​Design thinking for the future
PUBLISHED ON 06 Apr 2018
Good design thinking is critical for Singapore’s future, just as it was during its journey from third world to first. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loon at the Singapore University of Technology and Design’s (SUTD) first Ministerial Dialogue said that design is a core element of nation-building.
“Nothing we have today is natural, or happened by itself. Somebody thought about it, made it happen. Not our economic growth, not our international standing, not our multiracial harmony, not even our nationhood. Nothing was by chance,” said Mr Lee.
Calling it design thinking, Mr Lee explained that early on in nation building, Singapore’s founding fathers had to define problems, come up with creative idea and solutions, prototype the idea, test out innovations, and constantly review the thinking and solutions.
During the dialogue, Mr Lee noted that although Singapore is a multi-party democracy, there is no certainty in these things. “I think it depends on how well the PAP can perform and how well the opposition can convince people that they can do better than the Government, or that the Government is doing things wrong and you should stop the Government from doing things which are no good,” he added.
Commenting on the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Mr Lee reiterated that it is important for Singapore to respect a person’s privacy, even as Singapore moves towards being a Smart Nation. On the balance of collecting data and respecting privacy,  Mr Lee said, “We want to make full use of the information we have in order to improve people’s lives, improve the way our society works, to make it a safer environment for everybody. At the same time, you do not want to do it in a way which is overbearing, intrusive, which is unethical.”