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A Lego Lesson. April 16, 2012

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, creativity, Economy, talent.
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Issues on global talent came as I was watching the video. There are clearly many British and American educated individuals in the video. If I were to shut my eyes up just listening to them, I would have thought they were natives. It can be a strange sight to see. But with the propagation of western colleges doing transnational education as well as an increased demand for overseas western education, many students are opting to learn abroad if they have the opportunity.

Many creative individuals appeared to bear a strong multicultural background. Just like the interviewee who is a Malaysian graduated from Harvard, a good number of well known people tend to also have a ‘Rojak’ (Malay word for a delicious mixed salad of fruit and vegetables) blood of Asian and caucasian mix. Either this, or they often come from a rich diversified experience of multiethnic cultures.

As I watched on, I cannot help but to compare with what Iskandar, where Legoland is, has to offer, I cannot help asking why Singapore could not have legoland and universal studios without the casinos. Iskandar is only a strait away from Singapore and they are blooming the area up with Eco diversity living waterfront houses apart with hi tech industries. My gut feeling is that many will be lured to the region. If they could create the kind of security like we have over here, they could easily attract many to their shores for investments.

Our recent debate on raising the minimum wage and wage freeze for top income earners focus on keeping the local economy sustainable. As far as I see it, focusing on costs alone will not see us through. Surely we need to raise salary only when productivity is good. But to deprive the lower income group earners by cutting manufacturing / service costs is just as bad, if not worse. Could we be more innovative in our course in economics without slashing pay of employees when the cost of living is getting to be uncontainable? Lego started off from a small cottage industry to a mega toy business that isn’t confined to just play value. It has also been used in even furniture and architectural structures out from their simple block unit. Why is it that we cannot replicate such creativity instead of drooling on cutting costs ? If the lower income blue collar get their wages so low that they can’t economically survive, be sure to expect high social costs in due course. To start off burning costs as a mantra, be also sure that middle income earners pay will be controlled and marked downwards too. In fact, this is happening as the global economy isn’t good and companies both big and small are trying to slash wages paid to employees.

Often I feel we need a good flip. When things don’t get better, then it is high time we skip it and try something new. What maybe a soft skill may turn out big. We dont need to follow what most people do. The time when you start seeing many entering the same field, that’s the time you should be thinking of another emerging field.

There are many ways of leveraging what we don’t have. Our forefathers have done it. Why is it our generation seems to be talking backwards? We have the brains and the talent here but I think many are underutilized. If you were creative, what would you do? If I have the chance, I would flip it. — Karen Fu

Addition 17-4-2012 from my own quoted comment on Facebook : Cost cutting is not the way to go. Quality and innovation is. When you start to focus on the money alone, the result is you missed the innovation. Finally both firm and employees loose really — Karen Fu

 

April 5, 2012

Posted by @Karen_Fu in change, education, faith, human quality, life challenges, Singapore, talent.
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Impressive student. He could have gone the other way round given the life he had. Children of divorced parents are either ending up with gangs or they fight all their way up. Unfortunately a huge majority choose the former. Grades don’t tell a persons talent. But it does tell you if they could follow rules. In schools those who can follow are either they are very bright to know how to be talented as well as following class, or they could be just following what is being taught and spit them all out in exams. This kind of student can still pass on very well, which to me is not talent. A persons motivation and aspirations changes all the time. It is often that this force is the one that makes a talent. It sounds weird from me, but our education system should allow more of these people to come up; including those who have overseas qualifications. So far, if I am not wrong, this is in if the student has local qualifications. Like the post very much and thanks for sharing!

guanyinmiao's musings

David Hoe is not your average undergraduate. His parents filed for divorce on his fifth birthday; consequently, he had to live alone with his mother – who, unfortunately, had been blinded after a cataract operation as a result of a medical negligence – before she passed away when he was twelve. It has been a life fraught with immense challenges. In order to make ends meet, young David had to sell tissues and knick-knacks on the streets with his blind mother; unsurprisingly, this dysfunctional lifestyle certainly had associated ramifications – initially – for his academic-scholastic performance.

Despite his less-than-privileged background and experiences, he has since made remarkable progress, and is now an undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

This year, David is organising the second edition of I Am Talented (here), a programme for secondary school students in the Normal stream to discover their potential talents from…

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human resource as a fundamental capital to prosperity, peace and sustainability January 6, 2009

Posted by @Karen_Fu in research, talent.
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Some time back I was wondering about human talent  and was reading an article in the Straits Times about how scholars are chosen. So I posted on a topic asking LinkedIners what talent is .

Singapore has virtually nothing given but human beings who emmigrated to this used to be a Malay fishing village – an island that was first founded by the British East India Company back in 1819. Since its inception as a British port to today’s diversified economy that includes oil refinery, biotechnology, enbironment technology, finance and others; the country’s sole reliance has been on human talent.

Talent is a fundamental capital not only to prosperity but to survival. But how does one define talent ?  Are scholars the only talent ? Who should govern and improve the nation’s / world’s condition ?

They are hard questions to ask and probably require daring souls to answer and implement them.

Talent isn’t confined to just scholars from Ivy leagues who would go on to take on political roles as they are only part of the solution. A creative sociey would have to include people who are talented in other areas. But most societies often  overemphasized on academic performance, which mainly focuses on language prowess to deliever knowledge and ideas. Should we focus on this to research and discovery ? One list I am on had discussed on this area (PhD-design at jiscmail) and has discussed on the prime areas of research in other media. However, we must take care that such forms will result in an objective response and not a full egoistical circle where the pure and earnest sharing and passing on of knowledge is eluded.

We have to nose into issues like ROI from these scholars we put our tax money in. Issues like whether they will serve the board of commoners earnestly.