Hello! My name is Hoi Leong, and I’m the co-founder here in VIVITA Singapore. Nice to meet you!
VIVISTOP Orchard, our creativity accelerator studio for kids and youths, has opened its doors on 16 July 2019. It is the 3rd location in the world after our studios in Japan (Kashiwanoha) and Estonia (Tallinn). We have since welcomed children and their parents to our space for trial sessions, and I am very encouraged to see seeds of children’s creativity blossoming, trying to bring their ideas to life!
As we are at our starting point, I think that it will be timely to share more with everyone about first why we exist.
What Should Children be Learning?
VIVITA was started in Japan about 3 years ago as an endeavor to empower all children to have the abilities to create their future, and a better future for all. The world that we are living in is now undergoing exponential changes in particular as a result of technology. Knowledge used to be inaccessible to many, but now we can find almost anything right at our fingertips. Factories used to be filled with people, but now they are increasingly filled with robots working 24/7. The context of the world has shifted significantly and is getting more uncertain.
In such a world that our children will be living in, what will be the role of people? What should they be learning?
I believe that the skills to create will be the most important.
From using tools and discovery of fire to the invention of the steam engine, electricity and computers, human civilisation and progress have been a result of continuous creations. Our lives have improved tremendously as a result too. This ability of humans to create distinguishes us from other species, and has brought us to where we are now. It is in us. And this very human nature of creation will also be what distinguishes us from AI and robots. AI and robots have already replaced us in processing information and going forward even in making judgments and predicting trends. However, the desire and ability to create will not be replaceable. At the same time, creating a better world will be a very meaningful thing to do.
However, it is also a paradox that our individual ability to create has declined as society progressed. With the progress of industrialisation in the 20th century and together with that the concept of division of labour, we are able to make products at large scale at a low cost, at centralised factories far away from us. Most of us do not have to “make” anymore and we just “buy”. Consumption is getting even easier with new connectivity and convenience enabled by IT. Do a few clicks and things will be delivered to our doorsteps. In the Singapore context, we had amazing growth in the past 50 years transforming from a small trading outpost to a modern metropolis, but I personally feel that many of us now feel that creating a better city is “not my job”. Both the ability and mindset to create are not common to many of us, even though it might be what is the only meaningful thing for us to do.
The ability to create is critical too in this increasingly uncertain world. Even us adults are pretty bad at predicting – When iPhone was first launched, it was critised by then Microsoft CEO that it has “no chance” in getting significant market share. No one saw the 2009 financial crisis coming. We really do not know what will the world be like in 10 or 20 years. Why predict or pray, if we can create? Alan Kay, a renowned computer scientist and the father of personal computers, has this famous saying – “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Being able to create could make uncertainty irrelevant.
Imagine what if we could empower our children to have the skills and mindset to create the future? We might not know what it will be. But it would be certain that they could chart a future better, for not just themselves and also for others.
With this in mind, we are launching VIVISTOP here in Singapore! Through the environment that we create, we hope to contribute to the creative journey of many children in Singapore. With more creative children, the future of both Singapore and the world will definitely be better.
In my next post, I will share about our journey in starting VIVISTOP Orchard. See you!