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!

Links in Post:

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.

Links in Post:

Interns Wanted: Centre for Public Policy Studies

If you’re passionate about Malaysian issues, interested in public policy, and have time to spare from July 11st to August, read this announcement from the MyWordUp mailing list:

Dear all,

This is a call and plead, a desperate request to anyone who is:

1. Passionate about Malaysian issues
2. Is free to avail themselves for about a month anytime between July 11th (next week) and August
3. Interested to be involved in policy work and processes
4. Able to work efficiently and well!

Basically, I’m working at the Centre for Public Policy Studies, ASLI, and the only person working under me is a part time intern who is leaving next week. I’m all alone and trying to do too many things at the same time. Yes, CPPS is a one-woman show.

We are hiring new staff, but that will only be later, and so am stuck in a rut during this in-between period.

There are a gazillion projects at my feet at this point, and anyone in between studies or in between jobs or even willing to help in whatever ways you can would be MUCH appreciated!

Any volunteers you guys can offer me? Or you can forward this around as well. Ask them to check out our website for information on what we do as a Centre. Mail me back at or call me up at 0126122100.

Thanks everyone!!


Links in Post:

Interview: Brett Farmiloe, Pursue the Passion

Pursue the PassionOne of the best ways to learn how to follow your dreams is to learn from others that have done so. 22-year-old Brett Farmiloe and his friends have taken this idea and run with it through Pursue the Passion, taking a roadtrip across the USA to interview passionate people and encourage other young people to pursue their own passions.

EducateDeviate recently talked to Brett to learn about his own passions and how PTP came about:

Who are you? Introduce yourself.

My name is Brett Farmiloe. I am the founder of Pursue the Passion, and a 22 year old corporate america dropout.

What is Pursue the Passion? How did the idea come about? is a resource you can turn to for inspiration, guidance, and support when contemplating the “what should I do with my life” question. The idea came about when I was a senior in college and I had no idea what I wanted to do upon graduation, so I started to interview people about where they were at my age and how they wound up in the career they are in today. On our site you can find all 75 interviews I conducted from the first tour, and you can read about the interviews we are conducting right now on the 2007 tour.

What happens on the Pursue the Passion Tour?

Three friends and I are traveling 14,000 miles in a gigantic RV to interview 200 people who love their work.

This is your second tour, the first one having taken place last year. Is anything changing this year? What have you learnt from last year’s tour that you are taking on board this year?

The largest change is who we place interview requests with. Last year we contacted people based on their title or by the company that they worked for. What we found is that this doesn’t always mean they are passionate about what they do. This year we are trying to find only the people that love their work, and we are doing that by having 90% of the interviews we conduct come as a result of referrals.

Where and how do you find the people you interview? Do you look for any specific types of passion/career, or does anything go? Do you keep in touch with them after your interview?

We contact people that know their local community very well to find people that are truly passionate. We are going into this tour with an open mind, so any careers or passions that come our way we always will consider. It’s just as fun to interview a CEO of a multi million dollar brownie factory as it is the guy who does news from a helicopter. And we always try to keep in touch with the people we interview.

What inspired you to start Pursue the Passion? How did you sort out the logistics (the RV, sponsorship, finding interview subjects, etc)? How long does it take to plan a PTP tour?

I have started planning the current tour we are on and undertaking the logistics of it all since we got back from the first one in August. So a good ten months have been poured into creating what you can currently find on our site. Definitely takes passion to persist with carrying out this idea.

You are travelling with three other people – James, Noah, and Zach. Were you all friends beforehand? Why have they decided to join you on the tour?

I’ve known Jay and Noah since the dorm days at the University of Arizona. Zach I’ve roomed with for the last year as we both were unhappy corporate auditors. They’ve come on the tour to glean the guidance from passionate professionals, and to travel the country in a RV.

I was just watching Oprah’s Big Adventure that she did with her best friend Gayle (travelling across the US) and she mentioned that sometimes taking a cross-country trip with friends can severely test the friendship, as well as your patience and stamina. Having done this tour before, what sort of tests did you have to face, and how did you face them? How do you maintain peace and sanity on a gruelling tour like this?

This is a challenge we’ve faced…even on day one. I think that everyone needs to know the goal, and needs to know their responsibility. If we are all busy, all working towards our goal of executing this tour, then we will only escape with a few bumps and bruises. But piling four guys into a small RV will definitely test our patience and stamina. Ask this question to me in 86 days, when the tour ends.

In different cities you have organized The Passion Hour. What happens at the Passion Hour?

We invite people who are interested in the tour to come meet with us and other like minded passionate professionals in the community for a little after hours networking. We are still trying to figure out what happens at Passion hour, but the one we just conducted on Monday had over twenty people attend, and I feel like everyone who was in attendance took something away from it.

You are introducing some new things this year, such as getting college students to join you on the road and work on internships, as well as forming a Facebook group. Tell us more about those initiatives. Why have you decided to involve college students this time round?

College students are the group that I originally started Pursue the Passion for. The more ways I can get students involved the better. Our “Passionger Program” invites students to join us for a day of interviews, so if you’re interested in participating, email me at The goal with the facebook group is to spread the message that it is important to be passionate about what you do, and that you shouldn’t accept the first job that comes your way. Take the time to figure yourself out, check out our site, and use it to determine your career direction.

What else will you be doing on tour, besides interviews?

Seeing the country, Passion Hour, Never Eat Alone Lunches, writing, editing video, compiling a documentary, writing a book, figuring ourselves out, and spreading an inspirational message to anyone who will listen.

I was telling my sister about you and she mentioned the DVD/Book series Roadtrip Nation, which also involves a group of young people on cross-country road trips asking people about their careers. Was PTP at all inspired by Roadtrip Nation? Do you feel that this is a concept already done before, or is it a concept that needs to be done more?

This is a concept dating back from Napolean Hill with Think and Grow Rich to Po Bronson and What Should I Do With My Life. People have always sought out advice from those who have been in a position to provide it. We are different from everyone else because no one, to my knowledge, has conducted interviews with passionate professionals to see how you can find your passion and combine it with your career.

The inspiration that I derived from Roadtrip Nation was when I was in the “what should I do with my life” dilemma, and I emailed them on three separate occasions to ask them for advice. I didn’t hear back from them once. Once I did develop this idea I resorted back to those unanswered emails and made it a priority for Pursue the Passion to be an interactive resource for people in a similar situation as I was. So if you email me, I will write back, and if you comment on our site, I will comment back, and other people will too.

What is your passion? How do you define passion?

My passion is seeing Pursue the Passion grow and develop into something that positively affects people’s lives. Passion is something that is so ingrained within you that there is no line between what you do and who you are.

How does one Pursue their Passion?

There is no specific formula to follow. You start by starting, and looking at yourself and finding the smallest things you are interested in and developing those interests into passions. You can start the pursuit by going to

EducateDeviate is about education in life, especially when it comes to personal passions. It is argued that school nowadays do not encourage the pursuit of passions. Do you agree? How can schools and education systems encourage the pursuit of passion amongst students?

Schools have to worry about a lot of things, and unfortunately, I feel that your passion is not one of their main concerns. I am trying to change that with Pursue the Passion with a program that will make it a priority in schools. This program will send students out into the local community to conduct their own interviews with passionate professionals.

How else can people (especially from outside USA) get involved with PTP?

I always tell people we need help in three areas…participation, promotion, and planning. I encourage people to participate on our site by commenting on the interviews and our opinions on the journey blog. I believe that interactive feedback will more effectively help people determine their career direction than if they were just reading an interview. We need help spreading the message of the tour because the more people that benefit from our work, the better.

Lastly, I’ve always dreamed about conducting a Pursue the Passion World Tour, and we need to start planning for that by finding places to stay, people to interview, and places to go. Helping us plan for the world tour would be an awesome way for people outside of the United States to get involved! Email me if you have any recommendations on where we should go.

Brett and I have communicated via email and I can vouch that he does reply! Take a look at Pursue the Passion right now for inspirational interviews, and root for them as they go onto their magical mystery tour.

Links in Post:

Head For the United Nations: Be Part of the 4th Annual Youth Assembly

Want a say in future United Nations resolutions? Interested in meeting celebrities, world leaders, and global youth? Looking for an experience of a lifetime? Then get involved with the 4th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations now!

This Youth Assembly, organized by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation and supported by various consulates and embassies, aims to bring youth together through various activities and events based on culture, leadership, global and social change, peace, the arts, and much more. Participants will be able to meet celebrities and world leaders (including UN Director Jeffrey Sachs and Arun Gandhi, founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and Gandhi’s grandson); obtain one-on-one leadership training; network with business, community, and youth leaders; get a grand tour of New York City; and so much more!

Delegates need to be aged 18-26, though those 16-18 can come with a parent. Adults who work in faculty and in youth or UN related projects are also invited to attend. Group registrations are available. Attendance is by application; you basically need to be of the right age and be able to obtain (or already have) a US visa, or can enter the US without one. The application fee is $95, though you can get a discounted rate of $50 if you are a citizen of a listed low-income or mid-income country. (The price is lower per person on group applications.)

While the 3-Day Assembly itself is free to accepted delegates, the FAF have organized various travel packages that include meals, accommodation, Metro passes, the Leadership training, the New York tour, voting rights, and various other events and activities according to package. These cost from US$675 (RM2331.65) to US$2300 (RM7944.90) but do not include airfare or insurance.

Within the Youth Assembly is also the United Cultures Peace Festival, which showcases cultural performances of all sorts from global youth. They are also scouting for high school and college performers to be part of their international lineup. Performers will also be able to participate in the Assembly as well as selected activities. If you would like to perform, drop them a line.

The 4th Annual Youth Assembly at the United Nations are in New York, USA from 12-15 August 2007, with various events taking place before and after the date. Applications close 13 July 2007.

I have something very interesting linked to this Assembly so keep an eye on EducateDeviate for the news. In the meantime, join me and APPLY NOW!

Links in Post: