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Start Now – Rethinking Volunteerism

the following is a media release from Start Now's upcoming event 'Rethinking Volunteerism':

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Discontent with the state of active volunteering in Singapore, two youths launched an initiative to ‘Rethink Volunteerism’. With the support of the Grameen Creative Lab @ National University of Singapore (NUS) and Singapore Management University, their social enterprise, Start Now, will engage nonprofits and volunteer managers through a dialogue on how we can change the volunteering landscape in Singapore.

The dialogue session will feature a diverse spectrum of social-sector thinkers – Mr. Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization, Mr. Robin Low, founder of the Relief 2.0 movement and Prof. Wong Poh Kam, who heads the Grameen Creative Lab @ NUS. They will share experiences, thoughts and projects they have worked on and are working on that could be a model of change and renewal in Singapore.

Start Now co-founder Keith Tan, 22, will be moderating the panel discussion. Keith believes nonprofits must play an active role in this volunteering ecosystem. “Volunteers are not just a human resource replacement but a willing unremunerated participant to any nonprofit organization. This participation must be cherished, recognized and built on. The individual participants form a small community that congregates around a passion for any certain cause”, he offers.

Together with his co-founder Ivan Chang, 23, they developed www.startnow.sg, a web application that helps make volunteering easier, by matching volunteers with organizations and giving nonprofits simple management tools. The site, which is currently provided free, is just the beginning of their vision to “enable, grow and rethink volunteerism in Singapore, Asia and beyond”. Their web application will be officially launched on the 20th February 2012, during Social Business Week, organized by the Grameen Creative Lab @ NUS.

‘Rethinking Volunteerism’ will be held at the SMU University Lounge on 30 Jan 2012 from 1400 to 1630 Hrs. To join this event, kindly RSVP at rsvp.startnow.sg by 29 Jan 2012 For more information, see http://www.facebook.com/startnowsg