Building our Shared Future, Together
We launched the Forward Singapore (Forward SG) exercise in June 2022, engaging Singaporeans from all walks of life on how we should refresh our social compact for the road ahead.
What is a social compact? It is the glue that holds society together, the shared understanding of our roles and responsibilities towards each other, and our shared values and aspirations as a people.
In Singapore, this manifests through various examples:
• Individuals taking responsibility for themselves and their families, but also caring for others in society
• Employers paying fair wages, looking after their employees and supporting their development
• Community organisations caring for those in need
• The Government using the taxes it collects to deliver high-quality public services, to invest in the well-being of all Singaporeans, and to build for the future
A functioning and robust social compact creates trust. It leads to a sense of assurance that someone’s got our interests in mind — that we have got each other’s backs.
For us to feel that way, our social compact should be collectively agreed upon. Everyone should recognise that we have a meaningful stake in society, and we are all invested in one another and in our shared future.
Our social compact is not static. It must be refreshed to adapt to changing times.
Singapore is now in a prime moment for change. We face new challenges and uncertainties but also new opportunities.
• Geopolitical tensions are contributing to a less benign and less hospitable environment for small states like Singapore.
• Technological advancements will open up new opportunities, but they will also make existing job roles obsolete, and add to workplace anxieties.
• Rising inequality and slowing social mobility have already fractured social cohesion in many developed countries and will create similar pressures in our society.
• Our rapidly ageing population will increase strain on our people, especially those who are sandwiched between caring for both their young children and elderly parents.
• Longer-term trends like climate change will pose additional challenges. We have to make difficult trade-offs as we decarbonise our economy and society. Everyone must be ready to adapt to the realities of global warming and prepare for threats such as extreme weather events, food shortages and rising sea levels.
We are fortunate to be dealing with these challenges from a position of strength. We have a high level of trust and a strong sense of social solidarity.
This helped us pull through the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic was a baptism of fire for Singapore and the 4G leadership team. We managed to emerge stronger because of the collective efforts of everyone in society.
But we cannot just continue with the status quo.
Now, as we enter a new era, we should look ahead and prepare for change. If we fail to do so, our society can easily fall apart in the face of disruptions like economic downturns, pandemics, or other crises.
The reality is that despite our success, we are still a small city-state that is vulnerable in many ways. No one is obliged to come to our rescue if we falter. It is up to us to fend for ourselves and determine our own future.
This is why we embarked on the Forward SG exercise. Together with Singaporeans, we have identified several key elements in our new way forward:
a) More opportunities for all Singaporeans to chart our own path, that we feel empowered and valued, as we pursue our diverse aspirations and our own definitions of success.
b) More assurance for Singaporeans that they will be taken care of at every life stage as basic needs like education, retirement, healthcare and housing will be met.
c) More collective responsibility from all stakeholders — the Government doing more but businesses, community groups, families and individuals also doing their part to support and uplift those around us, and ensure that Singapore remains strong and united for generations to come.
This vision of the Singapore we seek to create will provide a roadmap for our next bound of development.
Together we will build our shared future for a better Singapore.
Forward SG and You
Find out how the Forward SG report is relevant to you.
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Our New Way Forward
The ideas from Forward SG provide a roadmap for our next chapter of the Singapore Story.Find out more
Embracing Learning Beyond Grades
So that we strive to learn and improve throughout our lives.Find out more
Respecting and Rewarding Every Job
So that we create diverse pathways to be the best version of ourselves.Find out more
Supporting Families through Every Stage of Life
So that we create a conducive environment for families to thrive.Find out more
Enabling Seniors to Age Well
So that everyone can retire with peace of mind, and enjoy golden years.Find out more
Empowering Those in Need
So that opportunities are provided for all, regardless of starting points.Find out more
Investing in Our Shared Tomorrow
By stewarding our resources responsibly and sustainably.Find out more
Doing Our Part as One United People
So that we can build our collective strength as a society for our shared future.Find out more
Afterword & Acknowledgement: Forward Singapore, Together
Thank you for being part of the Forward Singapore exercise.Find out more
Ideas and pledges for our shared future
Start your ground-up initiatives to address municipal issues through Love Our 'Hood Fund!
By Municipal Services Office
Smart Nation Ambassadors Citizen Co-Creation Group
By Smart Nation and Digital Government Office
Volunteer with SG Cares Volunteer Centres
By Ministry of Culture, Community & Youth
Forward Singapore (Steward Pillar): Taking Green Action for Our Communities
Senior Minister of State (SMS) for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr. Koh Poh Koon, along with Minister for Social ...
Forward Singapore (Empower Pillar): Strengthening Our Employment Resilience Together
Minister of Manpower and Second Minister for Trade and Industry Tan See Leng engaged over 60 participants at The Ngee An...
Forward Singapore (Care Pillar): Refreshing Our Understanding of Meritocracy and Streng...
Minister of State (MOS) for Social and Family Development and Home Affairs, Ms Sun Xueling, joined students from Institu...
Forward Singapore (Unite Pillar): Exploring What It Means To Be "One United People"
Through a series of interactive stations, members of the public were invited to reflect, discuss, and think about what a...
Forward Singapore: IPS Singapore Perspectives 2023: Work
Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong spoke to 1,000 guests from public service, private sector, civic groups and academia...
Forward Singapore: Ground-up conversations with youths in the heartlands
Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Mr Zaqy Mohamad joined some 40 young Singaporeans at the REACH-Friendz...
Ideas by Forward Singapore participants
Find out how Singaporeans imagine our refreshed social compact.
Forward Singapore: Refreshing the social compact on public housing to ensure affordable...
On 6 November 2022, Minister Desmond Lee visited the MND housing roadshow at Our Tampines Hub.
Forward Singapore (Empower Pillar): Building a More Resilient Economy Together
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong engaged over 60 members of the public at the closing of the...