Groundup Partner Features: The Volunteer Advisors Powering Conjunct Consulting
The 'Groundup Partner Features' explore the behind-the-scenes of our partners and the resources they offer to support Groundup Central members in sustaining and growing their initiative.
In this edition: we find out more about the strategy consults for groundups, offered by Conjunct Consulting. We hear from Janice, a management consultant who is an advisor at Conjunct Consulting and has recently worked closely with Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA) to develop a strategy for their organisation.
Conjunct Consulting is Southeast Asia’s first social change consultancy dedicated to
providing low-bono and pro-bono consulting services to charities, non-profits, and social enterprises – which Conjunct Consulting refers to as ‘Social Good Organisations’.
Hi Janice, thanks for joining us! Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi, I’m Janice - I find happiness in music, video games, food and trying something new. I originally aspired to have a career in marketing and pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, but later discovered a greater interest in business and pivoted with a Master of Science in Innovation.
Professionally, I've taken on various roles in business and tech strategy, growth, and change management. There's nothing more exciting than using my strengths to work on meaningful problems for the community at large! :)
What inspired you to join Conjunct Consulting as an advisor and what initiatives have you supported?
I've always been passionate about volunteerism and started my own volunteering journey with grassroot organisations while schooling. After spending several years in the workforce, I realised I had acquired something else to offer in the volunteering space - professional skills. Conjunct Consulting engages and mobilises professional talent to consult for Social Good Organisations, which provided an excellent opportunity for me to put my professional skills to good use. It's been four years since I've started volunteering with Conjunct Consulting and have had the honour of working with various non-profits and social enterprises on various strategy related projects.
You recently worked with SYCA as an advisor, through a partnership between NVPC’s Groundup Central and Conjunct Consulting to support groundups. What was your role as an advisor?
SYCA's mission is to meaningfully engage youths in environment-related volunteerism, and the objective of the collaboration was to develop a sustainable strategy for SYCA to support said mission. This included identifying what the organisation wants to achieve, what external opportunities and internal strengths they can leverage, how to develop a clear action plan and set of choices to achieve their goals, and how to organise themselves and their resources to support said plan accordingly.
My role as an advisor was to co-create this strategy with the SYCA team over a three-month period. We defined the project deliverables and systematically worked on them together over four discussion sessions. Where needed, the SYCA team would also conduct its own analyses with extended SYCA members between these discussions.
What is the importance of collaboration and what did you take away from this experience?
Conjunct Consulting seeks to effectively partner with Social Good Organisations and skilled talent to drive sustainability, and thus, collaboration is key for all such co-creation projects as it promotes these outcomes. This project would not have been possible if not for Groundup Central’s knowledge and dedication to groundups, Conjunct Consulting’s approach to solutioning and the SYCA team for their immense domain knowledge, and dedication to organisational development.
Personally, I have learnt a great deal from this project - working with the SYCA team was an eye-opening and humbling experience as they broadened my previously-lacking knowledge on environment-related volunteerism.
Why is it important to support groundups?
Groundups are informal and self-organised groups that self-initiate voluntary initiatives, and are an accurate reflection of a society’s needs and sentiments that individuals or formal organisations are unable to address. They are able to remain accountable to their stakeholders while not being constrained by certain bureaucratic processes, and this flexibility allows them to connect with their beneficiaries and the community at large in the most creative, impactful ways.
While often small, they play critical roles in improving the lives of many and as seen with SYCA, are able to inspire larger movements. This is why it is important for both individuals and larger, more established organisations to support groundups where they can - so we can all come together to give our best for others and build a Singapore that cares.
How do you hope this partnership between Groundup Central and Conjunct Consulting helps Singapore become the City of Good?
This joint initiative by Groundup Central and Conjunct Consulting encourages collaboration between Social Good Organisations to drive greater level of impact and sustainability in the social sector. While Social Good Organisations share the common goal of improving people’s lives, the practice of collaboration is not always easily feasible, making it challenging for these organisations to learn from each other and coordinate their efforts.
Hence, I hope this initiative will help address that, and in the process nurture greater all-roundedness in future generations of social sector leaders. The larger and stronger the social sector leadership community grows, the more it will be able to inspire others to volunteer for causes they are passionate about. This culture of other-centredness will in turn support NVPC’s City of Good vision to build a caring and inclusive home for all.
About the author:
Heerea Rikhraj is a Programme Manager at Conjunct Consulting, Southeast Asia's first social change consultancy that provides low-bono consulting services for social good organisations. Conjunct Consulting has worked with over 150+ organisations, hosts a variety of learning workshops and contributes Thought Leadership pieces to further support the social sector.