birthday book


Six members of the USP community have contributed to the creation of The Birthday Book: What is Singapore's Next Big Thing? (Ethos Books, 2016). They are:

USP adjunct lecturer Aaron Maniam,

USP alum Veerappan Swaminathan (Mechanical Engineering + USP, Class of 2011),

USP alum Muhammad Nadjad (Life Sciences + USP, Class of 2014),

USP alum Kia Jie Hui (Business + USP, Class of 2011),

USP alum Ow Yeong Wai Kit (English Literature + USP, Class of 2013),

USP student Cassandra Pee (Political Science + USP, Class of 2018).

(Aaron teaches UHB2209 Polycentric Governance: Possibilities and Pitfalls in USP, and Wai Kit's essay on the rise of Singapore's civil society, was featured in TODAY on 14 October — read it here.)


The Birthday Book is a collection of 51 essays presented as a gift from young and passionate Singaporeans to the nation on its 51st birthday. The book is the brainchild of Aaron Maniam, and Malminderjit Singh who is also the book editor. This inaugural edition was launched on 27 August 2016 and it features young Singaporeans and friends of Singapore writing their thoughts on emerging challenges and opportunities for Singapore. The focus is on canvassing views of Singaporeans younger than 45 years old (with a few exceptions to ensure diversity), who will soon inherit leadership roles in their respective domains of expertise. Mr Singh says in the Editor’s Note, “we wanted to engage a wide cross-section of society to solicit diverse views on our collective future; we wanted to engage young and emerging voices who would be stakeholders of Singapore’s future for a long time to come; and we envisioned the book not as an end in itself, but as a vehicle to catalyse a movement to think critically about Singapore’s next chapters. We wanted the book to become a lasting presence, published each year around National Day, with the number of contributors intentionally congruent to Singapore’s age (51 this year, 52 next year, and so on).”


To learn more about the book, you may read a full-page spread book review in The Straits Times


Good news for USP community — a copy of the book is available in the USP Reading Room! Alternatively, you may purchase the book online at Ethos Books Singapore. If you are interested in sharing your thoughts and ideas about Singapore's future, you are invited to join The Birthday Collective Facebook group.