The five-day 'Heroes Seminar 2017' is an annual flagship event organised by the School of Interdisciplinary Studies, involving about 2,000 students from the 'World Issues: A Singapore Perspective' (WISP) module. This year's theme 'Our Singapore - What Will I Protect?' showcased various platforms for students' interaction with invited guest-speakers, to further strengthen the engagement of youths as active citizens in nation-building.
The programme comprised an interesting line-up of guest-speaker presentations, integrated with four stations of exciting experiential booth activities, including a colourful display of exhibits from the Singapore Discovery Centre.
On the first day of Heroes Seminar 2017, NP students welcomed Mr S Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry, who discussed the topics of multiracialism and meritocracy as pillars of the Singapore society. He highlighted qualities that fuel the continued prosperity of Singapore, including resilience, social mobility and cohesion, which enable future generations to seize opportunities and stay united as one people. An enlightening Q&A session covered the disruption of emerging technologies and the rise of China's influence on the region. Tourism & Resort Management student, Leon Tham, asked how Singapore could maintain her competitive advantage over neighbouring countries.
On the second day of Heroes Seminar, Dr Bilveer Singh (Associate Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore) enraptured the audience with his dramatic flair for portraying global realities. With a powerful and concise sweep, Dr Bilveer traced the history of global terrorism, the development of jihadism and Singapore’s vulnerability to terrorism. At the Q&A session, Dr. Bilveer left the audience with an indelible message: the war against terrorism should be fought by every citizen. Sikandar Singh, an MOT course student, reflected: “What I really appreciated was that Dr Bilveer gave a no-holds-barred message that awakened me to the strengths and weaknesses in Singapore’s fight against terrorism.”
Day three of Heroes Seminar 2017 featured a keynote presentation by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education & Skills) and Second Minister for Defence. Issues highlighted by Mr Ong were well aligned with the nation's SkillsFuture initiatives as he presented a wide array of opportunities for where and how diploma graduates may pursue their interests in innovation, entrepreneurship and further education. In the afternoon session, a vibrant presentation by Dr. Anthony Lim, Director of Cloud Security Alliance (Singapore Chapter), covered the risks of cyber security loopholes in social media platforms. Issues on enhanced mitigation of the risks of cyber attacks resonated well with our social-media-savvy & IT literate youths.
Station 3- Panels by Singapore Discovery Centre
Director of Nexus-Joseph Tan & Director of IS- Philip Liau
On the fourth day of Heroes Seminar, a panel of speakers from RSIS (Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU) were hosted. Ms Nur Aziemah Azman
shared about her research on online radicalisation and provided in-depth insights into radicalisation. Panelist Ms Nur Azlin Mohamed Yasin is an
astute analyst of terrorist online propaganda. She reiterated the risks of terrorist funded websites and covered issues of governance. Another panelist, Mr Ahmad Saiful Rijal Bin Hassan, energized the audience by sharing his empathetic
understanding of youth rehabilitation.
A Year 3 Business and Social Enterprise student, Amarpreet Kaur, said, "The Heroes Seminar today gave me greater insights into terrorist ideologies and Islamophobia as the panel of speakers shared their perspectives on regional threats."
Dr Beh Swan Gin, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), shared invaluable insights on the final day of Heroes Seminar with his presentation, "Remaking the Singapore Economy". He highlighted key government initiatives that continue to fuel our nation's economic progress. With global economic uncertainties and the emergence of new technologies, Dr Beh encouraged NP students to seize opportunities in Asia which will be a dominant driver of growth in the region.
In an engaging Q&A session, Dr Beh addressed students' concerns on staying relevant in fast-changing economies. Student Wong Jing Han, from the Diploma in Information Technology, shared that he now better understands "the variety of jobs that will be in demand, in the age of automation in new emerging economies".
Education Minister Mr Ong Ye Kung with the cohort of WISP students
Click here to view the schedules of speakers in the 5-day event.