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’ve been following the blogs of some KaosPilots, particularly those that are on OutPosts overseas (that tends to be the main reason for their blogging). Quite honestly, I haven’t seen much in the way of cultural awareness – or even an attempt to understand and appreciate their host societies.

Most of the OutPost blogs tend to feature parties and gatherings – photos after photos of blonde blue-eyed Scandinavians drinking the night away while they party in an exotic country. There’s very little in the way of actually examining the culture, exploring their location, or even the work they’re doing. The work in their OutPosts are usually relegated to one or two posts – “this is our project, tada!”. Otherwise? Party party party.

The team in Mumbai right now are tasked with answering questions about India, sent in by the KP board members. One student is taking in questions from the Web – and, quite frankly, his response to the latest two questions shows a deep level of ignorance:

Implying that the West has made mistakes is apparently biased!
Cellphones and Internet in India is rare, people marry young, and Indians must be liberal with porn because men like to share porn on phones!

Complete headdesk-worthy. (Read my comments on the above posts for my responses.)

Two KaosPilots blogs that I find to be very thoughtful and reflective about the educational processes are Henrique‘s and Zulma‘s (Zulma’s website also rocks hardcore). Henrique is in China and his blog has plenty of thoughtful and interesting entries on China and Chinese culture, including the conflicts with Tibet. He really shows his effort at understanding his host country. Zulma’s is more personal, but she talks a lot about her projects, and the processes she goes through in completing them. She also talks about her budding life in Denmark – including a new baby! (aww).

It’s really interesting that the two blogs I featured above are both from international students – Henrique is from Brazil and I believe Zulma is from Colombia. They have had to face the challenges of being outsiders, of being foreigners, from Day One – while most of their classmates would have been right at home in similar cultures. Now these students are overseas too, sent by their outposts – and they haven’t quite picked up the skills of cultural awareness, of just being curious about where they are. They’ve instead become insular, clinging on to old patterns while dismissing their host culture’s patterns as just oddities.

I’m rather glad that the KaosPilots Netherlands have announced that they’re received expressions of interest from all over – Russia, India, Nepal, a few other places (including multi-country me). This would lead to a much richer pool of applicants, and hopefully this batch would be much more culturally aware than the others. I’ve checked out the Facebook group for the latest Aarhus school, Team 15, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication of non-Europeans in their team (and apparently Macs are MANDATORY! What?!).

It does make me wonder, though – why are the students of the “best school for the world” seemingly unaware of the world they’re in?

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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KaosPilot A-Z 2

I am giving away a copy of the now-rare English edition of KaosPilot A-Z, which is filled with essays and stories about social entrepreneurship from KaosPilots board members and friends, such as the late Dame Anita Roddick and Alan Webber of Fast Company, as well as an alphabetical look into life as a KaosPilot.

This book can be bought for DKR 280,- or €40, which doesn’t include shipping and handling. I got mine from a second-hand dealer and it cost me AU$70 all up. And I’m going to give my copy away!

All you have to do is answer these simple questions. All the answers can be found on the KaosPilots.NL website. You’ll also need to describe the KaosPilots Netherlands in your own words. Don’t worry, we don’t need essays 🙂

Anyone can enter! Just get all your entries in by 30th April 2008. The results will be posted here by the 3rd of May at the very latest, and I’ll get in touch with the winner to send the book over.

Don’t hesitate, it’s just a simple task.

Enter Now!

Some reviews of KaosPilot A-Z 2:

Fast Company
WorldChanging
Pioneers of Change

Reviews of the original Danish edition, KaosPilot A-Z (the version I’m giving away is in English)

Because I’m about to reapply for the KaosPilots – this time in Rotterdam.

Would this blog count as a form of marketing for KP? The creative assignment is to design & test a marketing campaign to promote KP NL. Though this blog has mostly been about the Aarhus school, I still managed to promote the KaosPilots to a whole bunch of people who had never heard of the program beforehand. It’s meant to portray KaosPilots Netherlands in a positive light though – and I haven’t really mentioned anything either way about them (except the fact that they too are recruiting).

Well, here’s something positive: they offered to send me a token by post in appreciation of my interest. Aww.

Hmm. Maybe my blog AND the Facebook group have been great marketing strategies. KP (all schools) have done blogs and FB groups too, but none’s really from the perspective of a potential student – sure, it may be hard to find one to blog for you if you ask them (because it may seem to be biased – “oh we’ll guarantee you acceptance if you write about us”) but as I mentioned before, it has linked KP to a whole bunch of new people.

At least I have a bit more than a month this time! And this time, I will have FUN with it. Be silly. At least give them a laugh, if nothing else. Maybe finish it off in 5 days or something.

Mwaha!

Here are as many of the application videos for Team 15 that I could find on Youtube, plus a few extras (bloopers and Team 14’s clip). Altogether there are 69 videos (over 2 hours of programming) – and since the KaosPilots tends to get applications in the 100s, there’s bound to be more elsewhere on the internet.

This page is video-heavy. If you want to see all the videos in one post, click the “More” link below. You can also view the YouTube Playlist.

If I’ve missed your video, totally mangled your name, or you know of other hosting places for KP videos (I know people have been uploading them on Facebook and Vimeo), let me know 🙂

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