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Feature

Thought leaders at TEDxNTU

When you see things from a different perspective, that’s when ideas start forming and spreading, discovers Peter Yeo at the TEDxNTU event on campus

Prof Subra Suresh
NTU President and Distinguished University Professor

“Education can be transformed in unprecedented ways through technology and better connectivity. Children with autism could learn through virtual reality, augmented reality, assisted technologies and robotics. You can also make the lives of the elderly more comfortable in the privacy and dignity of their own homes.” – On how Industry 4.0 can benefit Humanity 4.0


Dr Gül İnanç
Lecturer at the School of Art, Design & Media and founder of Opening Universities for Refugees

“Despite pioneering scholarship programmes and distance education, only about 1% of refugees have access to higher education. Education means more than learning for these transit migrants because children and youth in displaced communities are protected from human trafficking, illegal adoption, child marriages and forced labour simply by staying in school.” – On why education is important to refugees

Dr Li Jingmei
Cancer detective with the Genome Institute of Singapore

“Cancer is many diseases. Cancer on the skin and brain or lung are intrinsically different. If there are 10,000 cancers, we’d need 10,000 cures. There wouldn’t be a catch-all fix. But, with precision medicine, precision health and better treatment and prevention, even if we do not find a cure in this lifetime, we are certainly going to witness amazing progress.” – On curing cancer in this lifetime


Daniel Teh
Gang member-turned-social entrepreneur and CEO of PopeJai

“I operate my business with a ‘culture of honour’. It is the belief that everyone has a seed for greatness in them. Everyone has ‘gold’ in them, you just have to polish it. Look for their strengths, not at their weaknesses. Let’s use this culture of honour to shake up the world today. It began in me and it’s stuck in you now. Haha!” – On seeing the strengths in the disabled and disadvantaged


Daniel Tay
Co-founder of Freegan in Singapore and SG Food Rescue

“The cause behind tonnes of food going to waste instead of being given to the needy is because we don’t see it as a basic human right but a way to make as much money as possible. If we change the way we look at food, we can work together to erase hunger, ensure everyone has access to food and reduce large-scale wastage of it in Singapore.” – On how to solve world hunger and food wastage at the same time

Prof Ben Shedd
Academy Award-winning filmmaker with the School of Art, Design & Media

“We all know earth is spinning, but how fast? Take the circumference of the planet divided by the number of hours in a day, you’ll get 1,669 km/h. That’s how fast we’re going – even when you’re sitting down! It’s 20 times the legal speed limit on the expressway. Can you feel it?” – On flipping things 180 degrees and seeing them from a different perspective


Asst Prof Laavanya Kathiravelu
Sociologist at the School of Social Sciences

“Most migrant workers live in what we call ‘labour camps’, squeezed in tight living conditions. In 2006, 7,000 migrant workers in Dubai stopped construction on the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. They were not demanding more pay or even better working conditions. They only wanted to be paid on time.” – On giving migrant workers due recognition and dignity


Violet Lim
CEO and co-founder of Love Actually and artificial intelligence platform Viola.AI

“Being in the dating business for 14 years, I have come to realise that finding ‘Mr Right’ is not about meeting the right one but being the ‘right one’ as well as choosing the ‘right one’. Are we the ‘right ones’ ourselves? Do we have the right mindset?” – On finding the perfect life partner