Our story

Our idea for an education company focused on ethical reasoning, communication and emotional intelligence started in Singapore in 2017.  Examining the current state of competitive mainstream education and outcome-focused private enrichment, we wondered where the time was for things that couldn’t be 100% measured and weren’t immediately competitive: things like kindness, respect, good moral judgment, or honesty, to name just a few traits.  

We wanted to ensure these traits were not forgotten in the rapid pace of daily life.

With this in mind, we set out to build an education company that curates and presents fun, effective character-building activities for children, their caregivers, and their schools that starts conversations about ethics early on.

We hope that our programmes and games give you and your child the space to focus on who you each are and who you each want to be - and perhaps act as one small step starting you on your way to getting there.

- Mila & Mac


Mila Devenport Ling

Co-founder

Trained in the Philosophy with Children approach, Mila believes strengthening the basics of human abilities (empathy, self-awareness and communication) is the surest path to success at both personal and societal levels.

Prior to starting Kigumi Group, Mila was based in Singapore, where she helped design a social impact programme for UOB connecting people with disabilities to employment opportunities.  Before that, she lived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where she worked to develop a liberal arts and science university for women from emerging economies in Asia.

Mila is currently pursuing a degree in Character Education and received her B.A. in Philosophy from Mount Holyoke College. Originally from Chicago, USA, she now lives in Hong Kong.

 

Mac Ling

Co-founder

Mac Ling is a certified executive coach serving leaders through the Asia-Pacific region.  He has over 15 years of experience leading teams and businesses throughout Asia and the United States with a focus on developing and empowering individuals to reach their full potential. 

His approach, which focuses on emotional intelligence and critical thinking, has helped his clients develop their skills in conflict resolution, self management, and appreciation of multiple perspectives.  He also is a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong and has a passion for engaging in dialogue with students that help them challenge their beliefs and inquire more deeply about the subjects at hand. 

Mac received his B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego, and his M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.  He has spent portions of his life in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bangkok, Singapore, and now currently resides in Hong Kong.

 

Theresa Helke

Co-founder

Theresa is currently a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy, the first in the NUS/Yale-NUS joint supervision programme. She has taught Logic at her alma mater Smith College in the United States and both Logic and Introduction to Philosophy at NUS. She has also tutored children in Papua New Guinea, England (through Street Law Cambridge), and Singapore (through LogicMills).

While a Visiting Assistant in Research at Yale, Theresa participated in teaching workshops and became certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid. She has published a paper on Logic in the British Journal of Aesthetics and is co-authoring another on teaching Logic (pending publication). In 2017, the NUS Department of Philosophy nominated her for the Graduate Students' Teaching Award.

Theresa is English but grew up in New York City, Geneva and Vienna. As a durian devotee, she loves living in Singapore, where she is based.  You can read more about her and find out for how many years she trained as a circus artist here.