"DEVELOPING PEOPLE: STUDENTS, FAMILIES, PROFESSIONALS"
Our mission is to foster personal growth for positive change that transforms individuals, communities, and organizations.
Dragonfly places an emphasis on putting practice into action. We believe in developing skills that are necessary for people to be change-makers in a complex and dynamic world.
Dragonfly was still a new company in 2004. Will Huetinck came in and created lesson plans for activities and made an early personal development curriculum. Dragonfly quickly spread operations and has been the first and only company in the industry to extend continuous operations across all of Hong Kong and in China. Dragonfly led the way in developing new sites and activities in different regions of China. The company grew from a handful of courses in late 2004 to having over 3500 participants a year in 2008, serving dozens of schools and organizations.
Becoming an Industry Leader
Dragonfly has always believed in continuous improvement. In doing so, Dragonfly became an industry leader by having a strong learning focus, experienced and highly trained facilitators. We created immersive experiential Mandarin programs and developed meaningful community service projects. The company extended services to other regional countries. Adilah Syed Ali, our Director of Programs, was instrumental in beginning programs in Malaysia and in supporting the company’s overall growth and operations.
Innovation and Focus
There was one area Dragonfly always wanted to focus more on, and that was having a specific approach to personal development. Clients often emphasized course goals such as having fun, getting out in nature, general teamwork and leadership. But, Dragonfly wanted to go deeper. Mike Thomas, Director of Learning and Development, joined Dragonfly seeking an opportunity to apply social and emotional learning to outdoor and experiential courses. His ideas easily meshed with Will’s vision and helped to drive it forward. This gave facilitators specific tools to use to create a greater focus on self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills.
Dragonfly started working with Six Seconds, a world leader in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) training and assessment. Their methods are based on decades of experience and ongoing scientific research. In 2016, Dragonfly became a Preferred Partner. Six Seconds methods allow goals to be much more specific when focusing on growth and development. EQ assessments offer greater insight when setting course objectives, while actual outcomes are measurable. Our partnership has helped provide the support and expertise to fulfill long term goals in meeting the needs of the broader school community- students, teachers and school management, families and businesses.
Dragonfly is one of a few training companies globally applying EQ and assessment, serving youth and adults. We are looking far out to the horizon, when EQ is a regular part of education and business management, widely practiced by individuals and within organizations. Over the next decade we will be at the forefront, practicing and teaching EQ, innovating and improving. We encourage you to join us in creating positive change within ourselves and those around us.
It has been a long strange trip, teaching English in Taiwan in the 90’s, planning and organizing treks in remote Nepal at the end of that decade, and coming to Hong Kong in 2000 to teach at an international school. It was here that I began bringing education outside, implementing the school’s outdoor education program. This led to Dragonfly, where I’ve been an owner and managing director since 2004. I have grown alongside Dragonfly, continued to learn, completed a teaching degree, an MBA, and several EQ certifications. I am both humbled to see where we have come from and excited to see where we are going.
I started working in the outdoor education industry in 2003, instructing on courses for secondary students from international and public schools based in Malaysia and Singapore. I’ve taught students with special needs, leadership for unemployed graduates and corporate courses. I worked my way up to Planning Coordinator, being responsible for overall management of instructors and related human resource roles. I came to Dragonfly in 2009, starting in program development in Malaysia as well as being an instructor. Today, I oversee program delivery and quality for all courses in Dragonfly.
My journey began in the UK, working across in Europe, the Middle East and now in Asia. There has always been one underlying theme, and that is learning and being an educator. Along the way, I’ve coached athletes, taught IT in schools, and trained outdoor leaders. I’m dedicated to developing social and emotional skills, and this has been my focus and passion within Dragonfly. I am grateful for the many opportunities I have had to meet amazing people, learn so much, be inspired, and gain new insights and perspectives.