Panel 2: Coordinating sewa across the community
Keynote Address (DD Saxena)
Panel 1: Igniting the dormant economic potential of migrants
Collaborative ideation session
SYA: Divine Steps Festival
Launch of new YSPN strategy
Fireside Chat (Pam Bains)
Launch of new YSPN strategy
Thank you, Uncle Satwant, for being consistent at India standard time all right over the day, we've been giving everyone a teaser around there's a new strategy coming and I’ve had a lot of people in the break come up to me and be like, what is this new strategy? we've given everyone an element of it, we're going to be doing these pillars we're going to be doing these breakouts and it all links into the strategy and I know you've all been waiting for a long time, some of you didn't want to hang around for dinner and you came to hear all about the strategy and so without further ado, I think it's only the right thing to do to call on Mr. Ramneek Singh our national lead to officially launch the new YSPN strategy.
All right so just to get this out of the way, I am going to make a charlie.com joke, I’ve probably heard of that, all I can say is that I have matured through the process of helping to put Elevate together hence the difference in the beard lengths. I know [01:19 inaudible] gave me something about that earlier. I’ve also never experienced a group of people so excited to hear about strategy before so that's promising, hopefully I live up to expectations, unfortunately I don't have a video to show you though, so just might be a song and dance later though, so I want to start and I love sharing this photo because this photo was taken at the YSPN summit in 2019 and this is where the bulk of the work that you're about to see in terms of the new strategy unfolded and what you'll see in this photo is a group of 55 passionate volunteers that have come together to give up their weekend to pay their own way to come to a different city to do work and [02:17not audible] talks about the irrationality of that and I think that as an organization, I think it goes to speak to the passion and you know the involvement and the power that the organization has which uncles are going to reflect on in terms of where we're going as a [02:33not audible] so I would love to share this photo and I want to thank all the volunteers as part of the organization because I don't think they get the recognition that they deserve in helping to put together the organization and Elevate which have all been privilege today. So, I would like to just give them all a round of applause for helping put this all together.
What I will do next is I want to talk about what we call the case for change, which is you know if you have a strategy, why would you want to change it, if it's working if you are successful then why not continue doing what's been successful and there are primarily two reasons for why that's the case and that led to the question which you see in front of you and the first reason is that when YSPN was formed back in 2012 and there are a few of the Co-Founders that are here see Gotten sitting here and Gravanch is over there are a couple of other Chapters Leads from other places like Creek Dorky Interspeed who have been part of Melbourne since the inception as well as Lakbir who's part of the Brisbane team since inception when the organization was formed, we formed with a hypothesis that you know that as a community that we had more that unites than separates us, that our identity and legacy is one worth preserving and that we're the first mass generation of Sikh professionals in Australia and New Zealand and as a result of that we bear the burden of that responsibility, we bear it collectively as a group and we bear it now and so the implication from that was that we felt that it was incumbent upon us as a group of people to do something to Elevate the community because we found that there was a gap in the ability to connect as a group of people and to help each other succeed.
Now that started in Sydney and then you fast forward two to three years later in 2015 when we held our first summit which was in Sydney and a couple of those people that I mentioned were part of that first summit and the conversation at that time was quite different to where we are now in 2020 the conversation then as I mentioned was around the hypothesis of those four things that I spoke about, and it was about a rapidly growing organization that had expanded to Melbourne and Brisbane and it was about how to align that group of people, to allow the community to connect, and also believe in itself and choose to succeed, so the outcome of that summit was to form the mission statement which you know before now has been to create conditions for young Sikh professionals to succeed and amplify their influence and I think that until that what we had been doing was to deliver on that and we delivered in a very strong way, we had held up to date now, we have held about 100 events over our seven-and-a-half-year history as an organization.
We've mentored over a hundred people since inception, as an organization we've reached in the last year alone three hundred thousand people and I am sorry, I am sure Seksham will be able to verify these numbers but on top of that we've also impacted 4200 people that have come through the doors to our events right and then we can add another 100 to that list from just tonight alone, and so if you look at the metrics and the things that we did we've done to date we'd achieved a lot of things that we had set out to when we established that strategy back in 2015 and one of the things to emerge from last year's Elevate was the economic impact report which I think a few people have spoken about over the course of the day which leads to the second point around the recognition that our broader community is now different to the one that we serve when we started the organization it was primarily to help people like us first generation migrants who were born and brought up here who look like me, who sound like me, who talk like me, who have similar aspirations to me.
It was primarily to serve people that looked like us and so the implications from the economic impact report that we discovered was that there was now a significantly larger group within our community that didn't look like us, that didn't have the opportunities that existed that we have now and that needed the help and support that our parents received back when they migrated here in the early 90s and 2000’s and so through that impact report we discovered that, Sikhs are the fastest growing religious minority in Australia that we contribute beyond, we punch above our weight across different metrics in terms of education, as well as economic output, but that there are challenges associated with those things, we're involved in structurally declining industries for example, migrants struggle to deal with their daily life in terms of figuring out some of the things that I talked about in the session earlier, around you know financial inclusion, around integrating with the rest of the community and things like that, so that led us to ask the question, Do we continue to do what we've been doing this entire time? because we've been successful, continue to do exactly what we've done to serve the people that look and sound like us or do we choose to change the organization to make the difficult choice to serve the whole community and that was where we started this conversation around reviewing our strategy and then deciding to make the change that you're I‘m about to talk about through the rest of this presentation and so next I just want to talk about, how we did that we used a very collaborative process in order to do that we started with stakeholder interviews across our executive team we held workshops with each of the chapters across Australia, New Zealand to get their inputs into where the strategy should go and we started with this idea that in the not-for-profit space there are primarily two types of organization: number one, there are institutions which irrespective of what happens in the world will continue to exist, things like the Red Cross who donate blood to different people in need, the need for blood for example won't change over time but in an organization like YSPN who exists primarily to solve a problem in this time and space once that problem has been solved the question is that should that organization continue to exist and we set ourselves the ambitious target of asking the question of what the world would look like in five years’ time if YSPN no longer needed to exist and we asked our executive team what would we need to do, in order to achieve those things.
So that is where we started with our stakeholder interviews, we gathered those outputs from those conversations and then we took that to our summit workshop which I showed you the photo of earlier in the presentation and we extracted those outputs into four major themes which I will talk about in just a moment, and we got the team to do a process which many of you just went through now in the earlier day with the collaborative ideation session and we got people to workshop different problems that we encounter at a strategic level as an organization and we got them to solve some of those things, and then those have then informed conversations that we have had with experts and eminent Sikhs and other organizations outside of the Sikh community so we haven't been insular and exclusive about this whole process we have tried to reach out to as many people as possible in order to get as many diverse views and opinions in order to make sure that we are making the right choices and so those workshops that I just talked about they told us the following things they told us that, we as a generation, as a community, as an organization, we want to see Sikhs in leadership positions and importantly we also care about their character. It's not good enough that we start to see Sikhs at the ASX 200 c-suite level if they choose to get there in ways that tarnish our reputation as a community and as an organization.
So, character and the road to where you are going is important as much as where you get to. We also found that we wanted senior Sikhs to mentor junior Sikhs that we wanted to continue this legacy and tradition of Sewa that started hundreds of years ago informs our culture and our DNA today and means that we continue this cycle of giving back to the younger generation and ensuring the continued success, we talk about wanting to see migrants supported we could have easily chosen as I said at the beginning to continue to serve people that look and sound like us but we actively chose as an organization to help the people that don't have the opportunities and the resources and just the benefits that we had when we were growing up in Australia and New Zealand and ultimately, we said that we want Sikh values to positively influence society and once those things are taken care of then our work will be done.
So, what does that translate to in terms of us as an organization it means that we have transformed our mission statement from what I said earlier, that we create the conditions for young Sikh professionals to succeed and amplify their influence and that we have a new purpose that we want to inspire, develop and motivate Sikh professionals to deliver meaningful outcomes to the community and you have seen the first step in that in the collaborative ideation session that we have just gone through, those ideas that emerge from there are meaningful impacts to people that need our help and every single person in this room has participated in coming up with those ideas and the names and the financial resources and the time commitments that have been there are all reflections of what I have just spoken about in terms of those meaningful outcomes. So, our new mission statement is that YSPN channel sewa to develop ethical Sikh leaders for a productive and inclusive broader community and I have highlighted several sections in there and I just want to touch on a couple of those ideas to explain that in a little bit more detail to break down what that means. So when we talk about channeling Sewa we mean that there are latent energy and motivation within our community and I am sure all of you feel that today in the sense that you are all here I this room and participating and energized as part of this conversation and contributing we want to harness that energy that we have access to as a community and that desire to give back and we want to put that and take that energy and channel it to the areas that need it the most.
We have talked a lot about migrants, for example they are one group that needs it there are other things that I will talk about in a moment in the presentation around organizations and other communities for example not just the Sikh community that also need our sewa so that is one part of our mission statement, I talked about the development of ethical Sikh leaders so we will be taking a much more proactive approach to the development of Sikh leaders as opposed to the previous perspective which was more around creating conditions we take an active interest to make sure that our cohort of young Sikhs is growing and developing into leadership capabilities which has an underpinning in faith, values and ethics and the important thing here is that we are not going to moralize we are not going to tell you what to believe but we are going to give you the tools and the frameworks to understand and make those decisions for yourselves because I think that conversation around morals and ethics and those kinds of things can often be fraught, so we need to address that sensitively and that is part of what we will do as we deliver on some of these initiatives and lastly for a productive and inclusive broader community and this talks to the idea that we are not simply Sikhs who want to pat ourselves on the back for doing things for you know in social media for having done some Sewa, we want to do this for the benefit of greater mankind and for the rest of the community within which we exist so that we can continue to contribute to all of the communities in the ways that we see across the world in terms of the United States across Canada and the United Kingdom.
So, it is about looking after the people within our community who may face structural challenges and then giving them the perspectives to want to give back not only to ourselves but to other parts of the community as well and so I touched on some of the changes that the mission statement implies and I said at the beginning that we have gone from creating the conditions which was passive elements around the environment that we wanted to do so giving people opportunities to network, developing member capability through mentoring and things like that and we want to take a much more proactive and interventionist approach in the development of those leaders I will talk about what some of those initiatives look like in just a moment.
We have gone from we have gone from focusing and targeting on just young Sikhs to broadening our mandate to the rest of the community and lastly it is not just about success in a personal economic or commercial sense it is about success in a holistic ethically balanced way and I think that sort of shows you where we have started and where we are going as an organization so what does that mean in terms of what we are going to do this is the fun part and so some of you might recognize some of the ideas from earlier today that we kind of thought about as part of our summit earlier as well, so we have got four new strategic pillars number one, we develop and amplify ethically grounded leaders’ number two, we ignite the dormant economic potential of migrant’s number three, we enable our community to develop their professional capabilities and network organically, and number four, we coordinate sewa across our community.
What do those things mean? when I talk about the development of an amplification of ethically grounded leaders, I talk about the development of a multi-year accelerated, leadership, fellowship program similar things to what the Jewish community does in New York and Brooklyn and here in New South Wales with whom we have been in contact with about the development of this program with an explicit focus around ethical issues as part of that leadership program, we want to introduce awards and other recognition, for the achievements within our community, and nominate people for things like the queen's birthday honors, the order of Australia medal etc., and make sure that the community and the work that we're doing is getting the requisite recognition that it deserves amongst the mainstream community which today hasn't really been done, and lastly, we are going to continue to develop we're going to continue to deliver the best in class mentoring program which Amadeep Gil has been driving for the past couple of years.
When I talk about igniting the dormant economic potential of migrants we talk about the systemization of the cv check program which we have been delivering in Sydney for the past year and scaling that to across all our chapters in Australia and New Zealand and in fact globally since there is nothing stopping us from being able to help people in other parts of the world, given our technology platforms as well, we talk about delivering a migrant body program which will enable new migrants to be paired with other older migrants that have experience in understanding some of those things and I think Jaibeer actually is, he is part of our executive team who actually joined the YSPN executive off the back of something informal, just like that I remember he reached out to us on social media and he was connected with Preet Oberai our Sydney lead who sat him down and had a conversation about some of the more tacit elements of our culture, and I think that was one of the motivating factors in him wanting to join to give back to other people who have not had that opportunity to have some of those conversations and opportunities and we talk about the distribution of a tacit skills curriculum and when I talk about the enablement of our community to develop their professional capabilities.
What I mean by that is to continue a lot of the things that we do as YSPN already which is the continuity of delivering events, on a per annum basis. So there will be an ‘elevate’ 2021 and I am sure Jaspreet will probably have something to say about that somewhere, we will continue to host marquee events, we'll continue to host workshops but importantly, here, what we also want to do is give people opportunities to take control of their development and the way that we want to do that is by giving them spaces on places like LinkedIn or places like Facebook or even WhatsApp chats and areas where people want to engage with one another and allow them to develop their skills, and drive their development journey and we want to do that by applying our skills in the development of these technology platforms and curating spaces facilitating conversations and making sure that they remain within the bounds of what is acceptable and what is not, and lastly one of the interesting ideas we talked about was licensing our ability and intellectual property around delivering events in something like a YSPN X or like a TEDx format as well and lastly we talk about the coordination of sewa across the community many of you talked about some of these ideas through the earlier session and one the keyway that we want to deliver on this is through delivering a project management framework that coordinates between the volunteers who have time energy and resources to give and organizations that can use some of the support that we have access to.
So, if I think about many of the people that reach out to us during places conversations like Elevate many people have very specific skills that they would like to give back to the community, but they do not have the time and ability to contribute to YSPN as an organization, but it does not mean that there are no other places within the community for organizations like the Herman Foundation or Sikh Youth Australia or Sikh to Give for example that could not benefit from people's motivation to do those things and their resources and so I am going to pause here and kind of wrap up the strategy component of the launch and I am going to take a slightly different track which is in relation to some of the organizational changes which are emerging as a result of this restructure and what I would like to do is I would like to really take this opportunity to thank a group of people who have agreed to donate their time and effort and energy and resources to help YSPN as an organization move to the next level and so I would like to introduce our brand-new advisory board, who have all agreed to help YSPN move to the next stage of its development journey and many of those people are here in the room, so if you do see them please congratulate them.
I want to thank you all for agreeing and accepting to be part of the YSPN advisory board and I am looking forward to working with all of you in helping our community deliver sewa in a meaningful way across the community and Australia New Zealand and hopefully the world.
Now, just before I finish up, there are two other people that I would like to thank and I know Jasdeep is going to hate me for this because he always mentions it when I see him [22:00 inaudible] I would like you to come up to the front please, come on up and the other person I would like to invite is Preet Toki as well, a bit of background for everybody firstly thank you very much.
Congratulations on delivering Elevate, you too well done. You look shocked, believe it is all true, both of these guys have worked tirelessly over the previous six months to put together the program that we have had today, is has been extremely humbling to see the effort and commitment that both these guys have put into delivering the event that you see before you today there is a significantly larger team that is also behind the scenes and I talked about the volunteer organization, the 55 executives that have been part of the organization but these two in particular with Preet on the ground here working with the venues, working with suppliers, working with organizations and just the who is turned up I think religiously for the past six months to Macquarie University giving up three hours of his time on a Sunday with flow ball practices with a changing job with flights in and out of Goa and wherever else, he has been and arriving here today to see the fruits of his labor so I want you guys to please give these guys a round of applause.
And if you do get a chance to interact with them later this evening, I encourage you to thank them in person as well, thank you.