Tico Oms

Tico Oms

Rethinking Schools: Building an In-house R&D Capacity


In 2011 inspired by Tony Wagner’s Global Achievement Gap, a Singapore American School teacher suggested the school undertake a research trip to visit the innovative US schools highlighted in the book. So successful were these visits that SAS has since embarked on ten research trips throughout the world to learn lessons from other schools rethinking education. Based on those lessons, SAS is recommending, developing, and implementing school-wide improvement. SAS has also launched research teams throughout its divisions and has newly created a school-wide Director of Innovation position.

Based on SAS’ research experience, lessons from design thinking, and total quality improvement programs from the business world, we will explore how we can make schools more responsive and flexible.

The purpose of this workshop is to help you drive innovation at your school. This will not be a drab theoretical tour. Nor will it have a purely technocentric view of change. It will be a holistic, hands-on, “what can we do at our school next week and the week after” kind of session.

Learning Outcomes

You will leave the session with:

  • a plan for creating a research and development capacity at your school
  • tools for building your school’s innovation culture
  • an understanding of the use of Design Thinking and Total Quality Management techniques
  • a system to measure the success of the R&D program
Intended Audience

Any division can benefit from the session. Whether you have the formal authority of an administrator or the informal power of an influential teacher, this session is designed for those who want to actively pursue a rethinking of schools.

About Tico

Tico Oms is currently the middle school deputy principal at Singapore American School. In charge of the Middle School’s research and development, he has led visits to over three dozen innovative schools across the globe and has driven the innovation process from research to recommendations to implementation.

Prior to SAS, Tico taught business, law, entrepreneurship, physics, and math at the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin and Lexington High School in Massachusetts. Tico holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan Flagler Business School as well as a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

As a mid-career switcher, Tico previously worked at Dell Computers as Dell Japan quality control manager and sales operations manager. Tico later served as Dell Asia Pacific Laptop Product Manager responsible for the financial and market share success of Dell’s line of laptops in Asia and ANZ. He later became Vice President of Operations at one of Thailand’s largest internet companies. He enjoys travel, sport, photography, and the humiliation that comes with learning languages.


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