Saturday, December 18, 2010

Newsletter Dec 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

Sabah, Malaysia Sept 2010
Time passes too quickly, it is the end of the year again, we would like to share with you what we have been up to in 2010. (A full account of the year is given at the end of this letter). Here is the highlight.

We have not been travelling as much, with Irene settling in her new career as an independent advisor and Dominic committed to teach during semester.
  • Dec 2009, enjoyed a 14-day visit to Myanmar to get a first hand experience interacting with the people in different cities and appreciating their history and culture
  • June 2010, thanks to the Savantas Policy Institute, we had a fruitful trip in Shanghai attending the Expo,a training course covering many aspects of modern China, and made many new friends
  • Sept 2010, a relaxing trip to Sabah, Kota Kinabalu. We saw the Orang Utan, Proboscis (long nose) Monkey and fireflies. Thanks to our friend and her mum who showed us round their beautiful home town
  • A getaway weekend in Macau in Nov was most refreshing

We'll be spending Christmas and New Year in India, more about that in our next sharing.

Since 2009
  • Less meat, more vegetable diet. More meals at vegetarian restaurants
  • Organic farming in Lantau, ploughing, planting, watering, harvesting
  • Brought friends to the farm to appreciate the joy of growing your own food, back in touch with nature and see fireflies which are still found in the area

Dominic's 2010 highlight:

I have finally published my book 八載劍橋 (My Cambridge Days) in July this year, it has been my dream to share the experience gained during my 8 happy years at Cambridge University. In Nov, I had the pleasure of giving my book in person to the current and immediate past Vice Chancellors of Cambridge University.

I enjoyed running as the chairman of the BEA International English Contest (HK chapter). I went with the 19 HK student representatives to compete in the 5-day national finals in Beijing. Our students had won many prizes including the championship in the junior and senior high division.
Click to view album
This year, in addition to consulting work, I have been doing a lot of teaching, training and speaking at numerous universities/ conferences/ corporate/ business & social clubs in Hong Kong, Macau, Xi'an and Han Zhou. I must admit, I am a very talkative person who loves an audience :-)
Irene's 2010 highlight:

Making Turkish Coffee
  • A wonderful year yet also filled with exciting challenges, sometimes poor sleeping quality; on the positive side, nice surprises, supportive friendship and many blessings.
  • Most fortunate to encounter 2 mentors - one advising me on enhancing my professional and communication skills, the other teaching us Qigong(氣功)and wisdom to be applied to both health and life.
  • Some new friends and co-workers sharing good practices in asset management, nutrition and organic farming, etc. Surrounded by all these smart people with good heart and commitment, I feel most encouraging that the 4 important pillars of my life are gaining more solid grounds: health, knowledge and experience, family and friends, resources.

I wish to share more on my personal blog, what do you want to hear from me?

Events for learning this year that I found very useful
1) Brain-based learning for children
2) Investing with Wisdom

Next year events may include story-telling communication skills, Turkish buffet, organic farming ... if you have any good idea for learning, please update me
Please drop us a few lines when you have a moment, we would love to hear how you are getting on.
(making Turkish coffee in the photo)
Have a great holiday and wish you a healthy and prosperous 2011!

Irene and Dominic

December 2010
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FULL ACCOUNT on year 2010!

Consulting and Corporate Training highlights:
This year, my clients works are mostly on business development, feasiblity studies and restructuring. I continue to work with an international expert network GLG. I have also teamed up with an executive training company to provide a wide range of corporate training areas. For example, influencing skills workshop in Han Zhou for an MNC's offsite meeting; E-marketing techniques in Macau for an MNC regional meeting; "How to write and present a compelling business plan" for a local university; negotiation skills workshop in Shenzhen for a Chinese technology company; and trusted advisor workshop in Hong Kong.

Angel investment (Early stage venture investment):
Through Dark Horse Investment ( and personal network invested in 优士网 (The next China Linkedin+Ladder). We also invested in two biotech firms in Singapore in nano technology and cancer detection technology.

Teaching at universities
An MSc e-commerce module at Tonli College, Xi'an, China; a 14-week MSc module in Wireless Computing Systems and Applications (Mobile phone, Wireless LAN and Bluetooth) at PolyU; A 3-part series on "How to launch your independent career / business" for Entrepreneurship Centre, CUHK; A diploma on "High quality IT infrastructure on a limited budget" in Macau for HKU SPACE.

200912 Myanmar
We visited Myanmar in December 2009 and had a great time visiting over 6 cities. Irene did an extensive search and managed to find a very good local travel agent that provides reasonable price for private tour, excellent ground trip planning and with nice and knowledgeable English speaking guides in every city, what more can we ask for? We did all our correspondence in English via email. Let us know if you want the contact info. It far exceeded our expectation, this is much more interesting than seeing through the narrow window of heavily biased Western media;

201003-201004 Silicon Valley, Ottawa
I went with the Savantas Science and Technology Delegation to Silicon Valley at the end of March. It was a very successful trip where many interesting and useful discussions/visits were conducted. Hopefully, the delegation collectively has learned the key factors that make Silicon Valley the most successful technology innovation place globally and apply them to Hong Kong. He also assisted one of his clients to settle into "Plug and Play Tech Center" in Sunnyvale. Above all, he enjoyed seeing many of his old friends in the area. Afterwards, he had a nice family reunion in Ottawa, Canada.

201006 Shanghai Expo, Training course and Suzhou

201007 Han Zhou

201009 Kota Kinabula, Sabah, Malaysia

201011 Macau
It has been my wish since 2002 to share the experience gained during my 8 happy years in Cambridge to fellow alumni, youngsters who have yet to explore their options, also friends and family. It took me 8 years to put everything together. Written in Chinese, a big surprise to my friends, since none of them have seen me write anything in Chinese ever since I went to boarding school in UK at 14. In November, I had the pleasure of giving my book in person to the current and immediate past Vice Chancellors of Cambridge University.

My Cambridge Days book launch

Prince Philip Scholarship award ceremony

Mentoring program

Current Vice Chancellor and immediate past Vice Chancellor's visit

Movie on Cambridge: Bachelor of Hearts


MAD Conference (Make-A-Difference)
In Jan 2010, Dominic helped moderated a session on "Entrereneurship" during the MAD conference (a great youth conference for promoting creativity and providing alternative career choices). It was great talking to 3 entrepreneurs and learning from them how they have each created their business from scratch and are of very different natures.

Moderating at the Web 3.0 conference on "how to get funded" at Cyberport in November 2010
Speaking on startup venture investment at InnoAsia Conference in November 2010
Speaking at HKU on "how to setup your company with minimal resource" during the Entrepreneur Seminar Series in Dec 2010
Sharing travel experience on Antarctica and using Open Source Software at offlice club talks of iProA (Internet Professional Association)
Sharing with Leo Clubs on "My Cambridge Days" and "Exploring the world"
I enjoyed tremendously running as the chairman of the BEA International English Contest (HK chapter) and subsequently, I went with the 19 HK student representatives to compete in the 5-day national finals in Beijing. Our students had won many prizes including the championship in the junior and senior high division. We are very grateful to our sponsors Sir Dr. David Li, Bank of East Asia and Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong. After the competition, all the students and their family had a great time at the celebration dinner at China Club Beijing, thanks to Sir David (Tang).

I'm the honourary secretary of Lions Club of Metropolitan Hong Kong this year. We have many events including Magical Night and various luncheons featuring Mr. David Webb, Mr Cheah Cheng Hye, Prof. Tony Chan and Dr. Hui Siu Ping

Book review:
不去會死 Dying to go! (Review written by Irene)

Author: Yusuke Ishida 石田裕輔

Have you ever thought about where the most beautiful place is in the world according to your own definition? This Japanese author cycled around the world for 7+ years to search this place. His encounters reveal his emotions to different places and people, the beautiful and ugly side of humanity and "a world" that you probably do not have a chance to see during your life time.

I found the title echoes my inner voice as a passionate traveller. We travel as if we will die tomorrow. I truely admire his courage to embark on such an adventurious journey. It actually reactivates my travel DNA when feeling drained after work.

Dominic's comment: The title of the book reflects our view towards travelling! 不去會死


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