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Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 07 October 2013 23:58

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I was in Kuala Lumpur in August for my first ever TEDxKL event. What's TED? TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading which started in 1984. You can read up about TED here. The 'x' in the TEDx means it's an independently organized TED event. In my own words, TED related events are designed to inspire people to action, to challenge preconceived ideas and to motivate people to think without boxes.

The theme of the fifth TEDxKL was Life Hacking. "Life Hacking refers to any productivity trick, shortcut, skill or novelty method to increase productivity" and they had an impressive lineup of speakers. There were three 'sets' spaced across the afternoon in August, with four speakers back to back. Each speaker had an average of 15 minutes each and topics varied: smartphones for the blind, poetry, recyclable rubber, passionate photography, 3D printing, etc - all connected in that they each brought forward a Life Hack.

I should say at this point that one of the things on my bucket list is to speak at a TED or TEDx event. So I was stoked to be there! Baby steps, right?

It was held at the Mid Valley Exhibition Centre and it was a free-seating event. I was travelling solo so I was mobile [read: I made sure I was as close as possible to the front of the hall through each set]. After each set, there was ample break time (45 minutes), enough to network or go for a short walk around sections of Mid Valley. I am involved in the events and conferencing game so I was well aware that breaks are opportune times to try connect in person with the speakers. Mind you, TED related speakers are held in high regard worldwide so it was a treat that they lingered around during the breaks. I got to speak and do selfies with a few of them (see below).

I learned a lot from TEDxKL. It lived up to my expectations and I am glad I made the trip to KL to experience it.

Here are seven life lessons from TEDxKL 2013.

1. The future is not set in stone. In fact, it seems that it will be set in polymers. Jonathan Buford from Makible made a case on how the increase in accessibility to 3D printing could very well disrupt the way industry works.

2. Music connects people. This is a truism I know, but Cheryl Tan and Az Samad's session had the audience mesmerized. There was clapping, wolf-whistling, "wooOOOooo's", and then there were moments of silence as the crowd just soaked in the music.

3. Solutions take time. We live in instant times. We want faster internet speeds. We like quick replies to our messages and emails. We want quick solutions. We don't just want things to be quick, the consumer in us demands things be aesthetically pleasing too. However, sustainable solutions to complex problems usually takes time. In fact, as Gopi Sekhar shared, it takes a heck of a lot of research and development.

4. There is power in the spoken word. Kosal Khiev served 14 years in prison. There he discovered spoken word poetry. He shared his story and he held us captive. No props, no fancy slides, no whiteboards. Just Kosal and his heavy words.

5. Passion knows no barrier. Zung, an award winning international photographer from Malaysia, started his session with a confession. "I don't speak very good English." In fact, he actually didn't. He did however have a story to tell, and man, did he pour his heart into it! Zung has a dropped-out-of-school story and a and-then-I-found-my passion story. His advice: to work hard, to be passionate, to take risks.

6. Shine. If you have a talent or skill, don't hide it. Find a way to share it with others. Hong Yi did via YouTube and she is now making headlines across the world with her art. And no, she's not a one-hit-wonder. She continues to create and connect with her fans through digital media (google Red Hong Yi to see what I mean). Is there anything this girl can't do?!

7. Laugh at yourself. Rizal van Geyzel, a top Malaysian comedian took the stage and started cracking out jokes; jokes about himself. He then proceeded to deliver funnies about Malaysian stereotypes. As Rizal crisscrossed between jokes about himself and Malaysia, the crowd laughed with him. I remember my dad telling me as a kid, "Don't take yourself too seriously." That message still rings true today. It is a healthy sign when a society is able to laugh at itself. It shows openness and tolerance, which comes along with maturity.

The 'Before I Die' blackboard

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With TEDxKL host Kavin J

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With funny man Rizal van Geyzel

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Red Hong Yi

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Zung

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Monday, 30 September 2013 13:28

I watched many wedding proposals on YouTube but this might just be the one to rule them all.

 
Written by Delwin Keasberry Tuesday, 24 September 2013 09:14

Ever wondered about the process employers and recruiters go through when leafing through resumes and applications? According to Jobvite, an online recruitment platform, you are reviewed both offline (via your resume and references) and online across your channels. Take a look at the infographic below and then take a step back to think about the content you are creating and sharing online.

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As a bonus, here's a quick (tongue-in-cheek) checklist for you jobseekers out there:

1. When did you last update your profile picture? First impressions count.

2. Build a resume that stands out from the rest. No idea where to start? See these four tips. To really stand out, see here on how to put your best foot forward online.

3. Received an award? Smashed your company's sales targets? Increased your department's productivity by 10%? Don't just brag about it. Update your LinkedIn account.

4. Are you a social butterfly and do your friends have a habit of tagging you on Facebook after a fun night out? Then it is time to review your Facebook privacy settings. (There have been a number of changes on FB, so it is probably time to review your settings anyway.)

5. Do you have a habit of complaining about your boss and / or colleagues online? Well, don't. We live in the era of WhatsApp. Screenshots are a click or two away.

6. Love taking selfies? Well, if you must, at least make sure you score yourself loads of likes for it.

7. Do your customers and clients adore you? Be bold and request for a testimonial or two. [Note: In order to first receive raving reviews, you have to be good, nay, GREAT at what you do.]

 
Written by Delwin Keasberry Wednesday, 18 September 2013 08:56

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Photographs sourced from the Entrepreneurship At Campus FB page

I was recently invited to speak at the Entrepreneurship At Campus Hari Raya Open Office. I was the last of three other speakers - Sabrina Wong of Sab Five Five, David Chen of Sunland Agri-Tech Pte Ltd and Hj Azaman, Chairman of GDG Brunei. The Entrepreneurship At Campus or E@C is a collaboration between the BEDB, the iCentre, Universiti Brunei Darussalam and their Entrepreneurship Club. According to their FB page, they exist to "nurture the spirit of entrepreneurship among the students in Brunei; regardless of age and level of education attainment." They invited the four of us to share around the topic of entrepreneurship from our life experiences. Of course I agreed.

I arrived. I scanned the room for familiar faces. I caught up briefly with mates. I sat down, right at the back of the hall. As much as I like having a "Reserved for Mr Keasberry" sign flopped on a seat on the front row, I also enjoy sitting at the back. When I speak, I try my best to speak to speak to the ones least interested in being there. They are often lurking riiiight at the back. Sitting at the back gives me different perspective which is usually followed by last-minute adjustments to my message and tone.

I should also say that sitting at the back is a great way to hide nervousness from the organisers and other speakers.

My turn. I walked up to the speaker's platform, set up my digital timer and started with a disclaimer. "I am a hybrid-entrepreneur." Within 10 minutes, I had touched on snippets of my journey including how BruneiTweet started, the power of social media, lessons from my journey to date, but I probably spent an extra moment explaining what I meant by hybrid-entrepreneur. In my opinion, "true" entrepreneurs are purists, fully immersed into their business without a safety net (read: assured salary) to keep them afloat. Me? I have a nine-to-five, but I also wear other hats, including managing this website. I also spoke about the importance of having an entrepreneurial spirit which is the other side of the entrepreneurial coin.

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When it came to q n' a time, there was one question which caught me off-guard. It went something like this.

Q: What do you consider as your strengths?

A: Good question. Hmm. *looks at the clock wondering why time suddenly stopped* Well, one of them is in communications. Offline and online.

I then went on for a bit about the importance of being able to communicate.

Afterwards, I hung around for a bit, got to know a few of them, took a few group-selfies, had a play with Google Glass, thanked the organisers and walked back to my car (parked precariously at a location I will not talk about). It then hit me. Q n' A remorse, specifically regarding the question about strength. Marketing folks love talking about strengths. Why? Because it is easy to mask a shallow answer with fanciful words. I did give an answer anchored to past and current experiences, but in hindsight I should have shared around one of my favorite quotes: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."

Chew on that.

Shoutout the all you folks at the E@C!

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Written by Delwin Keasberry Thursday, 05 September 2013 15:36

Greetings from London folks! In case you are wondering what I am doing here, I am here for work...and a bit of play. I was invited by the British Foreign & Commonweath Office for Olympic and Paralympic Legacy visits and meetings. The focus has been on the Olympic Park in transformation and I have had meetings with businesses involved in the London Olymic Legacy. This including ES Global, the London Legacy Development Corporation and UK Trade and Investment. Along with me, there are representatives from Al Jazeera, Gazeta, the Today Newspaper, The Voice, etc.

Official meetings ended yesterday and I will be here for a couple more days soaking in the UK. Here are snippets from my time here so far. To keep up to date, you can follow my journey through my Instagram and Twitter accounts.

 

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Something interesting to share with the rest of the world about Brunei? Interested in being featured on ProjekBrunei.com? Reach me here.