x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Our Future, We Will Make

This event occurred on
April 20, 2013
10:00am - 6:00pm +08
(UTC +8hrs)

There is a saying that goes "The future is in your hands", and truly, it is ours to build. Equally, we also create the future from our minds, our spirits and our hearts. What shall we strive for? a country, as a community, as a family, as individuals. What Singapore would we be proud to build for the generations who will come after us? What deeply matters to you? Who do you want to be? Who are we? Where are we going? What are our possibilities?

Our Future, We Will Make.

Inspired by the many conversations about our collective future, we curated our 21st TEDxSingapore conference, our largest since we were founded in 2009 with the most diverse of speakers and musicians we've ever platformed. We journeyed back into our past, relooked our present and explored our possibilities for the future...

This full-day event unravelled exactly as a TED Conference would: 3 sessions of 1.5 hours each, with long lunch and conversation breaks in-between that enable connections and conversations, and post-event parties

What is TED? What is TEDx?
TED is about ideas and conversations about what really matters in life and living. Speakers and artistes from all walks of life, unforgettable moments. TEDxSingapore brings people together to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world, and to inspire ideas and action for a better future for us all. Founded in April 2009, we are 100% Community-Created. Express your passion for ideas and inspiration with millions of people around the world and in Singapore.

Be authentic, Embrace Everyone, Celebrate our possibilities...

Joyden Hall, top floor of Bugis+ Plus
201 Victoria Street
Singapore, 188067
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Laurence Lien

Moving from a civil service career to making an impact in civil society, Laurence advocates inclusiveness in Singapore society, that our success is not measured by GDP but building a sense of belonging, of being respected and valued for who you are, not what you should be, and ultimately, being always treated with equal dignity and compassion, no matter how old, how rich, how educated, what titles you hold, and how different you are. He believes that people are the ends, not the means and that change is needed to get us out of a social recession.

Parag Khanna

Travelling the world with his eyes open, Parag is a trenchant critic of the standard wisdom about the second and third worlds. He has written books such as "The Second World: How Emerging Powers Are Redefining Global Competition in the Twenty-first Century and "How to Run The World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance." Parag is director of the Hybrid Reality Institute, exploring human-technology co-evolution. In his 2012 TED book "Hybrid Reality", he explores our complex relationship with science and technology--and how it could create new and unexpected lifestyles and social structures. At TEDGlobal 2012, he curated and guest-hosted the session “The Upside of Transparency”.

Veronica Gamez

As Executive Director of Aidha, a not-for-profit micro-business school dedicated to enriching lives through financial education, Veronica pioneered its transition into a stage of consolidation and professionalisation, building its financial health, corporate partnerships and spreading its voice and mission both nationally and internationally. A native of Mexico, She is dedicated to promoting women’s economic empowerment through education.

Kumaran Rasappan

A medical doctor with a heart to serve others, Kumaran decided to take a year off work to pursue his dreams of climbing six mountains, including Mount Everest. His “No Mountain Too High” project raised funds for the patients of Tan Tock Seng hospital who were unable to afford medical treatment and aftercare costs. Many regard his Everest ascent as an outright success, but Kumaran chooses to reflect on the unseen failures in all his perceived successes. He lives by the rule that the two words 'success' and 'failure' are inseparable

Claire Leow

Driven by a fascination with heritage, Claire founded All Things Bukit Brown that became an integral part of her life and brought together a group of volunteers passionate about the Heritage, Habitat, History of Bukit Brown. Together, they raise awareness of this oldest Chinese cemetery in Singapore that is also the largest outside China. Claire has been a journalist for over 21 years and loves photography, community projects, travel and visiting historic sites. She has visited all the world's continents, including Antarctica.

Teng Yen Lin

A young Singaporean artist who is passionate about art and building a happier and more inclusive society in Singapore, Yen Lin splits her time between pursuing an arts degree at the National University of Singapore and creating anamorphic installations around Singapore.

Tong Yee

As co-founder of The Thought Collective that grows social enterprises, Tong Yee builds social and emotional capital especially among youth and around social innovation. Having struggled through his earlier academic progress, he empathises with those who have experienced failure and helps by leading them to create new possibilities. Tong Yee is currently designing a new prototype for family service centres, education through innovations in theatre, museums and trails, and new compelling social movements in graciousness and love for one another.

Elaine Lam

Local jazz singer-songwriter Elaine Lam performs at the iconic folk staple Music Dreamer Live! Cafe. She's also been featured at Esplanade’s Coffee Morning and Afternoon Tea concert and at one of Taiwanese crooner Jeff Chang’s concerts. In 1999, Hong Kong diva Miriam Yeung recorded one of Elaine’s work in her first mandarin album “Smile”.

Thaddeus Lawrence

An adventure philanthropist who has raced 1,000 kilometres in the hottest, coldest, windiest and driest deserts on earth: the Sahara, Antarctica, Gobi, and Atacama. Through this competition rated by TIME magazine as one of its Top Ten Endurance Competitions in the world, Thaddeus has raised close to $200,000 for charitable organisations. He authored a book "Runaway Success: Life Lessons from Ultra Endurance Racing" distilling his lessons from the race world into principles for the real world.

Bhavani Prakash

After waking up to the ecological crisis facing the planet during a deep period of self-reflection, Bhavani left her career in finance and set up the advocacy website She writes and speaks about climate change, organic farming, non-toxic product alternatives, and green action by individuals and communities, and is author of “50 ways to make your home eco-friendly" and runs the facebook page called "Grow Your Own Food in Singapore".

Moh Hon Meng

An explorer in the digital frontier Hon Meng, co-founded, which later became iFAST corporation with 250 staff across 4 countries and billions in assets under administration. Most recently, he co-founded Estatebuzz, building websites and mobile platforms for neighbours to connect and derive solutions in what he calls "the meaningfulness-based economy". Hon Meng has also written prize-winning plays and books, is a member of Mensa and plays chess at in the pockets of time when he has nothing to do.

Deborah Emmanuel

For her stage debut in a kindergarten circus musical, Deborah desperately wanted to be a ballerina, but was made to wear a hairy bear suit instead. Since then, she has played more humans and animals with the Singapore Repertory Theatre, Disney and OKTO, and has performed her poetry at SPORE Art Salon, ContraDiction, and the Causeway Exchange Festival KL. She works in schools to spread her love for art as the beginning of change, because she knows that anyone can heal when they express themselves through art.

Zakaria Zainal

As a photographer who makes meaning of the world through his pictures, Zakaria has published his first monograph "Our Gurkhas: Singapore Through Their Eyes", an anthology of portraits and anecdotes of the retired Singapore Gurkhas as they reminisce about life in the Lion city, from the 1950s till today. Zakaria documents events as they unfolded before his eyes, and has been moving away from traditional documentary work and photographs closer to home—or even closer to his heart.

Jeff Cheong

A video story project called Singaporean of the Day was created through conversations between Jeff Cheong and his friends with people from all corners of the country. They talked to people on the streets, in the malls, at coffee shops, schools, void decks and even trains, to catch a glimpse of their dreams and hopes for this little island they call home.

Kevin Lester

Also know as ‘TheLionCityBoy,’ Kevin has a soul etched to the groove of Hip Hop, a vibe borrowed from R&B and an edge influenced by Punk Rock. Emotional, hypnotic and infectious are some of the words used to describe his music and emotionally driven songs born from the personal complexities of life’s journey, distinctly influenced by rap and indie electronic music.

Bob Lee

A veteran Lianhe Zaobao newspaper photographer, Bob dedicates his own time and talent to capturing life's happiest moments for others. In a recent project, he fulfilled the last wishes of patients in Assisi Hospice by taking photos for them, like a wedding portrait with their partner, or family photo with their loved ones as a reminder of their happiest moments, as they walked their final journey in life.

William Wan

As head of the Singapore Kindness Movement and winner of the Active Ager Award (Council of the Third Age), William has always been active in community-based work and believes that kindness breeds kindness.

Sunny Singh

Fuelled by his passion for solving real world problems using technology, Sunny Singh has led two teams through the local and international finals of Microsoft Imagine Cup, a software design competition where students create IT solutions to solve some of the world's toughest problems. One of these projects is the delivery of education to children in Africa, and the other to improve the efficacy of stroke rehabilitation for the elderly using Kinetic technology.

Organizing team


Melbourne, Australia


Singapore, Singapore
  • The Curatorial Team of TEDxSingapore
    ~for passion, for people, for purpose