Impact Chats are great for weekend relaxation: really

We spent last Saturday with the folks at Impact Investment Shujog (an advocacy and research social enterprise focused on Southeast Asian growth) for one of their monthly Impact Chats with social innovators. Past topics include “The Power of Seed Funding” and “Social Innovations out of India”. It all sounds very academic, but really made for an enjoyable weekend.

It helped that the guest speaker for November was prominent local figure Ivy Singh Lim of Bollywood Veggies. The lady is as fascinating as ever. She talked about her privileged half-Indian and half-Chinese upbringing, toilet kidnappings and finger amputation in mid-century Singapore, her past habit of consuming two bottles of whiskey a day and general inability to work in half measures.

Never mind that the topic of the day was really “A Quest for Food Sustainability” and the chat was supposed to cover food security. We didn’t mind; her history was plenty interesting. After the chat, we were taken on a tour of the farm by “The Professor”—a Welsh retiree with a passion for natural food and whose voice can get unusually high for comic emphasis (in other words, the awesome grandpa we wish we had).

The whole affair was really laid-back and after the tour we got a nice big vegetable-filled lunch. Plus, there were bonus visits to Jurong Frog Farm and Quan Fa Organic Farm after. We came away with our bellies full and a halo of intellectual superiority; what’s not to like?