TEDx Chiang Mai Conference a Great Success, Say Organisers

 | Thu 2 Oct 2014 23:11 ICT

CityNews – The organisers of last Saturday’s TEDx Chiang Mai conference have hailed it as a great success.

This was the event’s fourth year, and the theme was ‘creating connections’. It featured 22 Thai and international speakers, and organisers say it was one of the biggest events of its kind ever held in the country.

Speakers included Boom Bean of the Hug Project, which protects children from exploitation; Microsoft Thailand CEO Haresh Khoobchandani; Ooi Geok Ling, the managing director of Penang Global Tourism; architects Pitupong (Jack) Chaowakul and Pok Kobkongsanti; celloist Saowakhon (Yui Cello) Muangkruan, academics, scientists and other leading experts in their fields.

There were around 1,000 participants, including 870 attendees. The rest were volunteers, speakers and exhibitors. A further 1,100 people listened to the speeches via a live stream – 58 per cent in Thai and the rest in English. Around 65 per of participants were Thais.

The event is run on a non-profit, mostly volunteer basis. This year it was held at Le Meridien Hotel and cost 1.9 million baht, most of which came from sponsors and ticket sales.

Organiser Martin Venzky-Stalling said the annual event is growing steadily, and a TEDx Youth event will be held at Chiang Mai University on November 16, when students will share their ideas on stage.

“TEDx is a good way for students to train their thinking. It’s all about public speaking and articulating an idea,” Venzky-Stalling, who also works as an advisor at CMU’s Technology Development Centre for Industry, told CityNews.

“We think this format and a few other things that TED can provide is ideal to improve Thailand’s education system,” he said, adding that it would also show schools how they can hold events on a much smaller budget.

The first TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference was held in 1984, and from 1990 it became an annual event in California.

TEDxChiangMai is an independently event operated under license from TED. Organisers say it is “more than an event – it is a platform for ideas worth spreading, a dialogue, a call for action, and a community of people who believe in ideas, creativity, innovation and collaboration.”

For more information, visit www.tedxchiangmai.com.