The Inside Scoop: Economics-Non-Economics

Countdown T Minus 9 Days

img_9988Yoda and Darthy staring at Yong Tau Foo
Lau Pa Sat, Singapore, 2019

June 26, 2019 – In Need 

I am plugged in. (Listening to “In Need” by Sheryl Crow). I am rained out. I am staring at a very big fan.


The chimes of the clock tower in Lau Pa Sat remind me of the Ipoh clock tower I had just driven past last week.

img_9639Clock Tower
Ipoh Old Town
Ipoh, Malaysia, 2019

I think of Boston, I think of London. I think of Zurich.

img_9813Boston, 1995

img_9811.jpgLondon Bridge, London, 1997

Zurich, 2013

They are all financial capital cities.

In every city, there is a City. A financial hub.

In that hub, transaction support guys. Transaction Support. The exchange of corporate-related property rights. Be they shares/equity instruments, loan instruments, tangible assets, intangible assets and derivatives of these. And there will be accountants. I know lawyers are still called lawyers. Company secretary is now corporate secretary. I don’t know what accountants call themselves these days. Inside me, I am still an accountant, I guess.

I went to the City today.

img_9971Lau Pa Sat, Singapore, 2019

When I was younger, I would go into the City for work. Today, I went to see a friend.

ae252d95-d027-4f71-8271-002742cee762Sandra Seah & PEK
Bird & Bird Singapore, SGX Centre 1
Singapore, 2019

She lifted a ton of heaviness off my shoulders and my heart. I had imagined friendships in Ipoh Old Town, and now I am living friendships in 2019 Shenton Way. My heart is soaring. Maybe it isn’t all madhatting after all. Maybe there is such a thing as doing business, being professionals and living kindness.


A Platform but Not Quite So Sexy

Oops. This is what happens when you add a dash of something interesting into the works. Like Economics.

And the entire terrain shifts itself.

Just last week, I offered a young lawyer beer for his (legal) services. He blushed. I think he couldn’t believe I was really offering a trade. But maybe he is too young (for such non-cash transactions).

My friends tell me I can’t say such things. Cannot mix metaphors. Cannot talk so much in polite commercial situations. And they tell me I must comb my hair. Curl them, even better.

I tell them about love and friendship in the marketplace, and one friend said, “You sound like you are setting up a dating platform.”


Light Switches and Rape Alarm

I remember Euston House 1995, being a junior auditor being involved in the privatisation of the British Railways Board. Preparing a penultimate and terminal accounts of a nationalised institution of the Welfare State that had to be corporatised. I couldn’t understand the emotions. But I could feel it visibly. I could see it in those around me, but I couldn’t read it. I was too young. I couldn’t understand the choked words. Seeing an entire building empty, and I understood, in my mid-twenties that the accountant and the janitor are left to switch off the lights of an institution. Someone to turn off the lights and someone to settle the last dollar.

Usually, during the audit season, the junior auditor turns off the lights at the end of the day. So an ex-auditor is quite used to operating light switches and setting up company alarm systems, when everyone’s gone home, and it is dark, and one learns to become unafraid in the aloneness, and nonchalant almost, about darkness. Because one already sees dawn, and the switching off the lights is simply to transit to another good day’s work and usher in another turn of the good day.

But I didn’t understand the in-betweens. I had the understanding of the mapping of an auditor. I understand the processes of all the key threads of functional flows and the gates of risks. Every material checkpoint – we have our eyes on them. We were a little bit like Gurkhas, except we were in suits and what London had to get used to then, in mid-90s were girls at work, in the City.

Guess what this is. Yes, it’s my work drawer (in 2019) and two stories.

img_9807The Ancient Rape Alarm
PEK’s Drawer,
Singapore 2019

Standard issue to rookie girls: A rape alarm. I hold it in my hand when crossing London Bridge in the dark. Can you spot it?

Second story: don’t use the word drawer in the (United) States of (America). Do not ask to look into your manager’s drawers for files or stationery.
Backpacks & Mobility

Come second year, they issued us backpacks. Figured we really couldn’t lug those boxes (without wheels) across London Bridge and still be able to pull the plug off the rape alarm. Client files or chastity. So they issued us a backpack.

Then I figured pant suits. At least there will be another checkpoint.

It’s all about gating. Like managing dams and canals.

It’s still raining so I am working at Lau Pa Sat. The tables are super sturdy.

img_9995Swissy Doing the Imagined Yoddle
Lau Pa Sat,
Singapore 2019

40 rookies assigned to hotel 4 desks. In that kind of rookie environment, we learnt very fast to be mobile and be very lean. And to be grateful for every inch of square foot that you can rest your tired behind. First generation to whack Lotus Notes email and replicate electronic working papers on-site and talk on recording devices called the voicemail. We learnt to clear review points by leaving each other voicemails – point by point.

Some review notes have stories in them if you get a manager who likes to write. Some just have one or two words, and you have to scramble to decipher the secret coding of that partner or manager.

So one learns to decode very fast in this kind of environment where suits get very upset if we miss delivery. Very upset.

We were lucky coaching had entered the scene so yelling wasn’t allowed anymore. Plus I think it wouldn’t look cool to yell, even then. So I don’t know what the coping mechanisms people have developed since then in the evolution of their professional careers, but now I have developed my ahimsa space.

img_0009Inside a SunHat
Singapore, 2019

It isn’t working. That ahimsa space, because I am still yelling. In the midst of fast-action business decision-making, and as an entrepreneur, all the coaching went out the door. All the theory too. And all the practised decorum. And one becomes authentic. (Brene Brown will approve.)


That’s what I have discovered. Zero.


Zero to A Glimpse of Point 1 (0.1)

I love Zero. I hated it before. I hated not knowing. I hated hating. I tried to sugarcoat everything and it was no wonder everyone started calling me a “Princess”. Interestingly, I would have liked “Princess Warrior” but no one called me a warrior, only a princess.

Yoda & Darthy Not Impressed at Underpreparedness, Generally
Backpack strap doubling up as shoe sole holder
Singapore, 2019

Confessional: I cried in my suit in the bathroom as a rookie. And I cry openly as an entrepreneur, trying to stitch the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) together to become a sustainable economy.

Write it down. Write down the Economics. Wow. How do I write down 39 years? At 10 years old, I had translated my first corporate agreement from Bahasa Malaysia to English. I looked back at my baby photos. Other baby girls get dolls, I visited factories as soon as I walked.

I have a photo to prove this. But will dig up after finishing this piece on Economics.


OK, Economics.

OK, I write it down.

Where did I pick off from? After the baptism of fire of the public accounting passage.

I jumped into not-for-profits to understand where the equitable piece went. In terms of the allocation of scarce resources bit. I was taught – equitable and efficient allocation. So I just wondered to myself, what happened to that piece?

The next piece was family. I am a mother of 16 years with two children, and yes, I do have a man too. Our household has a household management system involving two helpers and the division of portfolios and body parts. We basically manage according to strengths and specialisms. The entire terrain is scanned, mapped, covered. Without too much microexplosions. Typically mine are procrastinated and my husband’s are on Trello.

And then, I started to re-look at economic poverty. And these became underserved communities and became underserved persons for me. I had to re-examine disabilities and debunk that labelling because our son came with an extra chromosome, which was a brilliant, surprising twist of nature and gift of the cosmos. Thanks to (one) Brian Cox interface (at a physics lecture which is not a lecture), I have a better grasp of cosmology, or so I think.

Space-time was actually interestingly, largely missed in Economics. So, we wired the quantum and latent potential in. Through haiku’s and non-conceptual Ommmmms. So materiality became like literal – the material of matter. Matter-distribution at like epic-cosmic levels!

The idea of Commons is like at sunspot or starburst or like blackholes twirling rainbows. It gets psychadelic, on its own, even without any intervention.

Chin Hwee, Ngai Kin & PEK
Eating, Drinking & Chatting
Singapore, May 28, 2019

I don’t really understand it all much actually. So I went and looked up two friends: Ngai Kin and Chin Hwee. We were supposed to have read Economics. Apparently, we read it all differently. So, we could only chat about what we read. We tried to refresh our active revolving telomeres and see if we could map the evolution of Economic Theory and Developmental Economics. I confessionally couldn’t figure Political Economy and Economic History (especially of Victorian Britain and the Interwar Years). Still can’t. So I did reach out to some nifty friends in these areas, and they have to tell me stories, to explain it all. I said, “No math for this?” They said, “No, baby. It’s non-rational.”

Plus, we are squarely all back smack in South-east Asia in 2019, and the world kinda has changed. Like drastically, and plus, much of the oral history of mass transmigration of twentieth century of Malaysia and Singapore is now like 95+ years old. And much of the documented history is still too raw to be dialogued. Plus, we have a lot of languages to figure out.


The Auctioneer

OMG to the T-max. What is Economics?

And so, I had a massive identity crisis. Because up till then, I thought I had understood it. As vaguely as the Invisible Hand could afford me some semblance of structure and order. My favourite character if you will in the whole grand scheme of things is The Auctioneer. So I imagined the auctioneer fixing everything.

I will dig up a photo of my imagined Auctioneer, I promise.

Back to the Walras’ Law.

I had believed Professor Hahn, with his umbrellas. His price of umbrella on a sunny day is different from his price of an umbrella a rainy day.  There should be a price for every good/service for every state of the world. The most fascinating theory that never left me is this promise of the microfoundations of macro economics: The General Equilibrium Theory. I like it because it is most hopeful and most expansive. Plus it is complete and perfect. Theoretically, speaking.

Until you examine the squiggles and realise that there are conditions like:

  • Complete and Perfect Markets
  • Complete and Perfect Information
  • Perfect Coordination

I don’t remember the others. I am still trying to hunt down that journal paper. I see the equation in my mind’s eye, and mostly, Professor Frank Hahn calling us “little kinder” but I can’t remember the details. And I think the lot of us have recycled our lecture notes, after 30 years. (This too I did a round of validation.)


So, does the market clear on its own, or do we need intervention?


I believe there are multiple equilibria and equilibria can get stuck, and with just a little bit of nifty intervention, we can reboot the pathways towards goodness and renewability.


I believe it coherently, theory-wise, and conditions-wise.


So, I think theory is important. Even if it isn’t reality, it is a map. A framework of thinking. A mapping of pulling out threads and figuring the weaving and rework.


Otherwise, it gets a bit scary, like art-making.

img_9836Making Zentrummy Art
Zentrum Paul Klee
Bern, Switzerland, 2013

Or like jumping into a community of persons.

IMG_4014People Chatting
Singapore 2012

If we have several neuron structures in our brain architecture (ref Antonio Damasio), then even our internal communication structure isn’t quite understood yet by ourselves as homo sapiens, then how are we to coordinate ourselves to arrive at the equitable and efficient allocation of scarce (now converted into renewable) resources.

So, we spent a lot of time pondering People.

  • Caring Economics (ref Tania Singer)
  • U-Lab & Presencing (ref Otto Scharmer)
  • Gift of Imperfections + Vulnerability (ref Brene Brown)
  • Wellbeing (ref The Happy Heart School Library)
  • Neuroscience (ref Antonio Damasio)

Then, we chatted a lot about Patterns.

  • Generative Code (ref Christopher Alexander)

In the midst of it, we checked out the Anthropocene. (ref Stockholm Resilience Centre & Johan Rockstrom)

And then we integrated:  Happiness!

  • Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan (ref Saamdu Chetri)
  • Doughnut Economics (ref Kate Raworth)
  • UNDP Global Goals

One last piece, ESG Investing.

  • PRI – Principles for Responsible Investment

I lie. One more, Enterprise Value Creation & Risk Management.

  • Startup Studios
  • Venture Builder


Impatient with the storytelling style, everyone is now ready to yell at me:


Elevator Pitch, Madam Yakker!!!!

We are not a startup studio. We create and enable ESG local-global economies. We are an economic development studio through action research, i.e. we are ESG Economy practitioners. But we are science and arts-based as much as non-conception-based. Critically, we are sequential time-matter-impact-based. We enable the creation of sustainable enterprises that create the goods, services and platforms that serve wellbeing – planetary, social, personal.

I think we are a ESG village enabler. From Street Kid to Village Kid. Watch this space.

We chatted with as many people as possible. Anyone who is able to participate in the U-ing of the ESG Economy, and build upwards towards goodness and kindness.

Kin, PEK, Emmanuel, Chin Hwee, Cyril
at Robinson Law Corp,
Singapore 2018

We built a licence model, with the intention to provide a library and self-governance platform. I asked stupid questions (there are no stupid questions). We have Intellectual Property, and a knowledge-sharing & services structure.

We looked for Andy, to help us with governance and everything else we missed. But largely because Andy used to play rugby, so he can help with team scalability. In rugby, it is a team of 14×14. In badminton, my sport, it is 2×2 or 1×1.

Andy and Kin.jpgKin and Andy
Looking fine and dandy
Singapore, 2019


Listening & Speaking

The microsummit is about listening as much as about speaking. We hope to meso, macro and mundo (ref Otto Scharmer).

I had thought previously that it was a journey of transformation. It isn’t. It is simultaneous. We need to be able to do it all, as life is diverse and structured organically. Sometimes competitively, sometimes collaboratively. Sometimes emerging, sometimes dissolving. And in the process of adaptability, sometimes we grieve, sometimes we rejoice.

What takes us through the day and the long, dark nights, is love. Unconditional love. And belief. Don’t underestimate the faithfulness of friendships. It exists, and though invisible, it moves biospheres.


Personal Stewardship

And then we zoomed in on sustainability stewardship. Personal Sustainability Stewardship. I realise we cannot change anyone. We can only make a personal choice to make a different decision.

Every time, every day.

“There is no General Theory of Economics,” Kin finally decided to shatter my 39 year old quest. I went like, “Oh???” He went like, “Yaaa.”

“And all the reading and essays we turned in?” I was still hopeful. He said, “That’s all to help us think.”

2018, 05-28 Birth of EUWChin Hwee, Ngai Kin & PEK
Peace Centre, 
Singapore, May 28, 2018

Chin Hwee joined us for lunch. He had coffee. Kin said, “Not me, I cannot name anything.” I said, “Errr I would call it something like Sustainable Integrative Transformative Economics.” Chin Hwee closed his eyes for two seconds, either exercising immense patience, or he was accessing some lotus compassion energy, and suddenly, out of the silence, he made a definitive pronouncement (in his silent authoritative Chin Hwee way), “The Economics of Universal Wellbeing.” Well, fancy that. We took one second, unanimous three-way nodding.

Tada. We have a name for the Economics we hope to move past neoclassical economics of mid-twentieth century. Big aspirations. But big aspirations are good.


And solid.


A Collaborative Microsummit for Global Sustainability & Flourishing by

Bilberries Blue - Mar 2019 - finalIBI logoRICE-logo_colour-01

DAY 1: July 10, 2019 – 10am-12.30pm, 10 Square, Zero Fee

DAY 2: July 11, 2019 – 10am-5pm, Temenggong House

July 11, 2019 – Temenggong House
18/20 Temenggong Road, S098771
10am-5pm (+ Lunch)
35 pax, SGD300* per person
*20% of Bilberries Blue Microsummit Fees are designated for underserved communities

The Inside Scoop: the remaining 5m dash of PoP-ping the School of Pedagogy


PEK: V, we did it.

Vashima: What, what?

PEK: BB-PoP PoP. It was right here.

Vashima: What, where?

PEK: Everywhere, and nowhere. In the circle, and on the edges.

Vashima: What are you saying?

PEK: It’s the invisible inside whirrer PoP-PoP of The Economics of Universal Wellbeing. 

Vashima: So we are done for today?

PEK: Ya. Tomorrow we PoP-PoP the economics. Now we zzzzz.

Vashima: We continue tomorrow!

PEK: Oh V, we gotta copyright the PoP Board.

Vashima (nodding in imaginary silence): hmmmmm


Peng-Ean Khoo
June 25, 2019


PEK: V, it’s the School of Pedagogy. That’s what got PoP-ped today.

Peng-Ean Khoo
June 26, 2019


A Collaborative Microsummit for Global Sustainability & Flourishing by

Bilberries Blue - Mar 2019 - finalIBI logoRICE-logo_colour-01

The Inside Scoop: What is a PoP?


I just realised I had a miscalculation.

It is actually T MINUS 10 Working Days!

Bilberries Blue Inaugural Microsummit: Warm Data – Emergences with Nora Bateson

Vashima Goyal and I PoP-ed this microsummit sometime in May. It went a little like this.


Today: June 25, 2019 – Space-Time


We reflected on our work in May. Hence the space-time reference.

We love blackboards, whiteboards, corkboards. All kinds of surfaces where we can write, doodle and organise our thinking: our meta-integration.

A Place of Possibilities. This is what is PoP-ping.

I think we are testing the robustness of this paradigm. Across all agegroups and gathering of coming together of human engagement.

I said to Vashima today, “I think I do what I do because since young, I had this quest: I want to understand society. And I want to know why there is suffering, and how I can help alleviate suffering.”

We did a series of conversations of what became a “LIFE IS with Vashima Goyal”.

I mentioned to her about running. About HIITs. High Intensive Internal Training. You do 25m, then 50m, then 75m, then you sprint the 100m. So we did our first 25m, which is the LIFE IS series. Which turned out to be a 75m dash.

Then we did the PoP. Which turned out to be a 100m dash, minus 5m, so we paused at 95m.


May 30, 2019 – Human Communication Tools

I cycled to Vashima’s Workplace.

We discussed about pedagogical documentation. Specifically about forms. We were mapping 3D to 2D and back to 3D. The various boundaries of communication tools was unpacked and examined. For example, from music to drawing to painting to collage to dancing to words to text to space to theatre to gesture to silence.


Then we got hungry, and she fed me several yummy homecooked meals.



May 17, 2019 – Farm to Tummy

Peng Keat, Billie and Li Ping arrive in town.

Billie pops on Vashima’s lap.

Food Forest Farm had arrived in town.

We are wondering how to share all the stories of 12 archetypes as collectively we have a 20 year evolution.

We toss the farm to (oven) to table fresh vegetables, and ponder and worked with conversations.

We need more than one voice for a Place of Possibility to PoP.


May 7 – BB Equinox

We assembled everyone on Zoom. And basically announced to the Bilberries Blue Sustainability Stewards that we are having Bilberries Blue Inaugural Microsummit in July 10-11, 2019.

Everyone just chuckled. Everyone is getting hang of the sudden PoP-ping of projects.

We conversed and locked in the two day format collectively.
Day 1 – 100 pax zero fee event. Day 2 – small group fee-based engagement in order to enable financial sustainability while at the same time not compromising on our impact goals.


May 3 – Let’s Hang Up the Old Blank Canvases

We decided to get into action.

BB Equinox was conceived.

I found my old community documentary tools which was in my happy black and white (now beige) stripey bag. The last time I looked into it was in 2012 when my One Voice project bombed and I was too stuffy to rework it. And so I shifted. I unpacked it, and clarified the pieces that worked and the pieces that didn’t. And I made a choice to rework.


Vashima just went, “Hmm,” in the midst of my self-chatter. And just got down to scribbling on the blank canvas.




April 30, 2019 – Place of Possibilities

Vashima Goyal came by for lunch to pick up her Bilberries Blue namecard.

And then, out of the vast blue mystery, Place of Possibilities cohered:


So now, you have the backstory.


A Collaborative Microsummit for Global Sustainability & Flourishing by

Bilberries Blue - Mar 2019 - finalIBI logoRICE-logo_colour-01

Bilberries Blue Inaugural Microsummit: Warm Data – Emergences with Nora Bateson (The Inside Scoop)

MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019 – Countdown t minus 15 days


A Collaborative Microsummit by

Bilberries Blue - Mar 2019 - finalIBI logoRICE-logo_colour-01


Why are stories so important?

They tell us things we might not otherwise grasp through any other medium.

And, so, the Bilberries Blue Blog will share such treasured moments. In the midst of microsummit preparations, eventbrite information, sending out invites, building up the evolution of all the incubatees, trying to make the revisiting of the historicity in the language of the emerging new, risking the inconsistencies, risking the incoherences, risking what used to be thought of as risks.


How did the Microsummit come to be?


It was last April 2018. It was at 10 Square @ Orchard Central. We were brainstorming on Moonriver Lodge’s new business model. And we stumbled upon the ideation of microsummits.

Why micro? Because we believe in relationships. And real ones. Intimacy. Friendships. Face to face time. Daring to be epic while being small and beautiful. At that time, we haven’t really figured how the knowledge-sharing and services piece would factor out. We hadn’t yet figured out the intangible assets and how this links to the enterprise value creation of a sustainable enterprise.

Now we have.

And so, we have IP.  Intellectual Property. We have a mechanism for this, and this has a sharing and collaborative feature in it. At the same time, there is also a Governance feature. And we have stitched the Environmental, Social and Governance since then. Through the market mechanism with designed access development – our Sustainable Enterprises proprietary model.

And we thought to ourselves, it is time to share this great news.


The Economics of Universal Wellbeing

And so we accomplished three things, which actually is a very critical fourth.

#1 For Global Sustainability & Flourishing – we articulated Purpose

#2 We incorporated The Silent Dancer Pte Ltd and The Kind Weaver Pte Ltd as twin engines to serve Knowledge-Sharing & Services 

#3 We defined the ESG Economy into 12 sustainable archetypes. We have a Roadmap to align with UNDP Global Goals 2030.


#4 Critically, we have a team. We voted and identify ourselves as Sustainability Stewards.

This means we are ready. We have Purpose, we have Vision & Mission, we have Delivery mechanisms, and we are WHOLE & INTEGRATED.


Warm Data

Enter Nora Bateson.


Vashima turns up grinning holding “Small Arcs of Larger Circles”. We had been researching “The Nature of Order” and “Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander.

I went, “Ohhhh!” She went, “Yaaaa.”

The patterns of relationals. The Pedagogy of Alterity. The Pedagogy of Differences. The Pedagogy of Pedagogy – that makes Vashima’s next emergence: __________ (come to the microsummit to find out).

These were some of our microsummit prep moments.

Microsummit#1 prep


What does it take for a village to become?

I think it was something Vashima must have whispered to Colin. I think Vashima is a “collaboration whisperer”. Colin said OK and a 3-way collaboration happened. It was a little bit more elaborated than this but this story shall suffice for now.


We have all been action researching these inquiries as applied to Environmental, Social, Governance as working-living in sustainable economies and sustainable communities: 

How do multiplicity of voices and cultures sing the harmony of living and working together?

How do persons with different languages communicate?

Coordinate life? Work-life? Lifework?


What is that place of possibilities?

The place of gathering, encounters, meeting and exchange?

What ultimately are the gifts being exchanged in such meetings?

What are the discoveries that can only become possible and crystallise into reality in the arrival, greeting, and meeting of the other?


Liminal Leadership

“The kind of leadership that I want to explore may not be identifiable as leadership at all.  I am interested in a kind of mutually alert care and attention to the well-being of all people and ecological systems. This kind of leadership cannot be found in individuals, but rather between them. It cannot be found in organisations, nations, religions or institutions, but rather between them. I have called it Liminal Leadership to highlight the relational characteristics.” –Nora Bateson

Something here struck a chord in my core. I struggle with leadership because I struggle with the communication and the relating. So, I went and invented an inquiry and titled it “The Poetics of Stewardship.” Then, Agnes yells at me, and says I have to work harder than that. So, this microsummit is really for me to learn how to WORK WITH OTHERS  and COMMUNICATE MORE EMPHATICALLY. 



I realise today that we are a village. Maybe because there have been lots of inter-yelling and inter-laughing. And lots of us running around trying to do many things all at once. I am quite a believer that things somehow work themselves out, especially when we are not alone, and are loved enough to be allowed to speak up. In however the manner, our truths are perceived, understood and spoken for.

We invite you –

Family, friends, communities, and organisations to join us to share your vision and lifework regarding Global Sustainability and Flourishing with us during

Bilberries Blue Inaugural Microsummit.


Together, we shall figure it all out.


DAY 1: July 10, 2019 – 10am-12.30pm, 10 Square

10 square.jpg

July 10, 2019 – 10 Square @ Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road #10-01, S238896
10am-12.30pm, 100pax, Zero Fee Event


DAY 2: July 11, 2019 – 10am-5pm, Temenggong House

temenggong house.jpg

July 11, 2019 – Temenggong House
18/20 Temenggong Road, S098771
10am-5pm (+ Lunch)
35 pax, SGD300* per person
*20% of Bilberries Blue Microsummit Fees are designated for underserved communities





An ESG Economy: What’s in it for me?


As I observed more and more of my dialogues of engagement in 2018, and in anticipation of massive geopolitical shocks in the region of South East Asia, and peering into the horizon of 2030, I am now beginning to ask myself a question that perhaps I had truthfully shied away from confronting.


In a dialogue with myself, perhaps, this is the real starting point of any engagement, regarding Sustainability, ESG (Environmental Social Governance) Economy, Global Goals 2030.


It isn’t about coherence. What’s coherent is obvious yet rejected: peace, harmony, flourishing, prosperity.


What is obvious is uncertainty and ambiguity and the holding on to stability. But there is no longer such a thing – due to the unprecedented change in technological possibilities and the challenges in environmental responses that are required by earth-scale coordination, cooperation and collaboration.


Sometimes we like to believe that we can depart from being a part of the forces of change. I know I do. Being swept by change is uncomfortable. It makes one feel powerless. And so we hunker down; we hide, we play small, we stay in places of small denials.



Places of Small Denials


Places of small denials aren’t going to protect nor help anyone. Places of small denials are intoxicatingly alluring, because it is a state of mind. So, one can say, “Oh, I am who I think am,” but the painful truthful reality is astonishingly stark: “I am simply who is.” What is the difference between these two statements? The former is the allure of mind over matter, in that notion that a belief system can protect one from suffering. The latter makes one confront the notion that one’s life is interdependent, actually, entirely dependent on reality. Reality of nature, reality of social: personal-relational as well as personal-communal, and when it comes to roof-over-head matters – entirely about property rights, which is rooted entirely in sovereignty of states and citizenry, meaning – politics. Which actually is a matter of the commons, or governance. That is why the 3BL paradigm had evolved to include the G consideration (Governance).


Belief systems can come in many cultural codes and traditions. It can get entrenched in written forms over barefoot forms. It just gets entrenched as “truths” and then becomes a fort of stability of one’s mental state. But it is a fort that has been built on sand with a very high wall where nothing can penetrate. When a place does not have entry or exit, it means that space no longer allows change. It no longer is capable of growth.


A place such as this may be comfortable but terribly lonely and essentially, one is constantly under siege. There is always an enemy. No matter what one does, or believe in, (in the setting up of one’s belief system and sub-governance structure), one has an enemy.


Literalism does that. It does not allow interpretations. It does not allow multiple perspectives. It entrenches golden rules of following blindly unquestionable “truths”.



Personal-relational is about psychology at the end of the day.


Positive psychology has indicated amazing breakthroughs for one’s personal-relational improvements, but foundationally, what happens is insight regarding the relational of the drama triangle: parent-adult-child or persecutor-rescuer-victim. This is the source of much of toxic relationships, and the confusion, a deep source of emotional pain as the emotional growth of a person cannot breakthrough the ideation, actualisation and ideology of cultural oppression. It feels much more comfortable to feel powerful (over another), as power-play of relational, can only actualise if there is an “other”, to oppress and control.


What has happened is that the personal-relational dynamics is still at transactional. There is no intimacy. When there is no true intimacy, there will be divides, as already been set by the a priori power-play of one-upping, in whatever derivative playoffs in the relationship. There is no possibility of policing this space, because the choice is already – I am ok, you are not ok or I am not ok, you are ok, or I am not ok, you are not ok. Everything is rooted on “not ok”. The outcome is already on a predefined-predetermined path to “not ok” set by the most tenacious and dominant one-upper-er.


The insight of transcendence (from relational power-play) or true transformation requires the insight that change is what life is. Change is life. Sometimes we lose, sometimes we gain, and sometimes, it isn’t about winning or losing at all. And actually, it isn’t a drama game at all. The play is an inner state of mind. Of being under siege, and wondering how to interact with the “other”. With newness. With unexpectedness. With another person. With life, which has to present something new everyday. Every moment.


So hanging on to stability as “OK” and change as “Not OK” makes one fearful and inadequate, very deeply afraid – of the loss, of change, of sense-making.



The other is simply the alterity of existence.


And a true state of alterity is scary. Precisely because the “I” would and can never control the “other”. It doesn’t even know what this “other” is. And if the growth mindset were to subsist, then the other will always remain a possibility. There will always be a place for mystery. This means, to have a healthy, ongoing psychological, emotional, cognitive growth, one will always need to have the capacity to confront this mysterious – other. Otherwise, by root definition, growth is already truncated. The fixed mindset has already kicked in. Fear of the unknown has already put the wall down between one’s existing inner paradigm and the emerging inner paradigm of the self, which can only be necessitated by the encountering with the true other. What this means is that personal growth or transformation is a process that requires a really true learning and incorporation or inclusion of the non-projected other.


However, if one is refusing to even alter in the slightest bit one’s inner paradigm, there isn’t actually any real mutual growth or emergence, because one is still asserting one’s view and trying to define the other as an object in one’s own inner sense-making of one’s own inner paradigm or belief system.


Nothing that one does can change this inner paradigm unless one starts to remove the high wall, a choice that only the self can do, unfortunately, because, true and lasting change can only happen, by choice. Through a coherently worked through or examined self-determination process and re-interpretation and re-articulation.



Influence isn’t the way.


Influence doesn’t teach anyone how to think nor how to make choices nor how to build one’s inner universe, one’s own inner coherence. Paradigmic changes have to have some kind of “conversion” or “transformation” because something new is replacing the old. If something is new, it is like losing your entire a priori sense-making, or frame, and until a new emerges, one is actually in the state of complete anguish and vulnerability. One eithers forges forward or retreats to the “safe” old waters, which one would also realise is a state of complete agony anyway, because quite clearly something – the presence of the true “other” – had already triggered or prompted or sparked one to seek the new.


The catalyst of change – such is what it does. It creates a necessary inner suffering, and unless one recognizes it, and then realise, “Oh, it is time to examine, re-examine, re-interpret,” one would resist. Or be in apathy, or be in defense, or be in offense.



Personal language emergence


What needs to enable personal growth then, is there needs to be language, a robust inner space that can host the emergence of the new language, a new grammar, that truly incorporates the “other” – the language and the world of the “other”. The incorporation of the “other”, which is true full inclusion, cannot happen, if there is no true dialogue. There is no true dialogue if there is no true communication. There is no true communication if there is no common ground where new words can re-begin, that both personhoods have defined together. A language where the two have formated together as a common language, as a new language, between the two, where new understanding of both inner universes, can begin to have a bridge: a communication channel between the two islands, so to speak.


For the longest time, I had wondered how do we communicate with someone who is non-verbal. I watched a video of a child trying harder than anyone to communicate with another child who is non-verbal. And she taught me how to do this, to speak to a stranger who does not (yet) speak my language: “He and I just have to know what this (symbol) means together.”


Language and culture cannot be separated.


It is one and the same. New culture cannot emerge if there is no time spent together to emerge new meanings and sense-making and symbols together. Such is what is required in true friendships where true care and intimacy reigns.



The elusive and alluring ESG Economy


Property rights will change.


They will change in accordance to very whimsical notions of the ruling tribes and factional warring of sub-tribes. Tribes can be warring or friendly. Whatever we do, we clump together as a tribe.


For me, perhaps, this morning, I understand, the ESG Economy which I seek, is perhaps more elusive and alluring than what I dare to admit to. It requires personal and tribal change. It is an exacting and yet vital call. For the reasons which everyone has stated (in one form or manner – terrifyingly or calmly): the Anthropocene, technological possibilities, unprecedented scale of micro-macro coordination, and that we have actually been very successful in extending longevity and quality of life as human persons for 12,000 years of the Holocene.



Finally, I answer the inquiry: What’s in it for me?


Continuity. Beauty. Possibility.


I suppose, I had doggedly pursued this ESG Economy paradigm, in order to sense-make for myself, how to respond to not a crisis, but a big change. The disruption that I know is emerging that will change significantly everything.


It isn’t one event. It is a shift in consciousness, because it requires each of us to confront our true “other”, over and over again.


The true “other” is each of our own inner walls, our own components of belief systems, which have been isolated, those components which have no real communication or meaning-making with another, that which are actually our own true hidden inner “others”.


Some call it the shadows, some call it prejudices, some call it psychological archetypes, some say we tuck our oppressed values in split personalities.


Regardless, they will emerge and be prompted by our own projections of our fears upon the stranger who most reflects or catalyses these qualities. Regardless, we would have to meet, confront, engage, befriend, emerge-new the very qualities that we have rejected or taught to reject about ourselves, of or our own innate or inner human nature.



And so, I can’t even begin to explain what ESG Economy is –


This is because, unless one truly has made a choice to unpack oneself, one cannot build a new possibility – not for oneself and certainly, not for humanity.


This is my honest to goodness analysis of what is required for the integrated transformative ESG Economy to happen together. It is a transformation in mutuality.


Sanity is a guarantee, I suppose. To process the impending rapid and scale changes.


Power. If one feels powerful about sanity, I suppose that works too. But actually, the power is in the capacity to process and hold one’s own and the other’s vulnerability and ambiguities, and silences. Silences are necessary in the space of new language emergences, because the two have not yet found a common language to begin to be create together, though clearly, the fascination of the other already exists for the engagement of distances to have begun.


Property rights. One can use a fair, transparent and caring mechanism or one can resort to gangsterism. I am too idealistic. So perhaps this commons is the most difficult of all commons.



What is the attachment underlying the the fight over property rights?


One’s safety and basic necessities are at stake. One’s belonging. One’s place in the world. One’s possibility of even beginning to be – to live as one’s own, and then be able to contribute to society, to make a choice, to be able to formate one’s language, cognition, culture, personhood, friendship, relationship, family, communities – essentially “the bare necessities of life” – to grow and subsist in the growth mindset.


My contribution is simply this unpacking. I am simply the unpacker.


The choice to fight isn’t mine.


Because fight is the rootedness of division, and it is already a toxic stance – a powering up, a drama triangle trapping, that already has a path towards destruction. And for this reason, I won’t fight. I won’t sell (out). I won’t advocate. I won’t influence. I shall endeavour to simply live my own inner coherence, which I have simply coded down as an inner paradigm that helps me sense-making of the world, people and economics.



Is the ESG Economy for sale?


Trading doesn’t mean something is for sale. It simply means there is a mechanism for redistribution. The redistribution can be destructive or regenerative.


In my processing and analysis, for myself, I choose regeneration and beauty of life, and hence, have in my own self-determination chosen to commit to this.


And I have chosen to share my inner coherence. That is all.


My legal friends have persuaded me to stitch the ESG Economy paradigm, the skeletal form as it is now, into the property rights of the fabric of the existing economy.


If I write it down as a license, it begins whirring, but actually, even if I don’t, it is already still whirring.


So, I suppose, if it is licensed, it is about my own discovery of property rights, and the engagement of this “other” that I would have to get to know, be intimate about, make choices about, and continue to build the possibilities of the applications of this ESG Economy paradigm for greater good.


There is a semi-shrug in this open letter.


And I am truly happy and excited for your taking the time to read this open letter, and begin our dialogue of uncomfortable momentary silences while we truly learn to meet, sense-make, become friends, in a common new field of mutual discoveries, creativities and possibilities.


Property rights, and sans property rights.



Peng-Ean Khoo
Co-Founder and Director
Bilberries Blue Pte Ltd
April 18, 2018












The Kind Weaver


THE KIND WEAVER is birthed, emerges today, as A Sustainable Innovation of Bilberries Blue Group.

Since my Life Coaching session with Ms Bernadette Cenzon, whom I met at pottery class, during the summer of 2015, (perhaps it was spring, but it makes no difference, because we are in the tropics, and it is always, fortunately, eternally rainforest biomically summer), I have been busy deep diving, over and over and over again, Bilberries Blue. My own inner transformation and my professional career and integration as a person and as a mom, trying to balance worklife balance, integration, etc. ie The Impossibility of a Woman Trying to Have it All In Actualising Personal Dreams Encountering Corporate Myths.

Bilberries Blue has a lineage, I think, since 1980, when I distinctly remember my first thought of being an entrepreneur, which then became a passion that I couldn’t name for a long time. For as long as 38 years. That first thought had arisen from the first action – of translating an agreement from Bahasa Malaysia to English, for my father. The passion was birthed from love and from necessity. I realise now that entrepreneurship isn’t a course of choice, it isn’t knowledge, it is intrinsically tied to – survival. That is the realism and authenticity of entrepreneurism. Without that, it is an academic exercise that would lead one to continually grasp at the straws of dreams. What converts dreams to entrepreneurship, is NEED. It makes one take that leap of faith, when one is most out of depth, where one has no more roadmaps, no more roads that one wants to travel on, where all iterations have played themselves out, where things are still not working, where without another leap one is out of play, and from the depths of SHEER AUTHENTIC VULNERABILITY OF PROBLEM-SOLVING GRIT, one EMERGES – what I now have come to internalise as


During that fateful encounter, where Bernie so kindly asked, “May I practise (life coaching) on you?”, I understood that being stuck sucks. And that it is as painful getting out, as it is painful staying in. And it is only with love, friendship and beautiful kindness, that one can re-emerge with a true clarity about one’s commitment to one’s life, and lifework, which has taken me three (+35) years to articulate, cognise, know and commit to as my good work and contribution to humanity.

So after nearly three years of deep brewing, deeper shedding, intense reworking, even more intense rapid prototypes and applications of ideas, thinking, ordering, paradigm development, delivery execution, rounds and rounds and hours and hours of dialogues, deliberations, tears, laughter, exhaustive wailings and wahoos, THE KIND WEAVER is birthed today.

It is A Sustainable Stewardic Exchange that has several possibilities of engagement, and it is birthed and will be continuingly being nurtured and nourished by the very good folks who had stuck through all the epistemologics of pedagogic stuckness and broke through our own inner paradigm blocks, together.

To us, the madhatters, may we always dream of good work, in any way, shape, form or size, cuddle or thought.

To Sustainable Innovations in an ESGx Economy. In case the Sustainability Mandate in Corporate Responsibility Reporting Forgets, we are about supporting entrepreneurs and entreprises engaging:





In A Humane



Peng-Ean Khoo
Co-Founder & Director
Bilberries Blue Group
April 7, 2018

The Silent Dancer in a Pregnant Pause


Bilberries Blue is developing a platform called The Silent Dancer in A Pregnant Pause. The title is a haiku which serves as a reminder of the embrace of the harmony of ideas and applications in nature and human nature juxtapositions, rational, non-rational, concrete, symbolic, articulable, inarticulable expressions.

It is an inter-disciplinary platform which empathises, investigates, documents, creates, shares and celebrates insights, artistic expressions, dialogues, meetings, encounters, study groups, classrooms, seminars, workshops, work groups, projects, productions, programmes, services, making things, personal, inter-personal, family, community, ecology, enterprise, ethics, governance, gifting, altruism, wellbeing, compassionate instruments that address global sustainabilitytransitions, development and immediate challenges.

It is an open space for our wholehearted humanity to express and live its amazing wholeness, care and responsibility in our lives. In particular, we will explore, investigate and document compassionate collaboration, communication and coordination.

The personallocal-global applications are pertinent in our good work.

The song is one of love – alive, humble, truthful, vibrant, joyful, giving, caring, all inclusive, and gentle. Gentleness and openness shall bear the silent chords of compassion that will harmonise our heartful endeavours, undertakings and accomplishments.


March 21, 2019 

To commemorate World Down Syndrome Day, we incorporated two companies, The Silent Dancer Pte Ltd and The Kind Weaver Pte Ltd, to enable our ESG Economy Knowledge Development ecology.

A Sustainable Stewardic Exchange, The Kind Weaver, begins to weave itself.



Creativity for me has turned so many meanings and purposes that I wonder if a courageous sense of open goodness is where I am riding in. Creativity isn’t about something new; often it is about something ancient that we have forgotten. Creativity isn’t actually about the future either, because the future emerges from what we do today. Creativity is perhaps about how we live the now – are we alive, hopeful and fruitful or are we negative, bitter and destructive?

So perhaps creativity is about reconciliation and peace. For if we are not adaptable, we would be stuck in our past – our pains and even our triumphs, and in a projectile of a future that is necessarily limited. And we would be stuck within ourselves, and there would no longer be any need for imaginings that are even beyond our existing limitations and longings.

So inherent in creativity is about the ability to forgive, to let go, to renew, and to commit to the constant re-examination and re-building that is unquestionably called to bring forth the vision – that can be seen only always in the horizon. Because to define it, is to limit it. And so, creativity becomes a choice: to always remain open and faithful – to the eventual actualisation of the greater good.

Creativity becomes a dogged determination and commitment to liberty for all.

Creativity is very much about striving. It is a refusal to remain defeated. Creativity is striving to live and witness a humanity far more kinder, gentler, more peaceful, more gracious than we can imagine we can ever be. And returning to a primordiality that is at once simple, and absolutely complex in its diverse expressions, and coordination.

It is less about the how but more about the harmony and music of life – our uniqueness, our diversity, our openness. And the mystery of our collective beauty.

It is singing and dancing the song of life, and our parts and duties in this song. In the final analysis, perhaps the song is always silent, because, it is always and necessarily – open, infinite and inarticulable.

This song, though silence, is vibrant, filled with life and always ready – to burst forth the next phrase of the living joy of simply being – alive.

Creativity is honouring the created and holding the uncreated with joyful expectancy.

Creativity is about embracing one another.





I have been examining this for longer than I am even aware. I used to think leadership is about capabilities. Then I thought leadership is about directing. And then I thought leadership is about empathy, care and giving. Then I found out leadership is about empowerment, enablement and nurturing. Suddenly, I get all excited, and I jumbled into leadership tons of creative energy and spontaneous freedom, and my daughter, often, truly astutely, would exclaim – “That’s a jumbly mess!” (after Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss). And we would collapse in laughter at our own silliness and creative discoveries. Leadership became for me about discoveries and joy.

I am now facing this very interesting space. That leadership is about courage.

It is about standing in a space where no one can even begin to recognise what you are just beginning to glimpse, where not even a vision is yet articulable, but that you know that it is the only direction worth facing. And that you are already taking a step towards that destiny. Regardless, in spite of, amidst, everything articulable and inarticulable.

You continue to walk tall and securely. One step at a time, without a map, because it is no longer a space where a map exists anymore (no one can tell you what to do in this space), just an inner compass. An intuition, that is unchanging. Towards uniqueness, towards unity of heart, towards peace and reconciliation, towards freedom, towards – courage.

And you are no longer afraid to do what is simply right.

And you find in that heart of courage: responsible action.

And that it is as silent as it is active. And that it is as personal as it is universal.

And doubt disappears and only belief remains.

That our human lives are about doing good and our common destiny is love.



Human Resource


Human Resource is about people. It is less so about managing people, but truly desiring to support and enable relevant market skills and whole-being development. It took me a long time to figure out why a status-conscious or rank-conscious or even a performance-based paradigm would not sustain. The heart of humanity is one. Each of us is unique and the same. So when we enter a place to participate, we necessarily anticipate to belong, in equal standing. And in trust, of each other, for one another.

Equality is not about uniformity. Equality is about appreciating, valuing and enjoying the differences. It is more like jazz. True harmony is when each can be, yet we are whole, and in unison.

It only suddenly occurred to me that the heart of empowerment is simply about believing. And again, patience and inner patience.

Patience is from a deep place of believing, never from a place of judgment or measure or  dogma or a predetermined ideology about perfection or rebellion.

It dawned upon me that the inner patience is really about holding oneself: self-control. Executive function is about emotional regulation as much as making choices, or decision-making, and responsible action. The three go hand in hand.

Emotional regulation isn’t about suppression or denial or mastery of emotions. It is much more basic, simple and humbling than that. Emotional regulation is about honesty and maturity. Honesty about our feelings, especially the negative feelings, and to sit with each of our feelings, until they pass. It is to be able to embrace our insecurities and vulnerabilities with compassion and love.

Making choices isn’t really about making a choice unless one is calm. There is a whole world of difference between a momentary reaction and a response, typically for life.

Knee jerk reactions are but that. They tend to be fight or flight. Or freeze in arguments, blaming and scapegoating. Or daydreams, unable to engage reality. But they don’t actually solve anything. They solve surface perturbations, but they don’t address the heart of the discordant. Usually, the heart of why a space or a community is not working is actual disharmony itself or a perception of disharmony.

Conflicts and contradictions are part of day-to-day living. When we honestly examine and truly work through tangles and struggles without abandonment is when we truly transcend as a community truly faithful to each other and to global peace. It is only then that we truly innovate and grow our humanity in our work and living spaces.

So, to re-begin looking at Human Resource is to look at oneself, with deep honesty, generosity, love and respect. And yes, belief.