Summary of the keynotes under these breakout sessions is now available.
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Faith #1 – Inter-religious Dialogue and Community Building

Inter-religious dialogue (IRD) is key to not just building understanding between religions but also to promoting social cohesion and improving societal resilience. Presently, there are some perceived barriers to developing IRD, namely fear and reluctance around dialogue among religious groups. Reasons for fear stem from a lack of understanding of the aim of IRD and its processes. This session will look at models of IRD as ways to develop cohesion in diverse societies.

Speakers

Dr Veena Howard

Associate Professor, Asian Religious Traditions and Coordinator of Peace and Conflict Studies Program, California State University, Fresno

Dr Paul Hedges

Associate Professor, Interreligious Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Faith #2 – Faith and Technology

A highly relevant and topical issue today is – how faith and aspects of modernity, science, and technology are related. Faith and science and technology are sometimes seen as incompatible, and this session explores how the two concepts can live together and be compatible in the contemporary context. This session will also look at the ways of negotiating potential tensions between religious communities and new technologies in the way that contemporary society addresses the wider role of faith in the public sphere.

Speakers

Dr Karine Martin

Chairman, French Daoist Association

Mr Jasvir Singh

Co-Chair of Faith Forums London, and; Chair of City Sikhs

Ms Teo Yi-Ling

Senior Fellow, Centre of Excellence for National Security, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Identity #1 – Social Media and Community Discourse

In our globalised world, social media has enhanced connectivity between individual and communities. It allows us to overcome geographical barriers and promote civil discourse. More importantly, social media serves as a convenient platform for interaction between people from different religions, cultures and ethnicities. In recent times, however, social media is fast proving itself to be a double-edged sword. Social media has facilitated the propagation of the fake news phenomenon and of subversive messages by individuals and groups with ill-intentions. This session will explore the role of social media in community discourse and its power as an instrument for positive change.

Speakers

Dr Dicky Sofjan

Core Doctoral Faculty, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, Gadjah Mada Graduate School

Dr Shashi Jayakumar

Head, Centre of Excellence for National Security, and; Executive Coordinator, Future Issues and Technology, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Identity #2 – Overcoming Hate

The rehabilitation and reintegration of radicalised individuals into society is an increasing global concern. There needs to be collective understanding that the successful reintegration of such individuals requires a concerted effort from society. This session will focus on the topic of individual ‘reform/rebirth’ and hopes to explore the broader narrative of reintegrating de-radicalised and reformed individuals into society.

Speakers

Mr Christian Picciolini

Founder, Free Radicals Project

Dr Noor Huda Ismail

Visiting Fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Cohesion #1 – Building Bridges: Global Peacebuilding Efforts

Parts of the world remain in conflict and there is concern about the potential increase in civil strife owing to increased divisiveness along ethnic and religious lines among others. This has highlighted the importance of peacebuilding and community building initiatives. Such initiatives, no matter top-down or ground-up, will require the participation from various constituents in society. Global peace is everyone’s responsibility, and everyone has a role to play in community building. This session will explore the best practices in global peacebuilding and community building initiatives and provide an understanding for the role of the individual and society in such initiatives.

Speakers

Dr Patrice Brodeur

Associate Professor, Institute of Religious Studies, University of Montreal, and Senior Advisor, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID)

Dr Kumar Ramakrishna

Associate Professor, Head, Policy Studies, and Head, National Security Studies Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Cohesion #2 – Community Initiatives towards Social Cohesion

Singapore is one of the world’s most religiously and culturally diverse nations. This session will focus on social cohesion initiatives in Singapore. It aims to highlight past and ongoing community efforts and explore possible new avenues to collaborate in the strengthening of social harmony.

Speakers

Pastor Tan Seow How

Senior Pastor, Heart of God Church

Dr Mohamed bin Ali

Assistant Professor, Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies