Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Managing Yaa-hoos!

Following my report on SEE2012 yesterday, the event featured talents who are supposedly icons, geniuses, mavericks, eco imagineers, social innovators and artists who shared thoughts and insights so that they can be “awakeners of minds” and if I may add, hearts too.

I didn’t have the opportunity to listen to everybody but for those that I knew I could learn something, I made the effort to attend the respective talks. Mano Maniam (“The Learning Business – Future Imperfect”), Marina Mahathir (“Musawah: Women’s Fight for Equality and Justice in the Family”), Stephen Hall (“Every Classroom is a Circus”) and Umapagan Ampikaipakan (“Making Knowledge Sexy”) were on my hit list and their topics did resonate well with me.

But there were others who surprised me and left me thinking deeply. I have truly enjoyed their sharing, in particular, Angela Yap (“The Never-Ending Saga: of Time Banking, Spring Chickens & Strutting Sally”), Mohd Anis Md Nor (“Performance Studies: Creative Tools for the Creative Industry”), and Elisha Satvinder Singh (“Social Connection”).

It’s a shame that this series of talks drew a hundred people or less and most times, even less than half. Where were the students and faculty? I dare confess that even Toastmasters can learn a thing or two from these presentations because the speakers spoke their minds and delivered with lots of passion. When marketing is lousy, I guess the finger should be pointed back at us. I was very disappointed!

And talking about Angela means you will have to make reference to her book “Managing Yaa-hoos!” (ISBN 978-981-07-3123-6). A must-buy (only RM75), it shares new perspectives on diverse issues (e.g. corporate social responsibility, business strategy, social enterprise) and are based on the sharings of entrepreneurs and others. An easy read, it chronicles true accounts of unscrupulous conduct and the ‘nobodies’ who change things. An engaging text that introduces you to the wisdom of Sunny Ramona, Earnest Joe, Ranting Rita and other colorful characters. For more information and enquiries, please email info@akasaa.com or check out the website www.akasaa.com.

Last word on Angela. She was one of ten recipients of Jessica Malaysia's inaugural award for Most Successful Women 2012, joining the ranks of Bersih’s Ambiga Sreenevasan and social activist and writer Marina Mahathir, who also received the honor this year. Indeed, I was very glad to have met her!

I was at the Panmour Villa Hotel in Lebuh Turi in Taman Chi Liung, Klang for the Klang Bilingual Toastmasters meeting. I had agreed to take up the role of Grammarian – thanks to an invitation by club member Janet Fernandez, who was the Toastmaster-of-the-Evening. I had wanted to visit this club for close to a year now and I finally did that last evening. Speeches – two in English and one in Mandarin – were commendably delivered and I particularly enjoyed Amy Gan’s speech on “Property Financing” which had generous sprinklings of humor. The evaluations were also equally good. This was a meeting where I noticed members supporting and helping one another and their sincerity was very genuine. I would award this meeting a 7 out of a 10.

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