TEDxTinHauWomen sustainability mission

TEDxTinHauWomen is fully committed to sustainability and keeping our impact on the environment to a minimum.

This year, we took extra care to implement as many green steps as we could take to promote the importance of sustainable living and waste reduction during TEDxTinHauWomen.

Attendees received a reusable tote bag packed to the brim with great sustainable goodies. Rather than vouchers and leaflets, all the great promotions were sent via email so there was less paper used and attendees wouldn’t miss out on any deals! No other flyers were provided aside from our brochure (which we hope would be kept) and all the information around on-the-day experience, speakers, schedules, zones and interactions, was listed on our Convene app (look for the QR codes!)

Attendees indulged in refreshments throughout the day using reusable water bottles and coffee cups made available for everyone. Our mission was for our F&B partners not use a single piece of plastic throughout the day, and if any waste is produced, we recycled EVERYTHING!

For attendees who preferred to not take their goodie bag home, we offered a re-gifting system donating these to a local charity so that nothing went to waste. We even re-used gift bags, bracelets, lanyards and other many bits and pieces from last year, preventing any additional wastage as we continued to grow within the community.

We encourage each and every one of you to really think about the way you consume and the small changes we can all make every day in order to have a big impact, at home, at work or anywhere you go.

Thank you on behalf of the TEDxTinHauWomen Committee for your help in making our event as sustainable as possible!

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

Written by: Danielle on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Highlights from last year’s event: Joey Law and Hillary Yip

Summary :
How many industries that are still around from 100 years ago are making their products the same way? None! Every day we wake up to news about dramatic shifts in job markets and how jobs are slowly being replaced by robots. Are we educating our kids to succeed in this new era? In one talk from last year’s event, mother and daughter duo share their perspectives on their experiences with the education system in Hong Kong and how they choose to define their own learning experience in one of the most competitive cities in the world.

Just like any 11 year old, Hillary thought education was synonymous with school – but that changed when she started her senior school. The environment encouraged competition, and Hillary found herself torn between acceptance vs not wanting to be like the popular gang. Being curious and passionate about learning wasn’t “cool” anymore and the feeling of not fitting in got so overwhelming that Hillary’s confidence faded away. Friends drifted apart and she succumbed to bullying – that’s when her parents pulled her out of the school and gave her a 3-month break.

What happened in the 3-month break was an eye opener for Joey, Hillary’s mom. Joey had intentionally changed the way Hillary learnt from passive to active. Hillary was free to choose the subjects that genuinely interested her. Her renewed attitude towards learning, the sparkle in her eyes when she went on and on about politics and psychology made Joey see learning in a new light.

Hillary loved that she could deep dive into the subject and learn everything about it, something she couldn’t do in school. A couple of years prior to this, Hillary took part in a kids entrepreneurship program,where she came up with the idea to connect kids across the world for meaningful exchanges and collaborative learning, a project she called Minor mynas. She felt more like herself in the business world than she did in school. The working world had welcomed her with open hands and she found mentors that selflessly guided her. She learnt the importance of taking risks and venturing out of her comfort zone and doing new things.

With the new found confidence from what Hillary achieved during her break, the family took a leap of faith and started homeschooling Hillary and her brother Alexis. With homeschooling Hillary is able to pursue academics more intensely than before. She gets to pursue her interest classes and work on her side projects. She makes time to focus on Minor mynas and has built it into a full-fledged start up. She loves the fact that she has the freedom to choose what she wants to learn and manage her time. Not attending school doesn’t deprive her of social interactions either as the homeschooling community organizes joint activities for kids including play dates and sleepovers with friends.

Personally for me (the author of this post), the key reminder of this amazing TEDx talk was that education is all about learning to prepare for the future. It’s about customizing learning to the student’s interests, pace and strength. Education should be about giving the child a childhood to learn and explore through. So do not put your child’s education on auto pilot – take charge and give them the time and space to explore their interests and build qualities that will blossom them into a well rounded,successful individuals.

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

Written by: Sowjanya on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

TEDxTinHauWomen launches Vpact – experience it Nov 30

Images can have a profound effect on people, evoking some of humanity’s most powerful emotions: joy, anger, empathy.  How can a photo be so powerful?

Is it because so much can be said in a single image? Or that images transcend language barriers?

This year we launch V-Pact, a new program to provide more opportunities for the Hong Kong community to tell their stories. Curated entirely by TEDxTinHauWomen,  a  series  of  short  60-90  second  visual  presentations will  be  shown in between  the  live  talks  to  provide  the  audience  with  thought-provoking important messages and inspirational calls to action.

Each presenter is from the Hong Kong community and has a visual story to share. This year we are happy to bring you the following presenters who are Showing Up on 30 November 2018 to share their stories:

Vivian McGrath
I am enough

Esther Roling
Thoughts of a globetrotting mom

Alice Farmer

Riya Chandiramani
The best middle Finger

Tanja Wessels
Tanja’s Plastic Ball

YingYing Liu
A voice for the wild

 #TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

 To hear 2017 talks, click here




TEDxTinHauWomen is more than talks. What else can you expect?


TEDx is a magical place of connection that encourages different perspectives and supports sharing cultures with one another

If this is your first TEDx talk, know that there is a lot to expect! – the energy, emotion, mental wellness, diversity, empowerment, innovation, positive vibe,  guidance, inspiration/ aspiration,…etc. (I can continue keep going on the list) but if you ask me the first thing in my mind, it is about the connection – the connection between the speaker and audience, the connection between audience and audience, and utmost, the connection between ALL of us.

And what is that connection? What does it say? For myself, it’s the natural bond that exists between people that sometimes we tend to overlook or forget because of our busy schedules. That connection does not form through race, gender, age or personality type, instead it happens when we put aside our ego and share our vulnerabilities. And that is exactly what draws me into the TEDx spirit – a place that enables rich and deep conversation and embraces differences you find in one another – even from strangers!

I believe that true connection does not come from social media nor technology (which nowadays occupies a whole lot of daily life). Instead, I believe true connection comes from a receptive mindset – and this is what you can expect from TEDxTinHauWomen.

#We are all beautiful in our way they will discover the beauty when one’s mind is connected with one another – and that is the key to building a better world… 

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow 

Written by: Joanna on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Watch livestream talks from Palm Springs TEDWomen 2018!

Summary: On November 30th you won’t only see amazing speakers and stories from Hong Kong, you’ll also see incredible TED talks from the TEDWomen conference in Palm Springs.  Here’s why we live-steam!

Taking place in Palm Springs November 28th-30th, this years TEDWomen conference will be an empowering event showcasing innovative thinkers and ideas. And as much as we’d like to celebrate how these dynamic and diverse people are Showing Up by attending in person, many of us cannot find the time, or face the jetlag, to make that happen.  But, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you won’t need to grab your passport or a plane ticket to be part of the conversation.

On November 30th, we’ll be live-streaming the top talks from TEDWomen for all TEDxTinHauWomen attendees to enjoy.  With some of TEDs most iconic moments coming for TEDWomen, you’re guaranteed to hear ideas that will spark debate and discussion.

By live-streaming, our TEDx event becomes part of a global event, a global dialogue, a global community; while we might be in Hong Kong, live-streaming means we’re Showing Up to be part of a bigger conversation. Most importantly, live-streaming reminds us of our common cause; to share ideas that empower each other to shape the future we all want to see.

So be ready to be connected to and inspired by ideas coming straight to you from the Springs!  

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

Get your tickets for 30 November here:

 Written by: Fi on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen


Highlights from Last Year: Cristina Tahoces on Nutrition’s Role in Mind-body Strength

Summary: As we rush eagerly to make the most of our bustling lives in Hong Kong, let’s take it back to Cristina Tahoces’s talk about how we can reach our full potential by eating with a purpose to: “Sleep, Love, Poop”.

Cristina Tahoces is a former banker turned nutritionist and current owner of Thrive Nutrition Practice. She left a successful career in corporate after having her first child and battling with severe health issues. After pursuing her Diploma in Holistic Nutrition, she started Thrive Nutrition Practice – which she now refers to as her “third baby” – to help others live their best life.

Cristina reminds us that everyone has to eat with a purpose to Sleep, Love and Poop. Christina reminded everyone about the importance of nutrition and how it can foster our development, something that we all often easily overlook.

To all the millions of people that struggle with sleep, she proposes a strategy to “plan to sleep from the moment we wake up”. A key part of this strategy is fuelling our minds and body to cope with all the stress and anxiety that come back to haunt us at night. Whether it be filling ourselves with the right amounts of protein, B5 and B6 vitamins or magnesium. She persuasively answered our most frequently asked questions about the sleepless nights we face.

Another one of her goals is to instil values of self-love and confidence to prevent us from ever having to remove things from our diet. She thrives on a simple yet effective mantra that has allowed her to lead a healthy life: “don’t give it up…trade up.” Associating life and nutrient dense foods as rewards changes everything, there will no longer be a need to buy that expensive organic-gluten free granola bar, because all you will want to do is dig in to that bowl of fresh homemade guacamole sitting in your fridge.

Finally, she talked about the power of poop. Our poop is very strongly correlated with our health and happiness levels, not many people know that 90% of serotonin production occurs in our gut and our poop actually determines our food cravings. Like she pointed out: “it’s time to stop your poop from controlling you”. Fill your diet with extra fiber and water to give yourself the control and detoxify daily. We all have the privilege to make choices and Cristina’s talk empowered the audience to make the best ones and take control of our lives just like she did.

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

To hear 2017 talks, click here

To buy tickets for 30 November, click here

Written by: Nikita on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

How we choose our speakers

SUMMARY: One of the most common questions asked of the TEDxTinHauWoman planning committee is “How do you select the speakers?”.  In this post, our Head of Curation walks through the nomination and selection process. For Friday November 30, 2018, you can see the full list of speakers here 

After 7 years leading TEDx events, this has to be one of the most common questions I am asked – how we select our speakers! Answer: It’s a mix of process and intuition.

As the Head of Curation I am looking for ideas from our speakers that can showcase women in Hong Kong who are leading scientific breakthroughs and social movements, who can help the audience think about their lives and communities 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 I feel a huge responsibility to make sure that our program reflects contemporary Hong Kong, modern women and the lives we lead. When designing the program it’s really important that we have diversity in the lineup, both in terms of ideas as well as representation of Hong Kong communities. The credibility of the speaker, the authenticity of their idea and message, and how I think their idea is relevant and resonates today for women is also part of the consideration.

For this year’s TEDxTinHauWomen we sourced speakers in three ways…

  1. Nominations through our committee: we have a large and well-connected committee of women with networks throughout HK – business, society, charity, education, parent groups, etc – we ask them to list who they think should apply.
  2. We have an open application process: we advertise to encourage people to apply to be a speaker. The first year of TEDxTinHauWomen we received around 18 applications, this 2nd year we received almost 60!
  3. We actively seek people who fit a certain profile: sometimes when planning our program we can’t find the right person fit to fill a space in the program, so we deliberately go out to find someone that meets some specific criteria.

After we have a long list of applications, we review and rate the applications based on three elements…

  1. Link to current theme: each year we have a theme that we are working towards and we seek talks relate to it (Reminder: this year’s theme is Showing Up Now!)
  2. Relevance of the topic to HK and Global Women: we want to make sure our talks are locally grounded, with international relevance
  3. Wow factor: this is quite subjective and gives the Curation Committee a chance to debate the ‘wow’ factors of each idea. Credibility of the speaker also plays a role in here. Questions the committee asks themselves – is it a trending topic (vs overdone and passe), is it groundbreaking, does it bring a new perspective?  

Throughout this assessment process we also keep an eye and close liaison with TEDGlobal to make sure that any talks people are proposing to keep to the TED Content Guidelines (you’d be surprised how many applications are automatically knocked out because they don’t meet these basic guidelines). This includes:  

  • No selling from the stage
  • No political agendas
  • No religious proselytizing (including new age beliefs)
  • Only good science

We then make a shortlist and have a face to face interview with the potential speakers. We debated a lot in our committee this year in the lead up to getting to a final line up. That debate and diversity of opinion really helped us to get to a speaker list that we felt comfortable with.

After all of that, we then ask the speakers if they are willing to do it! We have had a few people who unfortunately had to say ‘no’ due to time commitments or other conflicts, so even if we have the perfect line up on paper, at the end of the day the practicalities of availability also come into it. Speaking at TEDx is more than a simple talk – it is a big time commitment from the speakers. As it includes participating in coaching to make sure the talk is a success and joining in community activities as part of the event development.

The TEDxTinHauWomen committee are confident we have a lineup up of speakers that will be compelling, captivating, inspiring and challenging for the audience. See the full list of speakers here https://tedxtinhauwomen.com/2018-speakers/.

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

To hear 2017 talks, click here

To buy tickets for 30 November, click here

Written by: Stefanie Myers, Co-Chair, Head of Curation and Community, on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen


Special programs at 2018 TEDxTinHauWomen

In addition to our fabulous speakers here is an intro to the amazing special programs scheduled for November 30
(tickets available here on Pelago events page ):

Showing up in Music

Songs of empowerment, chasing your dreams and women taking charge – a performance by AWEN


AWEN is a French-Senegalese singer and song-writer, currently based between Hong Kong and Paris. Ex-lawyer, AWEN is the founder of the event company, Rage by AWEN, her portfolio counts prestigious clients such as LACMA, the W hotel and Dining Concept. In addition to performing in various venues in town, she is also behind some of Hong Kong’s most exclusive and popular DJ/vocalist collaborations and feels passionately about breaking down the walls between electronic and acoustic music.  

In Conversation – Showing up for Identity

TEDxTinHauWomen talks with Small Luk, exploring ideas on identity, the rights of children and the importance of self-expression, and support needed from government, society, parents and the medical community to protect the health and lives of Intersex people.


Small Luk is Intersex, born as gender ambiguous and unwillingly gender assigned. Small founded the support group Beyond the boundary-knowing and concerns Intersex” in 2010, and came out publicly in 2015. She is an advocate locally and globally for the rights of Intersex and gender identity.

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow


To buy tickets for 30 November, click here: Pelago events

Edited by: Carita on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen


Introducing 2018 TEDxTinHauWomen speakers!

TEDxTHW_Speakers_AllLearn more about who you will be listening to on November 30th:
(Tickets available here on Pelago events page)

Showing up for your mental health
Dr. Zoë Fortune


Globally, 1 in 4 of us will suffer from a mental disorder during our lifetime. Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and the burden is 50% higher for women. Locally in Hong Kong, 60% of people report stress and anxiety related to their job, and 53% of secondary pupils show symptoms of depression.

Mental health issues affect our ability to engage productively in society, yet research shows only 26% people seek help. This, despite the fact that like many physical illnesses, most mental health problems are treatable. Showing up for each other, ourselves and our families, to educate, support and manage our mental health is crucial for living better, healthier lives.

Dr Zoë Fortune is CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance Hong Kong. A global organisation founded by businesses to create mentally healthy workplaces and change the culture around mental health, Zoë helped establish the CMHA in Hong Kong in 2017. A researcher by background, Zoë has led research programmes across various academic, psychiatric, criminology and international development settings. She holds a PhD in Health Services Research from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London. Zoë has won awards for her research work, has published articles in academic journals & the wider media, and is also an instructor in Mental Health First Aid. Zoë also dedicates her time to working on the issue of modern slavery.


Let’s beat cancer – together
Professor Rossa Chiu


At any one time, among every 1,000 individuals, there are 2 persons with a known cancer – and only 50% of cancer patients survive beyond 10 years. New therapies are being developed but many times, survival is only lengthened by months. Dr. Chiu is part of a groundbreaking research project aiming to reduce cancer deaths through early detection. In this talk, she will share her vision for a locally led, innovative solution to cancer diagnosis and how you can be involved to help beat cancer.

Dr Rossa Chiu is the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemical Pathology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. In her work, she develops DNA tests to solve diagnostic challenges. Her ground-breaking research has previously developed non-invasive tests to identify fetal diseases by analyzing small amounts of baby’s DNA in mother’s blood samples. Since 2011, this has led to worldwide changes in prenatal testing practices. To tackle the cancer epidemic, she and her colleagues have been developing blood tests with the goal to identify cancers early, thereby reducing cancer-related deaths.


Why I keep a sex diary (and you should too)
Carmen Yau


All women have a right to express themselves and enjoy sexual pleasure in various forms of intimate relationships. However, most women with disabilities are treated as asexual and denied the rights to be a girlfriend, wife or a mother. In this talk Carmen shares her research, experience and frank advice on how women can be seen and treated as a person to love and to be loved and to express our sexual orientation, identity and desires.

Carmen Yau is a disabled leader in the community of the disabled. In addition to her role as Chairperson for the Association of Women with Disabilities Hong Kong, she is a registered social worker in psychology, health counseling and social work, and a PhD student of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Carmen is an iconic spokesperson for sexual equality of people with disabilities and women and the founder of “Sugar’s XXX Stories”.


How children can lead social impact
Dr. Joyce Samoutou-Wong


A chance encounter and offer to help a passer-by in Congo led to life-changing consequences – for everyone involved. That meeting led to the healing of thousands through eye surgery and treatment, improving lives and health outcomes for themselves, their families and communities. Showing up starts with looking up, seeing others’ needs and opening our hearts.

Many treat today’s children as passive actors in social change. At best, unengaged, at worst, powerless victims. In this talk, we’ll hear ideas on how parents, educators and the community can support and empower children to impact social change in the world. 

Dr. Joyce Samoutou-Wong is the co-founder of New Sight Eye Care, winner of the Excellence in Ophthalmology Vision Award and Women of Hope Award.  She graduated from Diocesan Girls’ School and received the Hong Kong Outstanding Students’ Award before winning a full scholarship to United World College of the Atlantic (UK). She read medicine at the University of Edinburgh, which was followed by a stint as a visiting fellow at Harvard University. Dr. Wong’s work has been featured globally by international news channels, including a documentary series by Cable TV.


Diving in: The importance of taking risks, being agile and diversity in technology
Verlebie Chan


As digital technologies transform our workplaces and our lives, questions are being asked about how women can benefit and participate in this next (r)evolution. This talk will explore one woman’s journey into programming, how girls and women can find pathways to participate in and drive the development of new technologies, and why it’s important for everyone that gender, diversity and people are central to the future of tech.

Verlebie Chan is a Program Manager for Microsoft in Hong Kong. She joined the tech industry without a technical background and took the plunge to drive code, lead hackathons and sandbox projects. In addition, she is responsible for nurturing programs with startups, academia and communities with emerging technologies like AI, Data and MR and is the lead for Women@MS.

   #TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow

 To buy tickets for 30 November, click here: Pelago events

Edited by: Carita on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Gender inequality in Hong Kong…and how we can help!

Intro: Small steps can make a big difference in bridging the gender inequality gap… we all have a role to play. 


Population wise, the number of women in Hong Kong outnumber men 55% vs 45%. However, when it comes to gender equality in the workplace, women have yet to reach parity. A contributing factor is that the social attitudes towards women in Hong Kong remains fairly traditional, pegging women in the role of homemaker and mother — despite them also being breadwinners. Women are also expected to look after elderly relatives, a phenomenon that continues to rise as Hong Kong’s population ages due to a low birthrate. In fact there is a substantial dropout rate of women from the workforce after marriage and childbearing. The statistics don’t lie:

  • Women earn an average of 22% less than their male counterparts. A 2016 census report indicated that women working in Hong Kong’s education sector earned HKD 9,800 per month less than men, followed closely by those in the finance industry where women earned HKD 8,800 less than men.
  • Women represent only 13.8% of Hang Seng Index company boards – half of the 26% in the UK.
  • When it comes to women in leadership roles, Hong Kong lags behind the likes of Malaysia with only 29% in active participation.

When you don’t have enough visible women leaders to aspire to, it makes barriers to entry in the workplace seem even tougher for more than half of the population.  Luckily, there are signs of positive change. According to the UN’s 2018 Human Development Index Ranking, Hong Kong ranks 7th out of 189 countries. This means we’re making progress in key areas such as years of schooling and Gross National Income but there is still more work to be done in other areas.

What should we be doing differently to propel change? In no particular order (or scientific methodology!), here’s a list suggestions at a grassroots level:

  1. Engage men and boys from the onset.  We need our male allies to help us drive the gender equality agenda and understand the female perspective.
  2. Continue to be part of the #metoo movement. Help facilitate dialogue and support both survivors and activists alike.
  3. Check your bias and privilege at the door. Stereotyping and discrimination takes many different forms so be more conscious of what you say, do and how you act and how this makes others feel.
  4. Get involved and give back. There are plenty of organisations that specifically advocate women’s issues. Events like TedxTinHauWomen’s “Showing Up Now” on 30 November are organised by an army of volunteers who want to make a difference.


What will you do to show up now for gender parity?


#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow


Get your tickets for 30 November here: http://pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen


Written by: Preema on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen