Singapore’s Future – Job Losses from Technology?

Was honoured to host the recent Nobel Perspectives Live! organized by UBS. Held at the beautifully restored Capitol Theatre, it was the first stop of a global UBS forum streamed live across the world, and a chance for 1000 students to listen to the insights of four Nobel Laureates in Economic Sciences as they discussed the questions that matter.

The four Laureates who were the stars of the session included Michael Spence, Roger Myserson, Peter Diamond and Robert Merton. Paul Donovan, Global Chief Economist for UBS Wealth Management, moderated the very lively panel.

Minister Baey Yam Keng was the guest of honour at the event, and he gave the opening address on Singapore’s move towards being a smart nation; how as a country of our size, the greatest asset we have is our people. He touched briefly on how education, regulation and governance had to keep up with the move, then posed the first question to the Laureates: what are the top global trends that will impact the future of the youth in Singapore.

The students had earlier submitted questions for the Laureates, and the good folks from UBS had taken these questions, painstakingly categorized and distilled them into key topics that were discussed at the event. These were questions that couldn’t be Googled – I was so curious to find out what young Singaporeans were most concerned about.

Turns out that the pet fear in the hearts of many was about job losses as a result of technology disruption. I guess while market disruptors such as Uber and Grab have made life easier for the average person on the street (and I am sure many of the students present use these regularly), the students are not ignorant of the fact that jobs would be affected and/or rendered obsolete as a result.

71% responded affirmative to the live poll I conducted during the forum that they were concerned about not finding jobs after university, which begged the questions on what skills we would need in an automated system and whether there was a need for changes to the system.

All four Laureates touched on adaptability and the blurring of lines in terms of specific skills/fields of study:

Robert Merton talked about how principles are key compared to learning specific skills or one’s chosen major in school, and the importance to have the opportunity for play within the system in order to innovate and keep up.

Roger Myerson spoke about having the readiness to develop new skills as needed; to start with principles and learn specific skills along the way that would support those principles.

Peter Diamond said to recognise that technology is going to affect every single job on the market and to be ready to learn and grow rather than to be fearful of change.

Michael Spence talked about not limiting one’s capacity to take risks, the advantage of being in a risk-taking culture (e.g. Silicon Valley) and how the most exciting things sometimes arise from the boundary between fields – similar to Merton’s point on not being fixated on specific fields and/or skill. He was confident in the current system, although views were mixed from the others on whether there was a need for changes to the way people are educated.

Myerson called for spreadsheet literacy. He pondered what a “job” is and what skills will be needed to fulfill needed roles in the new economy. He highlighted good old fashioned “reliability” as still being key, while Merton touched on the way we learn, how we learn and the periphery side effect as a result of advances to technology (e.g. how we are probably much worse at mental sums now that everyone uses computers for simple arithmetic).

It was a riveting session where I got a real insight into the minds of these brilliant gentlemen as we picked their brains for two hours.

The forum was live streamed and if you are keen to hear their thoughts on questions that can’t be googled, here’s the full video:

Remember to Date

It’s been a really busy time. I know I say that all the time, but it still amazes me how life can actually get busier from not-so-long-ago states of busyness. (That’s a mouthful! But I know you get what I mean. =))

Other than hosting jobs and producing content for my YouTube channel, the past few months have also kept me busy coming up with fresh content for DELLAA (check out our Facebook for all the goodies; website to be up soon!). We also just moved to a new office, which took up more time, and I have been actively interviewing people to join the team (hit me up on DELLAA’s Facebook if you’re keen!).

On top of that, I try to keep up with the few things I prioritise: fitness, family and spiritual time. If you’ve been following me, you know that I prefer morning workouts as it starts the day right, energises me and also makes me feel like I haven’t “eaten” into my busy day by starting at a time when many are still asleep.

However, netball season has started and I train two nights a week with two different teams – that means only five free nights left. Slot in family time (both for my own family as well as for my in-laws), time with my girlfriends (I need girl talk to keep me sane!), time for religion (to keep me centred) and time for voluntary work (I have been committed to the same group for over 10 years now) and there really isn’t a lot of time left with the person who keeps me the happiest, most centred and most grounded.

The husband is as busy as I am with a coporate job and many interests that also include team sports, family time as well as time on his drums. In all this busyness, we don’t get a whole lot of time together, so when I was offered a full day of food and fun for two at The Centrepoint Mall, I jumped at the chance!

I was booked in for a hair styling session at Hair-Mori Salon to start – to pretty me up for the date! This is a Korean salon and my Korean stylist, Joel, gave me very K-pop-esque bouncy curls, which I love.

A little peckish by then, but didn’t feel like anything too heavy (we knew there was a massage next, and it is really uncomfortable getting a massage when overly full), so decided to grab a light snack and a juice boost at The Café by HIIC.

They have such pretty acai bowls, that we even packed some home for brekkie the next day!

I felt very healthy after having one. Is this how people who make the choice to “eat clean” feel?
Vitamins for the day, sorted and then some!

Next stop was to Elements Wellness to relax with a couples massage session. My therapist, Jess, was very friendly, and I felt very comfortable and relaxed with her soothing voice and experienced hands.

Way to start the day on the right note!

We stopped next at dal.komm COFFEE so he could get his java fix – and I could get a drink as well.

Fans of Korean television drama series would know that this Korean café chain was featured in the popular show, “Descendents of the Sun (D.O.T.S)“ (I unfortunately still have not made the time to watch this or any other Korean series!). This café at The Centrepoint Mall is its first flagship outlet.

I like how they have a good variety of non-coffee drinks for non-coffee people like me! I got the very refreshing iced Honey Grapefruit – admittedly because I love honey (the grapefruit was more a way for me to act healthy, lol). It was a good balance of sweet with just a touch of tanginess, which is the way I like it. The honey is apparently harvested in-house, and each cup is topped with diced fresh grapefruit. Yums!

Just outside the café is Origins, a skincare brand the husband introduced me to when we first started dating years ago (okay more like, a skincare line I discovered when I found it in his bathroom and helped myself to, LOL). The products I found then were the frothy facial wash and the charcoal mask, and I liked how both were gentle on my sensitive skin, yet worked to cleanse well. We stocked up on these and a few more items while there!

I prefer to shop for clothes on my own (I’m one of those fussy shoppers who takes ages trying and deciding), so the final shop stop was Metro, where we had to pick up a few essentials like towels (ours are looking a little worse for wear). Homeware shopping is also something T enjoys very much – most of the rugs, candles, plants etc. in our home were bought by him!

Finally, we rounded up our fun day out together with a dinner date at Kyoaji.
We both loved the freshness of the produce – check out that sashimi platter brimming with goodness from the sea!

We also enjoyed the creative dishes prepared for us by chef John Phua, like this Kani Tofu (crabmeat beancurd) dish. The tofu is made in-house and is soft yet savoury. It gives way to the sweetness of crabmeat within, and is drizzled with a foie gras-tasting sauce on top. Sounds strange, but totally works!

Another favourite was this Gyuniku Fagura Sauce (grilled beef with goose liver sauce). The beef was done to perfection, juicy, with the right mix of fat, and the foie gras sauce proved a very umami and decadent pair to the meat.

We truly enjoyed our day together. Special thanks to The Centrepoint, Frasers Centrepoint Malls and Abigail from Burson-Marsteller for arranging this special date for us!

Also, look out for an upcoming contest that will let you and your partner win all these fantastic treats at The Centrepoint! Check out my Instagram for more details.

5 Reasons Your Friends Won’t Pay Back That Money You Lent Them


We’ve talked about this before.
The husband and I have actually had more than one of our (many, usual) heated, pseudo-intellectual discussions on this matter (which is I why I suppose he felt compelled to find this piece by the Huffington Post and tag me in it on Facebook!).

Yes, I’ve lent money to people who haven’t paid me back. Some are large sums and not just their part of a bill from drinks or a meal.

Yes, call me a pushover, but I generally feel very awkward asking for money back; it seems so crass and almost…rude to. I only really do it for large sums of money I’ve loaned out, or when I am asking on behalf of someone else.

For most small amounts, I let go.
For my inner circle, we never count the cost. In fact, I am happy to pay for them. (I do know which friends take advantage of this though. And while I strive to be a good person, I am very flawed and very human – I am just not as open with my wallet with these people as I am with my closest ones. True friends don’t try to take advantage of one another.)

Yes, even #4 on the Huffington Post list has happened to me (for the record, I still haven’t recovered all the money; I’ve written it off; we are still friends, but we didn’t talk for months after said friend claimed the money was all returned – and proceeded to have the audacity say I was stingy for asking for the outstanding sum back!).

With all that said, I’m no angel on this matter myself – and it’s really not because of any of the reasons on the Huffington Post list list. It’s for the simple matter that I forget.

And yes, admittedly, it is also because I don’t place it as a priority on top of the many things I need to get done. Now, these are not big sums; they are mostly split bills after a night out or a meal at a restaurant. But it is still not acceptable and it shall be one of my resolutions for 2017: to pay people back in a timely manner.

My granny used to tell me to never borrow money as it ruins relationships.
She did not elaborate beyond that, and it didn’t make sense to me then. I now understand why she said that.

Have you ever lent money to someone who said they are really tight and cannot afford to pay it back, only to see them buying new things, enjoying life at expensive restaurants and worse, going on holidays abroad? Think about how that would make you feel, especially if you are a person careful with your own spending.

I found myself in a conversation once with someone who had tried to borrow a sum of money from a mutual friend. The would-be borrower was actually annoyed that her request had been rejected, on grounds that the other person “is so rich and has so much money”. I couldn’t believe the sort of sense of entitlement I was hearing.

Is this not intrinsically wrong? Everyone gets by and earns money in some way; some end up richer and some have less. Perhaps the richer one got so by working extra hard; two jobs, maybe, while the one who has less decided time and enjoying life is more valuable and chose to work less and play more. Is it fair then to expect the richer person to always willingly give lend hard-earned money?

I am by no means rich, but I have seen too many cases of my granny’s words come true that I have stopped lending large sums of money out to people, no matter what my relationship with the person is.

Unless someone is dying, everyone should work hard, earn their own money, and most importantly, live within one’s means.

My family is your typical, HDB-dwelling, middle class Singaporean one. Both my parents worked to support us – and both are still working. We led simple lives as we were not rich, but neither were we in the poorhouse – although sometimes compared to my friends while growing up, it almost felt like we were. We were taught that most things in life were luxuries, not everyday items and definitely not necessities.

Soft drinks were luxuries. (I tasted my first Coca Cola in Secondary school.) New books were luxuries. (We were taken to the public library weekly.) Toys and candy were definitely luxuries.

So it’s been drilled into my head from a young age that a person doesn’t need a lot to be happy – and that living beyond what one can afford is unacceptable.

I’ve been brought up with the mindset that borrowing money in general is taboo – and that borrowing simply to upkeep a certain lifestyle is terrible. I have never done that before, but it also doesn’t excuse my tardiness in returning small sums of money owed to friends for meals and drinks!

So in 2017, perhaps we could all strive together to not only live within our means and not put relationships in jeopardy (or loved ones in a spot) by asking to borrow money, but to also make the effort to prioritise returning any money owed – no matter how insignificant the amount.

I’ve said it here to commit myself to making it happen as well – no more procrastinating on making that transfer!

My Hair Secrets | Jade Seah

It’s funny how in recent times, quite a number of people have asked me about my hair. They say really nice, complimentary things, ranging from the generic, “I love your hair! It always looks so good!” to complimenting my awesome stylist at Shunji Matsuo Ngee Ann City, Fannie, by commenting on my ever-changing hair colour (she last gave me a lavender ash which has since settled in to a flattering ash blonde shade), to the kind that really baffles me, “Your hair looks so full and thick!”.

Jade Seah

I find this baffling because my natural hair is fine – and stick-straight. Only those who have known me from school days know this to be true. These compliments also baffle me because while I’m generally content with my God-given appearance, if I could change one thing about the way I look, it would actually be my hair!

This is my hair when it is not styled:

A photo posted by Jade Seah (@jadeseah) on

When rebonding was all the rage in the late 90s thanks to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and company, people would then ask if my schoolgirl, natural hair had undergone the chemical straightening treatment! Looking back now I guess it was a sort of compliment, but it drove me nuts then.

I never understood why people would spend good time and money to get their hair flat and straight!

It was trendy then; many wanted Jennifer Aniston’s ironed look:

rachel green friends jennifer aniston

And Gwyneth’s:

gwyneth paltrow

And Posh Spice’s (when she was still known as Posh and not yet as Victoria Beckham):

posh spice victoria beckham 90s spice girls

I never understood why, when here I was buying every texturising product that promised waves/curls/body – which is also the reason why not many people know the natural texture of my hair!

I have chosen to fight the limp straightness with chemical treatments (NOT rebonding!), clever styling and the use of good hair products.

Tadah! (This was professionally styled, lol):

A photo posted by Jade Seah (@jadeseah) on

For the longest time, I would get my hair permed every three to six months. Here was my hair 7 years ago in 2009 – do not be fooled. This was permed and painstakingly professionally styled…to look like it wasn’t styled.

Jade Seah

Back when I was still in school, these perms would sometimes be disastrous, lol. The picture below was against my stylist’s advice NOT to perm my already short, damaged hair. I obviously was never great with taking advice…

Jade seah bad hair perm

It’s only this period with all the bleaching damage from the colouring and highlights that I’ve given the perms a break (not my choice, I’ll admit – Fannie thinks the current hair state will not be able to withstand a perm and has refused to do it for me).

The last time my hair was long and permed:

A photo posted by Jade Seah (@jadeseah) on

Over the years however, I have discovered products that work for me to give the illusion of the hair I long for – wavy, messy with natural texture and lots of body. (See Blake Lively’s for inspo!)

blake lively

The number one favourite product in this arsenal is dry shampoo. If you’ve never heard of dry shampoo, well, you’ll thank me later. I discovered this when I was in university. I was (still am!) a magazine junkie, and I would spend good money each month on fashion magazines, both local and foreign. There would always be some story on hair, and every so often I would see “dry shampoo” pop up as a way to either style, get out of the house fast or to refresh one’s look in the evening for a date. I was fascinated. A shampoo that could be used dry? Where would I find this sorcery?

It could not be found in Singapore then. I know; I looked everywhere.

Then I went to New York for a holiday and managed to find it in a drugstore. I brought it home and sprayed it at the roots of my day-old hair, just like it said on the packaging, then brushed it out. It was like magic. Not only were my roots no longer oily, but my scalp ad hair smelled clean again, and most importantly, looked fuller! Truly, what sorcery was this! I used to stock up on the stuff whenever I travelled and found it, or I would ask friends to get it for me when they did.

Klorane dry shampoo with Oat milk

Fast forward to today where the likes of Sephora have brought many products that once could not be found in Asia, to Asia, dry shampoo being one of them. Drugstores like Guardian and Watsons have also finally seen the light and have started distributing the stuff. There is more than one brand now that carries dry shampoo in their lineup of products, which means these days I actually have *gasp* choice. I have tried a few brands, but I find myself going back to the brand I started with those years ago, Klorane.

You see, some brands’ dry shampoos have a funny smell. I’m not going to mention names, but there are brands that try too hard with coconut/fruity smells. I like fruity smells in normal shampoo, but anyone who has used dry shampoo extensively will tell you that such scents don’t work when mixed with an oily scalp.

Then there are brands that have an acceptable scent, but they leave my scalp itchy. Some seem to get rid of the excess oil by piling on powder – this builds up to a look that is not attractive.

There was one brand that I thought to be decent. It however costs almost fifty bucks a can, which I think is a little extravagant.

The dry shampoo by Klorane is my top choice for a few reasons: it does the job of cutting shine, it makes my hair fuller and gives the appearance of having more body, it is kind on my scalp (it doesn’t itch and is supposedly sulfate, paraben, sodium chloride and silicone free) and it is well-priced at below S$15 a can.

I have also started using Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk just to add body and texture to my fine hair. It is especially good at giving a lift at the roots.

A photo posted by Jade Seah (@jadeseah) on

Another product I have recently discovered is Klorane’s Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber. I spray it at the roots after a wash, and…done. It works better when you blow-dry your hair with your head upside down – but who has time to blow-dry one’s hair daily? (I personally enjoy playing with makeup, but I hate fussing with my hair!)

It works even without styling and it even works on dry hair for a boost of volume and texture, with none of that awful stiffness or dryness that are in some volumizing products (I should know; I always try the products that promise volume!). There, secret #2 revealed!


Finally, cleansing. I alternate between shampoos, mostly because I get bored of smelling the same thing all the time, but also because my hair has many needs and concerns (coloured, fine, limp, damaged) that I try to address with the different shampoos.

I use a colour one some days, but colour shampoos have the unfortunate result of being a little heavy and they leave my hair smoother and flatter than I would like sometimes. The same is true of shampoos for damaged hair. I use clarifying shampoos every so often to clear my hair and scalp of buildup and to keep it clean.

On the other days, I give my hair a break with mild shampoos that also clean well and leave hair soft – but not limp.

Jade Seah Klorane

One of the gentle shampoos that I like is the Klorane Shampoo with Oat Milk. I got this because I saw it contains the same ingredient of oat milk as my favourite dry shampoo, and found it to be really gentle on my hair and scalp. It has apparently been tested to be safe even for children, so it must be caring and good for frequent use. It also has that same clean, comforting smell that I like.

Jade Seah Klorane

These are some of my preferred hair care products that I’ve found through trial and error over the years. Share with me some of yours please so I can try them out too!

If you want a chance to try Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk plus my other favourite hair products featured here, go to my Instagram:

Simply ‘like’ and share the above post, and remember to tag me @jadeseah and hashtag #kloranesg in your shared post!