4 Feb 2016

Success, Creativity and How to Change the World, students hear from HK’s Leading Voices at FuturED#2

At FuturED#2, a speaker event which brought together those who have excelled creatively, secondary school students from across Hong Kong heard; what success looks like, how to start the creative process and the impact an individual can have on the world.

On the same bill as these performers and professionals were three Island School students Year 9 Daanyal Ebrahim, Year 12 Rushabh Bohra and Andrea Chin. They talked about the projects that have guided their conscience.

Each week Island School’s newsletter will report the highlights from one of the speakers’ presentations. This week hear from G.O.D (Goods of Desire), CEO and Co-Founder, Douglas Young.

Comedian Vivek Mahbubani, CEO G.O.D. Douglas Young (centre)  Bess Hepworth Social Media Manager (right)

Comedian Vivek Mahbubani, CEO G.O.D. Douglas Young (centre) Bess Hepworth Social Media Manager (right)

I had very supportive parents, a loving mother and my father gave me a lot of freedom – my grandfather was strict so my father wanted me to have the freedoms he did not.  My mum jokes that I could draw before I could speak – they allowed me to develop my talents and I found out what I like doing.”

Young, went to the Diocesan Boys School before going to boarding school in England at age 14. “I was the only Hong Kong kid around and I wasn’t fluent in English then. The situation was frightening and scary but actually it was the best thing that could of happened because I had to adapt.”

“I got to know a foreign culture but I also came to realise all the wonderful things that are in my own culture. Hong Kong is a unique place because of its; food, fashion, history and culture. It is its character that gives it an advantage and it is your character that gives you an advantage – it is your secret weapon!”

On finding inspiration he said; “I like to look at the things that make HK special and present them in a new way so the world will come to see them differently.”

He use the example of Kowloon Walled City as a place that was a patchwork of development and design with a strong identity and even in the cramped, tiny spaces of the city people found ways to express their identity.

“I look for charm and beauty in old and unusual places.” “When my friends come to visit me from overseas they point things out to me that I haven’t noticed before. Sometimes I like to pretend that I am a foreigner and see everything with a new pair of eyes.”

Young studied Architecture in the UK and he learnt that when designing you need to consider the versatility, economic and cultural impact and the usage of a final creation.

In a section of his presentation about Art and Performance he said; “That the personality behind the design is more important than the design its self.” His background means he tries to mix Western and Chinese design and make the familiar unfamiliar. He showed the audience his oversized mahjong pieces which were used by exhibition goers as tables and chairs and the wet-market lampshades used as exhibit rooms.

He encouraged students to sometimes create or do something that is provocative, sighting his bum shapes mooncakes as an example! Young; “Our culture needs to evolve and if we don’t evolve our culture will become out dated. I want to add life to things and give them back to the young.”
“You need the confidence to laugh at yourself you might as well laugh at yourself or someone else will!”
“Creativity should be noticed – people should love my work or hate it, the biggest insult is when someone is indifferent to it.”

Before delivering his final message he paused and said I haven’t expressed this before but…. “The greater the sense of danger you feel the greater the rewards will be.”
“Adventure beyond your comfort zone.”
During the panel session Young made the significant comments;
“Success is enjoying what you do” “Creativity is trying things out. Trying new things is important, the jobs of today might not be the jobs of tomorrow.”

Next week read the highlights from Comedian Vivek Mahbubani address at FuturED#2.