaged at all times, with activities (they do real life improv which cracks the class up), have relevant case studies (QR codes to access public materials on our mobiles, and these were real articles on social media), and planned loads of activities with almost no downtime. Time really passes by...but we had a lot of fun participating in the various activities, and the simple exercise of engaging nearby residents was enlightening and thought provoking.

I thought what really works was that the facilitators were practitioners, and their delivery was just so sincere and earnest. They were also very open about their fears and concerns about handling a senior group of officers, so it helped to humanise the approach (as opposed to some trainers who put on SME hats and tend to ‘teach’). The level of engagement in the class was just amazing. Clara could attest to the laughter and energy in the room as she was an observer of the class, and it was not easy to keep the energy up for the entire two days.

I am looking forward to the attachments, and I hope the rest of the CSC Directors attending subsequent runs of this programme learnt as much as I have.
— Participant in “Engagement Immersion for Leaders Programme” for Civil Service Leaders (Director level and above), Civil Service College
I have often found many community initiatives or projects to be lacking in the alignment of objectives and an integrated approach leading to mismatch of means and ends, but I still do not know exactly how to piece all the parts and processes together. Thanks to skilful Skillseed folks Hui Jia and Wilson for opening our eyes, hearts and minds through many Aha moments during the workshop that I am now illuminated! I look forward to getting a head start for the exciting journey of integrating DT and ABCD for social impact. It is high time to get to the bottom of why things are, how we can make things happen, then what actually needs to be done in that order, and not the other way around. Love the humility and humour of our trainers!
— Jacqueline Tan Centre for Social Responsibility, SMU
WhatsApp Image 2019-02-25 at 1.50.29 PM.jpeg

WANT TO KNOW MORE? LET’S CONNECT!