S’poreans Can Share Ideas To Protect Themselves Against Threats, Get Support to Kickstart Initiatives

S’poreans Can Share Ideas To Protect Themselves Against Threats, Get Support to Kickstart Initiatives
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Total Defence Sandbox Prepares Singaporeans For Future Threats

As Russia continues to claw territory from Ukraine, we can learn a few lessons from the early days of the invasion.

While the world watched as Russia made inroads into Ukrainian land, cyberattacks and disinformation went ahead of the advancing military forces. The Ukrainians fought back using the same tools, using social media to work together to help the vulnerable and counter Russian fake news.

Organisations like VoxUkraine and StopFake are dedicated to fact-checking and debunking false information on the internet, while Ukrainians used social media platforms to provide literal first-person glimpses into their realities.

Total Defence Sandbox

Source: Sean Gallup/Getty Images via NPR

While the war wages on, we can see how information can shape defence.

Vulnerabilities in our social spaces can easily be exploited without rising to open conflicts, and weaken a society from within. However, if we protect ourselves from cyberattacks, disinformation, and fake news, we can help fortify a part of Singapore’s defences in times of need.

One thing all these tactics have in common is their origins — an idea started and executed by the people. In Singapore, that’s where the Total Defence Sandbox comes in.

Through a start-up-like approach, Singaporeans can develop their own ground-up initiative that educates the youth and the community about the evolving threats in this day and age.

Here’s one example of how youths have done their part to help strengthen Singapore’s Total Defence.

Digital social media campaign to bring Total Defence online

Previously, marketing students from NUS Business School gathered together to organise a Total Defence campaign geared towards youths.

As a generation that practically lives on the internet, they pushed forth the idea of getting youths involved through creating their own marketing campaign on social media.

Over 50 students participated, but the winning campaign came from a group of four who pitched five social media-centric ideas.

Their ideas included a TikTok jingle, a dance challenge video, social media posts, Telegram sticker packs, and an Augmented Reality (AR) filter on Instagram.

Total Defence Sandbox

Photo courtesy of NUS MINT

Creating a tangible link between Total Defence and youths may sound tricky, but it is not impossible.

We cannot underestimate the power of relatability, and in this digital age, a little would go a long way in cementing Total Defence as part of our everyday lives.

Singaporeans can start pitching their best ideas

The Total Defence Sandbox is already underway, and submissions are currently being accepted. This year’s Total Defence Sandbox will revolve around hybrid threats and emerging challenges in Singapore.

Gone are the days when security threats, such as terrorism and piracy, were more straightforward. Now, there are concerns about how Singapore’s vulnerabilities could be easily exploited through cyberattacks and disinformation.

Total Defence Sandbox

Source: Tracy Le Blanc on Pexels

One only need look at the barrage of Covid-related fake news affecting the internet like a pandemic all unto itself for a chilling example that’s close to home.

On top of that, citizens also have to combat challenges in other forms, such as climate change and sustainability issues.

Singaporeans will get to execute a campaign, product, or initiative that helps safeguard the peace in Singapore and protects generations to come from hybrid threats and challenges.

What’s more, those who participate in the Total Defence Sandbox may receive the necessary resources to turn their ideas into reality if shortlisted.

Submit ideas by 30 Nov

The first round of this initiative had gone live earlier this year, and Round 2 of the Total Defence Sandbox has opened up to encourage more entries.

This time, the call for ideas will run till 30 Nov.

Following that, shortlisted participants will get a chance to present their ideas to an expert panel during Phase 2, which will extend till Jan 2023.

Phase 2 is when shortlisted teams get the support they need from partners and organisers for further development. This includes the chance to meet potential partners and stakeholders, aid in publicity efforts, and even potentially obtain financial support for the implementation of ideas.

If you’re chomping at the bit to submit your ideas, visit this webpage for more information on the submission, evaluation process, timeline and FAQs.

You can also keep up to date with Total Defence happenings through Instagram or Facebook.

Preparation & proactiveness are key to Total Defence

The more connected we become with the internet, the bigger its impact on everyday life, whether in times of war or peace.

We’re already seeing numerous examples of this. Although we are charting into new warfare territories, we can start preparing for the unknown by playing our part to combat these new threats and keep Singapore strong together.

Proactive initiatives are the ones that can move mountains, and we should gear up to be privy to any malicious attacks before they hit us.

After all, nobody wants to go up against a prepared opponent who has been waiting for this day for years.

This post was brought to you in collaboration with Nexus, MINDEF.

Featured image by MS News.

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