The end of 2019 is particularly significant because it does not just mark the end of a year, but a decade, and an era. When the decade first began on 1st January 2010, the H1N1 flu virus was the topic of the day, people were still using the iPhone 3GS, the first Airbnb bookings had just been made, and Instagram hadn’t even been born yet. (Oh, and A Magazine didn’t exist, either.)
But what really defined the 2010s? We asked some of A Magazine‘s cover personalities what they thought.
Hann Yeoh, Executive Director of YTL Power
I’m really energised by the growing voice of the consumer in advocating a better, more sustainable way and the influence it has on driving business change.
Consumers today are more aware about making sustainable lifestyle choices. And they are telling businesses what they want, giving rise to the collective power of communities to drive the change for a better world. This has inspired, or in some cases forced, businesses to pivot their business practices accordingly.
Our clients and consumers inspire us to discover new ways of doing business at the YTL Group and Geneco. We aren’t just selling electricity to consumers; by listening to our consumers, we are also aware that they want to use energy in a better way. So we are harnessing the positive energy of communities to drive more sustainable energy consumption habits.
Geneco is educating Singaporeans about where and how energy gets used the most, and how they can make their energy usage more efficient. Through our ChangeMakersSG programme, we are helping consumers adopt sustainable lifestyle choices like buying from local community businesses, growing and composting vegetables and herbs at home, repairing and reusing electrical goods, and even food banking.
For my team and I, this decade has been an exciting time of learning, growing, and innovating. We look forward to making the world better, together.
Yvon Bock, Founder and CEO of Hegen
In the last decade, with the rise in social media, we’ve seen connectivity transforming our lifestyles like never before. Businesses were able to connect to their target audience quicker and easier. Trends and videos went viral which meant millions had access within a matter of hours. Information was being transferred at never-seen-before speeds!
Brands could now grow faster and quicker and sustainability became the main concern. Artificial Intelligence became the norm and with that meant a certain disconnect with face-to-face interaction. As we continue to evolve, the 2020s would see brands and companies reintroducing the human connection and focussing on experiential touchpoints.
Let us focus our collective efforts on connecting people rather than machines and creating a positive impact on the environment and those around us.
Anna Kwan, Co-Founder of LOAF
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis
I received this quote on New Year’s Day — the start of a new decade — and it resonated deeply. For me, the most glaring change this decade is the meteoric rise of technology; how it is now such a mainstay in all aspects of our lives, defining how we learn, travel and even eat! Everything seems to be only a click away.
But throughout my life, I’ve found greatest fulfilment in moments shared together.
Whether it be sharing the most personal things over lunch and dinner, or nonstop laughter with a side of coffee, or brainstorming with like-minded friends about future projects, or simply spending time shopping and catching a late-night movie together with my family… These moments stay with me. The laughter, the togetherness, the conversations.
I’ve always believed that relationships are developed through love and time. There’s no doubt that technology will continue to evade all parts of our lives as people seek convenience more and more. But looking back, my hope moving forward is that we will not forget nor lose the human touch. That connection with others – from your loved ones to the waiter at your favourite restaurant – which ultimately, for me, brings fulfilment. In 2020 and beyond, let us treasure these inimitable moments shared and keep creating them. Let’s smile more, say “please” and “thank you”, greet others, hold the door, give honour and respect, call our parents, and spread love, joy and peace.
Monica Rufina, Co-Founder of LOAF
I’ve always felt strongly towards helping people — it’s why I pursued my medical degree. When my good friend Anna asked me six years ago to join her in setting up LOAF, my heart responded with so much joy. I trust her so much and hope that together we can do more for others in need.
LOAF was born out of friendship, and has strengthened our friendship in return. We respect and value each other, believe in each other, discuss inspiration — and when we face challenges, we always discuss how to solve it and make things happen with God’s blessing. I feel grateful that the decision I made six years ago has allowed me to see miracles happen, by turning the children’s dreams into reality. I always have faith that God will open His way when our intention is good and based on love.
LOAF has changed my life as well as my family’s values completely. Seeing the transformation of the children we have helped, has brought a deeper understanding to my daughter and my husband the true meaning of love. The sharing and giving also strengthen the bond between our families and LOAF’s family members.