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. Our vision is to be a thought leader and catalyst for positive social change in Singapore and beyond. Our mission is to catalyze innovative responses to social needs through applied research and capacity building in collaboration with the public, private and social sectors.

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 organizations 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 catalyze social innovation. Our marquee project is called Unmet Social Needs in Singapore – a project, undertaken in collaboration with academics and non-profit practitioners, which explores the issues facing vulnerable groups in Singapore. The project employs participatory research methods to identify unmet social needs and to assess deprivation or exclusion in the domestic context.

Another project is called SMU Change Lab – a social innovation lab that supports community-led and voluntary organizations to improve social services in Singapore. Drawing on our research into unmet social needs, the Collaboratory brings together social sector workers and community members to envision and prototype new strategies, services and support mechanisms. An initial presentation of the research findings was made at the Through the Eyes of the Elderly Social Conversation. We also publish an annual magazine called Social Space, showcasing trends, news, interviews, and case studies written by faculty members and impact innovators in Asia.

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