TEDx – an internationally renowned platform to share ideas and spark debate – has come to campus this month with the inaugural TEDxXJTLU conference being held on May 18.
An initiative of the Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Museum, the conference saw eight speakers explore the theme of ‘Reshape’, inspiring audiences with their stories of creativity and breaking down boundaries.
(Pictured from left to right: Zhihe Zhao, Yanghuan Bao, Dr Martijn ten Bhömer, Dr Tairun Chen, Doppo Matsubara, Yichi Liu, Professor Qiuling Chao and Dr Xin Bi)
Professor Qiuling Chao (pictured below), vice president of student affairs and information at XJTLU, delivered the first talk on the topic of achieving greatness through great people.
During the talk, she recounted her own life experiences, which included moving from a teacher of psychology to the director of a Confucius Institute in the United Kingdom.
“To achieve greatness, you must surround yourself with great people and constantly learn from them,” Professor Chao said.
“When you have great people around you, you will certainly feel pressure. But it is that kind of pressure that presents you with an opportunity to progress and gives you the courage to redefine yourself.”
Japanese architect and executive manager and creative director of creative design agency BES Branding, Doppo Matsubara (pictured below) also offered audiences words of inspiration, encouraging them to follow their hearts rather than their profession.
“You can’t just push forward in one specific field, because you will be confined by the boundaries of that field,” Matsubara said.
“Sometimes you have to try to step outside of your field – look left and look right – to find the inspiration and creativity that you need; and the things that move you.”
Following the talks, Dr Xin Bi, deputy director of the Centre for Knowledge and Information and director of the University Museum, expressed his appreciation to the participants.
“The connection between human beings is based on sharing,” he said.
“I hope XJTLU and this conference will inspire more and more people to share their insights and feelings.”
The six other speakers at the inaugural TEDxXJTLU conference included Dr Tairun Chen from XJTLU’s Department of Mathematical Sciences; Dr Martijn ten Bhömer from XJTLU’s Department of Industrial Design; Zhihe Zhao, a Year Four student in XJTLU’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering; Tao Xu, founder of the independent ‘Slow Time’ bookstore in Suzhou; Yanghuan Bao, a venture capitalist specialising in precision medicine; and Yichi Liu, a rising star in Shaoxing Opera.
By Feigong Liu; edited by Qiuchen Hu and Rosanna Galvin