TEDxSIT arrives in SIT to spread bold ideas

Inaugural TEDx talk organized by students to inspire SIT community

Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) is now part of the TEDx family of events, thanks to the efforts of a passionate group of students led by Swe Hao Yi, a 2nd-year student reading the Hospitality Business degree programme.

The theme for the inaugural TEDxSIT -- “Be Bold, Think Different” -- aligns with SIT's vision to become an innovative university of applied learning, integrating what students learn in the classroom with a real work environment.

TEDxSIT speakers together with the student organizing committee (L to R): Mr Swe Hao Yi, Lead Organizer; Mr Gary Loh, Chairman of SunMoon Food Co Ltd; Mr Gavin Yam, Marketing & Communications; Ms Elim Chew, Entrepreneur; Ms Zelia Leong, Anywhr co-founder; Ms Sophie Tan, Sponsorship & Partnership; Dr Li Jingmei, Senior Research Scientist, Genome Institute of Singapore; Ms Amanpreet K Gill, Event Director; Mr Toh Poh Joo, Vice-President, Airport Operations Management, Changi Airport Group; Ms Vivienne Khoo, Curator & Speaker Management; Mr Sharil Reiza, Executive Producer

Held on 2 March 2018, at SIT@Dover, TEDxSIT was open to a limited audience of about 180 (including organisers, crew and performers), consisting mainly of students and SIT faculty and staff. 5 local speakers were invited to come and inspire students to become catalysts for change in their own right.

Speakers Mr Gary Loh, Chairman of SunMoon Food Co Ltd and Mr Toh Poh Joo, Vice-President, Airport Operations Management, Changi Airport Group shared a common denominator for overcoming failures, calling upon grit and endurance during difficult times.

Dr Li Jingmei, one of 15 women scientists around the world to receive the prestigious UNESCO-L’Oreal International for Women in Science award, spoke about "Advancing Science through Science Fiction" and illustrated how advances in the scientific community could have been influenced by movies.

Ms Zelia Leong, co-founder of Anywhr, talked about her travelling adventures and how she turned her passion into work. Finally, Ms Elim Chew, Entrepreneur and founder of the now-defunct 77th Street, shared about letting go in order to move on.

SIT students displaying their passes to the TEDxSIT event.

Daphne Xiao who is a SIT alumni, said "I took a lot away from this talk. Seeing the passion displayed by the 5 speakers from different backgrounds is enlightening and encouraging. I resonated with beliefs such as grit and perseverance now that I've started work".

Justin Lin Yongjin, a Year 2 student reading the Bachelor of Electrical Power Engineering degree, said Dr Li's talk on science fiction reminded him of a quote from Thor, where Thor said he was “from a land where science and magic are one and the same.”

Opening performance by Muzeka, SIT’s student-run music club. It provides a platform for students with an interest in music to perform and jam to different music genres ranging from Chinese pop to modern pop.

TEDxSIT was the by-product of a casual conversation between 2 students, who eventually became the organizers. The pair had always been drawn to inspirational videos from TEDx and were excited to recreate a TED-like experience for SIT. Said the main organizer, Swe Hao Yi "I feel that opportunities and ideas are everywhere. Most of the time, both of them don't have the privilege to meet each other and it is such a waste!"

Fueled by their passion to spread ideas among their peers, they put together a student team in 2017. Forward-looking ideas from Science and Technology, Entrepreneurship, Business and Sports were curated to induce a paradigm shift for the audience and create a forum for the SIT community to come together to converse. And, hopefully, spark future changes within the community.