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Our GUI Story

The Story of Ground-Up Initiative

About Ground-Up Initiative (GUI)

Ground-Up Initiative (GUI) is a non-profit community, guided by the spirit of innovation, resilience and grounded leadership to demonstrate urban sustainability. With the power of community, GUI is building Kampung Kampus, a low-carbon footprint community campus, sited on a 2.6 hectares land plot in Yishun, Singapore. Kampung Kampus aims to be a role model in sustainable living and a School of Life; nurturing an eco-conscious community with the mind, the hands and the heart to be stewards of a more sustainable and happier future.


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Why was GUI created?

Singaporeans needed to be more daring and creative — that was one of the findings of the Remaking Singapore Committee in 2002.

Our Kampung Chief, Tay Lai Hock, was 39 years old then. He had given up his corporate job and an annual six-figure salary to backpack around the world and was stuck in a desert outpost in the Sahara when he came across the news. It made him wonder: “How could creativity and risk-taking be nurtured when the very people who teach are risk averse, and when the environment does not allow these attributes to flourish?”

And so, Lai Hock returned to Singapore in 2002, with a determination to do something about this situation. In 2008, his evolving answer to that recommendation took the form of Ground-Up Initiative (GUI).

Read more about Chief’s story here.

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Our Vision

Towards a 5G Nation

We hope the 5Gs: Gracious, Green, Giving, Grounded and Grateful form the foundation for GUI’s 21st Century Kampung Culture that cultivates holistic solutions for a happier, liveable and sustainable future for modern society.

Our Mission

Building Kampung Kampus, a School of Life

To build up the Kampung Kampus – an ambitious feat in land-scarce Singapore – and showcase best practices in sustainable living for Singapore, and nurture a conscious community with hearts, minds and hands focused on a humane and sustainable future.

Kampung Milestones

A timeline of some important milestones in GUI’s history.

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The GUI Family

Learn more about the different units and teams that make up the GUI ecosystem.

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Overseas Partnerships

Meet our international friends and see how GUI is spreading the kampung spirit worldwide.

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