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Saying Goodbye to Conjunct Consulting

"Act, send forth your ripple and build the current."

· Conjunct Consulting,Writings

Back in May 2015, I wrote this farewell letter to the entire Conjunct Consulting family. I remember tussling that night with the conflicting emotions: confidence in my successor, nostalgia for the adventure, anxiety about the future, and hope for our community. Since then, I’ve been so glad to see the organization grow. Even more so, I’ve been so proud to see our members and alumni flourish and give back in their own ways to society. I share this message again in remembrance and with gratitude.

 

Dear Conjunct Consulting,

At our June 6 Annual General Meeting, I will hand over my role as President of Conjunct Consulting to pursue an MBA at Harvard Business School. My successor is Samantha Lee, a fantastic leader who has served with our organisation since the very beginning. She has always impressed me with her passion and ability, and I am 100% confident that Samantha will grow Conjunct Consulting to achieve even greater social impact.

 

Back in August 2011, Jia Chuan and I stood before a small room of individuals who were skeptical about the founding of Conjunct Consulting. “Why should I be the one to help out?” “I don’t think people in Singapore care enough.” “Do nonprofits and social enterprises even want to improve?”

 

We engaged them with our vision for Conjunct. We shared our dream for a passionate community coming together to strengthen social good organisations. We listened to their concerns and answered the best that we could. For the issues we could not resolve, we invited the group to solve them alongside us.

 

We ended the discussion with this call to action by Robert Kennedy. “Each time a man acts to improve the lot of others, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current.”

 

I remember clearly the pioneers who stepped forward that day. The university student studying political science. The fresh graduate drawing from her experience as a civil service intern. The management consultant looking to give back.

 

We worked our butts off together. We ate kaya toast and drank a great deal of kopi as we designed the organisational structure. We collaborated with forward-looking social sector partners at City Hall Starbucks till our laptop batteries died. We squeezed around a friendly company’s pantry table to develop our training materials. Soon, our team was joined by many others.

 

Over the next four years, we shaped society for the better. We scaled from nothing to mobilising to 84 strategy engagements. We went from not having a track record to having 96% of our partners champion our work. We grew from a ragtag band of idealists to a vibrant movement of empowered changemakers.

 

Today, we are poised for our next phase of growth. The current Executive Committee and I have full trust in Samantha’s leadership. She has consistently demonstrated verve and results since she excelled as Project Leader in our pioneer project cycle, scaled the NUS Chapter as Chapter Director and overhauled our membership fee structure as part of our national leadership. Conjunct will surely thrive in the years ahead under Samantha’s direction.

 

Moving forward, I am happy to be continuing to serve as an advisor to the community that I love. Feel free to reach out to me anytime.

 

Act, send forth your ripple and build the current.

 

Warmly,

Jeremy Au

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