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Sleepless in Singapore – voting in our nation’s progress (Singapore’s Presidential Election 2011) August 26, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Singapore.
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Image linked to New Asia Republic.com

[Image Source: NewAsiaRepublic.com]

Long time no post…and here I am, back at my own blog doing some thinking as I write.  Have been digging it all through and decided to return to facebook to see the latest developments of the 4 candidates. It’s pretty much a difficult vote tomorrow, and I ask myself how I should vote. The president, or indeed any other political figure, has to instill a strong social-ethical mandate for the people and be a service to all deserving citizens of the country.  We are living in an economic turbulent time when the world’s economy is in an unstable form with all kinds of ethical issues needed to be requestioned. I am not against modern technology. Nor do I oppose commerce and capitalism itself. But I do worry about the way things work. And we appear to be following the negative trends that will lead to an unsustainable life. We have created a lot more waste than we realise and I often think its the shades of grey and the lack of voice for the commoners alike that marks some of these problems.

I had thought this election would be easy. And why not? For the past 46 years of independence, we citizens of this tiny dot had found voting the president a walk-over. Not  until the first elected president was voted in some 18 years ago that we started to see some contest. But the real heat is only on today, when the political environment has changed.Ever since the recent General Election that was done just 3 months ago, the entire political climate has altered. And I think it’s healthy for many more have stood up and question about the way things have been done.  For some, its a call for new grounds. For a few, it can be a pain that is hard to swallow. But I feel it may well be a healthy lesson to be learnt for all. Whatever it is, the coming president will be one that will genuinely start a new era; and I get the feeling that people will more likely to rule over money and cents if I have not mistaken the results from polls, comments and rounds of rallies. Since Friday is a cooling day before polling day, I have been sitting before the internet studying whom to pick. I have easily eliminated 2 without much thought. But the final 2, its a struggle. Which ‘Tan’ should I pick ?

Clearly, many people are flared up with some policies. Many more people are far more aware of what this world is getting to be like — over materialistic & in some cases getting pretty callous on human issues. The world over, for that very matter, appears to suffer from this rising phenomenon. On this tiny dot, where people could be extremely docile, many are beginning to figure out that we need modifications to our existing system to make it better by removing certain flaws — one of which pertains to the existing changing societal trends that may not be good for all. We are one of the safest countries in the world to live in; but we cannot risk the comfort and the peace to pending problems that may arise from complacency. Neither can we ignore the minority of Singapore citizens (or even to a large percentage of the general population), who are marginalised by the pragmatic culture of material advancement without a true sense of understanding how they feel. Everyone has a heart and a mind. Everyone wants to progress and definitely does not like the idea of being left behind or being unheard. It’s just a perfect sense of thought that people would think this way when certain ideas just run over without much consensus from all the peoples in the country. Our basis for peace and prosperity has always been based on equality and tolerance and a respect for cultures and things alike. When this social equilibrium is disturbed by unforseen circumstances, we should have someone of top authority to speak up for us in our light.

The President of Singapore may not be able to execute the exact same powers like that of the President in the United States. Perhaps that should change. Tentatively, this prospective president must have the integrity to go against the tide if necessary, and must understand the different social problems experienced by all people from all walks of life; not merely monetary matters. Money does make the world spin. But money cannot buy everything. At least, we need a soul power to keep the peace, happiness and these will generate prosperity. Our national aim should be to create a unwavering first class, first world nation that everyone anywhere will come to respect and envy. I wouldn’t want a nation to be rich to only some groups of people; & yet laden with latent problems of any kind of unrest or social distaste that stems out from the have’s and have not’s.  Hopefully tomorrow will be an excellent day where a new president will send a signal of positive change where the hearts will fill and the minds refreshed. We need a social mindset change. That kind of  change which will invigorate creativity, innovation that will spur this tiny dot into greater space. And I am sincerely looking forward to that moment of victory.  As I write to this point, I know whom to pencil in my ‘X’ in the polls tomorrow. — Karen Fu

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Elfin’s wishes about Leaders & The Innovative Business of Harmony (for everyone) March 24, 2011

Posted by @Karen_Fu in creativity, design, Economy, education, human quality, Singapore.
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Rubberband connection just snapped; post gone into oblivion-space. This is my n-th attempt connecting to the internet. It often makes me wonder about quality. Small things such as a broadband connection does offer one an inherent idea into how a business is run. And definitely businesses, for that very matter, is very dependent on small things like product and service quality. We can’t run away from the usual consumer expectations. The same could be said about leaders. They cannot overlook small issues. They all add up and it shows by the end of the line. People’s needs come from the tiniest of things. The same applies to designing any product or service. The idea is very much similar.

Been looking around on the internet and read the papers. Not that I enjoy politcs that much but because it hangs on to everything one does in an urban place and indeed in any part of the world. I can’t run away into an no man’s island and dream all the ideas without knowing the practical facts of politics, no matter how much I dislike it. So I have been dwelling in it in a diplomatic way, asking questions.

 

The problem of politics in the way of innovation 

In every part of the advanced world, the world ‘innovation’ has become even a larger buzz word. Talk is easy, but where is the nice cosy dinner? I often thought our innovative ideas must come from people serious in true designs in different aspects of thought, service and products.

Idealistically, I do not want any part of politics to run in any innovative endeavours. I believe it spoils both time and effort which could have been better placed for designing up policies or products for a better lifestyle. Something that is comfortable, sustainable and doesn’t waste resources. Such ideation of concepts can only come in free when the mind is pure and free. I don’t see original design solutions coming from a corrupt mind, because a messy mind cannot solve problems.

The problem with many innovators, I find is socialising. Quiet innovators simply suffer. Quiet innovators who are short of politicking skills suffer more. But ironically very good innovators are usually born introverts. So this could be a great loss not only to such innovators but also to us too. No one benefits from this kind of loss.

Leaders around the world have changed faces these few years. With constant natural calamities happening these months, I cannot but think that leaders need a new set of qualities to keep different social economic factors in good balance. To add on, the general election appears to be around the corner makes me think about leaders. Not just leaders of political parties but more so on leaders in general ‘cos every line of industry plays a part in designing a harmonious, interesting and positive world.  Certain traditions are worthy to keep while certain areas needs to be changed depending on the culture and the current situation. One group of thinking may not run feasible in another. But there is always a general rule that works for all. But somehow there are always leaders who choose to sacrifice certain areas.

Honestly, I have only recently catching up with the latest events and candidates. I do not have any political preference. i only want good leaders lead by a great leader. Someone who has an impeccable logic, innovative ideas, dare to spit guts into the face of obstacles of any kind and deliever us a sustainable life without having to worry about any kind of problems pertaining to life. We do need people with the creativity and the depth to produce innovative solutions, not to merely follow what others are doing. We need experts in the right ministries and I am hoping we have these leaders standby. Not just academically bright, its about being brilliantly talented. In dire times, the great leader must be able to deliver the chops against deals that do not benefit citizens. We are a tiny city state. And by that the leadership character cannot be as small as the size of our country (Singapore).


Social-economic cohesion :

From transportation to medical; from education to entertainment; from business to commerce and other social economic problems pertaining social cohesion that keeps every race sane are only some of the major issues. Ignore this at one’s own peril. Racial harmony, national harmony as well as keeping social status of various groups democratically are just some of the major aspects. I was told at some point that I overestimate the power of education that it could control social minds. Frankly I still couldn’t understand how education could not do so. I have always thought that education can control minds and the way a society functions. Education can also make or break social cohesion amongst different peoples, race, economic status and all. Education includes not only the learning of skills but also moral character and the formation of one’s mind. Education may not necessary be from schools, colleges and universities. It could be your social environment. They all contribute to how a mind works. It is, in my opinion, the greatest tool to handle any problems.

What would be horrifying is to allow the wrong education system in place that brain washes people into dogmatically stuck onto one form or regidly believes in only one line of thought about what success is. For example, a society that only focuses on materialism and financial success usually hinders other beautiful thoughts of wonder such as innovation in other areas in the arts, humanities etc in the purest form. The idea of putting money as the centre of the success universe has potentially dire consequences; usually results in the form of social unrest in the form of meanacing fight for money and status. Other breeds of hypocrisy might emerge.

 

Branding is vital for you and me; branding is vital for every establishment.

The same could be said of any organization. You read the face of the business, and you set an image. That image is sustained by yourself,  your colleagues from your business partners down to the your pet dog that runs the business logo image. The fact is, if you don’t deliver to what you’ve promised, then your customers will go.  And you have to please people. You can’t do it for all, but at least you must do it for a large majority. If you can’t, then its time to change business whatever business you are in.Or you will be out.

 

‘Swarm of flies’ can kill your image. Certain risk-taking is simply not worth it.

Sometimes problems could smell from afar before they start to stink. Sometimes we need to let in a swarm of flies because the climate has changed and we need a huge swat to swat them after they fly in. Hell is when and how much can we tolerate flies. Problems sometimes can be sorted out by allowing the problem to grow a little bigger before solving them. It can sometimes be eradicated better since all the baddies have been lured out to the open. I notice that some policies are done this way.

However it really depends. Certain risk taking may not be well worth the swat. Your swat may not be big enough or your force is not huge enough. Then all the flies will fling in and before you know it, they breed and just gotten bigger. In this case, you’ll have a looming problem that is almost unstoppable.

 

Better network for assistance.

We will always have problems. Large or small, national or international. We will, at certain points in time, need help. When help is offered, and problems solved, then will there be less loopholes for pending trouble to appear. What I would like to think is that there are leaders who could make sure that help is available when we need one. Designing such access to assistance without any sort of red tape needs creativity. When we do not find a good leader in our area, there should be an alternative for us to move across the restricted boundaries to seek remedy beyond boundaries of any kind.

Impending problems would be the further widening of the rich-poor gap due to the global inflation as well as a large disparity in educational qualifications and wealth. When the poor fails to make ends meet despite hard work, and when policies don’t work to bring in jobs; then we will have a mess. It is already happening everywhere and the trend is towards chaos. Many areas of chaos comes from the point of misunderstanding cultures. Yet we still do it. I find that such mistrusts and disappointments can raise to the kind of hatred that is often being underestimated. And that is really being shortsighted.

I’ll stop here for now. — Karen Fu

The Forces of Change by Strategic Guts of the cubes – innovative game by ‘The Creativity Hub’ January 6, 2010

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, Product Design.
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Picture taken from http://www.storycubes.com/

Picture taken from http://www.storycubes.com/

Quote this interesting description off from Rory’s Story Cubes – Puzzle Game :
In the face of Uncertainty, Fear and Apathy, how can someone like you be expected to navigate the challenges of your daily work and life, let alone have any kind of impact in today’s world? Wouldn’t it be easier to just ignore it all and keep your head down, surf the ‘net,  enjoy some retail therapy or drown your worries in your substance of choice? Or maybe you are waiting for an unstoppable hero to rescue you from this mess we call Life?

Well, that hero lies dormant in you, waiting to be awoken. And the world is waiting…

Welcome to the Creativity Hub, powering-up ordinary folk like you, to become Agents of Change, in this great Age of Change. If you want to amplify your creativity, restore balance to your life, unstick what is stuck in your business or community and learn to ride the waves of change in the world, you will need to become adept in three key skills – the ability to Solve, to Resolve and to Create.

Are you ready?

I love this game concept that focus on positive Change. Guts to build your storyline? I don’t own this game yet but I’ve enquired about how to get one to try out.