x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Outliers

This event occurred on
March 9, 2013
1:00pm - 6:00pm HKT
(UTC +8hrs)
Hong Kong,
Hong Kong

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response from the HKUST community towards the first ever TEDxHKUST conference in 2012, the organizing committee decided that it was absolutely necessary to continue the event and bring it back for its second execution in 2013.

Theme of TEDxHKUST 2013: Outliers

It was chosen to highlight individuals within our community that have not necessarily followed a conventional path in their lives. They are people that have challenged the status quo, embarked on the roads less travelled and developed a high tolerance for risk and uncertainty.

These individuals have not taken "no" for an answer, and persisted against all kinds of forces to turn their aspirations into reality. They have redefined what it means to be successful and happy by carving their own path and deviating from the established norms.

The theme was chosen for its relevancy to the students at HKUST. We are living in a transformational period in which we are constantly faced with disruption of traditional ways. This suggests that our generation is entering a world that is constantly evolving and changing. To cope with this, it is important for students to acknowledge and understand the benefits and develop a tolerance for uncertainty.

The speakers chosen for TEDxHKUST 2013 represent just that. We have put together a line-up of unique individuals that come from a diverse range of backgrounds but share one trait in common: being different from the average. Their own story of success started off as a string of uncertainties and eventually became the greatest lessons of their life.

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology
Clear Water Bay
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Emma Reynolds

Emma is someone that truly encapsulates and embodies the saying carpe diem. Starting work at the age of seventeen, just after leaving high school, she has gained plenty of experience working across three continents (Australia, United Kingdom and now Hong Kong). She is the co-founder of a workforce innovation company with a vision to change the way the world works by facilitating disruption where it is needed most: employer branding, talent acquisition and internal communications. Emma speaks internationally on changing the world of work, talent acquisition innovation among other topics related to disruption in HR practices. She has spoken in over 20 countries, has worked with some of the world's biggest and best companies, and was included in the prestigious "35 women under 35 list" and made headlines in the Sunday Times and Management Today.

Rob Lilwall

Imagine Cycling FROM Siberia back to London via Australia, or walking from Mongolia back to Hong Kong. Having accomplished two amazing expeditions since 2004, Rob is a British born TV adventurer, author and a corporate/educational motivational speaker. Rob taught geography for two years in Abington, UK before quitting his job and venturing into his expeditions.This led him to collaborating with the National Geographic Channel to produce a TV series, and writing of two books with excellent reviews from press. His first book was described by The Guardian as "a two-wheeled classic". Rob also works for a charity called Viva with his wife Christine. Working in 14 different countries, it supports thousands of projects with 810, 000 children across the globe, and links the resources across 22 citywide networks.

Stephen Forte

Stephen Forte is the Chief Strategy Officer of the venture backed company, Telerik, a leading vendor of developer and team productivity tools. He is the co-founder and executive director of AcceleratorHK, Hong Kong's first start-up accelerator. Involved in several start-ups, he was the co-founder of Triton Works, which was acquired by UBM (London: UBM.L) in 2010 and was the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Corzen, Inc., which was acquired by Wanted Technologies (TXV: WAN) in 2007. Stephen has an MBA from the City University of New York. Stephen is also a board member of the Scrum Alliance. Stephen is not only deeply involved with new ventures in Hong Kong, but is also an avid mountain climber and leads a trek to Mount Everest every year!

Jan Metzger

Jan Metzger is a Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in Hong Kong. He is the Head of APAC TMT Investment Banking. Prior to becoming a banker, Mr. Metzger worked as a Management Consultant helping multinational companies improve their operations. Prior to that, Mr. Metzger worked in the software industry managing a software development team. Mr. Metzger received his Master of Philosophy in Economics from the University of Cambridge. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Computing from the University of Sussex. As you can tell, Mr. Metzger has worn multiple hats in his life. What interests us most, however, is his journey until he reached his zenith. While most of us think of landing that investment banking job, making money and then maybe starting our own thing – Mr.Metzger did it the other way around.

Stuart Palm

Stuart Palm's first interaction with magic was watching his uncle making coins and cookies disappear and amazingly pulling them out of Stuart's ear. Baffled, yet determined to learn his uncle's secret, the three year old Stuart began asking for everyone's pennies and then making them vanish. It wasn't until his grandmother decided to change his diaper that she found it full of copper coins. Today, he is a professional entertainer who performs astonishing mentalism for high-end corporate and private clients. In 2006, due to a series of Grand Mal seizures, Stuart had to undergo brain surgery. While in recovery, he realized that not only did he emerge with all his learned abilities intact, but the experience had increased his capacity to understand the human condition, to connect with people's memories and thoughts. He is now also a sought-after lecturer on the connection between magic and neuroscience. Stuart has performed for JP Morgan, Standard Chartered, VH1, the Marriot and the Ritz Carlton hotels, and many more big wigs. His insights help these companies to better understand and improve client relationships.

David Begbie

Being one of the founders of the Crossroads International, David James Begbie is the perfect example to how addressing just a simple need in the world can make such a big difference. He is the director and spokesman of Global Village Life Xperience at Crossroads International and Global Hand. Otherwise known as "That Crossroads Guy", David passionately raised the awareness of the conditions of minority groups and those in need to various community groups. Alongside facilitating simulations in English and Mandarin for corporate, service and educational groups, his role sees David providing strategic leadership in the development of a new initiative: an experiential Global Village, showcasing global needs, and solutions. The astounding simulations in Crossroads International's latest development, the Life Xperience has more than 12,000 participants from corporate, educational and social sectors since 2005. Receiving recognition in the Hong Kong Red Cross Humanity Award (2007) and worldwide respect through his devotion in being a "voice for the voiceless", David Begbie has been giving speeches in different nations and addressing business people, students and many others.

Puja Kapai

Puja Kapai began her career at the Hong Kong Bar in 2002 as one of the few South-Asian women barristers and later went on to join academia as a Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong. She has taught various courses over the years including Law and Society, Contracts, the Hong Kong Legal System and Multiculturalism and the Law. Puja has led several research projects focusing on the rights of minorities and human rights in conflict. She has recently worked on projects on the interaction between law, religion and culture from the perspectives of women's rights, children's rights and access to justice in the context of domestic violence and the right to education. More broadly, she has also worked on theories of citizenship, political inclusion and deliberative democracy. At TEDxHKUST, Puja will share her personal journey through the inherent challenges and opportunities that intercept our dreams and sense of being in the form of culture, gender and identity and the importance of revisiting the question of what really stands between us and the pursuit of our passions in life!

Sir David Tang

One could say Sir David Tang is a natural entrepreneur. He is the founder of the brand Shanghai Tang; China Clubs located in Hong Kong, Beijing and Singapore; Havana House and Pacific Cigar Company Ltd (the exclusive distributor for all Cuban cigars in Asia Pacific). Among all his success and achievements, what really stands out and is outstanding about Sir David is his continuous efforts to project a desirable and positive image of China. Former governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, once said the following about Sir David: "He's one of those rare people who cheers the world up. Life, and Hong Kong, would be much poorer without him."

Melissa Mobray-d'Arbela

Melissa Mobray-d'Arbela is a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute (Class of 2010). She has a law degree from NYU. In 2007, she co-founded PathFinders Limited, a Hong Kong-based organization that helps pregnant, undocumented migrant women and their children. In the past, Melissa worked as a corporate lawyer at Skadden Arps in the US and Asia, as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in Asia, and a private equity investor at GE Equity (Asia) and Maven International, which she also co-founded. Prior to 2013, Melissa was the CEO and co-founder of Filligent Limited, a company developing disruptive innovations in disease prevention. Filligent’s mission was: save lives, stay strong. She provides strategic advice to a broad range of clients from billion dollar companies to first time entrepreneurs. The common theme is disruptive technology and innovation. Melissa has mastered innovation to the extent that one of her designs was deemed as one of the 100 objects that have defined human history.

Organizing team


Kowloon, Hong Kong
  • Lisa Reith
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Lera Lindholt
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Ankita Roy
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Mandeep Gill
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Priya Anoop
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Min Sang
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Shelly Govila
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Pooja Changani
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Ishaan Handa
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Alice Chow
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Nam Yeon Kim
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Vanessa Lau
    Organizing Committee Member
  • Chan Chin Hung
    Organizing Committee Member