Global Centre for Technology, Innovation
and Sustainable Development

Youth Co: Lab Singapore

Youth Co: Lab in Singapore was successfully launched in 2019 in collaboration with the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development (GCTISD), and CitiBank. In order to create meaningful engagements with the youth in Singapore, we have partnered with National Youth Council (NYC) through the Youth Action Challenge (YAC), to drive youth development and broaden outreach to young Singaporeans and youth sector organisations.


About Youth Co: Lab

Youth Co: Lab (YCL) is a joint initiative of UNDP and the Citi Foundation established in 2017. YCL empowers young people across Asia and the Pacific to create innovative and sustainable solutions to social problems. The mission of YCL is to identify, empower and nurture youth social entrepreneurs so they can help solve the Sustainable Development Goals.

YCL works with three main stakeholders:

  • Young People: to build their entrepreneurial skills and capacities;
  • Governments: to engage with young people and support the policy and regulatory environment;
  • Other partners: private sector and academia to create a supportive ecosystem for the youth social entrepreneurs.


About Youth Co: Lab, Singapore

YCL in Singapore was successfully launched in 2019 in collaboration with the UNDP Global Centre for Technology, Innovation, and Sustainable Development (GCTISD), and CitiBank. In order to create meaningful engagements with the youth in Singapore, we have partnered with the National Youth Council (NYC), Singapore, the overarching national agency that drives youth development and broadens outreach to young Singaporeans and youth sector organisations.  

Youth Co: Lab, Singapore is launched as the Youth Action Challenge (YAC)

As part of the SG Youth Action Plan (SG YAP), which seeks to engage youths to harness their energies to shape the future of Singapore in 2025,  the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) with NYC in the lead launched the Youth Action Challenge in 2019. The YAC calls on youth in Singapore looking to make meaningful change through community-based projects and enterprises. During this challenge, youths from different backgrounds come together in teams and create ideas for a better future.  YAC is offered as a unique opportunity for youth to influence, connect, and get advice from policy-makers and other decision-makers in the industry and take action and create their vision of Singapore.

In January 2020, 57 youth teams pitched their ideas to a selective and diverse Board, including UNDP and Citi members. The three main themes in the inaugural YAC were - Environment, Job & Future of Work and Societal Issues.



YAC Springboard Programme

In January 2020, 57 youth teams who submitted their ideas for Youth Action Challenge, were invited to pitch for 5 mins to judges – industry experts, government officials, SGYAP panel members, UNDP staff, Citi employees and more. Pitches were held on 5 different days spanning the three main themes. UNDP and Citi collaborated to include people from the network as judges and experts. The top 12 Teams for the YAC were identified by the end of the qualifiers.

The top 12 teams went through various workshops online and offline and were also offered curated learning resources to build their ideas. Each of the top 12 teams also receieved a small seed grant of SGD 5K to kickstart work on their projects. All of these resources combines were delivered as the YAC Springboard Programme.

1.  Learning Journey – 15th Feb 2020

A full-day event, the learning journey brought together the top 12 teams of the YAC for the very first time. This day included - A Fireside chat with Steve Leonard, (Former) CEO of SG Innovate talking about building an enterprise & the role of technology in impact ventures, A Site Visit to Insectta, an urban farm in Singapore which is also a ground up social enterprise, and A Human Library interaction where the teams spent two hours talking to and learning from leaders and enablers in the social impact space.

2. Consult Clinics – 22nd Feb 2020

The top 12 teams were exposed to new skills as part of a Consult Clinic under the YAC on 22nd Feb 2020. At the Clinic, the 60+ youth were provided practical lessons on business development, marketing, artificial intelligence, application development, and prototyping by 12 different experts in these areas. The youth consulted these experts in teams, spoke about their project ideas and took away valuable feedback on the various functional themes.



3. Pitching and Social Media Workshop – 29th Feb

The pitching workshop, facilitated by Chua Ruo Mei, exposed teams to pitching best practices, weaving in compelling stories to evoke interest and engagement and provide an opportunity for the teams to get creative and experimental for the final pitch during the Summit. The Social Media Marketing Workshop, facilitated by Khai, provided teams with creative ideas to produce their own ‘Vote for Me’ clips, to sustain public’s interest and engagement level.

4. Makers' Day – 7th March

To allow some of the teams to prototype their products access to the makerspace at the National Design Centre with 3D printing machines, laser machines and other equipment was offered to the youth. This included credits to use in the space along with consultations with the makerspace’s staff for inputs and advice for prototyping.

5.  YCL Springboard Programme –

All the 57 YAC teams have been given access to the comprehensive Youth Co:Lab Springboard Programme - a complete online programme with 8+ modules. The topics range from creating a one pager to building strategic communications, from impact measurement to access to capital. These modules have been developed in collaboration with the social entrepreneurship ecosystem to make the learning valuable and authentic.

The Top 12 teams have traversed Jan to June 2020 learning and developing their ideas. Many have also had to pivot their ideas given the changes that the COVID19 pandemic has brought about.

6. Other Engagements – April to July

  1. One on one check-ins with each of the top 12 teams – 19th to 23rd May
  2. Pre-Summit Round  2 of the Consult Clinics – 27th to 30th May
  3. Pre-Summit Online Event on How to Run a Virtual Event – 4th July
  4. Introduction to the SDGs Interactive Movers Workshop – 16th July


YAC Summit  - 13th to 19th July 2020

The national inaugural YAC summit is happening completely digitally for this year and will be running from 13th to the 19th July  2020.  The engagements during this week are a combination of Live Workshops and Pre-Recorded talks/messages. In lieu of live pitches, the top 12 teams will pre-record their pitches for the judges as well as the larger public audience.

UNDP is also hosting a Movers Intro to SDGs workshop. An interactive 2 hour session that brings together the Youth in Singapore to learn and discuss the UN SDGs in a fun and meaningful way. Happening on the 16th July 2020, 7PM to 9PM SGT. You can check the event and register HERE.

To participate, interact and vote in this year's YAC Summit, go to:

YAC Summit Banner


Partnerships and Youth Co: Lab Collaborations

If you are keen to know more about the Youth Co: lab initiative and would like to explore partnerhips and collaborations, you can write to us at

Want to start a conversation?

If you have enquiries, comments and feedback on our focus areas or would like to partner with the Global Centre please get in touch.