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2017 TEDxTinHauWomen speaker Fiona Callanan-Thorsby’s 3 takeaways

Before our big event on November 30 this year, we reflect on the incredible women who spoke at last year’s TEDxTinHauWomen event “Bridges: Two Become One.” Last year’s theme inspired us to feature a diverse cohort of Hong Kong-based women to bridge different ideas and people. One of those women was Fiona Callanan-Thorsby, a corporate lawyer whose life was forever changed by the massive tsunami that hit Thailand in 2004. Here are some big lessons that she shared with us.

In 2004, Fiona Callanan-Thorsby was a 27-year old corporate lawyer who was working abroad in Thailand. She felt the most liberated she had ever felt – she was working her dream job, living in an exciting part of the world, and travelling to places on her bucket list. When the tsunami hit Thailand, Fiona survived, but she lost her bottom right leg. These are some of the lessons she shared with us in her captivating talk last year. You can watch it yourself here https://youtu.be/RRirte8mIWc

  1. Use past accomplishments as fuel to topple current challenges.

Back in London after the Tsunami, Fiona wished for her old life as a regular 27-year old lawyer. It was a trying time facing this new reality. To cope, she reminded herself of past challenges she had overcome – notably, when following her teenage boyfriend resulted in poor grades and not heading straight to university. With hard work and perseverance, Fiona made it back on track to becoming a corporate lawyer. Like everyone else, Fiona has good days and bad days, but whenever she reaches a low point she reminds herself of how she dealt with challenges in the past. You never know – you might surprise yourself with your own strength.

  1. Push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Fiona was terrified of using crutches to navigate the busy city of London, but with some patience and practice, Fiona mastered getting around with crutches. The next mobility challenge was when she got her first prosthetic leg. To push herself, she signed up for a charity bike ride in Vietnam and began to teach herself how to cycle with her new prosthetic. Starting with the quiet streets of her London neighborhood and moving on to train for the ride by commuting to and from work by cycling. Through the commute, Fiona had to abandon her crutches (they couldn’t quite fit on her bike) and this pushed her to master walking with her prosthetic. Step by step, Fiona overcame her fear of relearning how to move. She even did another charity bike ride in Peru.

  1. Always get good travel insurance.

A difficult reality to accept is that sometimes people make it through accidents out of sheer luck – something that Fiona recognizes about her own survival of the tsunami. Had it not been a speedboat that whisked her out of the danger zone and her travel insurance plan that covered an airlift to a hospital in Bangkok, it is possible that Fiona would not have made it through. Fiona now lives as normal and humble a life as possible, but reminds us that we should never overlook travel insurance when booking our next holiday.

Fiona now lives in Hong Kong with her two children and continues to work as a corporate lawyer while making it a mission to give back through work with NGOs, CSR initiatives, and helping people less fortunate. Notably, she is a member of the 2018 TEDxTinHauWomen organizing committee. To meet her in person, attend our next event. Tickets on sale here: http://pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen


#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow


Retold by: Roseanne on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen


Why Women’s Voices Matter

Women play an integral role in the making of our upcoming annual TEDxTinHauWomen event on Nov 30. Here we will identify the root causes for initiating this movement involving women around the world and what we have yet to accomplish.

Women represent half of the world’s population, and rightfully demand representation in the workplace, in governments, and in relationships – but there are countless examples showing that this is far from reality. The feminist movement has paved the way for tremendous improvements in the law with relation to women’s rights, but there still persists significant gender inequality for many. This is evident in many instances like the gender pay gap, hiring discrimination between men and women, and persistent male dominance in table conversations. The perception that people have about the capabilities of women needs to change, so that women’s voices are no longer interrupted or ignored.

Women’s voices are equally as important and while no one will disagree – the masculine-oriented culture that exists in many parts of the world results inequality, often unnoticed by many members of society. The planning and actual TEDxTinHauWomen conference on Nov 30 by 30 plus women serves as an open platform for women to bring forth unique and helpful perspectives to the Hong Kong community. The role of women in global issues like public health, in businesses and innovation has shifted into the foreground and it is vital that we encourage women that are #ShowingUpNow to foster this movement for the long run. Our organizing committee and the speakers are highly-educated, passionate and making phenomenal contributions to the development of different sectors of society – their voices require more attention now than ever. Join us in #Showingupnow on October 30

Group photo


Buy tickets here: http://pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen

Written by: Nikita on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen


6 Reasons Why You Should Attend TEDxTinHauWomen’s “Showing Up Now!” on November 30

Summary: Never heard of TED or TEDx events? Or you need to convince your friend to attend TEDxTinHauWomen with you? Here are 6 reasons WHY you should consider “showing up” on November 30th for a life-changing afternoon!

Did you know that each day there are an average of 8 TEDx events happening around the globe? Maybe you’ve never heard of TEDx events, or maybe you’ve heard of them but don’t understand why you should attend. Here are 6 reasons WHY you should consider “showing up” on November 30th for a life-changing afternoon!

1. Showing up for… the amazing speakers!

Every TED and TEDx event boasts a uniquely curated line-up of speakers. The TEDxTinHauWomen organizing committee put in hours in selecting and interviewing the potential candidates, and the selected speakers put in months of effort to fine-tune their inspiring stories. We are proud to present a mix of influential speakers who are active drivers of social, cultural, industrial and personal innovation in the Hong Kong community.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the some of mind-blowing speakers from last year’s event: Liza Avelino – Filipino domestic worker in Hong Kong who followed her dreams to climb the highest mountain in Africa, Tricia Yap – former MMA Fighter turned coach and entrepreneur, Hillary Yip – a 12-year old CEO of an education startup sharing her perspectives of schooling in Hong Kong alongside her mother, just to name a few. Check out their talks from last year here!

Reason 1

2. Showing up for… the audiences

Who doesn’t like to be surrounded by other intellectually-curious people? Each year, 400 people from all walks of life join the TEDxTinHauWomen event, and I assure you that they will enthrall you with their enthusiasm and inspirations.

We purposefully include breaks in between talks so you will rub shoulders with the speakers and diverse audience members. The venue is also designed to encourage movement and conversation. Luckily, everyone is keen on sharing their ideas so you are encouraged to start up a conversation with the person sitting beside you!

Reason 2

3. Showing up to… be challenged intellectually and emotionally

TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design” – and it is a must for every TED and TEDx Talk to cover one of those areas. However, there is so much more you’ll hear and experience during the event than just that. Be prepared to be surprised, break a laugh, feel moved and perhaps even shed a tear!

4. Showing up for… a meaningful cause

TEDxTinHauWomen is a self-organized and non-profit event. All our proceeds and sponsorship go towards holding the annual event itself and to 3 charities we support each year. You will have a chance to interact with these charities at our event and further understand their causes and how you may help.

The whole event is run by a team of passionate volunteers who have dedicated months of their free time to making this incredible event possible. Each believes in the power of creating a sustainable platform for women around the world.

Reason 5

5. Showing up for… possibilities!

TEDxTinHauWomen is not an ordinary seminar where everyone sits for a few hours and listens to a panel of speakers. We strive to create new experiences throughout the event – be it watching a live-stream from Palm Springs, learning about a new cause through the specialized booths, or connecting with a new friend in the lovely space. No matter what, you will to take away “something” that will not be available after the event!

6. Showing up for WOMEN IN HONG KONG!

TEDxTinHauWomen is the only women-dedicated TEDx community in Hong Kong. By attending the event, you’re making a personal statement to show up for women in Hong Kong.

We hope to draw attention towards and spark actions addressing the lesser-known (or purposefully covered-up) topics surrounding this community. By attending, you’re demonstrating to those around you that “Showing Up for Women” matters and you are part of that change.

Are you ready to join us for mind-opening journey?  Get your Tickets today at pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen!

#TEDxTinHauWomen  #Showingupnow

Written by: Yvonne on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Introducing 2018 TedXTinHauWomen venue – the sky is not the limit!

With an amazing line up this year, the TedxTinHauWomen committee knew we had to find a venue that was just as incredible as our speakers who are Showing Up Now…! with ideas worth spreading.

We’re pleased to say that we’ve found somewhere up to the task – Sky100.

Sitting at the top of ICC, Hong Kong’s tallest building, Sky100 gives sweeping 360° views and offers a dynamic and unique space.  And what better way to pay homage to our namesake Tin Hau, Goddess and Protector of the sea, than with a breathtaking view of Victoria Harbor.

We chose “Tin Hau” – an indigenous goddess of the sea (and deity icon in Hong Kong) meant to protect fishermen and sailors.”  In Hong Kong, there are approximately 100 Tin Hau temples spread throughout the city. TEDx events are community-driven and must be named after a local area such as the name of a city, neighborhood, street.

Be ready to be inspired not just by the iconic HK skyline, but by the powerful stories and ideas that will be shared on the stage.  From this high up, you can’t help but see the city from a new perspective, which is what TedXTinHauWomen is all about – appreciating ideas and approaching issues from another point of view.

Early Bird Tickets on SALE now – looking forward to seeing you all there!

#TEDxTinHauWomen #ShowingUpNow 

Author: Fi on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Showing Up Now: Our Theme for 2018 TEDxTinHauWomen Event

TEDxTinHauWomen will be hosting its second annual event on November 30, bringing another round of exciting talks to our Hong Kong audience. As preparations go into full swing, we are excited to announce the theme of our event this year, “Showing Up Now,” which will inform each and every aspect of our programming.

What Does Showing Up Now Mean?

This year’s theme puts the spotlight on how women worldwide are taking matters into their own hands, showing up for themselves and others to catalyse change in their communities. We will look at ways in which women stand up and make a real difference. In our fast-paced world, it is becoming vital that we respond in real-time, thus the emphasis on “Showing Up Now”. This theme underscores the urgency for women to make an impact.

How Will This Year’s Event Explore Showing Up?

The theme has endless possibilities for interpretation and discussion. It provokes questions like: Are we truly present when we show up for others?

Do we show up on time?

Are we showing up genuinely?

Why do we show up?


Our talks this year should prompt you to consider:

What matters to you?

What do you care about?

And more importantly, are you showing up for it?

Whether you are showing up to an equal rights march, to help your mom out at home, or to take some time out for yourself – these are all ways you can create a positive impact and achieve a sense of purpose. The speakers this year will be showing up on stage for an idea that they truly care about and think is worth spreading, which should inspire you to take action yourself. For all of you that want to be motivated by fresh perspectives, mark your calendars for this year’s TEDxTinHauWomen event on November 30th. Take our word for it, it will be worth it to show up!

Early bird tickets are on sale NOW! Hurry up and book your tickets at pelago.me/tedxtinhauwomen 

Author: Nikita Agrawal on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

Highlights from Last Year’s Event: Lucy Choi on Bridging Modern Society and Opera


As our November event inches closer, let’s throwback to last year’s event to give you a taste of what TEDxTinHauWomen has to offer. Our previous event, “Bridges: Two Become One” brought together a diverse cohort of Hong Kong women to bridge  different ideas and people. One of those women was Lucy Choi, who has uplifted  Opera in Hong Kong. Here’s a brief recap of her talk:

Lucy Choi is the founder of More Than Musical, a company that delivers modern adaptations of classical opera for audiences today. In her TEDx talk, she recalled her unexpected segway into the world of the opera, and how she turned her passion into a transformative career.

Gifted in music from a young age, Lucy pursued a degree in music at the Hong Kong University, with piano as her instrument. It was only when she suffered from an arm condition, preventing her from playing instruments, that she had to pivot into singing and opera. She was amazed by opera’s potential for emotional expression – how its songs could tell stories of love, sorrow, drama and pain. “Opera is a shared moment of joy and an escape from the world,” she said, “where can you get emotional, connected to strangers and be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself.”

Keen to further develop her interest in opera, Lucy moved to London where she often frequented shows in the West End. She noticed many of her fellow attendees were silver-haired, prompting her to ask – is opera just for old people? Historically, opera was known for challenging taboos and social norms, a spirit that Lucy was keen to bring back.

That’s when she founded More Than Musical, breaking down barriers between classical opera and contemporary audiences by producing shorter adaptations of classical opera to make the viewing experience easier and more intimate for audiences.

If there’s one thing to take away from Lucy’s talk, it’s this: “Open up our mind, and channel yourself into the arts, or whatever you may find transformational.”

Watch Lucy’s full talk here, and look out for more inspirational speakers at this year’s event!

A Letter from the Co-Chairs

Hello amazing attendees!

We are delighted to have you join us for our inaugural event. As you will learn from our bios, we have been doing this for some time. This, however, is our first year in Hong Kong and the response from the organising committee, speakers, sponsors, community partners and participants has been incredibly positive. What does that tell us? In bustling Hong Kong, so many of us want to support one another, want to inspire one another, want to learn from one another and want to live the best life possible. There is a genuine desire for connection, community and positive stories of women and girls making change in our city.

We are thrilled to be here with you. Our committee, speakers, sponsors and community partners are more than anything we could have asked for. Please take the time to meet them, say hello and thank them for making this all possible.

We would also like to make a special mention to our Head of Marketing and Communications, Daniella Lopez, who we were so fortunate to have join us from Shanghai and Emma Burton, our Chief Operations Officer, who made us look good, and kept us organized to make today possible.

So, welcome to the TEDxTinHauWomen family. You attendance, support, and willingness to join in the conversation are why we are here and do this. Today is about exploring, laughing, crying, connecting and welcoming this new community. In the spirit of ideas worth sharing, please enjoy TEDxTinHauWomen “Bridges: Two Become One”.

Jen Flowers
Co-Chair TEDxTinHauWomen
Head of Operations, TEDx Licensee

Jen Flowers

Stefanie Myers
Co-Chair TEDxTinHauWomen
Head of Curation and Community

Bio_Pics _0010_Stefanie Myers