How do we make our eXpectations a reality? In this selection of talks, speakers from diverse fields and professions share with you how they have closed the gap between expectation and
reality for themselves. They invite you to think of your own eXpectations and envision of a future of your own through theirs. Expect to discover the importance of human connection in everyday life; see life through the lens of food with a colorectal surgeon; step into the shoes of someone who successfully fulfilled a dream that was not his to begin with; witness how bamboo straws have empowered dozens of makers in Southeast Asia; and think from the perspective of a chef who is committed to reducing food waste through artificial intelligence.

Host: Sarah-Ann K
Host, Actress, Former singer-songwriter, Journalist of The Straits Times and Former Presenter on RazorTV

14th September 2019 | 1335hrs to 1505hrs

Session 2: The great eXpectations



A Good Life Must Be Lived with Common Sense

Not everything you read on the Internet is true. This applies to everything, be it gossip, news, or even benefits of foods for our health. From his experience and knowledge required for his occupation, Dr Francis Seow-Choen seeks to debunk food-related myths, something that has misled many unsuspecting Singaporeans. He is on a mission to redirect them to the facts. What we know and not know inform the choices we make in life and sometimes we merely need to rely on our gut instinct. Take it from Mr Seow Choen to learn that “A Good Life Must Be Lived with Common Sense”.

From Little Things, Big Things Grow

In this huge world that we live in, we are but tiny parts of it. At first glance, it may seem that nothing we do may spark a change in the grander scheme of things. Yien Li Yap, who works in the sustainability sector believes otherwise. For a successful prototype that benefits millions, it originated from a small idea. The impact of a worldwide movement that can affect the ecosystems around us begins from a simple act of reducing the usage of straws. We do not need to have significant positions to make a difference. It just takes a simple, consistent act, as it is “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”.

Dreams Interrupted

We do not always get what we want. Sometimes what we did not hope for may turn out to be the very thing that can spark off a series of positive and big changes in our lives. For Nelson Yap, this was the case. The filial son who took over his father’s business despite having no experience would tell you that even though life may not turn out as planned, we can still find success in it. Circumstances may shape and direct our experiences in life, which has implications for the future. However, to grow in strength and rise to challenges, it is important to keep in mind that when “One Door Closes, The Other Opens”; every challenge and setback sets us up for a new opportunity.

Building a Relationship with Yourself

A horrifying fear we have is coming to the realisation that the job we have been aspiring towards may not be what we want to do in the end. That is what happened with Michelle Lim, who quit her “dream job” within 24 hours. However, it was this very decision that also led her to become a serial entrepreneur, where her businesses have made an impact in the community. After taking a few turns, Michelle has learnt many lessons. She believes that we have to “Maintain a Relationship with Ourselves” if we want the choices we make to lead us to live our best lives.

No Plan, No Problem

In school, we are constantly asked if we have a plan for our future upon graduating with educational qualifications. While it is a common conversation starter, it is a topic which may induce anxiety and intimidate those who have no clue. Melissa Lam has made a successful business despite her lack of plans. She believes that knowing who we are, who we want to be and what we want to achieve with the things we do is enough to take us to where we need to be. She assures that there is absolutely no problem with not having a plan.

How to Authentically Connect with Anyone

In the age of rapid advancement in technology, we have gotten so caught up with the devices in our hands that we have lost our ability to connect authentically with one another. Technology and social media have negatively impacted the ways in which we communicate with one another. While they bring about convenience, the very experience of connecting with the person before us is also undermined. We have gotten so comfortable with communication on our phone or laptop screens that the concept of seeking to connect, engage, and understand each other beyond the surface level — especially in person –has now become awkward. From establishing commonalities from person to person, to her persistence in establishing a connection with her own mother, Simone Heng will remind us “How to Authentically Connect with Anyone”.