Malaysia Youth Lifestyle Showcase ’08 – So Much To Do

Today is Multi-Post Day for me! That’s because a lot of things are happening at the same time, and one of them is another YouthMalaysia project – Malaysia’s Youth Lifestyle Showcase 08.

Subtitled “We Are The Trendsetters”, the showcase has plenty of youth-organized activities (from an earlier competition) on offer – careers, cosplaying, puzzles, Battle of the Bands, all sorts. There is also a very extensive Talent and Style competition, which is essentially a contest to get as many supporters of yourself on Friendster and show off your talents. They don’t make it clear what the prizes are though! (I wonder how you’d show off your style and talent if you’re a blogger, which is an accepted category…just type a whole lot of stuff?)

The showcase runs from January 18 to 20 2008. Their website was a lot better than when I first saw it (otherwise I would have promoted it earlier), but there’s still a lot of info missing. YouthMalaysia, if you’re reading: fix your websites! But otherwise it seems like an interesting concept, and one worth checking out at least.


1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention 2008 – Registration Open

There seems to be a sudden wave of entrepreneurship events popping up in Malaysia around this time of year. Another one to leap on the bandwagon is the 1st National Youth Entrepreneur Convention, organized by YouthMalaysia, to be held on January 19 2008.

The event is essentially a series of speakers from different aspects of youth entrepreneurship in Malaysia. Among the more interesting speakers are cult-hit blogger Kenny Sia, co-founder of theCICAK Ng Khai Lee, and Raj Ridvan Singh, founder of SOLS 24/7, a boarding school and education center for at-risk children in South-East Asia. (I actually watched part of his presentation at GK3 and it was AWESOME.)

There are also opportunities to present your proposals before the Convention and to get your ideas sponsored by the Malaysian Independent Business Ownership Program, which is actually really interesting. I wish there was more information on both ventures as it seems like a great way to promote and make use of the convention. The main draw of the YSEI forum at GK3 was the possibility of funding and mentoring, and quite a few attendees managed to get some sort of assistance.

Registrations are open – it’s RM100 per person but you can get a discounted rate of RM50 per person if you can get into a group of 3 or more (anyone want to join me?). It’s cheap for a conference/convention, but I’m not sure if it’s worth all that much considering it seems to be just a bunch of back-to-back talks and not enough interaction, sharing, or action (just like how the UN Conference in August turned out!). The idea to back and assist with entrepreneurial ventures would be great, and people like Khai Lee and Raj are worth talking to if you ever get the opportunity.

Take a look, and if you have an entrepreneurial dream or spirit, give it a go! And let me know if you are interested in the discount; I could make an EducateDeviate group.

Vote for an EducateDeviate Proposal on ChangeThis!

My manifesto proposal, How to Get Involved with your Passions (based on this entry) has been approved and is now up for voting on ChangeThis!

ChangeThis manifestos are often filled with useful knowledge and information on self development, business, worldchanging, culture, politics, and other issues. Some of the great ChangeThis manifestos are Change the Way You Change the World, The RenGen Manifesto (great for all educated deviants!), and The Happy at Work Manifesto. As far as I know, there hasn’t been a manifesto written for or by a young person, so this would be quite groundbreaking.

Once the proposal gets enough votes, the manifesto is written, published, and distributed to thousands of readers around the world. This is pretty significant considering that big names in blogging and business such as Seth Godin (who actually founded ChangeThis), Hugh MacLeod (How To Be Creative), and Guy Kawasaki (The Art of the Start is ChangeThis’s first manifesto) have all garnered a lot of respect and fame through their manifestos.

Voting ends January 20 2008 so vote now! And while you’re at it, grab a manifesto or two – they’re all free.

Tun Dr Siti Hasmah – WIM Woman of The Year Award 2008 – Nominations Open

Do you know a Malaysian woman in your life that has come out strong from past adversity and now gives back to their community? Someone who has become an inspiration through illness, poverty, discrimination, or other strife? If so, nominate them for the Tun Dr Siti Hasmah – WIM Woman of The Year Award 2008.

In honour of the wife of former Malaysian Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Women in Management, launched this award to honour Malaysian women who have survived through challenging circumstances, come out successfully, and are now supporting their community. There is no age or relationship limit – any woman resident in Malaysia is eligible. Each nomination must be accompanied by 1 proposer and 2 seconders – people who know the nominee well and can speak on their behalf.

I received a call from Jaya of WIM this morning who told me that prospective nominees shouldn’t be shy to nominate themselves or get themselves nominated – people tend to be shy and modest about their achievements but even the smallest thing can mean a lot!

Prizes include RM30,000 (RM20,000 to be spent on a WIM project of choice), personalized jewelry and fashion, gift bags, and much more. Nominations close January 31st 2008, so get a form and nominate now!

VoteEd – Educating Malaysian Voters

Election season is soon to hit Malaysia, and this time around things are bound to get interesting. With the recent rallies by HINDRAF and BERSIH, as well as other political and social events related to human rights, democracy, and national unity, young Malaysians have noticed the need to be more politically aware and that they need to exercise their right to vote and choose.

However, most of these young Malaysians are not experienced with voting. Many have only just been eligible to vote. Many others have not bothered to vote in the past because they feel that their votes do not count. Due to various laws and regulations, as well as the state of media here, there isn’t any clear unbiased way to find out who each consistuency’s representatives are and what each party stands for and is willing to provide.

This is where VoteED comes into play.

VoteED was originally started by writer and activist Michelle Gunaselan, as well as a few other friends, to combat apathy amongst young Malaysians towards voting issues. Their activities center around educating young Malaysians on their rights as voters and on their choices for voting, encouraging young Malaysians to register to vote, and holding discussions and debates about voting, politics, and democracy in Malaysia.

Currently they have a vibrant Facebook group, where they are collecting information about what people want to know about voting. The questions are quite interesting – ranging from whether it’s wise to vote for a party you don’t necessarily like if your local representative is doing a good job, to what avenues and channels you have to air your grievances and concerns about the country. This information will be the basis of a Voter Education Party, to be held in early January.

Join their group and get informed about your options for voting. You have the right to vote (unlike me – I can’t vote in Malaysia despite being here all my life because I’m not a citizen) so make use of it!

At GK3 – Youth Social Enterprise Initiative Forum

Hey everyone,

Just a quick note from the GK3 conference in Kuala Lumpur, where I’m volunteering as the PR/Media person for the Youth Social Enterprise Initiative Forum. I am having WAY too much fun with the BrainStore ideaFactor workshops. Can you imagine – a whole company just based on generating ideas!!! I want a job.

Further updates forthcoming. see you later!

New Project: Wanna Be A KP

I’d like to announce my new blog project:

Wanna Be A KP -
Wanna Be A KP
Tiara’s Attempt At Joining and Finding Funding for the KaosPilots

Keep track of my progress as I apply for the program, try to cajole people to fund me, and learn more about the crazy world of Aarhus and the KaosPilots.

I’ll still be updating this blog, so don’t worry – but do check out Wanna Be A KP too!

Gift Guide: Top 24++ Books for the Educated Deviant (or the Deviantly Educated)

Originally, while writing this post, I was going to make a Top 10 gift list that encompassed all sorts of different things for those who love learning differently. However, just the book list became a major list on their own. I may make the others into their own list, but let’s do it in chunks.

It is the holiday season after all, and there’s bound to be a few lifelong learners on your list. Educated deviants are voracious readers, and books make an excellent gift for any holiday or celebration. Here is our mixed bag of recommendations for:

EducateDeviate’s Top 24++ Books for the Educated Deviant

Delaying The Real World by Colleen Kinder and Lonely Planet Gap Year Book

Burnt out by years in school or work? Want a change? Both books provide plenty of resources, ideas, and personal anecdotes about taking time off to do something else. Whether it be interning at a newspaper in Cambodia, or scaling Mount Kilimanjaro, both books give you great ideas on how to get your gap year (or life!) on.

Anything by Free Spirit Publishing, New Society Publishers, or Princeton Architectural Press

Here’s where the “++” come in. These three publishers release plenty of excellent books about education (The Teenager’s Guide to School Outside the Box), activism (The Troublemaker’s Teaparty), and design (D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself). There’s surely something for everyone in their catalogues.

The Artist’s Way (and workbook) by Julia Cameron and The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (and workbook) by Betty Edwards

Everyone is creative, but once in a while we all need some support in rediscovering our creativity. The Artist’s Way is a 12-week course that takes you step by step to rediscovering yourself, your talents, and your passions. Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, on the other hand, isn’t just a lesson in visual art: it also trains your brain to notice and think things differently. Besides, scribbling and painting are relaxing.

Be Bold

This new book by Echoing Green highlights the trials and achievements of a number of its Fellows in their quest to make a difference. From a former drug addict who started a recovery program for prisoners with addictions, to a human rights activist campaigning for the rights of people with mental illnesses, the twelve profiles are bound to inspire you to act. There is also a resource list as well as journal pages for you to reflect on how you too can be bold.

Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World by Bill Clinton and Banker for the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

In the past couple of years, innovative philanthropy has taken the world by storm, particularly with the Nobel win of Muhammad Yunus and Grameen, as well as the increase in micro-credit programs. Bill Clinton’s book suggests many different ways people can give back to society (not just financially), while Banker to the Poor chonicles Yunus’s life and his journey to developing Grameen to where it is today.

The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman and The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

Tired of the typical rat race? Want to define work your own way? Goodman’s and Ferriss’s books describe different options to have a life and make a living, from going freelance to setting up passive income. Both Goodman and Ferriss have blogs, so if you’re hungry for more, subscribe and keep up.

Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto and Doing School by Denise Clark Pope

How could I have a list of books for the deviantly educated and not have any books on changing education? These two books, while written many years apart, show the dire need for change in today’s education system. Gatto discusses how schools are no more than just employee factories that don’t encourage creativity and innovation, while Pope follows five high-schoolers as they rush and stress in the race to get into top universities. These books will DEFINITELY make you rethink the school system.

The Tipping Point and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, and The Rise of the Creative Class by Richard Florida

The past couple of years has seen a massive rise in nonfiction books that tackle certain topics in innovative ways. Not quite history, not quite politics, not quite philosophy, not quite academic; one bookstore I’ve seen denotes that section as “learn something new every day”. These four books, in my view, started this genre off. Gladwell reexamines how decisions can be made and how they’re influenced, while the Freakonomics duo proposes clever economic causes and effects for seemingly unrelated phenomena. Meanwhile, Florida studies how increasing numbers of people involved in the creative industries can really make an impact in business, communities, and the world.

I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was and Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher

Interested in a hundred things at once? Don’t worry, that makes you a typical educated deviant. Barbara Sher calls people like us “Scanners”, and she says that there is absolutely no reason why we can’t be passionate about many different things and explore all those passions. Her books provide a plan for working out those passions, and then arranging time for them effectively. She also has a lot of other books about achieving your goals and passions.

What Should I Do With My Life? by Po Bronson and Roadtrip Nation

Along similar lines as Barbara Sher’s books, both Bronson and the Roadtrip Nation crew went out to interview people from all walks of life about their passions and how they got into the path they’re in. The Roadtrip Nation interviews, originally a TV series are a little more career-focused, but they do show how anyone can succeed from any starting point no matter what. Bronson’s interviews, on the other hand, are more heartfelt, and not everyone in his book has necessarily achieved grand success with their passions or even found their passion – but are learning a lot from the process.

Girlosophy: Real Girls’ Stories by Anthea Paul

The female educated deviants in your life will certainly be inspired by the girls profiled in Paul’s book. From a British girl who works as a faerie, to a pair of Sri Lankans facing the prospect of civil strife, and a lot of surfers (Paul supports organizations for young women surfers), each girl tells first-hand her story, her opinions, and her dreams for life. The innovative use of layout for each story is also a great draw. This book is part of the Girlosophy series, which encourages and supports young women to be themselves and live their best lives.

Screw It, Let’s Do It by Richard Branson

The version I’m promoting here is actually retitled, in some places, Let’s Not Screw It, Let’s Just Do It, which contains updated information and an entire chapter on climate change. Branson has built his entire life (since he was a teenager) on just acting on ideas instead of waiting for permission. While not all of his ideas worked, most have been great successes, mainly because Branson is willing to take risks and do what it takes to stand out. Here he outlines his basic principles for success (including many stories about balloon rides) and, in the final chapter, urges corporations to take climate change into account.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

I find it harder to recommend fiction because tastes tend to be more subjective. However, I found The Alchemist absolutely inspiring to those who dream of exploring and learning more about the world. This tale of a young boy driven to adventure by his (literal) dreams beautifully depicts the importance of paying attention and of following our heart no matter what. It’s a magical fable that will definitely charm any deviant.

Whew! That was a long list. More gift guides might come soon, if I have enough energy to do them. In the meantime, if you have any more recommendations for books, please feel free to share in the comments.

Happy Holidays!

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FRANK Team – Inspiring Youth in Australia and Elsewhere

One of the first things I did when I arrived in Brisbane last year was to look for different youth-related opportunities and groups to get involved with at some level. I figured that Australia would have a lot more resources than Malaysia, and wanted to keep myself busy and interested beyond university work.

One such organization that I found is the FRANK Team, which organizes speakers and workshops for young entrepreneurs. Their workshops span topics such as starting a business, time management, empowerment, finding your passion, and lots more. They’re often fun, casual, energetic, and still informative and educational. Their multicultural team (which is interestingly majority female) consists of young (and young-at-heart) people with all sorts of interests and achievements, so every workshop is different.

The FRANK Team also publishes two free online magazines: FRANK, a feminist magazine geared towards young women that doesn’t spend too much time on beauty or fashion, and IGNITE!, geared towards young entrepreneurs and those looking to start a business. Both magazines can be subscribed to by email and arrive in your inbox as PDF files. They are both FULL of opinions, events, resources, ideas…all sorts of things. They also publish a blog, with links to various resources online as well as announcements of upcoming FRANK events in Australia.

The FRANK Team are always looking for people to work with on projects. Contributions to FRANK and IGNITE! are always welcome, and hiring for facilitators and speakers will open next year. They’re also interested in going global – in fact, one young Malaysian (not me, though I’d like to know who!) has gotten in touch with them to bring their material over here!

If you want ways of empowering yourself and other young people to make the best of themselves, do give the FRANK Team a look – they may just be what you’re looking for.

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HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards – Win HK$100,000, Change The World

The HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards are back for another year, with an added award for environmentally-friendly business ideas. Here’s the information from their ad in the papers today:

Put it down on paper and you could win HK$100,000 – and perhaps change the world.

The HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards 2007-08 continues its mission to encourage young talents with a flair for business. The team with the most outstanding business plan will walk away with RM10,000, a study tour in Hong Kong and the opportunity to represent Malaysia in the regional Best of the Best Award. The Best of the Best champion will win an HSBC business development fund worth HK100,000.

This year, HSBC introduces the Eco0Business Innovation Award – a bonus award for the business plan that has the greatest potential to generate the most positive impact on the environment.

Are you up for the challenge?

The Awards are exclusively for undergraduates in Malaysia.
Submission deadline 14 December 2007.

For more information, click

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World AIDS Day – Take Action Now

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. Even though this day has been commemorated for many, many years, there is still no cure, there is still much work to be done.

Get Educated: Pelf of The Giving Hands has an excellent post all about the basics of HIV/AIDS. Considering the amount of misinformation out there, it is still important that we know the facts and that we educate each other about the facts. MTV’s Staying Alive campaign is also chock-ful of information about health, testing, and advocacy, as well as ways to act that are fun and interesting.

Get Involved: The Malaysia AIDS Council regularly organizes events and activities to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and to help those affected by the disease. The “Volunteering” section on their site isn’t up at the moment, but pay attention to local media and events and do get in touch. If you prefer to go international, volunteer organization i-to-i has opportunities to work with AIDS-affected communities in Mombasa and Nairobi, Kenya. World Vision has resources for Christian college students, while online handmade goods store Etsy is collecting donations of gifts for Housing Works, America’s largest minority-run organization working with HIV/AIDS.

Get Connected: Youth activism portal TakingItGlobal has set up the HIV/AIDS Guide to Action Network, a collection of resources on youth working with HIV/AIDS awareness, advocacy, and care. They have also teamed up with some youth organizations to create the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, which aims to empower youth leaders working with HIV/AIDS issues in their community. UNICEF also has a resource page on HIV/AIDS aimed on collecting opinions, experiences, and knowledge from world youth.

If you have any more resources for youth and HIV/AIDS, please post them in the comments. Thank you.

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links for 2007-12-01