ideas


So as some of you may know, I tried my luck with applying for Team 2 of the Kaospilots Netherlands in Rotterdam.

I just found out today that I’ve been shortlisted!

I’ve been invited to the Admissions Workshop in Rotterdam on the 19th and 20th of June. They’re also providing accommodation and food (so the workshop fee is a bit higher, but at least I have a place to stay).

The main hurdles so far are flights and visas. Visas should be OK because I’ve got official paperwork, but I do need a ticket to get a visa (and to get to the Netherlands!).

Since I’ll be back in Malaysia at the time, I’ve asked my parents to help me arrange a plane ticket so I can apply for a visa as soon as I get home. They’re being Dolly Downers about the whole thing, though, so I’m not entirely sure I want to trust them with it. KP NL couldn’t fund me flightwise, so I think I’ll try asking KLM for help.

Any of you have any experiences with KLM or other Dutch-bound airlines? Any recs on those that are great with sponsorship?

But anyway! Great news! The principal, Peter Linde, wrote me a very thoughtful and personal email. I am totally touched and honoured.

I would also like to give a shoutout to Bob Sloat and Michael Doneman – you two got mentioned in the email and it was your feedback that got me through!

yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay 😀

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I have a pile of books to sell, in varying conditions (generally good). Selling for best offer + shipping (some of the books are pretty big); will ship international from Brisbane, Australia. I accept Australian bank transfer and PayPal. RRP = Recommended Retail Price.

Click More for the list of books for sale:

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I just read the book version of One Red Paperclip, a quest by Kyle McDonald to trade up a red paperclip for a house. It reminded me of all the crazy things people have set out to do, with varying degrees of success.

Sean Aiken’s One Week Job; the Pursue the Passion tour; the 1 Second Film project where for $1 (goes to the Global Fund for Women) you can be a producer and possibly join Oprah (my producer ID is 9859 btw); selling a million dollars worth of web advertising or different works of personal art; or just making a million dollars in a year.

I’ve done my version of an Inspiring and Slightly Nutty Web Thing – after being sick of an empty mailbox and watching Ryan Fitzgerald get a zillion calls just by posting his phone number, I got myself a P.O. Box and asked people to send me mail. The P.O. Box is still available, and so is the offer – feel free to send me anything (as long as it’s legal and not food, because AusPost will confiscate it) to:

Tiara Shafiq
P.O. Box 6216
St Lucia, QLD 4067
Australia

I mostly got mail from other Mefites, but it was good fun, and particularly lovely as I went through a really bad patch in life after making that video – so all the letters helped.

This website is one of those Slightly Nutty Web Things too. How many people document their progress at applying for something online – and risk having it all fall apart? The end decision was the one thing I couldn’t control. I was rather hoping that this website will bring some sort of Internet fame…it hasn’t reached Red Paperclip levels (and possibly won’t unless KP NL accepts me), but I did meet a whole bunch of interesting people this way. All the KaosPilots past and present and future, general supporters, social activists like Beth Kanter who promoted me on BlogHer, all sorts of folk.

Even though the project now has taken a sharp turn into a different European country, and has another potential to go really wrong, it still has the potential to go really right. Or at least really interesting. I already have an offer to go to Biel to train with BrainStore for 3 months. If KP NL doesn’t work out, there’s another adventure. If KP NL does work out…well! We have quite a ride on our hands!

Obviously there are quite a few turning points for all those projects. The point where it becomes not just a private fun game, but hits the big time. Where things go “haywire”, as Kyle put it. Something can make the difference.

I’ve been getting a fair bit of attention the past few months because of EducateDeviate. I was actually shortlisted for KLue’s Blue Chilli Awards, but I think I’ve been kicked out because I couldn’t make interviews and photoshoots this week (no fair! there should have been advanced notice!). Second time a magazine has turned me down at the last minute (feh). Interestingly, an article I wrote two years ago, which led to one of the most-commented posts on EducateDeviate until now, has now become an email/blog forward thanks to it being posted on one of the Malaysian homeschooling Yahoogroups. So there’s my Internet notoriety. Heh.

The people I’ve highlighted above didn’t fear the repercussions when they set off on their projects. They made careful choices along the way (such as Kyle’s careful choosing of the trades he made) but were more than willing to make big risks and just do really extraordinary things.

The most extraordinary being that they started.

What is your inspiring but slightly nutty idea? Have you done it already? Why or why not?

Got this email from KP NL just now:

Student Support Fund established as an alternative to student loans & grants!

This email is to tell you the GOOD news that a fund supported by partners (Flight Facilitators), most from the worlds of business and local government, has been set up! This allows us to waiver your monthly tuition, just like we did for Team 1. In total this means that we can support you with funding to cover your full tuition fee at KPNL in your first year.. A total amount of 4800,- Euro! It is not a loan, neither a gift nor a sponsorship since we want to establish real working-relations with our partners – the return value from the school and the students will be 80 hours of project-work during the first year of studies, which will be partly curricular and partly extracurricular…

This agreement does not include the general one time entry fee of 4000,- Euro that needs to be paid up front. So, we also solicit for your commitment to our school and ask you to pay this in advance and thus gaining co-ownership over the learning space…

YAY! €4000 is about AU$6553, which is a bit less than a typical semester’s worth of uni fees for an international student in Australia. The monthly fees add up to about that amount a year, so that would be BIG savings. And project work is why I applied in the first place!

What would be a good way to raise €4000? At least it’s a smaller number to target than the 6-digit monster I was dealing with back with KP DK! (Note to self: fundraise for a year at a time. Less scary that way.)

We have a winner for KaosPilot A-Z 2, the definitive KaosPilot book full of essays on social entrepreneurship and life as a KaosPilot. This competition was my response to the Creative Assignment posed by KP NL, which was to create and test a marketing tool for KP NL on at least 3 people. With 8 participants, I’ve hit that target, and I’ve contacted everyone to get feedback. But first, a funny story of how KP NL foiled me (kind of).

The winners were chosen by going through the responses, writing the names of those that had all-correct answers, and pulling them out of a hat. Out of 8 responses, this gave me 3 finalists. I did a draw, but wanted to recheck the answers for the question people kept getting “wrong”.

The question was on the values of the KaosPilots. When I made up the questions, I saw there were 5, and added another dummy 5 – “Compassion” was one of the “dummy” responses that kept showing up. Today, I rechecked the values, and whaddya know – “Compassion” is now a KaosPilot value! (It’s likely that I just wasn’t paying complete attention, but maybe I got foiled. Eh.) So now, instead of 3 finalists, I have 6 going into the hat.

Draw #1Draw #2

First Draw, with 3 finalists, and Second Draw, with 6 finalists

Oddly enough, both times I drew the same person! So you are a very lucky person…

The Winner - Sidney Ng

SIDNEY NG!

Sidney’s description of the KaosPilots:

KaosPilots is an opportunity to provide one with the paint to paint the potrait of life and add flavour and colour to the otherwise mundane. With the guiding principles of being true to yourself and being a positive agent of change, the KaosPilot program SIX values demonstrate the no matter how young a person is, if the person really wants to make a difference, he/she can do so in any way (no matter how minor) possible.The TEN principles are the principles of being an effective and efficient leader who would represent the future voice/generation of the world.

For the answers, and more responses, just hit MORE:
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Anyone else applying for the KaosPilots Netherlands (Rotterdam)? Would love to hear from you. I’d also like to hear from those of you that went to the Admissions Workshop in Aarhus the past week.

I’m still partway through my own application. I originally thought I’d make it silly, but the silly isn’t coming out. The Life-As-A-CV section is drastically different; instead of my usual table, I got inspired by a section of Making a Living While Making a Difference and wrote a spiritual autobiography – about the things I’m drawn to and the events in my life that have affected the choices I made. Like all my other Life Stories, it’s a bit too long, so I definitely need some editing help.

The questions in this app are much the same as those in Aarhus and Stockholm – when will they get different questions already? When I told my dad about this plan, he asked me why I have to go through the process of applying again – shouldn’t they already have my information? Unfortunately that’s not the case…

Still a couple of days left to win KaosPilots A-Z 2! Response has been a little slow, but not bad actually.

The KaosPilots NL are developing some creative financing ventures for potential students. Among them is a corporate-supported fund to cover fees for the first year, and work experience programs. They’re also working on getting Government funding.

They seem to be pretty focused and thorough on the funding ideas; the funding page just went up but there’ll soon be entries from those that have found creative ways of supporting themselves. Another plus point for them!

Also, I got a postcard from them this morning. Aww thank you! It’s purple with “Arabic” writing that says “this card can change your life”. I think they meant to send me something too with it, because there’s a strip of sticky tape in one corner, but it got lost in the post. Sorry guys!

Don’t forget to get your chance at KaosPilot A-Z 2!

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