Apply to be a 2023 Speaker

Do you have an idea worth spreading?

Selecting speakers for the TEDxTinHauWomen stage is one of the most exciting parts of our year. We are always looking for fresh perspectives and voices that would be of interest to women of Hong Kong and the world. We want to showcase trailblazing women in different fields, to enrich the conversation on equity and inclusion, and to share parts of our Hong Kong community and culture. 

We source our speakers from a combination of research and applications from the public.  You can nominate yourself, or you can nominate someone else. It could be your colleague, your friend, or someone you’ve heard with an inspiring idea. We carefully review every application, and selected applicants are invited for a short audition in front of members of our TEDxTinHauWomen committee. 

There is no difference whether you nominate yourself or someone else nominates you.

Fundamentally, we are looking for ideas from our speakers that can showcase women in Hong Kong who are leading scientific breakthroughs or social movements, who can inspire the audience to think in new ways, and who will challenge and educate us through their talk. TEDx gives us an opportunity to showcase our ideas to the world and from the first year we have made it our responsibility to make sure that our program reflects diversity in the line-up, both in terms of ideas as well as representation of Hong Kong communities. We look for credible speakers who need a platform and have an inspiring story to share. 

How to apply for yourself or someone else

Whether it’s yourself or someone you know with a great idea to share, fill in this online form to tell us more. The deadline for 2023 applications is 11:59pm on Monday 15 May.

Nominees will be notified in late May if they are invited to the live auditions.

What can you expect at the auditions?

This is an invitation for us and our community to get to know you.

Set in a casual, relaxed and intimate environment we hope our committee will gain better insights into you as a speaker and into the topic of your TEDx talk. There are no slides – it’s just you, a mic, and a small room full of people waiting to hear your Idea Worth Spreading.

What is the selection criteria?

During the Open Mic process we invite potential speakers to share their idea in a 3-minute slot where a small representation of the committee partake in voting based on three main factors: 

1. Link to current theme: this year’s theme from TEDWomen is 2 Steps Forward.

2. Relevance of the topic to HK and Global Women: to ensure our talks are locally grounded, with international relevance

3. Wow factor: this is quite subjective and gives the committee a chance to debate the ‘wow’ factors of each idea. Credibility of the speaker also plays a role. We ask ourselves – is it a trending topic (vs overdone and passes), is it groundbreaking, does it bring a new perspective?  

Throughout this assessment process we also keep an eye and close liaison with TED Global so all talks keep to the TED Content Guidelines, including the don’ts:

• No selling from the stage

• No political agendas

• No religious proselytizing (including new age beliefs)

• Only good science

Speaking at TEDx is more than a simple talk – it’s people from our community sharing a big idea. We advise all potential speakers to consider the time commitment: from August until the event in November, the talk development and rehearsal process, supported by professional coaches, requires work on a weekly basis to make sure the talk is a success. 

Read more in the TEDx Speaker Guide

If you missed our speaker info session, watch the recording here:



To watch our 2022 talks, click here:

Be the first to know what’s happening with TEDxTinHauWomen by signing up for our newsletter here:

Originally written in 2018 by Stefanie Myers, former Co-Chair, co-founder, and Head of Curation and Community. 

Updated in July 2019 by Co-Chair and Head of Marketing and Communications, Daniella Lopez, on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Updated in May 2022 by Head of Curation, Martine McKenna, on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Updated in April 2023 by Head of Curation, Treena Nairne, on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Building partnerships with purpose

We are very fortunate and grateful to have strong supporters – big and small –  who believe in the TEDxTinHauWomen vision, help us bring pertinent issues to light, and champion our mission to provide a platform to women’s voices in the city. They play a significant role in the success of our thought leadership event. As a non-profit event, our sponsorship stipend is steered towards photography and video, renting an accessible venue, and thoughtfully organizing an unforgettable experience for our guests. All of this helps us set the stage for our speakers to share ‘ideas worth spreading.

Over the years our title sponsors –  J.P. Morgan and Allen & Overy – have become a part of the TEDxTinHauWomen fabric, an intrinsic part of our journey. They have sponsored every single one of our events since 2017, making it possible for us to showcase ideas that matter and inspire hope.

Here’s a peek into our quick chat with them.

1. Why do you continue to sponsor TEDxTinHauWomen?

J.P. Morgan – The spirit of TEDxTinHauWomen is closely aligned with J.P. Morgan’s own commitment to, and efforts in promoting gender diversity.

Allen & Overy – Allen & Overy are dedicated to promoting a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We encourage everyone to bring their authentic selves to work. It is our honor to support TEDxTinHauWomen for a 6th consecutive year as part of our commitment to the community. Through this platform, we hope to strengthen connections with the community and empower individuals to make change beyond the event itself.

2. What can we expect at your booth this year?

J.P. Morgan – Visit our booth to learn how women’s rights in Hong Kong have “bloomed” over the last half century and commemorate the theme of this year’s event by making your own origami flowers out of our specially commissioned patterned paper that celebrates Hong Kong.

Allen & Overy – As we approach the new calendar year, we will provide attendees with the opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. We invite attendees to share what steps they will take to ‘Bloom’ by growing and developing over the next twelve months. Guests are welcome to write their intentions on a petal and place it in one of three flower displays to unify all the commitments as a community.

We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s #TEDxTinHauWomen #InBloom on Thursday, 1 December 2022 at Xiqu Centre, where in between the talks of our eight powerful speakers, you’ll have a chance to swing by our “Fair” and meet our two title sponsors.

For event updates, follow our socials- Instagram,  Twitter, and Facebook and sign up for the TEDxTinHauWomen email updates.

Blooming in on our 2022 Communities

Community connections and creating a positive impact drives us at TEDxTinHauWomen. Our speaker-guest bond is the strongest element of our flagship event; we nonetheless consciously leverage this platform to highlight causes that are close to our volunteer community and draw attention to not-for-profit organizations that do exceptional work but need some support. We bring to light their stories in our event’s highly engaging “fair” element, creating an atmosphere for meaningful interactions.

So how do we select our charities for the year? Every year our volunteers propose names of the Hong Kong-based NGOs they want to support, and we collectively, via a voting system, identify three charities for that year. This year we will be shining light on – Pathfinders, Hope of the City and Plastic Free Seas- NGOs working on issues pertaining to children of migrant workers, the underprivileged, and sustainability.

Here’s a quick look at them:

  • Pathfinders ensures the most vulnerable and unsupported children in Hong Kong are protected and respected, and their Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) mothers are empowered to find a path to a brighter future. 
  • Hope of the City works to transform the lives of the underprivileged in Hong Kong, providing access to opportunities and believing in each person’s potential to succeed.
  • Plastic Free Seas is a Hong Kong-based environmental charity focused on changing how we all view and use plastics in society today through education and action campaigns.

To foster a socially engaged community and create new experiences through our stimulating speaker talks and driven NGOs, our 2022 event “In Bloom” endeavors to spark conversations and actions that can collectively make all the difference.

Join us for a heartwarming afternoon at Xiqu Centre Thursday, 01 December 2022!

For event updates, follow our TEDxTinHauWomen Instagram,  Twitter, and Facebook accounts and sign up for the TEDxTinHauWomen email updates.

Please note: As per TEDx guidelines, we do not donate money to these charities. We offer a platform and access to our community, support at their events, awareness of their causes. We also offer complimentary tickets to our annual event. 


Through the years our talks have resonated with many, shining a light on “ideas worth spreading”. Our annual event has blossomed into an exuberant environment for interactions, strengthened our community, and also highlighted the need for us to rethink our environmental impact. 

With this in mind, we have taken a conscious decision of looking at our events through the lens of our key pillars – COMMUNITY, NETWORKING, and SUSTAINABILITY. Read on to learn how these pillars will shape our events.


We are all about creating a vibrant community – our spirited group of volunteers, who together, dedicate their time, energy, and resources to help our event come to fruition. Our local partners and sponsors who support our mission to provide a platform to new voices. And most importantly, our speakers, who share their ideas and a spectrum of voices to stimulate engaging conversations.


We value the power of connection and building meaningful relationships, which is why our events are interwoven with interactive experiences, offering our sponsors, our partners and our guests a platform to connect, have lively exchange of thoughts and inspire a common sense of community. In fact, the “fair” element of our event highlights NGOs, local entrepreneurs, social impact organizations and brings to fore their stories and their impactful activities creating an effortless atmosphere for meaningful interactions.


We are conscious of the environmental impact of our events and are pursuing the sustainability challenge head-on. And have proactively embraced the principles of ‘reduce, reuse,  recycle’ – by limiting single-use plastics from our events to installing water refill stations, education on-site, reusing lanyards as well as recycling signages from previous years. We continuously step up our efforts to minimize our environmental impact, and expect the same of our event sponsors.

Guided by our key pillars, we aim to foster the sharing of great ideas that can transform the world and build a socially-engaged community in Hong Kong, stimulate conversations and actions which can collectively – make all the difference.

So join us for an invigorating afternoon at Xiqu Centre, to hear from our diverse group of visionary speakers with powerful messages that will leave you energized & ruminating! 

Mark your calendars for December 1, 2022 and for event updates follow our TEDxTinHauWomen Instagram,  Twitter and Facebook accounts and sign up for the TEDxTinHauWomen email updates.

We have a date! Mark your calendars for December 1!

Wow, time sure does fly. It feels like just yesterday we were wrapping up our 2021 event and it’s already time to start planning for the next. Yes, the process of regrouping and realigning for another edition of TEDxTinHauWomen has begun. And there are some changes you will see in this year’s event at Xiqu Centre, West Kowloon District – familiar faces giving way to new and some ideas getting defined.

This year our super energetic co-chair, Daniella Lopez, will lead the team from front along with Victoria Gilbert as our new co-chair. We’re also thankful to have Martine McKenna-Hoeg join our leadership team this year as the Head of Curation, bringing with her years of experience and flair from hosting TEDx Wanchai! And among the new faces is the strong steady hand of the old pros of our leadership team – Camille Or (Chief Co-ordination Officer), Caroline Tosswill (Head of Partnerships) and Elena Collins (Head of Creative) who are working tirelessly towards bringing another electrifying event and leading a team of 50+ volunteers!

Having new additions in the leadership team is not the only change that has transpired in the last few months. We have been very consciously pushing the envelope on three key elements – community, networking, and sustainability – in our events. This year we are taking this a notch up and cementing them as the key pillars of TEDxTinHauWomen events.

Commenting on the Community pillar of TEDxTinHauWomen, Daniella Lopez, said that “Our local community is the very essence of our events. We are a community-driven organization – our band of volunteers can vouch for it and so can our local partners and sponsors who are fully invested in our mission and are proud to have their brand aligned to our goals. And last but not the least, we are proud to bring together a community of trailblazers as speakers with inspirational thoughts and ideas. Everything you experience in our events is a testament to thriving, like-minded communities, with a conscious focus on making a difference.”

Through our events, we spotlight, not just our select speakers but also our community members — be it NGOs, local entrepreneurs, social impact organizations. “It’s important for us to provide a space for engagement and conversations between our guests, our speakers, and the local entrepreneurs and NGOs that make up our community. Our fair experience provides a platform, a chance to learn more about their stories, their impact and build a bond, to connect and collaborate,” continues Daniella.

“We are very thankful that our event continues to draw a crowd and grateful to our attendees for taking time out to be a part of TEDxTinHauWomen. Yet, creating an event from scratch is not without its challenges on the sustainability front. We are committed to reducing our impact where we can and step up our efforts each and every year. For example, a couple of years ago we took a stance to remove single-use plastics from our events. Now we always install a water refill station and ask attendees to use more sustainable reusable alternatives,” said Victoria Gilbert on the Sustainability pillar.   

“We have truly embedded the  ‘reduce, reuse,  recycle’  mantra into our planning  – our creative team ensures that they use sustainable or digital materials where possible; we reuse lanyards and the recycle signages from previous years; we work with our community to source reusable/recyclable products and encourage attendees to take public transport (there is a very handy MTR station with direct access to the venue). We feel that this issue requires collective action and everyone has a role to play,” she added.

So what can you expect from TEDxTinHauWomen this year? With a focus on these three pillars, needless to say, our endeavor is to bring you an afternoon to remember at Xiqu Centre, fuelled by dazzling, inspirational ideas. We are busy planning and prepping for this engaging and stimulating event!

So save the date – December 1, 2022, and for event updates follow our TEDxTinHauWomen Instagram,  Twitter, and Facebook accounts and sign up for the TEDxTinHauWomen email updates.

See highlights from our last year’s event here!

So much to be thankful for!

TEDxTinHauWomen Committee 2021 *
Photo: Binoj Janardhan

Happy Thanksgiving Day to you and your loved ones. It doesn’t matter if this holiday is a part of your festive calendar, this holiday dedicated to gratitude, is a good reminder for us to reflect on the year, mull over things and give thanks to all the good in our life. It prompts us to pause, spare a thought to things we are most appreciative about and express our gratefulness.

With the pandemic restrictions still in play, many of us are not able to go back home and be with our loved ones.  But we know they are there for us and that is reason enough for cheer and optimism. No matter how hard the year has been, we are still able to find our blessings, our silver linings. Our event this year will do just that, it will reflect on this thought showcasing ideas that prompt us to be hopeful. 

Only a couple of weeks to go for the big day, we have hit the pause button for the moment to think about things we are most grateful for.

So, what is TEDxTinHauWomen thankful for this year? 

To begin with, our live in-person event. Unlike many of our counterparts across the world who are unable to host a live event, we are thankful that we can put together our face-to-face event this year.

Our team of volunteers who give us their precious time and talent, working tirelessly to put on a show that is truly exceptional. And that’s not all, this is a close-knit team that has each other’s back, empowering, encouraging, uplifting one and all.   

We are thankful to our speakers, who put their trust in us and allow us to help them prepare an engaging, impactful talk. Our sponsors, who believe in the power of ideas and support our event year on year. And our audience who mark their calendars for our inspiring talks.

And most importantly we are thankful to our families, our friends who are our backbone. They support us through and through, drive us to be the best we can be, love us unconditionally no matter what and recognize our passion for this community which is TEDxTinHauWomen. 

These are a few of the things we are thankful for. We hope you too are taking a pause to recognize things you are most grateful for in your life. 

*Photo taken at an amazing team bonding session, and we missed some of our amazing rockstars who couldn’t make it on that day.

Tête-à-Tête  with Jen & Daniella, the powerhouse women behind TEDxTinHauWomen

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.

What it means to be a TEDx sponsor…

The long-standing support from our sponsors including J.P. Morgan and Allen & Overy makes the annual TEDxTinHauWomen events in Hong Kong possible 

While our beloved city, Hong Kong, is slowly distancing itself from the pandemic gloom, we at TEDxTinHauWomen have chosen to showcase ideas that celebrate optimism and spark conversations with our 2021 theme –  “What Matters Now?”. Taking a colourful, illustrative approach to re-emerge, our December 10 event will be held at the impressive Xiqu Centre in the West Kowloon district.

In the last few years, our events have attracted strong visionary speakers, and have garnered support from a variety of corporates, as well as institutions, and have received an overwhelming response from our audience.

In our journey thus far, we are hugely grateful to all of our supporters along the way — big and small — for their contributions in making our yearly event the success it is today.  As the organizer of a non-profit event, we direct sponsorship stipends towards photography and video, renting an accessible venue and curating a memorable experience for our guests. All of this helps us set the stage for our speakers to share ‘ideas worth spreading’. Sponsors such as J.P. Morgan and Allen & Overy – who over the years have title sponsored every single one of our events – make it possible for us to shine a light on Hong Kong’s unsung stories and inspirational speakers.

Our partnership with J.P. Morgan and Allen & Overy, which began in 2017, has generated 5 successful events and provided platforms to 28 passionate speakers who have shared their impactful initiatives with over 1,500 attendees to date. 

Needless to say, that we would not be able to make TEDxTinHauWomen a success without the support of our sponsors. We therefore ask if:

  • women equity is on your corporate agenda
  • you would like to enable the voices of change and innovation
  • you are looking to support drivers of positive social change

If that’s a yes, then we could be the partner for you. TEDxTinHauWomen events not only highlight the contribution of women in Hong Kong, but also provide a safe space for people coming from all walks of life to come, enjoy stimulating talks, discuss important topics and new ideas worth spreading. 

What to expect on 10 December 2021?

This year, we polled our community to find out what you want to hear and the themes of self-care, purpose and perspective came out on top, taking inspiration from the notion that it is okay to feel the way you do and still find it in you to focus on what really counts – health, kindness, patience, empathy, enthusiasm, love and optimism.

This year we plan to return with a bang! and there are a variety of excellent ways to have your brand involved in our regular sell-out event: 

  • Cash sponsorship – packages ranging from HKD5,000 to HKD50,000. All of which include complimentary event tickets for staff or clients.
  • Goody bags for event attendees  – branded gifts, the bag itself, or a bespoke offer.

We are looking to create long-term partnerships, where the TEDxTinHauWomen event becomes a major asset for your company. For further information, please email  on how you can become an official 2021 partner.

Together we can provide impetus to great ideas that can transform the world and build a socially-engaged community in Hong Kong.

Tickets will go on sale for the Dec 10, 2021 TEDxTinHauWomen event soon, watch this space. 

Learn more about TEDx partners here:

To hear our talks from previous years, click here:

#TEDxTinHauWomen           #WhatMattersNow

TEDxTinHauWomen are back!! So What Matters Now…

“No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit.” – Helen Keller

These words by Helen Keller, humanity’s extraordinary icon, bring a special meaning at a time when the pandemic has brought life to a virtual standstill. Yet a lot has changed in the last one year as our routines got disrupted, forcing us to reformat our existence. 

Keller’s words also resonate well with the event we are planning in December, whose theme incidentally is “What Matters Now.’’ The gathering is set to showcase ideas and prompt us to re-think and re-align.  

If the global health crisis brought despair to many corners of the world, it also made many of us focus on issues that were critical to our overall wellbeing. While health and immunity became priority, mental health is getting the attention it deserves. There is a staggering rise in domestic abuse due to lockdown, many women quitting workforce to support home schooling. On the flip-side working from home not only became necessary but also found acceptance. Our kids got used to attending classes online. Families got closer, communities rallied to help those in need.

“The pandemic deeply impacted everyone. It forced us to re-look at every aspect of our life.  But it also shone a light on compassion, shared experiences and brought us closer. And challenged the creative thinkers, problem solvers, innovators, to go beyond the ordinary,” said Jen Flowers, our Co-Founder and Co-Chair.

So, what now? Where do we go from here? What would the world be post Covid? What will the new normal be?

It’s the time to Pause, Breathe, Reflect, Reset and Re-imagine a better future.   

“We are thrilled to bring back our annual event, especially with such a thought-provoking theme this year. Our Hong Kong community will be inspired by diverse topics from amazing speakers who are passionate about big ideas and making a difference. With some new changes all around, we can’t wait for you to see what we are planning,” added Daniella Lopez, our Co-founder and Co-Chair.

The TEDxTinHauWomen tribe in Hong Kong is  already supercharged about this. The manic frenzy has started! The stage is set. Be sure to join us and be a part of these inspiring talks that will spark stimulating conversations.

So mark your calendar and save the date. Our 2021 countdown will take place in Hong Kong on Friday, December 10, 2021. Half a day of gathering together as a community, celebrating visionary speakers with powerful messages.

We will share more details on the event and how to get tickets soon, so save the date [December 10, 2021], follow our TEDxTinHauWomen InstagramTwitter and Facebook accounts and sign up for the TEDxTinHauWomen email updates.

We have given the oceans a fever. Is improving our climate fitness the cure?

Jessica Broomhall gives herself a climate bootcamp inspired by Jonathan Cybulski’s TEDxTinHau Countdown talk.

Jonathan Cybulski at TEDxTinHau Countdown explains how to build your climate fitness. Photo by Alex Macro.

Climate change and athletics. Two things I most definitely would not have put together… at least that is until Jonathan Cybulski took to the stage for the TEDxTinHau Countdown event and introduced his Climate Fitness training manual. 

Jonathan, a marine ecologist, athlete and fitness coach, believes that we must improve our climate fitness to become part of the solution to climate change.

Jonathan’s training guide to improve our climate fitness includes 4 key steps:

  1. Reshape your mentality – rather than quitting in the face of the climate mountain ahead of us to climb, put one foot in front of the other and start walking” celebrate the small achievements
  2. Reform your climate identity – recognise one conscious action every day for 30 days. Through identifying as a sustainable person, you will find it easier to become more sustainable.
  3. Take actions – align these to your interests and find your tribe. Like the beach? Organize a cleanup. Budding chef? Prepare a vegan or sustainable meal.
  4. Learn to care. Build your personal motivation and trust the process.
Watch Jonathan’s TEDxTinHau Countdown ‘How to build your climate fitness’

Sometimes in the fitness world we need a boost. A kickstart towards our goal. That’s when a bootcamp comes in. In line with the TEDxTinHau Countdown key areas, I committed to making a small change every day for 5 days across each of food, energy, transport, nature, fashion.

So here we go.

Climate fitness bootcamp day 1 – food

Between the office and studying life can be pretty full on. If I haven’t meal prepped for the week on Sunday, it’s likely I’ll resort to take-out for both lunch and dinner. I know this isn’t good for me or the planet, but knowledge doesn’t always equate to action, and sometimes convenience and cravings win out over my better self.

Lunch is usually a quick dart to get a sandwich or (usually) a Deliveroo. Today I make a conscious decision to switch this up. I give my legs a stretch and my brain a break and head over to Mana for a wrap. Food literacy – the subject of Peggy Chan’s talk , is all about understanding the impact of food on your health, the environment, and the economy. By skipping meat and supporting local business this seems like a step in the right direction.

Day 2 – energy

We use energy in almost everything we do, most often unconsciously. Looking around my desk I have my laptop, extra screen, and phone charger all plugged into the grid, lights on, aircon on… you get the picture.

I turn to google to find some tips to improve my energy efficiency and come across the concept of ‘Vampire Energy’. Vampire energy (or phantom load) refers to appliances that remain plugged in even when not in use (i.e. on standby mode), sucking up energy and ramping up your electricity bill.

A quick tour of my apartment that evening confirms I’m feeding the vampire, and I unplug the offending appliances. Easy, right?

Day 3 – transport

I feel pretty lucky in Hong Kong. We have a great public transport network that’s clean, frequent, and cheap. To push this further, my small win for today was to ditch transport all together and to walk into work. I feel good for the walk, and it allowed me to take time for myself and reflect on Ollie Haas’s talk on the future of flying. I love travel. Unlike Ollie however, I do not love flying (genuinely terrified). Nonetheless I don’t think it’s something I’ll ever fully give up. With the prospect of travel bubbles and vaccines on the horizon, I make a commitment to myself to purchase carbon credits if and when I travel in the future. As Ollie said, it’s not the solution, but it’s a continuous trade off.

Jessica has a revamped holiday wardrobe courtesy of her climate bootcamp. Photo courtesy of Jessica Broomhall.

Day 4 – fashion

A basic cotton t-shirt on average takes a whopping 2,700 litres of water to produce, putting huge strain on our freshwater resources. Add to this the impact of pesticides and insecticides, manufacturing, transportation, use, and disposal, and you can see the issues caused by fast fashion consumerism begin to mount up.

Running up to the festive period I need a few outfits to keep it fresh. Luckily, I have a great group of friends and we decide to get together and have a clothes swap x mulled wine evening to revamp our respective wardrobes. I emerge with a bag full of awesome outfits – it’s a resounding success and we’ll definitely be doing this again in the New Year!

Day 5 – nature

Like Jonathan, I have a mild ocean obsession. My own sustainability journey began with a love of scuba diving, and by seeing first-hand the extent of coral bleaching and the mountains of plastic we’ve poured into the ocean.

A Plastic Ocean is a Hong Kong based NGO dedicated to creating ‘a wave of change’ to stop plastic pollution via education and policy advocacy. They created an award-winning documentary that I’ve put off watching because it’s easier to ignore the problem than to acknowledge it and do something about it. Today my action is educational… time to finally watch this.

I’m overwhelmed by the damage we’ve done but also inspired by the team behind the film and the work the NGO does do day-in day-out to encourage people to be part of the solution. We can and must do better to help save our oceans.

Reflections on the bootcamp

It really wasn’t too much effort to change up my choices, but I recognize I still have a long way to go – doing one push-up isn’t going to make me strong. Acknowledging the choices we make is a key step in changing them for the better… and as with any fitness goal the real challenge comes in sticking with it until actions become habit.

I’m up for the challenge – are you?

Design you own climate fitness and #JoinTheCountdown with the Count Us In aggregator. Choose from the 16 steps that will have the most impact at

Jessica Broomhall is currently studying for the Masters of Corporate Environmental Governance at the University of Hong Kong.