Who are we

The Birthday Collective aims to be a “Brain, Heart and Hand Trust” for Singapore as it deals with an increasingly unpredictable and complex external environment, and increasingly acute domestic constraints. Both the external and internal challenges pose risks but also opportunities, if we remain optimistic and are creative in our approaches.

As a Trust, the Collective focuses on the gifts it can offer to future generations. Unlike usual brain trusts, which tend to be mostly about talk, The Birthday Collective’s focus on the Heart and Hand emphasises that ideas are important but not enough; they need to be acted on, to create a sense of national drive and belonging even as individual aspirations are nurtured and lived out.

What we do

The Collective aims to lead and steward a range of “products” that serve as gifts to our nation; the inherent diversity of these gifts will be helpful in reaching out to a range of contributors. Collectively, these products are known as “The Birthday Suite”.

Our first and flagship product in 2016 was “The Birthday Book”; 51 contributors (to commemorate Singapore’s 51st birthday) were invited to send their thoughts (800-1000 words) on the prompt “What is Singapore’s Next Big Thing?”. Being an annual publication, each year’s Birthday Book will examine emerging challenges and opportunities for Singapore, and will be published to coincide with National Day. The number of writers each year will match Singapore’s age – 52 for 2017, 53 for 2018, and so on. The focus will be on canvassing views of Singaporeans younger than 45, who will soon inherit the mantle of national leadership across their respective sectors.

The Birthday Collective