Nine leaders in art, business and education recounted their enlightening life and career encounters on November 11 at TEDxNYUShanghai 2017, thanks to a team of enthusiastic students whose efforts brought the idea-sharing platform back to Century Avenue.
Saturday’s event, sponsored by Ultra Vision Technology and Covestro, attracted an afternoon audience of 300, a combination of public attendees and the NYU Shanghai community. Guest speakers included Weibo influencer Gu Da Bai Hua, leading designer of Marvel Themed Entertainment Brian Crosby and President of Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Zhou Ping.
Joining the sharing session were also faculty in and out of NYU Shanghai, including Provost Joanna Waley-Cohen, Interactive Media Arts faculty Antonius Wiriadjaja and Roopa Vasudevan, as well as Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs Diane Geng, NYU Abu Dhabi Counselor to Leadership Diane Yu and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Duke Kunshan University, Gao Haiyan.
Xiang Jiaqiao ‘20, organizer and initiator of TEDxNYUShanghai 2017, said the idea of hosting the conference on campus stemmed from a motivational talk with a friend, even though he has been a TED fan for years. “I realized that NYU Shanghai’s excellent resources -- the remarkable stories and achievements of our faculty members -- make it a perfect host for TEDx talks. We have natural TED speakers,” said Xiang.
Preparation for the conference started from scratch in the summer, but Xiang’s team grew larger as more classmates joined the initiative. Before the conference was held, TEDxNYUShanghai 2017 consisted of a seven-strong central committee and four departments separately in charge of finance, activities, marketing and speaker affairs.
As co-organizer, Fei Teng ‘20 played a vital role in identifying this year’s theme: ‘Encounter,’ which to him, meant “the integration of ideas and the bridging of differences” with “an open attitude and an experimental mindset.”
“NYU Shanghai is an example of numerous encounters across time and space, cultures and perspectives. Also, what ‘encounter’ encompasses also promotes TEDx’s spirit of valuing ideas worth spreading,” Fei said.
Both Xiang and Fei said they hope to spark wider interest among community members to join their efforts in turning TEDxNYUShanghai into an annual tradition.
*Parts of this article refer to an interview conducted by Weilu_Flame.
*Stay tuned next week for video highlights from TEDxNYUShanghai 2017 and talks by individual speakers.