The COVID-19 pandemic has affected various facets of the society and arguably amplified within certain segments of the population. Initiatives as previously planned and carried out may or may not be sufficient to manage social issues at micro, meso and macro levels of the society given the current context. For this reason, it is imperative to organise initiatives for social innovation and change in society by employing innovative strategies for managing social problems among the people. Given the unanticipated and uncertainty of the pandemic, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor’s University has successful organized a webinar on the 6th of November 2020 to provide a platform for discussion on innovative approaches to managing social change with practitioners and experts in the field.
This Social Science Dialogue Series webinar is part of the launch plan for Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) in Social Innovation and Change that will start in March 2021. The webinar covered the applied aspects of social sciences in managing social issues in the Malaysian context by eminent speakers who shared their personal experiences and expertise in dealing with an identified area of concerns through innovative means during COVID-19 pandemic. Best practices and challenges were highlighted as guiding principles to aspiring social scientists and other practitioners. Further discussion on impact and sensitivities in working with community members was also addressed.
The webinar was moderated by Dr. Wan Puspa Melati who introduced the speakers and led the discussion throughout the session. Esteemed panel members comprised Emeritus Prof. Dato’ Dr. Abdul Rahman Embong, Emeritus Professor in Sociology of Development, Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Special Advisor to Persatuan Sains Social Malaysia (PSSM); Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anindita Dasgupta, Social Historian and Head of School, School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor’s University; Datin Suliana Shamsuddin Alias, the Chairperson and Executive Director of YOKUK - A Foundation for the Disabled and Underprivileged; and Prof. Dato’ Dr. Wan Abdul Halim Othman, Adjunct Professor School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Taylor’s University and a prominent Clinical Sociologist.
This webinar received positive feedback from its diverse audience from students to educators, members and administrators of civil society organizations as well as thought leaders and members of the private and government related agencies. There were more than 200 audiences local and abroad, who joined in the session via zoom as well as facebook live shared on ‘Social Innovation Project Taylor’s University’ page. Audiences who participated actively were from various sectors, such as government (e.g. the Ministry of Youth; the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of International Trade and Industry); social enterprises and civil society organisations (e.g. YOKUK - A Foundation for the Disabled and Underprivileged; PT Foundation; Tenaganita; Yayasan Chow Kit, Zubedy Sdn Bhd, Star Foundation; Petra Group; British Council; Khazanah Research Institute) as well as from higher education institutions (e.g. Taylor’s University; Taylor’s College; Akademi Profesor Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Univ Selangor, Quest International University Perak, Alauddin State Islamic University Makassar, Universitas Diponegoro Indonesia).
This webinar can be viewed at this link: