2019 speaker lineup

2019 saw an amazing lineup of speakers, putting their Bold & Brilliant selves forward without apologies. All of our Bold & Brilliant speaker talks are now available in the “Watch” section of our website, so be sure to revisit, or enjoy them for the first time and share!

Ritu Hemnani

An inheritance worth sharing

What is your true inheritance? Pearls and rubies sitting in a bank vault? A promised apartment? Those dashing dimples in your cheek from mum? Storyteller Ritu Hemnani takes us on her journey in search of her migrant family’s long buried history.  Digging deep into our family narratives can help us understand ourselves and give our children the seeds of resilience, courage and hope. Our true inheritance grows when it is shared widely and generously.

Ritu is an author, journalist, teacher, and voice actor who promotes inclusiveness and diversity through her writing. Her articles and stories have been published in the SCMP, Asian Literary Review and Reader’s Digest. Ritu is the Director of Heritage Publishing Ltd and her children’s book, Gope and Meera – A Migration Story, seeks to foster awareness and empathy for migrants in our communities.

Dr. Angélica Anglés

In the search of life on mars

As a child, Angélica and her grandfather would look at the night sky together, looking for bright stars and planets. Her love for space led her to pursue a global career in Planetary Exploration. In this talk, Angélica will share what can be learned from planetary exploration and why she is committed to searching for extraterrestrial life on Mars.

Angélica is a planetary scientist, astrobiologist, astrophysicist (and pianist) whose research is centered around the search for extraterrestrial life on Mars. By traveling to and studying places here on Earth that are similar to Mars – such as the world’s highest desert in Tibet, the Pilbara in Australia, or the hot springs of New Zealand – she has uncovered important clues. Due to her research, she was part of the landing site selection team for the next NASA mission Mars 2020.

Gigi Chao

A billion-dollar dowry, 10,000 suitors, and a love that cannot be celebrated

Marriage is the ultimate public demonstration of two people’s commitment to each other. Despite recent recognition around the world, marriage equality lags behind in Hong Kong. In this talk, Gigi will talk about her experience with marriage and how individuals, and Hong Kong, can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for same-sex couples — allowing them their rite of passage.

Gigi is an accomplished architect who was thrust into the spotlight in 2012 when she turned down her father’s dowry offer of 500 million HKD –  later doubled to 1 billion – to any man who could walk her down the aisle. The complication? She’s a lesbian already in a long-term relationship. Since then Gigi co-founded Hong Kong Marriage Equality, an NGO that aims to eliminate discrimination and bring equality to LGBTI in Hong Kong.

Chi Chi Cheng

How I question my identity with a fortune cookie

What is the one food that defines your identity? Can something as simple as food help us understand who we are? In this talk, multi-disciplinary artist Chi Chi Cheng will share with us how her first encounter with a fortune cookie lead to a journey of self-reflection on the meaning of being Chinese. She will also tell us how she uses fortune cookies in her art to help us reflect on our own roots and identities.

Valentina Tudose

Embracing unconditional love

Some say the most beautiful human emotion is unconditional love, yet most love stories come with conditions. ‘I’ll love you if you love me back, if you only choose me and me alone’. We all seek that deep connection that makes us feel special and unique, safe and totally accepted. But beyond this premise of exclusivity, is it possible in real life that we can choose to love unconditionally? In this talk, Valentina will challenge you to rethink how you approach relationships and love without expectations.

Valentina’s fascination with the mystery of love led her to become a relationship coach to help people redefine their romantic expectations and experience a different level of intimacy.  With unconditional love and freedom as the foundation, her coaching evolved from working with people searching for a soul mate, to people who’d already found a partner.

Brenda Scofield

Old & bold- an alternative journey through life

Society expects women to conform to labels throughout their lives. But what does it mean to embrace yourself, regardless of labels and no matter your age? In this talk, Brenda will share insights from her personal reconciliation with aging, and encourage the audience to be bold at any age.

Since arriving in Hong Kong in 1977, Brenda has had many professional experiences. She is a former Head of Drama, the one-time owner of Hong Kong’s most famous sex shop Fetish Fashion, a minority sexuality activist, a certified counselor and a promoter of opera and chamber music through a family foundation. She edits and contributes to magazines and is a board member of a suicide prevention NGO.

Jesamine Dyus

The poet in all of us – reimagining the classic fairy tale (special performance)

Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White: imprisoned princesses rescued by their Prince Charming. In this spoken word performance, Jesamine uses her own unique voices to break free from the crystal coffin, slay fiery dragons, and smash the glass slipper. She re-imagines femininity as exuberant and unrestrained, so we can all write our own happily ever after – without apologies. 

As a performing artist, Jesamine brings her experiences as a spoken word poet, dance teacher, and hip hop enthusiast to stage. Self-proclaimed “single since the dawn of time,” she happily swims forth through “the currents of scorn and unsolicited advice monologues” that others offer on her relationship status. When not poeticizing with Peel Street Poetry and Spill Stories, she works in hospitality and was previously an English teacher and dance coach.