[This is an Online Article that came out in Class Act, an e-zine for alumni of Nanyang Technological University.]
Participants attending the Alumni Forum learnt how to connect better with the younger generation of today.
Organised as part of NTU’s Alumni Homecoming this year, three alumni speakers came ‘home’ to discuss issues on understanding and communicating with today’s youths, at the alumni forum titled ‘Connecting with Today’s Youths’. The session was chaired by alumnus Ms Serene Loo (WKWSCI/1999 & RSIS/2008), Shell Spokesperson (Asia Pacific). A mother of two and the first Singaporean woman to ski to the South Pole, Ms Sophia Pang (NBS/1994), the forum’s first speaker, shared her personal experiences in communicating with children. She emphasised that whilst all parents should be aware of their children’s activities with friends, they should also respect their children’s privacy. She also highlighted the importance of parents engaging in activities that interest their children, in order to forge a closer bond.
“Youths of different generations have varied characteristics and traits. Today’s youths have grown up with pervasive TV and the internet, and it is crucial that we understand that connecting with them today would be different from connecting with youths of the past generations,” highlighted second speaker Mr Zaqy Mohamad (EEE/1999 & NBS/2003).
The Head of Dimension Data Singapore Pte Ltd’s Sales Unit, and Member of Parliament for Chua Chu Kang GRC, went on to explain how the hopes and aspirations of today’s youths have evolved differently from those of youths of the past generations. The issues today’s youths are concerned about are somewhat different from those that worried past generations’ youths. Mr Zaqy also shared views of Singapore’s policy makers in engaging today’s youths.
The final speaker, Mr Neo Eng Chuan (NIE/2009), Principal Psychologist and Founder of Caper Spring, spoke about contextual shifts, universal human needs and principles of connecting. In order to understand youths and to better communicate with them, Mr Neo emphasised the importance of being curious, compassionate and collaborative.
The forum ended with a question-and-answer session featuring interesting discussions with the Forum Chairperson and speakers. Close to 200 participants attended the forum held on 13 October.
© 2015 CaperSpring