Meet Jen Flowers & Daniella Lopez, accomplished career women, who love their day jobs but still take out time to pursue their passion – creating a sense of community by bringing people together through engaging, stimulating TEDxTinHauWomen events.
We catch a sneak peek into their pet project and their personal lives.
- Tell us the story behind TEDxTinHauwomen? What made you lean towards bringing TEDWomen to HongKong?
Jen: I was very motivated by TED and the platform it provides to ideas that can make a difference. I wanted this to be available in Shanghai, pivoting more around the power of women. Therefore, in 2011, I got involved with TEDWomen. This was way back when we held our very first TEDxShanghaiWomen event. At that time we were only 6 women on the committee but all passionate and stubbornly determined to present an inspiring event. And we did it! Around 200 people attended our event, that too in a training center of PwC , where I worked at the time.
With each passing year our team got bigger, this stage grew from strength to strength and we had the privilege of hosting 5 amazing TEDxShanghaiWomen events. In 2016, after my last TEDxShanghaiWomen, I moved to Hong Kong and so did three other committee members.
Daniella: I too found TED to be a very powerful platform showcasing mighty ideas. Jen roped me in for the 2013 event in Shanghai and so began my journey in this arena. In the next couple of years, Jen moved to Hong Kong and as luck would have it, my professional life transported me to this city soon after. Jen and I reconnected, discussed ways to bring the TEDWomen experience to our new home, and it’s been a wild ride ever since.2.
- How do you select the ‘ideas worth spreading’ and ensure that every event experience is unique? How is this year’s theme different?
Jen & Daniella: Each year TEDWomen selects a global theme, we develop on that theme and localise it. This year’s global theme was ‘What Now’ and our local take on that is ‘What Matters Now?’. We give a local flavour by deliberating on it with the rest of the leadership committee (which has now grown to 8 of us) so that we are able to bring in fresh concepts and of course garner more support.
Our themes are ideas which are very topical or have a common thread that connect with one and all. Each year we deep dive into the content, select speakers that personify it and present a new perspective with great passion. Our events provide bold, uplifting stories which resonate with our audience emotionally and that is what makes our event truly unique.
- What does it take to bring TEDxTinHauWomen to life? Which is your favourite part of the process?
Jen & Daniella: It is three things that bring it all together for us – a lot of thinking, rigorous planning & execution, and unequivocal support of our volunteers.
We generally start having conversations in February – analysing our last event, discussing things that can be done differently, exploring new ideas, so that we can give a standout experience to our community. In late March/ early April we get the rest of the leadership team together to pick their brains and kick off the planning. It is around May that we start to build the year’s committee and begin honing the concept.
Our whole committee is made up of volunteers – their energy, enthusiasm, dedication, and excitement is also what pushes us to create a fabulous event. Not to forget, a lot of blood, sweat, and sleepless nights go into planning and implementing each event. So, seeing everything come together on the final day, coupled with the look of sheer joy on the faces of our committee, speakers and audience, is what makes it absolutely magical.
- Can you share the most memorable moment thus far?
Jen: There are so many! For me the most memorable moments are the ones involving people sharing their stories of how our community and our speakers have impacted their life and really created a positive change.
Daniella: It’s the team behind the event – warmth from the familiar ones and enthusiasm from new ones on the committee, helping to drive the event – that creates everlasting memories. This diverse set of people come together as a team, year on year, creating a new, distinct, and sophisticated event.
- And finally, what can one expect from this year’s even
Jen & Daniella: Prepare to be surprised, thrilled and inspired, all at the same time from this year’s speaker line up and the venue. Be ready to shed some tears and share some laughter. And most importantly connect with your fellow attendees, our charities, engage in community activities and have conversations on ideas worth spreading.