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[ Mediation ] - What we learned during the SRE-YMAC 2018 Closing Ceremony

It was a great honor for Carina Rogerio to represent Singapore International Mediation Institute (SIMI) during the Closing Ceremony of the S Rajaratnam Endowment-Youth Model ASEAN Conference (SRE-YMAC). 

For those who may not have heard about it, this Conference is a simulation of an ASEAN Conference bringing together students from all ASEAN states. This year there were three additional countries participating: China, Japan and South Korea. The conference was kindly sponsored by Temasek Foundation.

Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Minister of Education in Singapore, was present during the Ceremony to offer his views and answer honestly the questions of the various students from different backgrounds. We witnessed first-hand how students asked tough questions - including but not limited to questioning some policies followed so far, which proves wrong an still existing belief that Youth and/or Asians do not dare to speak up. 

We wished many more had a chance to be present and hear the various insights. 

Here are some key points we learned from the Minister of Education : 

  1. "Innovation is at the intersection of disciplines. It will require to learn more than from books, including cross-cultures, which requires soft skills" - Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Singapore Minister of Education

  2. Based on Mr. Ong Ye Kung's views, there are two sectors who will flourish: high tech and high care. High care transcends the robot; it requires the skill of empathy and embracing our human part. These are the two extremes and people will have to find their spot between these two extremes. 

  3. In regards to the future of AI and its impact on society, Mr. Ong Ye Kung's advice is: "Master your passion, which is beyond what a robot can. Be a first class human being, not a second class robot".

  4. So far education was mostly front loading of knowledge. By embracing a philosophy of Life Long Learning, education should now be more soft skills based in terms of exchange rather than hard skills because based on that philosophy, one can come back for hard skills anytime.

What a joy to see many of SeeAre views and values being advocated by the highest level of the education sector in Singapore. Hearing these words from a global player such as Singapore and the Youth fills us with the hope of a promising future. 

And when we thought, the evening couldn't get any better, we had some of our mediation training students from Polytechnic coming to us sharing how these same skills learned a few weeks back with Marcus Lim and Carina Rogerio were actually helpful to tackle some tensions and conflicts among the different committees during the conference. They shared how they realized through this experience that most of the time, just providing a space to hear out each side was enough to overcome the existing issues.

When young adults see and experience the power of active listening and mediation as a way to resolve disputes, we are confident to say that they already are our Ambassadors of embracing all aspects of makes us human beings. 

A warm thank you to SIMI, Marcus Lim, Singapore Polytechnic and all the people involved which allowed us to be there and gain from that experience.

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