Who are you?
I am Tiara, a 22-year-old young Malaysian/Bangladeshi studying Creative Industries in Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. I am also a major advocate, spokesperson, and activist for youth and alternative education, particularly in Malaysia. I mainly do my work through my blog, EducateDeviate, but I have also written about it and have been interviewed about it in the press. I have also earned nominations in awards for my work with youth in Malaysia. I also have extensive experience with media, the arts, creativity, community work, and multiculturalism. I am an avid volunteer, a nomad at heart, an idealist, and a perpetually busy bee.
What are the KaosPilots?
The KaosPilots are a group of social enterprise schools in Europe that combine business, project management, creativity, and social change. They were originally started in Aarhus, Denmark about 15 years ago and now there are schools in Mamlo and Stockholm, Sweden; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Oslo, Norway. Their education system encourages innovation and independence – all the assignments and exams are real-world projects, and major components of the curriculum include 3-month international OutPosts, international internships, and a Final Exam consisting of a project of your own.
Their innovative approach to education has won them a lot of respect from companies around the world, with partnerships with companies as diverse as Apple, LEGO, and Fast Company. They were also recognized in BusinessWeek magazine as one of the Best Design Schools of 2007, alongside Harvard and UC Berkeley.
What’s this blog about?
Wanna Be A KP chronicles my effort in being a KaosPilot. Here I document the people I communicate with (and their responses), methods I’ve tried, updates and feedback, personal experiences, and thoughts about life and the KaosPilot program. Through this blog, I hope to gain awareness of my project and help other people trying to gain support for their ventures too.
Why do you want to be a KaosPilot?
I learn best by experience, and most of the best parts of my life were when I was completely involved and immersed in experiential learning. My 4-month stint with Up with People was an excellent example of experiential learning and really whetted my appetite for more. I also constantly have ideas for ventures or projects to help young people experience their passions, but I need lots of help with practical project management skills – how to actualize such a project.
The KaosPilots are a perfect mix of the two needs – learning project management through experiential learning. I will get to learn, hands-on, how exactly such projects are built and run from the beginning onwards. I would also be in a creative, supportive, close-knit environment that allows for greater learning and closer bonds. I’ve always thrived more in alternative, unusual situations that are more personal and caring, rather than large anonymous traditional halls – the KaosPilots are a perfect fit.
Why should you be a KaosPilot?
In its 15-year history, the KaosPilots have never had a student of Asian origin. They have had students of Asian ethnicity, but not one who is actually from Asia and has spent a significant part of their life in Asia. The KaosPilots are now completely focused on going international, and the lack of Asians is noted as a particular concern amongst students, staff, and board members.
If I am accepted as a KaosPilot, I would be their first Asian student in their history. This gives me a very unique opportunity to bridge Asian and European business and social cultures. I would bring my pan-Asian knowledge and experiences to the table during lessons and projects, giving valuable cultural perspective. I would also be able to share the knowledge I gain from the KaosPilots with the Asian community. There has been recent strife between Asian (particularly Muslim) and European cultures, and I am in an amazing position to encourage unity and diversity, and close the gap.
I am excellent with ideas and have bundles of energy. I have tried and am willing to try almost anything that is ethical and unusual. Even when motivation levels are low and stress is at a high, I still am able to deliver powerful and effective results. I am a quick and eager learner and get along with all sorts of different people. I am often the first to volunteer for anything and can be relied on for anything. This makes me the ideal KaosPilot – curious, innovative, independent, energetic, creative, socially-minded, and enthusiastic.
What sort of support do you need?
I need support with the following:
- Funding and sponsorships – I need help paying for the tuition fee and living costs. Here’s an estimated budget. Both in-kind and monetary assistance is required.
- Networking – I would like to be connected to companies, organizations, and people who can help me achieve my goal of being a KaosPilot. I would also like to hear from other social entrepreneurs (particularly young people), youths, KaosPilots, creative people, and well-wishers.
- Publicity and promotions – The more people helping me out and sharing my story, the better!
- Living in Denmark – I’ll need help with settling down in Denmark – getting a visa, finding a place to stay, getting around, getting insured (more complex than it looks!), and basically having a life in Aarhus besides the KaosPilots.
How can I support you?
You can find ways of supporting me over here. Right now it’s mainly publicity and information-gathering; I’ll start on a full-fledged fundraising plan during early 2008, once the applications are out. If you want to assist in any way, contact me!
What do I get if I support you?
If you support me, you can get any of the following:
- Access to an international network of energetic youth, social entrepreneurs, non-profit and business community members, and a whole lot of inspiring people
- Connections to a vast range of companies and organizations
- Promotion and publicity on this blog and/or EducateDeviate
- Regular updates on my progress
- An opportunity to have me work for you for a while, during (as an assignment/internship) or after the KaosPilots
- Speaking and consulting on youth empowerment, alternative education, and cultural diversity (see my report on how the KaosPilots can be more international and culturally diverse)
- Thank-you events to show my appreciation
- Recognition as someone that supports enterprising young people working for social good
That list is mainly for those that sponsor me financially or in-kind towards the costs of my program. However, if you support me in other ways, I am more than happy to discuss some ways of repaying your kindness.
What will you do after the KaosPilots? What will you do with the experience?
I plan to use my KaosPilots education and experience to develop programs and opportunities for youth empowerment and education in the Austral-Asia region, particularly Malaysia. Such ideas include supporting other young people looking into alternative education, providing resources on alternative education, training young leaders and social entrepreneurs, and so on. I would also like to work with other organizations dealing with social entrepreneurship, youth, cultural diversity, and creativity and apply what I’ve learnt with them.
Essentially I would like to motivate and inspire young people to dream and not be worried about doing the unusual. Too many young people have had their dreams stifled because they were against the status quo or because they didn’t have enough resources to support them. Never again!
How do I stay updated? How do I contact you?
You can keep track of me through the following:
You can also get in touch with me in all sorts of ways.
Got more questions? Let me know!