x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Crossroads

This event occurred on
October 29, 2016
10:00am - 6:00pm HKT
(UTC +8hrs)
WanChai, Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Set in the context of Hong Kong as a modern East meets West city, TEDxWanChai prides itself on being a heritage link to the past while also embracing a DNA of progress and emerging trends, and translating them across cultures. As one of the most established independently organized TEDx events in Hong Kong, we are now going into our 6th year of presenting a host of thought provoking speakers whose work in Hong Kong and around the world makes a positive and transformative impact on the lives of others. This year, we will once again bring together a unique blend of local, regional and global speakers - each hand selected to inspire, inform and provoke.

Hong Kong stands at a crossroads. From local to global and from the old to the new, this year’s TEDxWanChai mainstage event will not only draw on early generations of influencers & social pioneers reflecting with ruthless honesty on lessons learned, but contrast these views with a generation of disruptive innovators. We will feature global leaders and local thinkers, acclaimed artists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs, and many others. And there will be plenty of surprises too! Join us to reflect upon the new directions and the transitions ahead, to create new crossroads and navigate existing ones.

Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
1 Gloucester Road
WanChai, Hong Kong, 000000
Hong Kong
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Charlotte Michelon & Christopher McGreevy

Aerial Performers
Charlotte is a French aerialist who joined the world-renowned production by Franco Dragone - The House of Dancing Water in Macau, in 2014, where she performs as a "house troupe flyer" or an acrobat. Trained in classical ballet, Charlotte has worked extensively throughout Europe and on tour, whilst also studying aerial at circus school. She began performing silks very early on in her career in France, and went on to teach and choreograph for other professional artists, before moving to Asia to join The House of Dancing Water. Christopher McGreevy, hailing from the UK, started acrobatics at an early age. Progressing in his teens to the national squad level, he has represented Great Britain at numerous World and European events throughout his competitive career. In 2012, Chris joined ‘The House of Dancing Water’ based out of Macau and discovered a deep love for performing on stage.


Acapella group
Formed by students from The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Mosaic is the first collegiate A Cappella group in Hong Kong to organise large-scale concerts. Since its founding in 2006, Mosaic has pursued its mission to promote and share the joy of A Cappella as one of the most active choirs in Hong Kong, staging numerous performances both inside and outside the city. Since the inception of the Hong Kong and Macau College A Cappella Competition in 2012, Mosaic has been an active participant of the annual event for collegiate groups in the region, winning the competition three times in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Mosaic also holds its own annual concert and donates the net proceeds to various charities as a humble contribution to the Hong Kong community.

Peel Street Poetry

Poets Society
From its humble beginnings in a little bar on Peel street eleven years ago, 'Peel Street Poetry' has evolved into a group of international poets from all walks of life, meeting for weekly open-mic poetry nights every Wednesday. Four long time members of Peel Street Poetry, have combined their powers to deliver a powerful group performance at TEDxWanChai.

Scelus Quartet

String Quartet with Operatic Singers
Founded in 2014, Scelus Quartet features players from Mainland China, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong, coming together to create a unique, unified sound – a reflection on the diversity of the Chinese People. Scelus Quartet: Nina Wong Sin I, Martin Kuo Tzu Ming, Du Juan, & Calvin Wong Tai Shing Cantonese opera singers: Ng Wing Lam & Kong Chun Kit Composer (conductor): Kam Shing Hei

Akin Jeje

Poet at Peel Street Poetry
Akin Jeje is a Canadian poet living in Hong Kong. An active poet and spoken-word performer, Jeje's works have been published and featured in both Canada and Hong Kong. Jeje’s first work, Dreaming of The Sands, was published in Canada in 1999. His first full-length poetry collection, Smoked Pearl: Poems of Hong Kong and Beyond, was a semi-finalist for the 2009 International Proverse Prize, and published by Proverse Hong Kong in 2010. Jeje has also been published in other Hong Kong and Canadian publications such as fifty-fifty, Asian Cha, Carousel, Outloud Too and Filling Station. He has been presenting educational seminars on poetry for primary and secondary school students since 2014 and is currently at work on another full-length poetry collection.

Ami Vitale

National Geographic Photographer and Filmmaker
Ami Vitale has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit — all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” Recently, she has turned her lens to documenting compelling wildlife stories. Her career has brought her face-to-face with violence and conflict, but also with surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Her work is exhibited around the world in museums, galleries and as part of numerous private collections. She has garnered prestigious awards including multiple prizes from World Press Photos, the International Photographer of the Year prize, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting and named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer's Association, among others. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers with a mission to create powerful stories illustrating the specific issues facing women in developing countries.

Amy Robinson Sterling

Neuroscience Designer
Amy Robinson Sterling is an expert in crowd sourcing. She is the Executive Director of EyeWire, a game that crowdsources neuroscience, challenging hundreds of thousands of players around the world to solve 3D puzzles, which actually map out neurons. Sterling has advised The White House OSTP and US Congress on crowdsourcing and open innovation, and helped create the world’s first neuroscience virtual reality experience. Fast Company credits Amy with “making neuroscience into a playground for the hot tech du jour.” Amy has written for Vice, the BBC, Nature, and Forbes. She is a long time TEDster and founded the TEDx Music Project, a collection of the best live music from TEDx events around the world. She was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2015. Amy writes the Neurotech series for Scientific American in partnership with MIT, and has spoken at events in numerous countries ranging from TED to The White House to the Game Developer’s Conference.

Blair Reeve

Poet at Peel Street Poetry
Originally from New Zealand, Blair has been writing and performing a rhythmic and comical style of performance poetry since 1995. In 2015, he published his first children's book Hogart the Hedgehog Turns Nink and in September 2016, he published his second, Greta von Gerbil & Her Really Large Lexicon. Blair currently works from home and cares for his infant daughter while teaching creating writing to Masters students at Chinese University and running Anapest Press, his self-publishing business.

Brandon Li

Travel Filmmaker
Brandon is a global nomad and filmmaker whose short films have been featured by National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institute, BBC, TIME, and Vimeo Staff Picks. In 2016, Brandon captured the imagination of the public and media with his 7-minute film “Hong Kong Strong”, displaying the city’s unique charms in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year. Brandon has also created powerful videos for commercial clients including MTV, BMW, Nike, Cathay Pacific, and Etihad Airways. The son of a Cantonese scientist and an American novelist, Brandon grew up in midwestern USA, and studied film at UNCSA in North Carolina. He later moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in reality TV for eight years. In 2013, Brandon gave up his permanent address and started traveling the world, choosing to live wherever he felt most inspired - to this date he has travelled to over 40 countries.

Coss Marte

Prison Fitness Entrepreneur
In 2009, Coss Marte was sent to jail as the ringleader of a multi-million-dollar cocaine operation. He was also grossly overweight and warned by his physician that his current lifestyle, if left unchecked, would likely kill him. Faced with this grim prognosis, Coss started to get in shape using the tools he had -- his prison cell and his own body weight. Within six months he lost 70 pounds and replicated his successful formula of body weight exercises with 20 other inmates. Then he launched ConBody a prison style bootcamp that has gained over $7,000+ clients and hires formerly incarcerated individuals to teach fitness classes. Since the launch of his company, Coss has been featured in over 100 major media outlets such as NBC, CNN, The New York Times, and Men’s Fitness. He has also won major pitch competitions such as Pitch for Good by TOM’s shoes and the YPO shark tank competition, which in combine raised $200,000.

Daisy Tam

Food Security Researcher
Daisy Tam is an Assistant Professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University where she teaches and does research on ethical food practices and urban food systems. Her critical engagement with food began in London where she did her PhD in Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths. For five years, she worked in Borough Market as part of her field research, where she learnt from fellow traders about the production, distribution, consumption and disposal of food. Since her return to Hong Kong, Daisy has taken the question to the level of the city and is driven to search for a more ethical, equitable, and sustainable model of food system. Daisy’s current project on food waste looks at the potential of collective (crowd) food rescue practices. She has lectured in Berlin, London, and Amsterdam, and done countless workshops in Hong Kong with schools, the elderly and community centres. Daisy believes that academic research should benefit society and strives to bring her work to a wider audience.

Diana Wu David

Writer, Traveller, Entrepreneur
With an entrepreneurial DNA, Diana David has broad experience across start-ups, venture capital and strategy consulting. Diana spent a decade as part of FT’s Senior Management team, doubling revenue and profits for the content business, then moving into the role of strategist and intrapreneur. She architected and currently leads the Financial Times Executive Education initiatives in Asia-Pacific, and focuses on angel investing at Sarana Capital. Prior to the FT, Diana managed venture investments in new media, telecom and retail across Asia, launched and sold her own Chinese luxury brand and worked as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers across three continents. Diana is currently an INED at DaVinci Labs, on the advisory board of NEST.vc and on the Board of Governors of the American Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong. She is the best-selling author of Hong Kong ABCs, and her next book, Running Free, is about the choice to leave it all to become one with the nomads of Mongolia.

George Mathew

Conductor and Cultural Entrepreneur
An award-winning conductor, George Mathew has travelled to the United States, India, Jordan, Singapore, Panama, Morocco, the Netherlands and South Africa in recent seasons as an ambassador for transformative action through music. George has spoken on music and social impact around the world. In February 2016, he and Music for Life International were honoured with the 2016 Robert and JoAnn Bendetson Award for Public Diplomacy by the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University for their services to global public diplomacy through music. George and Music for Life International will return to Carnegie Hall on February 13th, 2017 with Mahler for Vision, their seventh global humanitarian concert dedicated to the ending of cataract blindness. These humanitarian concerts, presented at Carnegie Hall, have brought together scores of musicians from over 100 of the world’s most distinguished ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, MET Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic.

Henri Arslanian

FinTech Aficionado
Henri Arslanian started his career as a financial markets and funds lawyer in Canada and Hong Kong, after which he spent many years with UBS Investment Bank in Hong Kong. In recent years, he has been teaching graduate courses on Entrepreneurship in Finance at Hong Kong University as an Adjunct Associate Professor, and currently leads the first FinTech course in Asia. His latest book on Entrepreneurship in Finance will be published in late 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan. A member of the Milken Institute’s Young Leaders Circle, Henri is a regular keynote speaker globally on the topic of FinTech and hedge funds and currently sits on a number of finance, academic, civil society and FinTech related boards and advisory boards. Henri is fluent in English, French, Armenian, Spanish and conversational in Mandarin Chinese and has been awarded many academic and industry awards over the years, including the Governor General of Canada Gold Medal for Academic Excellence.

Jordan Mcrae

Citizen Scientist and Founder of OCTO23 Technologies
Jordan began his career with Lockheed Martin Space Systems as an algorithms engineer on a distributed space robotics platform. Shortly after, he created OCTO23 Technologies, an invention firm based in San Francisco and Hong Kong focusing on clean energy and ocean conservation technologies. Since 2008, OCTO23 has developed multiple spin-off technologies and companies such as a modular non-turbine wind energy generator and the B-Squares modular electronic platform, which was one of Kickstarter's top 10 funded projects in 2012. Currently Jordan is developing OCTOtalk, a technology for underwater wireless communication and Citizen Science platform for crowdsourced ocean monitoring. Jordan received his B.S. at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his M.S. at Stanford University, both in the field of Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering with a focus on Robotics.

Keisha Siriboe

Poet at Peel Street Poetry
Keisha is a passionate poet and emerging scholar. Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Hong Kong, Keisha has received distinction awards within the HKU Faculty of Education for her research on parent-child early literacy, and has spoken internationally at prestigious academic conferences in London and Washington DC. Drawing from nine years of global teaching experience and four years of research, Keisha founded the social enterprise Stories of Us (SoU), an HK-based social enterprise dedicated to teaching joyful approaches to early literacy within the home learning environment. She has also ​recently ​established a blog​ ​titled StayWokeHK, in an effort to foster a critical dialogue online around the Black Lives Matter Movement.

Marie Claire Lim Moore

Women’s Empowerment Advocate
Marie Claire Lim Moore is Director of Development at The Women’s Foundation, a philanthropic institution dedicated to the advancement of women in Hong Kong. Prior to that, Claire gathered fifteen years of experience as a global executive in managing consumer banking and payment products across the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Most recently, she was Asia Pacific Regional Director of Global Client Banking responsible for the retail bank's global services across 12 countries. She is the author of Amazon best sellers Don’t Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother) and Don't Forget the Parsley (And More from My Positively Filipino Family). Claire’s experiences have been documented by CNN, The New York Times, USA Today, People Asia and Asian Journal. She is a proud recipient of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award™ (Global FWN100™) that recognises Filipina women who are influencing the face of leadership in the global workplace.

Mike North

Creative Engineer
Dr. Mike North, host of Discovery shows “Prototype This!", "In The Making”, “ Innovative Design” and “Outrageous Acts of Science,” fuses science with media, opening doors to awe-inspiring experiences and radical paradigm shifts. Mike earned a Ph.D. & Masters in Materials Science and Engineering, and graduated summa cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Santa Barbara. He now applies his scientific knowledge to a variety of endeavours, from his teaching days at UC Berkeley, to creating a more equitable planet as founder of ReAllocate.org, going on outlandish climate awareness adventures at savetheice.org, harnessing excess mobile processing to solve cancer challenges as advisor to Compute for Cancer, building robots & IoT devices for clients such as Intel and The Department of Defense at his consulting firm North Design Labs, or creating compelling media for clients like Tesla and Discovery Communications. Mike frequently speaks on the status and future of science and technology.

Roger Wu

Architect, Heritage Conservation Specialist
Born in Hong Kong and raised in the UK, Roger has extensive experience in leading complex restoration projects in the UK, China and Hong Kong. He has put his knowledge, experience and interest in the regeneration of historical buildings, including Kings Cross Station and the Royal Military Academy in London, and in the revitalisation of the Central Police Station Complex into a world-class Arts and Culture facility in Hong Kong. Roger is currently the Chief Executive of the Haw Par Music Foundation Limited, working on revitalising the Haw Par Mansion in Tai Hang, Hong Kong, into a music academy. He is actively involved with both the Royal Institute of British Architect Hong Kong Chapter, and the Hong Kong Institute of Architects. Roger has taught at the School of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong, as an Adjunct Associate Professor, and was the co-curate for the 2015 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture (Hong Kong).

Organizing team


Hong Kong , Hong Kong
  • Martine McKenna
  • Shelly Govila