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YSPN Summit 2017 reflections by Sofia Kaur

In Blog, Reflections, Summit by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

There is something incredibly enthralling about our human capacity to connect, to love and to put a piece of our minds and hearts into something that is not ourselves. Look at a mother’s love; a teacher’s commitment or a musician’s devotion to their art.

On the weekend of the 16th/17th September, I spent the better part of 48 hours with a group of thirty-something young leaders intent on pouring themselves, wholly and without hesitation, into an organisation and vision that transcended their own.

The 2017 Young Sikh Professional Network’s Leadership Summit was more than a weekend of strategy and planning; it was proof of the power that a giving and committed collective wield – a fitting reminder of Margaret Mead’s insistence that we must never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and dedicated citizens can, indeed, change the world.

2017 has seen the birth of YSPN’s first international chapter; our entity is new with a membership that calls a sleepy cluster of islands at the bottom of the world home. We have always looked up at the flourishing diaspora of apne (our own) across the Tasman Sea, our eyes wide and admiring, like an eager younger sibling wanting to join in. In July this year, we launched YSPN in New Zealand to a room of over 100 young professionals. In conversation with these young people, one particularly compelling sentiment resounded, and in reflecting on the success of the launch, it occurred to me that it wasn’t just the stunning venue, or the wisdom shared by our guest speakers, or even the relevance of the kaupapa (the agenda) of the event that made that launch a success – it was simply that YSPN was needed.

Being a part of YSPN’s international expansion is exciting as it is: to be able to take bold actions and make brave moves in creating conditions for our young people to succeed is, in equal parts, exhilarating, humbling and fulfilling. To be a young Sikh woman learning to enact a purposeful leadership in sewa (service) of our community is a whole new experience of empowerment.

Of course, this endeavour is not without challenge. There is an entrenched status quo; a slowly unravelling youth apathy; the navigation of a previously uncharted space where ‘us’ and ‘them’ meet and of course, the inevitable roadblocks of any pioneering effort. Being the first people to do something for the first time demands tenacity and tact – a learning familiar to those who have worked tirelessly over the years to make YSPN what it is today in Australia, and a learning that we carry as we approach these challenges face-on in our city.

The fruits of a mother’s love, a teacher’s commitment or a musician’s devotion to their art are plentiful. With our sibling chapters as our muse, an incredibly adept team on the ground, and a weekend spent at the Summit enveloped in the wairua (spirit) of an enduring commitment to the cause, I cannot wait to be witness to the impact YSPN will undoubtedly have on our young people, our community, and our legacy.

Mā te wā – until next time.

Sofia and the YSPN Auckland team

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Creating the Society We Want to Live In with Sapreet Kaur

In Blog, Events by Amardeep GillLeave a Comment

It’s all too easy to feel helpless in today’s era of fake news; the rapid flow of news and even faster reactions makes it easy to feel overwhelmed. Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition showed that the smallest actions while seemingly insignificant, can snowball into large movements over time.

Speaking at YSPN events in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney, Sapreet illustrated how her parents inculcated values of sewa in their children through making sandwiches for the homeless. Her belief in the powerful of small, targeted actions in shifting our societies is energizing and communicates vital messages of our roles as human in being socially and civically conscious.

Simren Samrai from Indian Link, wrote about how individuals can drive lasting change, and her own experiences listening to Sapreet in Sydney, you can read more here:

YSPN Brisbane team members Manpreet and Simran Selected to Participate in GC2018 Multicultural Community Ambassador Program

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Manpreet and Simran from YSPN Brisbane announced as GC2018 Commonwealth Games Ambassadors

About the program

The GC2018 Multicultural Community Ambassador Program has been developed to engage cultural communities, working with community leaders to maximise awareness and engagement and drive attendance to events. There will be 400 multicultural community ambassadors from communities across Australia representing Commonwealth nations.  YSPN is honoured to be represented by two Brisbane-based team members – Manpreet Kaur and Simran Kaur.

Participation in the program is on an honorary volunteer basis and multicultural community ambassadors are selected by appointment only and are key community influencers who are acknowledged leaders in the following areas:

  • Community organisations
  • Sports players, fans and administrators
  • Local Government
  • Community VIP/ Celebrity/ Social
  • Community media
  • Community festivals
  • Student groups
  • Embassies/ Consulate

The role of a Multicultural Community Ambassador is provide for a successful GC2018 Commonwealth Games, through the following initiatives:

  • To promote GC2018 through events, social media and personal networks
  • Where possible and relevant promote GC2018 through community organisation

channels and groups

  • Provide cultural entertainment options for events
  • Group ticket sales to create community fan bays

We are so proud of you Manpreet and Simran, congratulations again!

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2017 IABCA Awards Community Excellence Finalists!

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

We’re proud to reveal that YSPN has been nominated for the India Australia Business & Community (IABCA) 2017 awards.

IABCA celebrates the Australia-India relationship while honouring migrant entrepreneurship and community leadership. The awards acknowledge migrants and organisations, who have achieved and contributed to our Australia. The IABCA raises awareness of Indians in Australia and Australians in India, encouraging further growth in relations between the two countries.

YSPN was nominated under the Community Excellence category, in recognition of being the largest professional network targeted at Sikhs in the world, and hosted over 45 marquee events since being founded in 2012.

To read more about our nomination, check out the IABCA category page. You can learn more about YSPN, our mission and success to date through our About Us page.


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Watch the 50th YSPN Event video

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

On July 13, 2017 YSPN celebrated our 50th event since inception. To mark the occasion, we produced a short video featuring YSPN Executives, and attendees reflecting on our journey together. You can watch it below.

We haven’t stopped at just 50 events though, we’ll be hosting our next speaker Sapreet Kaur, Executive Director of the Sikh Coalition in August-September.

Sapreet Kaur event poster: 26th August, Brisbane; 31st August, Melbourne; 2nd September Sydney

To find out more about these upcoming events, take a look at our events page; or buy tickets through eventbrite.

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Fintech and the Future of Banking and Finance featuring Savneet Singh

In Uncategorized by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

2016 Marquee Event

On Thursday 10 November, YSPN Sydney held its 40th event since being founded, the sold out, “Technology and the future of Banking and Finance” sponsored by the Commonwealth Bank at their cutting-edge Innovation Lab facility. The event featured panelists, Savneet Singh (Fintech Entrepreneur from New York), Mo Khalil, Chief Innovation Officer at Commbank and Nikesh Lalchandani, an innovation executive at the Commonwealth Bank.

You can watch the video from the event below.

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Our new YSPN Brand Identity

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

We’re proud to unveil our new brand and visual identity! The YSPN visual identity reflects the concept of greater heights through solidarity. Using the architectural analogy of the ‘bundled tube structure,’ the design team used conceptual towers to express how everyone in the network collectively influences each other’s success.

A new typeface was constructed for YSPN as part of this project called ‘Sewa Sans,’ which expresses the impact of YSPN through the upward kinks in the lettering to show continuous growth.

YSPN would like to thank the hard work of Studio Nerve who delivered this project to YSPN as a pro-bono project.

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Why you should learn how to code regardless of what profession you are in

In Blog by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

“Everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer… because it teaches you how to think” – Steve Jobs

Learning how to code will improve your life. It will shape the way you think, the way you tackle problems and broaden your understanding of the world around you. It is of no surprise that some of the world’s most innovative companies have technical-oriented management at the helm. Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) and Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) are just a few who started their careers dabbling in code. But in order to understand why learning how to code can assist you, we must take a look at the key driver of innovation, software.

Software has transformed the world in an exponential fashion, enabling rapid growth and easier access to information. It has radically changed the way we live our lives by providing us with greater intrinsic value from the services we use. Practically every industry, from entertainment to agriculture is undergoing a dramatic economic shift in which market leaders are giving way for innovative, smaller companies who are better positioned to leverage software. The world’s largest bookseller, Amazon, has shown how an optimised supply chain and great customer experience equates to rapid growth and acquisition of market share. Uber, another software company, has utilised their car service offering to deploy the largest logistics network in the world. The company exploded into the market by providing a service that had a significantly higher utility (consumer value) than its competitors (investors sometimes refer to this as 10x). It is software that enabled this growth. But it doesn’t stop there, the largest video/music distribution networks, marketing platforms and telecommunication companies are all software-driven.

Now, I’m not saying that you should drop everything and change career paths to become a programmer, however, learning how to code involves generating a skillset that will serve you well with any career path, in any industry, and here’s why.

Problem solving
Programming teaches you how to efficiently break problems into smaller ones, enabling you to take logical steps to solve the task at hand. You begin to think pragmatically, in terms of small functions which are more manageable. You move faster and complete work more efficiently. You become a master of tackling the hardest problems.

Workplace automation
Work is full of repetitive tasks that are prime for automation. Have you ever sat down for hours performing the same task and wondered if there was a better way? One of my first roles involved writing some documentation for which I was given a two week deadline. I finished the task in two hours. The program I wrote is still being used at the company four years later.

Understand how the world works
There are many similarities between notions of economics (consumer value, utility, opportunity cost), finance (optimisation, probability) and software. Software is in essence, a language of problem solving, which has been derived from the way in which the world works – the intersection of science and technology. Having a high level view of how software is made will open your eyes to new ways of thinking, and help you become what Eric Schmidt (ex Google CEO) refers to as a smart creative.

Freedom to execute your ideas
Having an idea is worthless unless you are able to execute it. There’s not a month that goes by that I come up with a new idea. The ability to execute them is incredibly rewarding.

Competitive Advantage
There are a lack of good software engineers and computer scientists in Australia. Perhaps more importantly, there’s a lack of people who understand software. There has been a push toward STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) and most universities over flexible degrees that allow you to study areas of business combined with technical degrees, making it a wise choice for young learners who want to be in an industry with high demand.

For those who are looking to supplement their career, it’s never too late to learn a bit of code! My advice would me to check out Codecademy. Or, if a tutorial style of learning is not for you, the best way of picking up code is to select an idea and search on Google for ways of implementing it. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish with a goal in mind (and Google).

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YSPN Strategy Weekend

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

Sitting on the 7am flight from Brisbane to Sydney, I had no idea what the National Strategy Weekend was going to have in store. After all, these are things executives with decades of experience do, not a consultant in the Big 4, relatively fresh out of university! Despite my fears during that flight, the experience was incredible. The opportunity to sit with fellow committee members from the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane chapters, reflect on the organisation’s achievements, take a candid look at the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation, and then help build an inspiring vision for what the future might look gave a rare insight into what the future held.

The weekend began with an opportunity for us as a group to reflect on the origins of YSPN, and the subsequent achievements of the organisation. Often the word ‘’remarkable” is overused but the level of progress that YSPN has experienced since its inauguration is nothing short of it. The idea conceived by the founders was to establish a platform for young Sikh professionals that would be “cool.” Three years later, YSPN has showcased 19 guest speaker events across its Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane chapters. Brisbane, in particular, was merely an idea during the 2014 National Strategy Weekend and has now come to fruition having hosted two sold out events since the beginning of 2015.

The session then shifted to an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses in light of our stated aims. As an organisation, YSPN aims to build a unified, stronger and more connected Sikh community ultimately allowing for success in the Sikh and indeed, broader Australian community. While we made a fantastic start, we needed something on a more personal level to continue developing on our foundations, and help young Sikhs build relationships that would enable them to succeed. With this in mind, the team decided on building a platform for mentorship. The main objective of mentoring would be to connect successful Sikhs to those embarking on their professional careers in corresponding fields ultimately giving a platform to fast-track personal and professional development.

After we addressed what we felt was an important gap in what we do as an organisation, we moved onto the critical next question of where YSPN aims to be in the next five to ten years. The most inspiring takeaway from this discussion was the ambition apparent amongst committee members. Our targets included for example: establishing chapters in overseas locations, gaining influence in both the community and media, and developing a platform for Sikhs to become industry leaders. On a personal note, it will be “mission accomplished” when a member in the YSPN network becomes a partner in a Big 4 firm, as a result of relationship established with a Sikh CEO of an ASX200 listed company.

Throughout this weekend, the most compelling and unique thing about YSPN’s position that struck me was that most young Sikh professionals in Australia are typically 1st generation. There are other organisations in the world which provide Sikhs the opportunity to network and connect, however YSPN has an unprecedented opportunity to shape the future of the Australian-Sikh community like no other organisation in the world and fundamentally change the trajectory of our community. Right now, it’s about developing that platform for future generations to leverage from, so that they become testament to the YSPN mission statement, and a proud reflection of the talent and contribution that our community has to offer.

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The YSPN Health Professionals Mentoring Program

In Announcements by Ramneek SinghLeave a Comment

At YSPN, we are committed to providing a platform to grow the capability of the future Sikh leaders in the Australian community.

We are starting the Mentoring program with both Health and Allied Health professionals open for university students right through to tenured professionals. Leading Health Care Professionals will be matched to meet up with mentees over 9 months to guide them to help build a successful career.

To enrol for the program, either as a mentor or a mentee, please access the mentoring page for more information.

YSPN will be bringing a broader industry based mentoring program in 2016.