development

My First Overseas Conference - PDC 2017 in Yangon

Late last month, I was in Yangon for the Professional Development Conference (PDC) 2017. It was held at the historic, beautiful Sule Shangri-La (previously known as Traders Hotel) in the heart of commercial activity in Yangon.

The conference brought professionals from various industries together to learn from the expertise of over 30 trainers from Singapore. I numbered one amongst them.

Educators of the Future - EOS

The style of the conference was such that there were five concurrent Executive Overview Sessions (EOS) occurring at any one time, excepting timeslots for breaks and lunch. Each attendee to the conference was free to attend any of these sessions, according to the areas of their interest. It was inevitable that some wished to attend sessions that have timing clashes. Nevertheless, feedback regarding this style of conference was positive.

Trainers who weren't training during a timeslot were free to attend other EOS's or network / mingle with other attendees.

Over the first 2 days of the conference, I got to meet a number of locals who were either currently part of the private education sector or intending to be part of it. In the following days, I learned that many of the other attendees were also interested in setting up training centres, pre-schools and/or tuition centres in the city.

It is heartening that the private education sector in Myanmar is taking the leap and spearheading changes in the way education is done there. 

I will follow up with some of the contacts I made and see how I may be of assistance to them. Who knows? I may be there for longer periods of time in the coming months.

At PDC2017

As I Reflect Upon 2016

With just over a week to go before 2017, I decided to take some time to reflect upon my 2016.

At the beginning of the year, I offered my Word of the Year as: Speak.

I refer to this part of my post on January 14 2016:


I intend to:

a) Become a true-blue professional Speaker (finally!)

b) Speak for necessary change

c) Speak, not just talk

d) Speak to new contacts and networks


For a), I have taken numerous steps towards it, having spoken at a couple of events and having joined professional networks of speakers. I consider a) to be fulfilled.

For b), I have come up with proposals for changes in my church as well as long-term plans for change in certain aspects of education in Singapore. I consider b) to be fulfilled.

For c), I have always taken what I say seriously. To fulfill this for 2016, I further reduced unnecessary speech and was mindful to speak mostly when needed or called upon. I took care to reduce Teacher Talking Time (TTT) when I taught, giving my learners time to explore the subjects instead. Of course, more improvement is needed, but I consider c) to be fulfilled.

For d) I have made many new contacts this year, both within the training and gem industries, as well as out of it. I have a much greater appreciation of how collaboration can benefit businesses and individual growth. I will continue to be part of these networks and to contribute to them as I am able. Therefore, d) is fulfilled.

Apart from my Word of the Year, it feels almost unbelievable that so many things (relationships, networks, businesses, personal pursuits) can be started and accomplished in the space of 365 days. Though I often feel that I have wasted a fair bit of that time, I am quite amazed at how much I have managed to get done this year.

I will look to 2016 as the year of explosive growth and development - a year to emulate, as a benchmark for the years to come.

How has your year been? How ever you feel you've journeyed in 2016, it's not over yet! Let's use the time we have left in 2016 fruitfully, in service of others.

Speaking 4