Most of us, during our primary school years, would have been asked to write about our dreams as part of an exercise. Most of those goals, however, end up just like that — a dream — with people forgetting all about it once the homework is submitted.
It is this situation that prompted me to launch DreamStarter five years ago.
The project aims to help primary school students realize their dreams, and instill in them innovative thinking through coping with challenges.
With the advent of new technologies, changing global geopolitical environment, shifting economic structure and climate changes, kids are facing an unknown future.
To meet the challenges from this unknown future, exam scores do not mean everything. Instead, students need to learn from their mistakes and build their confidence in tackling different problems.
To achieve that, there are four key elements: Communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking.
Kids need to learn how to make things happen, take up challenges and work in a team to find a solution.
These are essentially qualities of successful entrepreneurs.
Such capabilities can’t be easily learnt at classes. Experiential learning is the best way.
In Hong Kong, where exam scores mean everything, it’s not easy to let children spend time on their dreams.
I’m lucky to get support from Baptist Rainbow Primary School and my partner Bee Wong, who also wants to do more things for her children to create the DreamStarter five years ago.
Using sustainability and betterment of the society as the theme, students need to come up with their own dreams, do research, think creatively and tackle practical issues such as labor, materials and capital.
They need to create a three-minute video to introduce their plan in order to gain support from the public. And the video will be released on the DreamStarter crowd-funding website.
It’s great if they succeed, but if not, they can always review their plans, make improvements and try again.
To sum up the experience over the past five years, I’ve written a book ‘Letting Kids Become Entrepreneurs’, telling the stories of how children tackle difficulties to make their dreams come true.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on July 20
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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