Call to work together to be part of solution to social issues

Lyna Mohamad

“Businesses can lead the way in providing a solution to the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems, while working together with society,” Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad said.

He made these comments at the Brunei and Southeast Asia Social Impact Convention (BASIC 2019) at Kolej Internataional Graduate Studies (KIGS). Yang Berhormat Iswandy, in his capacity as event chairman, noted that BASIC 2019 is an event that gathers Southeast Asians aged 18 and above to support and promote organisations that empower communities, and innovate for a better change to the world.

The convention is a platform for connecting people with social enterprises, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and companies that have CSR initiatives, with the incentives to build an economy and community that is equitable and fair for all.

CEO of KIGS Dr Haji Azaharaini bin Haji Mohd Jamil and senior KIGS officials attended the opening ceremony. The event is organised by Perspective Insan Academy and EICO Brunei.

The two-day convention hopes to enable participants to better understand the BASIC 2019 motto and to not rely solely on the government to lead national development, but to work together to be part of the solution to social and environmental issues.

The BASIC 2019 motto is IMPACT (Innovation, Meaningful, Partnership, Action, Community, and Triumph).

Legislative Council member Yang Berhormat Iswandy bin Ahmad speaks at the event
The plenary session in progress. PHOTOS: LYNA MOHAMAD

“I hope everyone here understands that it’s important to give back to society and the environment to start an impactful change. We want to create a community where small and medium enterprises (SMEs), NGOs and social enterprises have their own purpose in society, where there are partnerships between businesses and the community.”

He highlighted that it is important for both public and private sectors to network with society, which will build a stronger community with social enterprises and CSR through actions taken by entities, and at the end of the day emerge as winners.

ASEAN Foundation Programme Manager Mahmudi Yusbi delivered the keynote address, while Co-founder and CEO of myHarapan Nurfarini Daing held a sharing session.

The morning session continued with a plenary forum on a social enterprise topic ‘Understanding the needs of a community and creating an impact.’ The panelists were Nurfarini, Malai Didi of Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei, and Jeffery Ong of Living Earth, with Amy Cheong as moderator.

The morning session concluded with the first breakout session by Big BWN, Kunyit 7 Lodge and Pins & Needles.

In the afternoon, a plenary forum on NGO – Inclusivity Amongst Community and Ensuring Development towards Sustainable Living was held. It was moderated by Nurliyana Fatin binti Ariffin with Pengiran Salimatul Sa’adah binti Pengiran Mohd Salleh of Society for Community Outreach and Training (SCOT), Dr Teo Shyh Poh of Demensia Brunei and Yang Berhormat Iswandy as panellists.

Another breakout session by KESAN, Hand4Hand and Demensia Brunei concluded Day 1 of the convention.