Feature

Hits and wits at TEDxSingapore

NTU hosted the 2015 TEDxSingapore talks, which brought interesting personalities of all stripes to the campus. Chrystal Chan gives the lowdown on the two-day event



MOST ANTICIPATED SPEAKER
Hans Rosling

News about Hans Rosling’s appearance at TEDxSingapore spread far and wide weeks before the event. And as the closing speaker for his session, his appearance was much awaited. There was a palpable air of anticipation right before he walked onto the stage – and the man who makes statistics sing lived up to expectations. Cue his famous bubble chart, which made his data “dance”. And the surprising use of toilet paper rolls – a stark contrast to his high-tech charts just moments ago – to demonstrate population growth. No less interesting, and certainly very unexpected.


PHOTO: VANESSA NG

MOST ENTERTAINING SPEECH
Eugene Soh

Better known as “The Dude”, this NTU art, design & media alumnus kept spirits light. With witty tales about the making of his iconic photographs, humorous titbits about the challenges he faced and well-placed punchlines, he could have passed off as a standup comedian. The audience lapped it up.



MOST UNEXPECTED ADVICE
Dylan Soh

All of 12 years old, Dylan Soh, co-author of the book The Big Red Dot, is proof you don’t need age to be sage. He was a cutie, charming the audience with wise counsel like: Now more than ever, we need to empower the fairer sex. And Sure, puff up your chest, humble brag, but don’t get too cocky.



MOST TOUCHING STORY
Crystal Goh

There was hardly a dry eye in the auditorium after Crystal spoke. She began with a sad tune on her ukulele, then let a slideshow tell of her struggle with a rare neurological condition that caused her to lose her voice. When she finally spoke, it was with much difficulty, but her positive outlook and the vision of her initiative to help others find hope in the midst of pain through stories and performances, shone through, and moved everyone.


PHOTO: JAMIE CHAN

MOST MOTIVATIONAL
Tony Wheeler

Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet guidebooks, didn’t exactly tell everyone to go out and achieve something great. But his journey through Europe, Asia and Australia more than four decades ago resulting in the first Lonely Planet guidebook was all the inspiration everyone needed to go out and chase their passions.



BEST USE OF SOUND
Inch Chua

Local singer-songwriter Inch Chua regaled with stories of how she escaped to Pulau Ubin for four months to find inspiration for her music. Inching into our hearts on the strength of her vocals, she segued into the sound of crickets in the middle of her account, then added frog croaking and rooster crowing, which blended seamlessly into the start of her song. What a brilliant performance.

PHOTOS: CAROLYN LIM