The Lien Centre for Social Innovation, a partnership between the Lien Foundation and Singapore Management University (SMU), was established in 2006 to advance the thinking and capability of the social sector.
MISSION AND VISION
Our vision is to be a thought leader and catalyst for positive social change in Singapore and beyond. Our mission is to catalyse innovative responses to social needs through applied research and capacity building in collaboration with the public, private and social sectors. To see our organisational brochure, please click here.
The Lien Centre contributes to a more equitable, inclusive and vibrant society by addressing social needs through innovative approaches. We drive socially innovative solutions by strengthening social sector organisations so that they become influential and effective partners with business and government. We also work at the intersection of the public, private and social sectors to catalyse social innovation.
Jonathan is the Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Social Innovation at Singapore Management University. He pioneered Ashoka Changemaker Campus accreditation for SMU, the first and only university in Asia to receive the honour. Jonathan is the Harvard Kennedy School Ambassador to Singapore, and an elected member of HKS Alumni Board of Directors. A strong supporter of social entrepreneurship, Jonathan has mentored and invested in social enterprises in Southeast Asia.
Prior to Singapore, Jonathan founded and co-founded four startups across multiple industries in Silicon Valley and Manhattan. His most recent venture was OhMyGreen, a Y-Combinator incubated social enterprise, providing wellness solutions to corporations. His passion for social entrepreneurship and impact investing has brought him to Rwanda, England, New Zealand, India, and Indonesia, writing papers and case studies for Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and SMU. He spent a couple of years working on a book project with Esko Aho, former Prime Minister of Finland. Jonathan also gave a TEDx talk at Harvard about the importance of a mission-driven life, which was featured on Voice of America.
Jonathan has been invited to support social innovation initiatives internationally, including the US (by Brown, Cornell, and Penn), Nepal (UNICEF and Microsoft), Japan (Toyota Foundation), Korea (Hope Institute), Hong Kong (The Jockey Club and Chivas Regal), Taiwan (National Chengchi University), Bangladesh (BRAC), Malaysia (MaGIC), Thailand (Thai Social Enterprise Office), Cambodia (UNDP), and Indonesia (Universitas Gadjah Mada). He has been featured on BBC World News, Channel NewsAsia, The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Billionaire Magazine, and The Peak.
Jonathan is a graduate of UC Berkeley, the Stanford Graduate School of Business (with certificates in Public and Global Management), and Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Edward S. Mason Program on Public Policy and Management. Jonathan received Stanford’s Miller Social Change Leadership Award, was a Digital Problem Solving Initiative Fellow at Harvard Law School, was a Fellow at Columbia’s Earth Institute, and was Harvard Kennedy School’s Commencement Marshal.
Jonathan is a passionate mountaineer. He spent 14 days trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp (5350m), and climbed two mountains on the way – Kala Patthar (5644.5m) and Nagarjuna (5100m). He is constantly looking to scale new heights – not just mountain peaks all over the world, but also in social innovation, entrepreneurship, and wellbeing.
Emma Glendinning is a Research Fellow at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. She is currently heading up the centre’s study on Food Poverty in Singapore, as well as other commissioned research projects being undertaken by the centre. Emma worked on the centre’s report ‘Single-Parent Families in Singapore: Understanding the challenges of finances, housing and time poverty’ which can be viewed here: http://lcsi.smu.edu.sg/research/. Through working with various organisations Emma is actively involved in developing action and change resulting from the centre’s research findings and reports.
Emma has a PhD from the School of Planning and Geography at Cardiff University, UK. Her thesis, titled “Building resilience through post-productivism: the case of farmers’ markets”, sought to understand the use of communities of practice (essential for innovation) and communities of coping, as well as the barriers to the formation of such communities, within the space of a farmers’ market. Emma’s PhD thesis is available here.
During her time as a PhD student Emma worked with leading academics at Cardiff University on key research projects in a number of research areas including: Ecological Footprinting, Biosecurity, Environmental Regulation and Economic Resilience. Prior to moving from the UK to Singapore in July 2014, Emma worked in Community Development delivering a community focused, anti-poverty programme funded by the Welsh Government. Her role was responsible for Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the programme within the Caerphilly County area.
Holding an MSc in Social Science Research Methods (from Cardiff University), Emma has an excellent knowledge of both qualitative and quantitative research techniques. She also has a BSc in Geography from the University of Wales, Swansea.
Shirley is a professional secretary and office administrator with many years of work experience in multinational corporations and non-profit organisations. She comes with a rich background of providing secretarial and administrative support across various industries, including sales, training, mortgage and higher education. Prior to coming to the Lien Centre, she supported research development at Canada's International Development Research Centre (South East and East Asia Regional Office, Singapore).
Shirley is studying for a BA in Psychology with Business at SIM University. She holds a Private and Executive Secretarial Diploma, and a Diploma in Management Studies from SIM University. She is passionate about social issues and hopes to facilitate positive social change in Singapore and Asia through effective and efficient administration. Her primary responsibility in the Centre is to manage its day-to-day operations and support its various projects and programmes.
Han is interested in a spectrum of sociocultural issues in contemporary and historical societies, particularly in relation to social organisation and change, empowerment, and identity formation. The research he has undertaken includes the relevance of museums in addressing community-interest issues; the transmission and transformation of meaning in historical objects through non-textual communication; and non-financial factors in the transfer of wealth through the construct of “ritual economy”. His experience in managing academic, commercial, and other projects has brought him to many locations, not least to windowless storage rooms and frigid libraries, the open fields of rural China, and other situations where the mundane, curious, and fascinating come together in unexpected ways.
Han read Sociology, History, and Philosophy at the National University of Singapore, and received a Postgraduate Diploma in Education from Nanyang Technological University prior to teaching for several years in Singapore and New York. He also holds advanced degrees in Asian Studies and Heritage Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of Cambridge, and Columbia University.
Yina is a Program Manager at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. She works with the Centre’s consulting projects and research efforts studying the current landscape of social entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia.
Her previous jobs took her to various countries in Asia, including South Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore. Most recently, she worked for a Korean government agency connecting Korean tech startups to Southeast Asian markets. Before her stint in Korea, she served as a public sector consultant for the Malaysian government, assisting socioeconomic policy development utilising Blue Ocean Strategy. She was previously project officer for ICT for Development (ICT4D) research program at NTU’s Singapore Internet Research Centre, as well as intern at UNICEF Vietnam’s Provincial Child Friendly Program.
She graduated from Duke University with a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and obtained her master’s in Public Policy at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. She is passionate about women’s empowerment, education, and volunteering.
Christian is an Assistant Manager at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. He drives forward a diverse range of projects, including the centre’s research, capacity building, partnerships, events, and magazine, Social Space.
Before joining the centre, Christian helped Year Up build data-based feedback loops into its core decision making as Sales Operations and Market Research Fellow while participating in a selective, applied management training program through New Sector Alliance’s Residency in Social Enterprise.
Christian holds a B.A. in Sociology with Honors from Brown University, where he chaired the state’s biggest social enterprise conference, worked with two startups and founded one, conducted both applied and academic research, and wrote an award-winning honors thesis on feedback and power in social finance.
Sujith is an Assistant Manager at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, where he works primarily on project communication.
Prior to joining SMU, Sujith was a research and events associate with the United Nations Development Programme and spent a year as the Graduate Coordinator for Campus Education at the Harvard College Office of BGLTQ Student Life. He studied communications, human rights, gender and religion at the University of South Australia, Columbia University, and Harvard University, learnt Chinese at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace at Middlebury College. He actively volunteers in access to health initiatives, and is committed to exploring identity, health, emotion and suffering through qualitative approaches.
Florian Parzhuber is a final-year student at the Singapore Management University (SMU) with a double major in Finance and Operations Management. Previously, as a Summer Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, he conducted research on water access in Laos (specifically the regional water management along the Mekong River), social entrepreneurship in the Philippines, as well as the social entrepreneurial landscape around the globe. His research interests include water and sanitation systems across different continents, financial inclusion, as well as the future outlook of crowdfunding.
John is an Associate Professor of Political Science, School of Social Sciences, at Singapore Management University. He is the author of Small Works: Poverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China (Cornell University Press, 2011). His research focuses on seeking effective solutions to rural poverty reduction around the world, local rural poverty reduction policies in China, the transformation of China’s agrarian system, and central-provincial relations. Recently, he has extended his research on China’s rural transformation by comparing it with that of India.
His research has been published in such journals as World Development, International Studies Quarterly, Politics and Society, China Journal, China Quarterly and Journal of Contemporary China. John has served as a faculty member at SMU since graduating in 2005 from George Washington University in Washington DC.
Eunice Rachel Low is Editorial Consultant for the Lien Centre for Social Innovation and Deputy Editor of its flagship publication, Social Space. She is also Adjunct Editor with the Centre for Liveable Cities at the Ministry of National Development, where she sees to the content development of urban studies publications. Eunice was previously based at the National University of Singapore for seven years: as Editor at the Energy Studies Institute; and prior to that, as Editor and Head of the Journals Division at NUS Press. She was previously Team Leader (Journals Content Management) at John Wiley and Sons, and Assistant Senior Editor at Marshall Cavendish. Eunice obtained her BA (with merit) from NUS’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, majoring in Sociology and European Studies (French). A published author under the pen-name “Rachel Tey”, her middle-grade action adventure novel, Tea in Pajamas, was featured in The Sunday Times and is into its second printing. When not busy editing, writing, or conducting book readings, Eunice enjoys classical music and medieval European history. Connect with her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seth Lutsic is a Spring Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. While in Singapore, he is working on disability-related initiatives with SG Enable – an agency set up by the Singapore Government dedicated to enabling persons with disabilities – and the Singapore Management University’s Diversity & Inclusion unit. Prior to joining the LCSI team, he worked on disability-related employment initiatives in Haiti, India, and the United States. Seth holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Remi Cordelle is a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania, where he majors in economics and computer science. He was born in France but attended high school in Belgium. As a Summer Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, Remi conducted research on income inequality. His areas of interest include social mobility in emerging economies; financial inclusion in Southeast Asia; financial literacy in marginalised communities; social enterprises in Indonesia; microfinance in developed and emerging economies; and leadership in social finance.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Haneol Jeong is a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Joseph Wharton scholars program. He was a Summer Associate (Research)at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, where he conducted an independent research project on increasing energy access in Southeast Asia through investment in social enterprises. He has previously worked as a renewable energy project research assistant in Bangkok, and as a private equity summer analyst in Seoul. Haneol’s primary research interests include renewable energy, impact investing and development banking.
John Kinsella is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. Originally from Houston, Texas, he has earned an Eagle Scout award and received the Princeton Prize Certificate in Racial Relations. As a Summer Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, he conducted independent research on interdisciplinary solutions to issues facing the world.
Mitchell Ryan Laferriere was a Summer Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation. He studies theory, strategy and developmental curriculum for the teaching of impact investing to university students. His primary research interests cover impact investing, sustainable finance, social entrepreneurship and social innovation. Originally from Londonderry, New Hampshire, Mitchell attended the preparatory high school Boston College High School. From there, he entered Gabelli Business School at Fordham University. He currently is based in Manhattan, New York.
Maaya Murakami, who was a Summer Associate (Research) at the Lien Centre for Social Innovation, is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majors in International Relations and Economics. Born in Japan but raised in the Netherlands and Germany, Maaya’s research interests include ASEAN’s strengthening of social protection measures in its member states, and its challenges and implications; social entrepreneurship in Cambodia; and Germany’s dominance in the management of the European Economic Crisis.
Lien Centre for Social Innovation
Last updated on 17 Apr 2017 .