Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A whole new world

This is not about Aladdin's story. But you can read the title like how Jasmine sings it in the movie. Like... "a whole new world..." go ahead, sing it, it's now playing at the back of your mind, it's LSS time! :)

Looking into the future, i think the kind of work environment my kids will be facing will be different from now. Instead of encouraging them to dream of a specific profession and apply for a job, i will encourage them to be entrepreneurial. Also, i will encourage them to find something they are passionate about and find a business opportunity there.

A lot has changed with the Internet and how we all communicate and socialize. Although the need to socialize is still the same, just the medium we use is more efficient and cost nearly zero to maintain. Further, the distribution channel of almost everything had become so small that anybody can create something and easily, cheaply reach out to an audience.

I've seen the impact in the markets i'm familiar with, technology, computing, startups, running, cycling and other endurance sports. I've also seen it in almost all social causes, climate change movement, healthy food initiatives, active lifestyle groups to mention a few.

Now why am i talking about this? I'm slowly seeing the irrelevance of schooling and getting a degree. Although i'm not comfortable yet of not sending my kids to school, because i'm not ready to take on the full burden of educating them myself. But i'm looking at the decreasing dependence of schools and what my kids will get from them.

Perhaps schooling will be viewed as a social venue and training ground for them. Where they practice the craft of learning, make lifelong friends and trial the real world.

Without depending a lot on schooling, they can find what they are passionate about, and set out to be the best on it. Learn by themselves and with friends, practice on their own efforts, enroll in specific classes, and test themselves by going out there and competing or launching a product.

I'm not sure if it comes as a shock to many, but i think not. I am a product of no proper schooling, and not having a formal degree has not prevented me from doing what i like to do and earning money from it.

The only time i had a problem, was when i tried applying for an immigration visa. I learned that a college degree is about 35 points out of 100. And together with my unofficial work experience, i'm probably one of the most "unqualified immigrant" in the system.

But looking at it, i don't see myself immigrating to any country now. The rising Asian economies (have you heard about the dollar and euro markets problem lately?) is creating a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurial people like me. So i think i'm already where i should be.

At this point, i'm very excited what this perspective will do to how we bring up the kids. Imagine encouraging them to be computer pro-gamers, or endurance athletes, or instill in them the dream to be an organic food producer. I'm thinking to encourage them to be travel bloggers, or indie movie producer/director, or dream of building a software startup. Heck even dream of being Justin Bieber is not very far off. Or, anything where they are producing original content, organic ideas, or creating value for people, it's so easy to earn money from it.

I say bazillions of opportunities. And what's more exciting is, it doesn't matter what country or market situation they have or college degree or what school they went to, there are always opportunities to grab, if they just learn the entrepreneurial attitude.

Of course, there are still a lot factors to consider, and one big item here is the environment they grow up with. Family environment, school environment, friends, town, country, etc. At least what i can help in this area, is set it out for them, take the lead in building that environment for them.

In fact, it's one of my main driving motivation to help build a local startup and tech community. Soon i will get myself involved in the running and endurance sports community. Maybe hook up with the social causes community or link up with food producers or link up with travelers.

And when there's already a nice community, i will slowly introduce it to my kids. I'm very excited to see how their exposure will mold their way of thinking. Traveling with them will also be an exciting time of learning and exploration.

Of course, it's still a lot their decision. I don't plan on going religious on them about this. I'm just going to nudge them, give them the "kindle" to start their own fire. It is entirely their choice what kind of life they want to live.

As i look at this, i think it's a whole new world for them to look up to, and one thing i'm very motivated to help in creating.

1 comment:

Dave Overton said...

Right on. I think it is still a new concept or idea to innovate, however disruption is coming to the space.

I second your comments about developing the startup scene here as I believe that it is the entrepreneurial drive that will thrust even innovation in education.

From my American perspective, my wife and I also struggle with the education system here as well as home (America), and the one thing that we can agree on and learn from our own education is that drive and non-classroom based learning was instrumental in our development.