Malaysia’s largest monthly gathering of social changemakers
We wanted to create a monthly gathering where people interested in the social sector could connect to other like-minded people and where those who were looking to get involved had a place to go. Do Something Good: Connect was started to do that — it’s a monthly gathering bringing together social entrepreneurs, volunteers, NGO staff, and the broader public to discuss important topic every month, ranging from strengthening our education system to addressing homelessness. In the last 6 months, over 1,200 people have joined the Do Something Good: Connect community.
Pioneering digital volunteering
We’re online more than ever — but are we properly leveraging this for social good? Do Something Good and Digital Malaysia launched a digital volunteering initiative this year pioneering a series of approaches to helping Malaysians contribute back to the community from their computers. Over 600 volunteers helped NGOs manage their social media presence, taught children English over Skype, and raised awareness about human trafficking, amongst others.
Designing technology to prevent diabetes
In the past five years, the incidence of adult diabetes in Malaysia has increased 30%. Traditional approaches involving education campaigns haven’t delivered the intended results. In partnership with Novo Nordisk — the world’s largest insulin producer — and the Ministry of Health, our Design Practice has been developing a mobile app to help couples form new habits and change eating and exercise behaviours to prevent diabetes. The intervention will go into clinical trial next year with 1,800 people.
Helping UNICEF Malaysia retool for innovation
How do we protect children’s rights and wellbeing in a world where they are skipping school to buy mobile phones or where urbanisation has pulled apart the social safety net that has held them up in rural communities? We worked with UNICEF Malaysia to build different scenarios around what Malaysia might look like in 2035 and understand how social innovation labs can be used as an approach to addressing the increasingly complex challenges of children’s welfare in Malaysia.
Helping the Chinese and Bangladeshi governments learn from each other using design thinking
While government study trips are notorious for being unproductive, governments still need to learn from each other on solving challenges ranging from improving service delivery to youth unemployment. In collaboration with Zeroth Labs and the Chinese and Bangladeshi governments, we have been working with UNDP to build a framework that helps governments figure out what learnings might be transferrable from one country to another and quickly put them into action — laying the foundation for stronger south-to-south collaborations.
Launching Social Enterprise Month and getting it out to 113,000 Malaysians
Ask people what’s the biggest barrier in growing the social enterprise space in Malaysia and they’ll tell you it’s awareness. There simply aren’t enough people who understand social enterprise or know that it exists. To that end, we brought together a series of partners including SimplyGiving, Skoll Foundation, and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia to turn November into Social Enterprise Month. Collectively, we hosted a series of conferences, workshops, networking gatherings, and even a movie screening and discussion on social enterprise. We also published an infographic on social enterprise in Malaysia that was seen by over 113,000 people.
Learn about social enterprise in Malaysia
Bringing the maker movement to the masses
In partnership with #samasama, we hosted a Maker Playground at Jom Heboh in Johor, engaging over 2,000 people over two days in maker activities ranging from building cardboard furniture to silk screening shirts. Participants made shirts at a voracious rate — nearly 100 an hour — and shared ideas for maker projects on a “Jom Make” wall. Musicians Bunkface and Amy Search performed at the Maker Playground. We’ll be doing another in Shah Alam before the end of the year!
Building a vibrant community of young entrepreneurs -- and helping them succeed
It takes a community to raise a startup. Ask anyone involved in startups and they’ll tell you that community is the lifeblood of startup success. In partnership with SME Corp. Malaysia, we’ve built a community of entrepreneurs through monthly gatherings where successful entrepreneurs share real lessons learned and host a series of workshops. What’s more, entrepreneurs from both divides; startups and SMEs get to meet and exchange best practices on how to build successful and sustainable businesses. Today, RISE has been covered on BFM, Vulcan Post and Yahoo Singapore and is one of the top three entrepreneurship communities in KL (by size). It proudly features local entrepreneurs in F&B, fashion, and retail from young uprising business owners.
The leading programme to help NGOs design social innovations
Today’s social challenges are more complex than ever and addressing them is going to require exploring new approaches. Makeweekend Impact has been bringing together NGOs, social entrepreneurs and experts to do that. Our first Makeweekend Impact this year brought social entrepreneurs, the public, and NGOs together — our youngest participant 17 and the oldest 72 — to look at ways of building solutions to social challenges that can scale exponentially. Makeweekend Impact with the US State Department brought together 9 NGOs and Malaysian youth to design technology solutions that could help improve the efficiency of NGOs. Makeweekend Impact with Teach for Malaysia helped fellows design new social enterprise projects and apply lean startup methods to validating them. Last year’s Makeweekend Impact alumni are shining bright this year, with teams running programmes to teach underprivileged school kids arduino programming and to providing low-cost tuition.