While there are virtues in learning from Silicon Valley, Singapore should create our own model to move up the innovation curve and become a high value-creating society.
As a start, we need to transform ourselves to become a culture that will be discontented with status quo.
We’ll be desperate to improve creativity and innovation so as to achieve better results on an ongoing basis.
However, as long as dark side of “kiasuism” is still running in our DNA, supported by an aversion for failures and rejections, we would limit ourselves from capitalising on the disruptive future.
Building an innovative culture, like charity, begins at home.
We need to ensure that our children are brought up to be curious and compassionate enough to want to create a better world.
They’re courageous enough to move out of comfort zones to achieve radical breakthroughs.
In addition, hubs of innovation in the future, unlike Silicon Valley may not just be location-based and dependent on physical spaces and factors.
More likely than not, it’ll operate online and through next generation of info-communication (ICT) systems.
Therefore, we should prepare our people from young to anticipate, master, and respond to technological advancements.
For example, incorporate fun-filled ICT-based educational programmes in childcare centres and kindergartens.
Create exciting games to help our children find joy in developing simple system designs and enjoy coding them in a conducive environment.
Research shows that diversity of human talents contribute to a creative and innovative environment and these talents may not necessarily be based in Singapore.
Therefore, we should set up environmental scanning and intelligence-gathering systems on a global basis.
Build data analytical system that will help us harness information, analyse economic and business trends, evaluate impact of new and emerging developments and opportunities, and develop relevant strengths.
These systems can support our innovative efforts to move up the food and value chain.
To leverage on such systems, we should train our children to strengthen their emotional, interpersonal and intra-personal intelligences.
In an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world, they may have to be positioned as network leaders.
They have to manage and harness resources of the most talented people, groups, and organisations to help us innovate and become market makers rather than price takers.
They have to learn how to connect, communicate and collaborate with different talents to co-create solutions in digital spaces and in the global community.
The question going through my mind is: Are our educational systems helping our young to survive and succeed as innovators in the world to come?
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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