2022 speaker lineup

From cracking down on illegal wildlife trade to running multi-million dollar theatrical shows to “taboo” art, this year’s show featured an exciting lineup of stories and speakers.

🌸 videos coming soon 🌸

Chinali Patel

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

Pangolins, pills, and payoffs. How are they connected? Organized crime, often associated with the drugs industry, has rapidly infiltrated the illegal wildlife trade. 300 pangolins are killed per day. Pangolin scales are valued at $3000 per kg, pangolin meat at $300 per kg, and live pangolins at around $900. These items are often traded for fentanyl, methamphetamine, and other illegal drugs. The illegal wildlife trade is dark and sophisticated business conducted by serious and organized crime gangs, and worth a staggering $23bn annually. It destabilizes ecosystems, fuels corruption, and rips sustainable economic opportunities from people in communities. 

A diplomat, a wildlife enthusiast, and a champion of diversity and inclusion, Chinali Patel leads the Illicit Finance Policy at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, working closely with regulators, financial institutions, and the private sector. Chinali believes that “we can come together and work as a group to ensure that species don’t get relegated to the history books”. She keeps busy raising awareness on this issue through educational initiatives and designing tools that track the money trail of the illegal wildlife trade, with an intent to disrupt criminal networks.

This woman of action is part of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee at the British Consulate-General. Her humble beginnings in India have been an important anchor that guides her to continually champion diversity, inclusion, and representation within the broader community by pushing for progress in equitable growth through collaboration plus advocating for building a diverse workforce.

Claudia Chanhoi

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

How can we see our bodies without shame? Media censorship tells us our genitals are obscene and indecent, yet sexualized images of women are all over the place on social media.

In this talk, artist Claudia Chanhoi walks you through her story of being censored on social media and how her experience inspired her to be extra creative with her cheeky illustrations.

As a female artist focusing on feminism, Claudia Chanhoi addresses forbidden and taboo subjects in a light-hearted way through humor and sarcasm, and of course her cheeky illustrations. She draws heavily from her own personal experiences to showcase her eclectic work in a colorful, funky art form. 

As an illustration artist based in Hong Kong, Claudia wields her art to spark discussions on ‘no-no’ topics, especially around the objectification of women’s bodies, which has become a process for her to reclaim her own sexuality. 

She has held solo exhibitions in Beijing, Miami, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and London and has worked with clients such as LELO, LUSH, NBC News, Playboy, JAJA Tequila, HarperCollins Publishers, just to name a few. She has also been featured in many publications including the Tatler (cover story for Sept 2021 issue), It’s Nice That, Creative Review, SCMP, Konbini, Marie Claire, Hunger Magazine, and more.

Irene Cheng

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

Irene set herself a creative challenge in 2019: she wanted to collect plastic waste from the Sha Tin community to create Hong Kong’s first public bench using local plastic waste. She learned some tough lessons through that long journey, where she encountered glitches in the design cycle of plastics in Hong Kong. The result is a prototype for the role that design can play to help create a world that keeps plastics out of the waste stream.

As an architect, installation artist, and mom of twin boys, Irene Cheng wears many hats. During her training as an architect, in London and Hong Kong, she began to question the top-down and distant approach of contemporary, international-style design. With an aim to create unique and engaging designs, she started her own company – HIR Studio – in 2016. 

At HIR, she intends to use design to stimulate public engagement as well as dialogue and aspires to combine craft and innovation to create spaces that enrich communities.

The 2017 winner of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects’ Young Architect Awards, Irene, is a sustainability advocate, who wants to do something about the ever-increasing plastic waste in Hong Kong. She is exploring ways to improve the manufacturing process so that more plastic waste can be collected and upcycled because she believes that great sustainable designs will encourage the public to recycle better.

Jen Flowers

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

From a drink or food we said we didn’t have, to the excuse of why we were late, to a life-altering proclamation, we all lie. We lie to ourselves, to our family, colleagues, and friends. We lie to comfort and we lie to protect. We lie from a lack of confidence and due to too much confidence. This talk looks at a study of Hong Kong women’s lying behaviors. From the laughs to the tears, we came together to evaluate the good, the bad, and the ugly. But most importantly, why we do it.

Jen Flowers is a longtime supporter of design thinking and women empowerment. Currently the Group and Asia Pacific Head of Customer Intelligence and Partnerships for HSBC Wealth and Personal Banking, she has two decades of experience focused on business development, market strategy, client relationships, and building new services and products across digital, data, customer, and emerging technology. 

She is also actively involved with various organizations in different capacities – she is on the board of ‘Hong Kong for Asian University for Women’; Director of Governors for ‘American Chamber’;  an Advisor for ‘Ladies Who Tech’ and several other female-run start-ups. Jen is also the co-founder and ex-chair of both TEDxShanghai and TEDxTinHauWomen, and is a sought-after speaker on subjects like innovation, digital transformation, team culture, design thinking, and women empowerment. Raised in Hong Kong, Jen continuously pushes for issues pertaining to women leadership and gender equality. 

Taura Edgar

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

Taura has recently published a groundbreaking report on what we do and don’t know about child sexual abuse in Hong Kong. She will share how data, research, and coordinated systems can help us identify and stop the harm to our children. The figures in TALK Hong Kong’s report represent a tragedy for children in Hong Kong and an opportunity for each of us – from guardians to educators, from employers to colleagues – to do something to end this public health crisis.

Trigger Warning (TW): This talk discusses topics of sexual abuse that may be triggering for some audiences. During the live event on 1 December, we offered a TW for the audience to have the option to enjoy the fair during this particular talk.

Taura Edgar moved to Hong Kong to live and work back in 1998.  She is a B2B digital marketer by day but has found a passion that puts to use her difficult start in life. Taura draws deeply from her own experience founding TALK Hong Kong in 2019; a peer support group for survivors of child sexual abuse. Her work with a community of survivors in Hong Kong has given her unique insights into the cause, scale, and impact of this issue, and forms the foundation of her prevention endeavors. As she began speaking in public forums, it became clear that there wasn’t much research or public data available in Hong Kong. She, along with TALK, has set out to bring awareness of the situation and present an opportunity for each of us – from guardians to educators, from employers to colleagues – to end this public health crisis.

Christina Ho

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

From a fashion designer to an airline pilot, Christina Ho knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. In this fireside chat, our Head of Speaker Selection, Jen Parks, spoke to Christina about how a Fine Arts graduate traded her fashion design career to become a cabin crew member. How stepping in the cockpit for the first time and seeing the pilots in action, prompted her to become a pilot, one of the few Asian women pilots in the industry in Hong Kong today. Despite her background, age and gender, Christina shares how she has been able to make a difference and how you can too. 

What kind of boxes are you putting yourself in or being put in by life unconsciously? Are you ready to be who you want to be?

Besides her day job as a pilot for a leading airline aviation company in Hong Kong, Christina creates the character #christtina_meow and works on a series called #LifeLessonsFromTheSky to promote positive thinking and aviation trivia on social media. She also actively volunteers at the Inspiring Girls International Organization, Hong Kong Youth Aviation Academy (HKYAA) and is a part of the Female Pilot Advisory Group (FPAG) and the Peer Assistant Network (PAN) within her company. This young trailblazer is now inspiring youth, especially women, to chase their dreams with passion and courage.

Anna Robb

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

At some point in your life, you will face an emergency situation. Will you be ready?

Anna has spent much of her life running highly technical and acrobatically ambitious theatrical shows for companies like Cirque du Soleil and Dragone Entertainment. She has dealt with hundreds of show stops and emergencies and has needed to make split-second decisions to keep cast and crew safe while entire audiences watch a situation unfold. In this TEDx talk, Anna takes her lessons from the stage and shares how you can prepare for the possibility of an emergency and what to do once you find yourself in one.

Anna is the Executive Director of the Live Show Division for Dragone, a Global Live Entertainment Company, known for its iconic theatre shows such as “The House of Dancing Water” in Macau, “La Perle” in Dubai, “Le Reve” in Las Vegas and Celine Dion’s “A New Day” residency show.

Originally from Australia and now based in Hong Kong, Anna’s 22-year career in live entertainment has taken her around the world. With a penchant for backstage management, Anna works on research and development, training, formation, and creation as well as operations. She is well-versed in handling the trials and tribulations of running multi-million dollar theatrical shows enjoyed by millions.

She holds a degree in Design for Theatre and Television and is also the Co-Founder and Managing Director for TheatreArtLife.com, an online platform for entertainment industry professionals.

Zaf Chow

Photo credit: Mihaela Tudor (@Mihaela_tudor)

Web3 is a decentralized internet built on an open and permissionless blockchain network, redistributing power and wealth away from the center to the periphery. The wealth gap is widening in our society, but Zaf helps us imagine the possibilities that can be unleashed when we take control of our digital property rights, giving everyone an equal chance at success. The shift in ownership enables the emergence of new businesses and the network effect that’s created. 

Zaf Chow is passionate about the opportunities that tech provides. As the Director of Digital Strategy and Partnerships at Animoca Brands, she promotes mass adoption of NFTs, and metaverses and facilitates the transition to Web3. 

Post a retail stint in Japan, Zaf returned to Hong Kong ready for the next challenge. She began her own start-up venture developing a fintech and IoT solution for mobile food ordering. She quickly gained prominence winning numerous awards including ‘Innovation and Change-making Entrepreneurship’ by InvestHK in 2017, ‘New World Group Entrepreneur Adventure’ in 2018, and ‘Best of Local Startup Award’ by PCM in 2018. During her tenure as a Director at AlipayHK, Zaf promoted the mass adoption of mobile-wallet.

Zaf believes there are no limitations when it comes to women thriving in any arena and is eager to share her knowledge and passion about the future of untapped possibilities when it comes to realizing your dreams.