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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


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