Perspectives from Young Kickstarters – Ava & Dylan Soh (One Kind House)

Dylan and Ava, although very young in their teens, have done multiple Ted Talks and run numerous successful kickstarter projects, such as One Kind block and GIY Stick.

In this episode, they share how they manage their lives and their perspectives on various aspects of life. They also talk about how education, learning and growth is envision in their family, and how all these has help to shape them to become who they are today. 

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podcast Transcript

Reggie: Welcome to another Chills with TFC session. And in this series, we hope to bring on all sorts of interesting people to help us learn better from various perspectives. Life is not always about learning from the people that you agree with; perspectives shape a rounder thinker. So in our pursuit of the life we love or managing our finances well, I hope you learn from different people and voila, our guests for today is Dylan and Ava Soh from One Kind House: interesting duo, very young in their teens that has, you know, for lack of a better way to put it, fallen out of the OG system. Most people have a certain narrative: we go to schools and then, you know, we just kinda go along. But their family, it’s very interesting. 

The guys from One Kind House, they have a very different way of looking at the world. It’s always about solving problems, it’s always about what is the next problem you want to solve and what are the things you want to pursue and not so much about, okay, this is what you need to do, and this is what’s next, what’s next. So I think they have a great way of managing their lives, great way of looking at what life is about. So I had decided to put the dad and the mom aside and just talk to the kids because I think they provide a different perspective. And they have launched their own Kickstarter project, they write their own blog, they paint their own house, all sorts of stuff. Very interesting duo, very interesting family. And so welcome back to Chills with TFC!

Good morning, everyone. Today in the house, we have a very interesting family to say the least. They have converted one of their homes to become like a creative community space. You know, they didn’t even lock the gates when I was here. More importantly, I’m super curious about how education, learning, growth is envisioned in this household.

So I mean daddy Calvin must’ve done some real interesting thoughts to really propagate into this next generation. And they have already done multiple Ted Talks, Kickstarter projects while they were in school. So, happy to introduce you guys to the Soh family from One Kind House, Dylan and Ava.

Expand Full Transcript

Dylan and Ava: Hi!

Reggie: So yeah. Tell me about your latest Kickstarter. 

Dylan: My latest Kickstarter is the child of my previous Kickstarter in 2016, which is actually called the GIY Stick. And the GIY Stick had the goal of making cities fertile. And that was basically a way where if you recycled cloths and you recycle a bottle, you could automatically water your plant.

Following capillary action, the plant would water itself. But that was assuming that people were used to farming and farming in their apartments and farming with soil, which we realized wasn’t always the case, right? People didn’t want insects in their house, people still weren’t accustomed to the idea of growing things.

So we knew that to follow that dream of making cities fertile, we’d have to make apartments fertile. And to make apartments fertile, there has to be a farming unit that can adapt to any apartment. Because you look at all the ones out there, while they do their job very well, they take up a lot of space and realistically, if you’re living in a HDB, you don’t have that kind of space.

So why not have a farming unit that can adapt to any apartment, attached to your walls, your window grilles, your balconies, and you can farm anything you want. No mosquitoes, no soil, no insects either. And that’s the One Kind Block, the latest Kickstarter. 

Reggie: So did you successfully fund your previous one? 

Dylan: The previous one in 2016, yes. And then it sold and then it went very well and some of the proceeds went into making the second One Kind Block. 

Reggie: Okay, so is it still selling the other one? Are you selling through distributors or something? 

Dylan: No, we are just selling from here and from our website. From One Kind House and from our website.

Reggie: Okay. [To Ava] And yourself? 

Ava: So from a young age, I was very interested in female empowerment and also fashion design. So I wanted to incorporate the two, but the concept of empowerment is a very hard concept to grasp. So last Chinese New Year, I was eating a love letter on my finger and I ate it halfway and I realized it looks a bit like a ring, right.

And then I went home, I did my research and I found out the story behind it is these Peranakan girls would give, like, their love letters, but hidden in this biscuit, they would give it to boys. So I liked the idea, but… 

Reggie: Oh, it’s a thing. 

Ava: Apparently. I think it’s one of those things where like, you don’t see anymore.    

Reggie: You don’t see it, right. 

Ava: [Laughs] You definitely don’t see anymore, yeah. But I thought instead of giving it to someone else, you should give it to yourself as a way to show that you love yourself. And I think self-love is important because self-confidence comes from self-love. And I think that self-confidence is what you need to change the world. 

Reggie: Okay. Um, have you guys thought about like your future? Like, are you hopeful for your future? 

Ava: Am I hopeful? As long as I’m not living with Dylan. 

Reggie: [Laughs] That’s your sister, man. 

Dylan: To be fair, my living ideas are a bit otherworldly. 

Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: Yeah. Could you just share with us more. I’m curious, man. I mean, that’s why we’re here, right?

Ava: [Laughs] 

Dylan: Okay, there’s two options. I think, the first one, the name might be a bit off, but, it’s the thought that counts. It’s called the Belaz 75710, or something along those lines.

And it’s the biggest dump truck in the world. And there’s only a handful I think. And each one costs a couple million dollars. And it’s like this three-story high, those big wheel things la. And then it’s got a huge…  

Ava: Those shovel kind of thing, yeah.  

Dylan: So there’s actually a whole balcony area, which if you had a vision, you could turn into a living area.

Reggie:  A dump truck?

Dylan: A dump truck. And then the top part, which holds all the soil or whatever you’re dumping, you can grow plants there. So it’s a self-sustaining moving, traveling home. Can’t be in Singapore. It would have to be in like a desert or jungle somewhere. The next option, the next option would be a hearse and turning that into a camper van, because the hearse is already designed to hold people. So it works out la. 

Reggie: So you want to be on the road?

Dylan: I think so, I think so. 

Reggie: And why so? 

Dylan: I don’t know. I think…

Ava: I think, okay, I think it was a Ben 10 thing, you know, Ben 10 lived in a camper van, I think it was that.

Dylan: Yeah, that inspired it. Yeah, definitely. But I think if I live in other countries, I can’t live in one place, unless I’m working. I would have to be moving all the time.

Reggie: Okay. That’s interesting. [To Ava] And yourself? 

Ava: I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up. Our parents, they always ask, like, what problem do you want to solve when you grow up? And so what do you want to become when you grow up? So to… 

Dylan: And to be a Jack of all trades, master of a few. 

Ava: Yeah, Dylan can talk about it, but, um, I don’t really know what I’m going to be when I grow up.

I just kind of, I’m just kind of going with the flow. I mean, nothing’s predictable right now. So I can’t really say I want to be this, right, for how many years of my life. It’s just going to be changing all the time. 

Reggie: So how then do you cope with that? You know, like the, the idea of dynamism, like everything’s so dynamic, right? That nothing is really certain. So the fluidity does cause a lot of anxiousness in a lot of people. So how do you then manage this? 

Dylan: I think the good thing is that would affect, uh, the old people, the adults, because their careers are disrupted and whatnot, especially COVID, COVID has disrupted a lot of things. I think our upbringing is very good, because our upbringing is unique and it’s helped us in this situation. 

Reggie: In what sense?

Dylan: Well, the ideas that we’ve done together, One Kind House, One Kind Block, Ava’s Kickstarter project, my Kickstarter project. That set us on a tangent that we are still following. I think, although both of us don’t know what we want to do in the future, we are gonna ride off this tangent for a while and see where it leads us. 

Ava: Yeah. 

Dylan: Because, even for me, although I’m so close to university or college, I’m one year away from that, I still don’t know what I want to do. And I, I don’t know why I’m studying now. And I don’t know if I go to university or if I don’t, what I would be doing. So the logical thing for me is to work on One Kind Block and see where that leads me. 

There’s lots of possibilities from there as well, because there’s this online school, Galileo, who does homeschooling around the world in America, Europe and Asia. And they want me to do a Nanodegree for them on Kickstarter projects next month. So that’s quite interesting. And then in turn, there’s a possibility of me joining them and be part of them.  

Reggie: So that’s exciting. That is pretty interesting. And you said like your upbringing is unique, right. And for whatever you just said, I’m curious, like, can you give me some specifics? Like, what are some values that you’ve been inculcated that, that you think is helping you thrive or keeping you on track and not be anxious? 

Dylan: What’s helped me in Finland [where Dylan goes to school] is largely in part thanks to One Kind House because one kind house was built on idea and a set of values of being kind and championing kindness as an ecosystem.

And you know, as an active elder aging place for my grandma…

Reggie: So cute. 

Dylan: Yeah. We’ve helped her sort of start her second career, and it’s rejuvenated her and for us, we do our projects and everything. This is our R&D lab that we’re in right now. So it’s almost like a place of home and, uh, a point of view about the world where I can take, even to Finland, and it grounds me and reminds me of where I come from. And that’s helped me a lot. 

Reggie: In this R&D lab, what do we have? Our audience are not here, but I see a lot of stuff. Just kind of bring me through, what do you have? 

Ava: So here, I have three sewing machines. they all do different things. So I have a overlocker, I’ve a straight stitcher, and then I have a four way stretch jersey, like sewing machines. So they’re all like industrial machines… 

Reggie: So they’re all industrial level, not like a hobbyist kind of thing. 

Ava: I always call it like my sweatshop, you know what I mean? And then behind here we have my grandmother’s old sewing machines. So you can’t see them, but they’re actually concealed inside. And then you pull them out. Yeah. 

Reggie: Well that’s real cool.

Ava: Yeah. Dylan? 

Dylan: And then we have our latest Snapmaker 3.0. Which we ordered actually a year ago and it only just came. 

Reggie: Damn, a year? That’s a delay. 

Dylan: But that’s a… that’s a 3-in-1 machine because it’s a 3D printer. It’s a CNC cover, and it’s a laser engraver, 3-in-1. And it does it quite well.

Reggie: Do you happen to know how much do these things cost? 

Dylan: I think the snap maker was $1000-2000. 

Ava: And then my machines were secondhand.  

Reggie: Yeah, I think very tough to find a secondhand Snapmaker [laughs]. Three years down the road, maybe, not now, right. And what about downstairs? I see a lot equipment downstairs also, like there’s a whole industrial oven. 

Dylan: Oh yeah. There was the industrial pizza oven, which never got used. 

Reggie: It never got used? It’s always been there, right? 

Dylan: It’s always been there, but now we have our own pizza oven also, also from Kickstarter called the, um… 

Ava: Jumi? Junki? 

Dylan: Uh… Uuni! Uuni is Finnish. U-u-n-i, Uuni. Yeah, and that’s like a charcoal or wood pizza oven, it’s not so big. Maybe a meter by meter. And it can get to 450 degrees just on charcoal alone. Yeah. So we’ve done pizza nights here where, maybe a minute or a minute and a half, can do a full pizza. 

Reggie: That’s fast. That’s cool. So all sorts of toys here for you to play and ideate and research.

Dylan: Yeah. For the pizza thing, we’ve done pizza Saturdays where we did like a barter trade system. So, we tried it on two weekends and then we said, whoever comes and wants pizza. You bring your plate, we’ll give you as long as you take it home, but give us something in return. So we’ve had, obviously our friends from the neighborhood, there’s one down the road.

There’s Ali who owns, I think, 10 or 12 kampung chickens. So he gave us all their eggs in return. 

Reggie: I thought he gave you the chicken. [Laughs] That would be great. 

Ava: The dog and the chicken. 

Reggie: Oh, okay. That’s not that great. It’s a different kind of greatness as well. A lot of vibrancy.

Dylan: The eggs, and then, because the, these are kampung chickens, so they lay eggs everywhere, right? So some of the eggs you have to go and find, and some are left there for a while. So there’s… it becomes balut because there’s… chicken inside.

Reggie: Oh, damn, the chicken’s already growing. Okay, that’s real cute. 

Dylan: Which is interesting. Then, our other neighbor  brought their bananas in exchange for pizza. Then other people just came and ate and had fun. 

Reggie: So all these other people didn’t bring anything. 

Dylan: They brought themselves. That was the gift. 

Reggie: That’s a good start. Yeah. And this whole stretch is so interesting. Like there’s the house, like that’s Telok Kurau Studio. That was so cool. Yeah, because I literally walked in, and I was like this is…

Ava: Wasn’t it dad’s old school? 

Dylan: Yeah. 

Reggie: It looked like a school. 

Dylan: It was his primary school before it became this.  

Ava: I always thought his school was like really far away because he was like “Every day, 5:00 AM, I had to wake up and walk to school,” and it’s literally down the road. And my grandmother’s like, we used to get a rickshaw puller to, like, actually bring him to school. 

Dylan: Yeah. Uncle Keng brought him to school, used to cycle 500 meters away. 

Ava: It’s like literally down the road.  

Reggie: [Laughs] that’s when… that’s dad’s magic, oversells it. 

Dylan: To answer the earlier question, I set the bar low for Ava because my dad set the bar low for me. His O-levels and A-levels were so shit, he couldn’t even get a degree. And then he had to struggle to find a job in, uh, was it seventies or eighties, however old he is, and yeah.

Reggie: The period where you still have rickshaws. And so you just think about that, right. [Laughs] It’s crazy. Okay. So, so then, from there, you guys tried so many different things and for you, what about Ava? Like what are some of these unique uniqueness in the family?  

Ava: Well, I thought Dylan was going to talk about it, but we have a lot of things surrounding like exponential change. So exponential change is the doubling of computing power, right? 

It’s Moore’s Law. And it’s pushed by technology, right? 

Dylan: The doubling of computing power every 18 months. Yeah. 

Ava: So basically like everything’s just gonna start changing very rapidly and like that’s how we kind of base our whole family around it. Yeah. 

Dylan: Because technology will make jobs easier. Yeah. So you won’t even need humans for those jobs.

Um, and not that it would replace jobs, although it might, but it would definitely disrupt some industries, that will disrupt, disrupt others. And, yeah, we’ll see where it goes from there. Yeah. So that leads to a lot of uncertainty. A lot of parents, if you ask them whether their jobs will exist in 10 years, some would say yes, some would say maybe, but some now will say no.

So then the question is why are we going to school? And what if the thing we’re studying to be is obsolete in 10 years, then what would we do? 

Ava: So that’s linking back to like, when we said, solving a problem instead of having a vocation, because you might run out of, well, you won’t run out of jobs, but maybe like the jobs will keep coming and going, right. But there will always be problems in the world that you can solve. So rather than… yeah.

Dylan: Yeah, so don’t stick to a single career. Like we said, Jack of all trades, master of a few. So  you have to be adaptable, resilient, all those 21st century values. And next, the question after that is, does our education system prepare us for that?

And there are systems like Finland, who I would say is more so because you can go back to a university and take courses and relearn throughout your life, but Singapore, not so much. 

Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: Okay. So what are some of these 21st century values that you were rushing through that? 

Dylan: I think we just… yeah, we talked about it briefly. Adaptability, because you know, you have to adapt. Resilience, because you have to, you have to push through it because no one’s done it before. 

Ava: And a lot of empathy. 

Dylan: Yeah. Empathy, self-confidence…

Ava: Yeah, self-confidence. 

Dylan: Because it’s the same thing as, as going to the moon, you know? You can’t not be resilient, self-confident, adaptable in the sixties or seventies when America wanted to do that. 

Reggie: Yeah. And you guys use the word empathy, right. And One Kind House, One Kind Block. So much on kindness and empathy. What does it actually mean to you? 

Ava: I mean, empathy is putting yourself in other people’s shoes, right. That’s the phrase, right.

Reggie: Well, that’s the definition, right? I want to hear from your perspective, living in an environment growing up like that. So how do you embrace empathy? What does it mean to you? 

Ava: Uh, to me, empathy is… because like, it’s a very typical answer, but you don’t really know where anyone comes from and they always have a point of view and they have a reason why they do or act a certain way. So you kind of have to accept it and work around it. You know, sometimes it’s not within your control. 

Dylan: For me, you’re empathetic because what else can you be? And what would you rather be? And if the answer is something else, then screw you la. I don’t care about you. 

Reggie: But that’s not, that’s not very empathetic.

Dylan: You don’t… yeah.

Reggie: I just caught you there. So other than… because that, that is like, that is like telling me what it’s not, but I want to know what is it?  

Dylan: Yeah. So, um, I think… 

Reggie: There’s no right or wrong. Right? It’s just, I just want to hear your perspective. 

Dylan: I think empathy is a key to help you solve problems as well, because when you put yourself in other people’s shoes, that’s when you see things from different points of view and a point of view is what you always need to find out more about the world and find out what you want to solve as well.

Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: Okay. So then what are some of these problems that you guys are trying to solve? How you’re doing all these projects, running all these Kickstarters? 

Dylan: Well, for me, it’s making cities fertile. For all those reasons of being self-sustainable, you know, 60% of the world lives in cities, you want to reconnect your kids to nature. There are benefits to society as well. A study by has shown that farming helps with depression and dementia and the elderly, you know, it distresses adults and parents, and it promotes mindfulness. 

And if you’re a kid and you see stuff growing from seed to plant in, let’s say 30 days, right? Spinach. It makes you conscious of your food. And, uh, at least for me, it made me less wasteful. Because you know where your food comes from and you see how much effort it takes into growing it. So yeah, making cities fertile. I did a book, The Big Red Dot, right, which was a children’s book to adults about, becoming a kid again, you know, being imaginative, stop saying no all the time. And have those 21st century vantage of resilience, adaptability, and the question to ask why and why not… the ability to ask why and why not. 

Reggie: And yourself? 

Ava: Well, you can see that I’m very involved in gender equality and things like that. But I’m also surrounded by people who are like Dylan and all his issues and things like that. So like, I would consider myself an intersectional feminist, right. So that’s someone who takes into consideration the different variables that can affect gender equality too. So it’s not just female, male, you know, it can branch out into like LGBTQ, it can branch out into racism. It can… all of these different things. So it’s, it’s like you said, the point of view thing, you kind of have to have a few point of views. It’s not always just like so straightforward. 

Dylan: Yeah. So then what, what is your project hoping to solve? 

Ava: Well, my project is hoping to empower the next generation of 21st century heroines. So by that, I mean, like, you know, Dylan said adults, you know, they’re going to be bothered by all these things, but you have to bring up your children to be empowered and to be able to like, not scared to ask these questions, to question a system, to question the way we are living and things like that. So, yeah. So that’s female empowerment, it’s not just human empowerment. it’s also… it’s just empowerment in general. Then you go on to like find your own path and things like that.  

Reggie: I have a specific question to the empowerment part, right. So is equality the drive, like you’re trying to drive for equal rights, or are you trying to drive for more rights for the disempowered? There’s a world of difference there, right? 

Ava: Yeah. Um, depends on what you’re talking about also. But I would say I’m a person for equality. 

Reggie: See the thing about equality that the central idea of equal, right, where everybody is the same, but, but that’s not the basis…

Ava: The thing is with equality, you also have like, the seesaw analogy. My dad likes to talk about the Seesaw analogy. So if you think about it, two people sitting on a Seesaw and then like, if you were talking about gender equality. And we were just talking about men and women, right? The men would be on the bottom and the woman would be on top. We did a video about this, right. And the men have the power to push off and become equal. But, you know, they just decided not to, and any tilt in the seesaw feels like oppression to them. 

Dylan: Because to them, it’s equal. 

Ava: To them, they’ve always seen life in this point of view. So like when the woman finally pushed down, it won’t just become equal. It will also sway side to side. And we have to be comfortable with that balancing act. 

Reggie: In that sense, because the word is about equal, right? And it’s something that I… it’s a, it’s a bit off topic. That’s something that me and my friends always talk about. Like what does equal mean? Because when we look at, you know, a lot of the movement, whether it is the LGBT movement or feminism movement, it is about more. It’s about one side wanting more, objectively when you look at it. It’s just under the banner of equality under the ban of fairness, but the objective goal is to get more rights for a certain community. So in that sense, do you feel that it destabilizes the society? 

Ava: It has to destabilize before it becomes equal. I mean, that’s kind of how it works.

Dylan: That’s the swinging back and forth.

Ava: The swinging back and forth. 

Reggie: So do you feel like, your future, like where do you hope society progress towards in your viewpoint? 

Ava: To me, the most important thing is having open conversations. And I think, yeah, people should be able to have open conversations to be able to question, like, what’s going on and nobody getting… I mean, you can get offended, but nobody getting offended and, you know, getting passive aggressive, you know, everyone just being open, being able to have an inclusive conversation so that they can understand why things are that way, where we can change things and how we can improve.

Dylan: This is where the empathy comes in. 

Ava: Yeah. Yeah. 

Reggie: That’s cool. Do you feel like you come from a privileged background in that sense? I mean, you have all these toys, you have this space, you have all this and how does that then inform your worldview? You know, uh, being privileged in that sense.  

Dylan: Interestingly, I never thought I was privileged because, well, we’re not rich la. We are still middle-class, but we are a bit on the higher side, but like, in Barker, I was at least with the not similar economic status. So I don’t know. I never, I never saw myself as privileged until I realized it, but that took a global point of view. 

Ava: That’s true. Cause when you, when you think about privilege, you’re always using like the stereotypical, like, do you have money? Do you have a roof over your head and stuff like that. But also I think about all the things that I’ve learned and my parents who’ve given us these opportunities to do these projects. And I couldn’t imagine myself having a different point of view from now. You know, I couldn’t imagine myself poring over like PSLE end-of-year tests, you know, I just, like… yeah. 

Reggie: I get it, I get it. And my question comes from the view that I think a lot of people that they, they take sides, right? So the people that don’t understand the privilege, they tend to, you know, for lack of a better way to put it, just be very… they hate the privilege, right. And then for, for the ones that are privileged, there’s a good bunch of them that do come from the moral high ground, when you look at everything from like, “Oh, you know, the world can be better, blah, blah, blah.” 

You know, and those things are great, I’m not saying they’re not good, but a lot of times when you have not gone through the struggle, how does that then inform your worldview? Because someone that grows up from a very, like, normal, like legit, like very average family that lives in HDB, right. 80% of people in Singapore live in HDB.

And  they have a certain story in their head, they have a certain, you know, narrative that they grew up with. And I… interviewing a lot of people, I can tell the difference. I can feel the stark difference in their narrative and your narrative. So I think it’s great that you guys have this narrative. I’m not saying that’s bad, but I’m curious, like how does, how does your privilege then help you to further propagate your views? 

Dylan: That’s a good question. I don’t know, because when I think of helping people, I, I have to think of all economic status and all points of view. So I don’t bias myself with being of higher economic status and of privilege. So unfortunately I can’t answer in that way. 

Reggie: It’s okay. Yeah, but it’s just something to think about because I do observe a lot of that from a lot of people, it’s not unique to you guys, right. It’s… people that do better. They have a certain worldview and many a times, uh, it’s not very, it may not be very real for the people that are just really starting out, really underground. You know, some research have shown like, uh, about savings, like getting people to save and one of the best way to get people to save, it’s literally just a notification nudge. 

Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: You know, it’s not, it’s not about all of the complex savings plans and all this kind of stuff. It’s just a simple daily SMS nudge, you know, and they tried it out in Africa and it’s very effective because of the dopamine and, you know, the mental, emotional rush that is the notification.

So it’s a very different view because that is a very practical approach. They tried it on the very, very bottom of society. And, and what you guys are saying, it’s very like big picture, big picture, right. Which is, which is fine, but worth thinking about. And then, so when you look at it from your viewpoint, right, you’ve done the Singapore education system, you’ve done the foreign education system. What do you think can be better for the Singapore stuff? 

Ava: It’s a tricky question. 

Reggie: Nothing political. It’s just your opinion, right? Your thoughts. 

Dylan: Singapore has always been very, uh… a lot of their decisions have been made on the economy. Because we are a thriving port and we’re you know, very successful and everything.

But that… then just naturally by a series of events, our education system is tailored to the economy. So do we need more lawyers, engineers, then there’s a fixed number of spots in polys, and then you go apply. But if you can make it then, you’re out, you know? So then the education system becomes a bit more like a factory, a bit like a streaming system.

So you got the A-class and then you have the B-class and then you have the C, which is for us, the normal technical stream. So there’s, there’s a lot of streaming in that sense, but at least when I go to Finland, the focus a lot is on, uh, lifelong learning. And when you’re older, you’re able to reinvent yourself and… 

Reggie: That’s the national tagline, right? Lifelong learning. [Laughs] 

Dylan: Yeah. And [laughs] …the syllabus is such that the teachers, they are very highly trained and they can tailor the syllabus to the students specifically. So they have a lot of control and the students have a lot of control of what they want to learn. At least most of the middle school. High school, you know, they might aspire to be something specifically. 

Reggie: Yeah. And I, I just want to chime in to the listeners. We’re not trying to promote international schools. We’re just trying to let you hear a different perspective, because I just happened… I just realized that they are studying for international school, right. And they have a very different perspective of how to nurture themselves and nurture the next generation. 

Dylan: Yeah. And very clearly, it’s not that one side is better than the other, because there’s a lot in Singapore system that Finland could also benefit from,  and vice versa. But if, if I’m just talking about, Finland, those are the strong points that Singapore could adopt. Because Singapore is education system has of late, wanted to veer more to that lifelong learning side and learning through play. But it’s very difficult when the whole education system is built around the economy and the culture is such that it fuels a $1.5 billion tuition industry. 

Reggie: Yeah. Tell me about that. That’s crazy. 

Dylan: In contrast, there’s no tuition in Finland. Uh, at least it’s run by students. If I’m not wrong, it’s not legal to have a tuition. 

Reggie: Really? 

Dylan: Yeah. But I could be wrong on that. But I’ve heard somewhere… 

Ava: I mean, okay. For me, I read like You Yenn Teo’s book, this is inequality in Singapore. It’s called This is Inequality, but it’s about inequality in Singapore and like, what I learned was, our current education system actually kind of widens inequality in some ways, like Dylan said, $1.5 billion tuition industry, right? So only the rich can afford extra tuition. What’s up with that? 

Dylan: I think also now the average middle class can afford tuition, the poor cannot. 

Reggie: And it further sways the dynamics, right? Because ultimately it is a filtering system. 

Ava: And for example, I’m looking to collaborate with Doctors of Tomorrow, right? Which is non-profit organization to help single mothers. And I’ve been in their poverty simulation, and I’ve been trying to involve myself in their activities. And what I realized is a lot of these single mothers and their children, they can’t afford education or education on the same level that say Dylan and I will get our education and like, even though they might go to like a local school, it still makes a very, very big difference, what school do you go to, you know. 

Reggie: Definitely. So that’s a much bigger problem. Not for us now, down the road, maybe, you never know, right. And for our many listeners. So most of them, just to give you some background. So most of my listeners are like PMETs, 20s, 30s, just started working. So it’s interesting to hear from your viewpoint. And I think many people actually feel jaded at the workplace. So how will you give them some thoughts, on how to make life more interesting, more fun? 

Ava: Live in our house. 

Reggie: [Laughs] Yeah, go buy that shop house-like dump truck. 

Dylan and Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: Any thoughts?

Dylan: Thoughts to make working more bearable?

Reggie: Yeah, just make it more fun because you actually work a lot, right. Like you guys are just like working over the weekend and doing your thing. 

Dylan: Yeah. But technically we are self-employed. 

Reggie: But that is still work, right? There’s still irritating parts to it. How do you, how do you just kind of make your life more interesting and helps you through this?

Ava: Do you remember that article… like dad always sends so many articles. The one with the Harvard study with the jobs…

Reggie: He doesn’t just send you articles, right? He sends a whole Facebook, loads of articles, right, there’s a whole group chat. [Laughs] 

Ava: It’s like, every morning is like, “Eh, have you read the articles? You should read the articles. It’s very important, you know.” So I’m like, okay. 

Reggie: He shares a lot of articles, right. So yeah, which one? 

Ava: There was one where it was like Harvard studies and like purpose driven life. It’s like, you won’t get tired of your job as easily because when you’re looking to solve a problem — again, going back to the problem solving and things like that — you know, you’ll just do whatever you can to solve that problem. You, you won’t like… 

Dylan: The work is the reward, is it? 

Ava: Yeah. 

Reggie: Okay. That’s cool, that’s interesting. So to end off today, I think you’ve shared a lot. Just kind of share those, like where can they find you? What are your projects? What’s going on? Just give a shout out. 

Dylan: The One Kind Block is currently wrapping up preparation for the second launch. So if you want to find out more about us and when we launch or if we’ve launched already, it’s at onekindblock.com or facebook.com/onekindblock. And if you want to find out more about One Kind House, we’re also on Facebook at facebook.com/onekindhouse, and we also have a website, if you want to buy my GIY Stick or my Big Red Dot book at onekindhouse.com.

Ava: Yeah. For me, I’m working with Dylan’s friend to do up a website, but I will be doing updates on Facebook and Instagram. So you can find me there. Facebook is like facebook.com/dotr and then Instagram is just Instagram.com/dotrdotr. And my website will probably be linked to those pages. 

Reggie: D-O-T-I? 

Ava: D-O-T-R. Daughters of the Revolution, so DOTR.

Reggie: dotrdotr. 

Ava: Yeah, that’s my Instagram. 

Reggie: Okay, thank you! Thanks for coming on. Hope you learned something and hope you had fun. 

Dylan: Yeah. Thanks for having us. 

Ava: Thank you!

Reggie: Hey, I hope you learned something useful today and truly appreciate that you took time off to better align with the Financial Coconut. Knowledge is that much more powerful and interesting when debated and discussed. Join our community Telegram group, Follow us on our socials, and sign up for our weekly newsletter—everything is in the description below. And if you love us and wanna help us grow, definitely share the podcast with your friends and on your socials. Also, if you have any interesting thoughts to share or you know someone Interesting that you want us to hear from or you want everyone to get to know, reach out to us through hello@financiallcoconut.com.

With that, have a great day ahead, stay tuned next week, and always remember: personal finance can be chill, clear and sustainable for all.

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