Report for TedxCanton in Guangzhou
Event Name: TEDxCanton
Date: Saturday, September 4, 2010
Venue: Guangdong Science Center, Guangzhou, China
Theme: The Overflow of the Heart
AbstractTED is a nonprofit organization devoted to ideas worth spreading. This event has been quite popular worldwide. This year in Guangzhou, TEDxCanton aims to convey “ideas worth spreading” to individuals, businesses and institutions in Guangzhou community and beyond by putting together a program of heavyweight local and international speakers. During the one-day talk, speakers from different backgrounds shared world-shaping ideas and touching stories to inspire action and capture the spirit of the increasingly creative, tech-savvy and cosmopolitan city of Guangzhou, together with the various traditional performance from the famous local artists, like Canton Opera and face-changing performance. The speakers are coming from worldwide, but many of them have their special relations with China. The theme of the event is “The Overflow of the Heart”. The event was wonderful.
Dave Huxtable: What shall I do next?
A British cultural relations professional, currently based in Guangzhou, can communicate in ten different tongues. He talked about the how the languages can be used as tools for communication and learning. Languages should be learnt during the process of using it, not the words themselves. The same word can be translated into different meanings under different contexts. It’s more important to learn the skills.
Wu Wei: The Dilemma of Reading
He has been working on the digitization of traditional media and is now Chief Operating Officer of Guangdong Southern Weekly New Media Ltd. He talked about how the reading habit of people has changed along with the development of digital technologies. Nowadays, the devices for reading are getting more and more portable, with the screen getting smaller and smaller for most of them, such as the mobile phones, the iPod, iPad, etc, it should had made it easier for people to read more than before. However, the reality is the opposite. Facts show that the top applications people choose from the apple store are mostly games. People play games with these devices more often than reading. This is an issue we should think about seriously. The best posture for reading should be two feet, the one-feet difference is making it harder to insist on reading. Efforts should be made on the media style to improve the condition people read.
Tom Stader: Changing the World, One Book at a Time
Tom Stader is Founder and Director of The Library Project (http://www.library-project.org/), which he launched in 2006. Through his travels and time spent living in Southeast Asia and China, Tom became aware of the range of cultural diversity throughout the region, but what affected him the most was the lack of quality education for its children. The Library Project is his way of giving those children who are left behind the opportunity to have a quality education. By the end of 2010, The Library Project will have built 350 libraries in China.
It is quite impressive that they succeeded to build so many libraries in such a short time, a great impact. Lack of learning materials is really a serious issue in China, especially for those poor areas. It would be even better if we can use digital technology to provide platform to link the people who donate books and kids who receive books.
Zhao Hong: Beauty through Structure
Zhao Hong is a structural engineer with 20 years of expertise, covering the areas of complex or high-rise building analysis, wind and seismic impact on structure, engineering analysis and design for concrete and steel structures. His projects include the Shanghai Jingan Kerry mixed development, Guangzhou’s new TV Tower, Beijing New Town International Development and Beijing’s CCTV Headquarters.
In his talk, he emphasized on the importance to be a great engineer. “Engineers are cool”, he said, engineers can be builders, creators, and also designers. He also mentioned the challenges and innovations as an engineer, and the importance of experience and skills.
Steven Weathers: New Frontiers of China Media
Steven Weathers is a TV journalist, educator and entrepreneur, the founder of American English Circle and the producer and host of the web video Foreigner Perspective. He talked about the Chinese TV series and the American Media industry. For Chinese TV, it would be nice to have provincial and local stations. Also, there should be more media creations from the heart, reflecting what people are thinking deeply in their hearts now.
Ou Zhihang: Pushing Limits with Ou-Style Push-Ups
Naked Pushups at Famous Landmarks
“I love my country, I also love my body,” Zhihang notes in his blog. “I contrast my tiny body with the ‘miracle of the world’ through the popular exercise—pushups.”
In the talk, he asked: life is so short, what should we do in the limited time? He emphasized that all of us should do our best to contribute to society and break the limit.
His blog: http://blog.sina.com.cn/ouzhihang
Imad Naffa: Across the Oceans
Imad Naffa is Founder and President of NAFFA International of Fresno, California. NAFFA International provides services nationally to governmental agencies, builders and applicants involved in the construction and building permit process. He is intrigued by the people and cultures of China, India, Brazil and Russia, as well as the UAE and the Middle East – topics which he frequently discusses on social media.
He talked about the power of social media across cultures and countries and its amazing global response, the need for global collaboration.
BCDG, he introduced, is The Building Code Discussions Group, a "Premium Membership" Online Community of individuals from 100+ countries discussing, collaborating, educating and interpreting the codes, construction practices and related topics. Hundred's of Q&A are posted every day. Every topic dealing with building, fire and construction codes is fair game here.
Xue Xinran: Women’s Stories: Made in China
She is a British-Chinese journalist and broadcaster, wrote many best-selling books like The Good Women of China, Sky Burial, What the Chinese Don’t Eat, etc. She often advises the media (including the BBC and Sky) about western relations with China, and makes frequent television and radio appearances. In 2004 She set up the charity ‘The Mothers’ Bridge of Love’ (MBL) which reaches out to Chinese children in all corners of the world by creating a bridge of understanding between China and the West and between adoptive and birth cultures. After talking about her books and what she did for the society, she then talked about the response of Chinese to the globalization, how should we see our Chinese culture, and how oversea Chinese see Chinese culture? There is a tendency of foreign couples adopting Chinese girls, how should these young girls relate themselves to Chinese culture?
The real stories from her were very impressing and moving, which make us think deeply and internally about our traditions and cultures.