TEDxTinHauWomen 2022

TEDxTinHauWomen is back in Hong Kong with another diverse group of speakers. Ranging from organised crime to sustainability, objectification of women’s bodies in art, to the art of handling emergencies, eight speakers explore the chosen theme for the year “In Bloom”.

“Representing energy and perseverance, “In Bloom” personifies fundamental elements of self-worth, camaraderie, and receptiveness.”  As always, the guests can expect a fun-filled, empowering day listening to unique and compelling stories.

Claudia Chanhoi

“Are Genitals Really Offensive”
An illustration artist based in Hong Kong, Claudia wields her art to spark discussions through her artwork on ‘no-no’ topics. The objectification of women’s bodies especially has become a process for her to reclaim her own sexuality. Claudia questions why certain images are censored on social media and shares how her experience inspired her to be extra creative with her cheeky illustrations.

We sat with four of the speakers to get to know them better and find out what sharing their stories on the TEDxTinHauWomen stage means to them.

1. What is the most challenging aspect of your work? 
I personally have encountered some obstacles due to the topics of my art. Over the years, I have learnt how to cope with shame and rejections pretty well. My clients always ask me to either “hide the genitals completely”, or they go “can we do something that’s not too explicit but we still like the idea…” Sometimes, my potential projects would fall through because the management levels thought that my work wasn’t a good fit for their image because it was too “provocative”. 

2. What keeps you inspired and motivated to do the work you do? 
I was raised in a relatively conservative environment, and Hong Kong is quite a conservative place when it comes to sexuality and sexual health. The fact that I have been judged constantly for the work that I do and I have always been told by people who I come across in my career that my work is too explicit really motivates me to keep on working on this subject matter. And, of course, it’s something that I’ve always been so interested in talking about.

3. Who’s someone in your profession you really admire? 
A lot of people. I’m sure Michelle Phan is “in my profession”. She was one of the first content creators on Youtube who started creating authentic makeup and beauty content on her own, and then she became a successful entrepreneur and started her makeup brand. She has inspired me to make my own luck and to open my Instagram account as my online portfolio.

4. What do you want the audience to take away most from your talk? 
I hope people will start looking at their private parts with a healthier attitude. My art is cheeky and humorous, I hope the audience will have a good laugh, and my talk will make them think about how society has influenced the way we look at our bodies, especially women’s bodies.

5. What does having a platform like TEDxTinHauWomen to share your work mean to you?
I never dreamt of being considered to speak on the TEDx stage because of the subject matter of my art! It definitely feels like an accomplishment in my career and I am so excited that I get to have a voice as an artist and share my story with people who are outside of my social circle.

Chinali Patel

“Pangolins, Pills and Payoffs – “The integrated World of Criminal Networks”
A diplomat, a wildlife enthusiast and a champion of diversity and inclusion, Chinali Patel leads the Illicit Finance Policy at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, working closely with regulators, financial institutions and the private sector. Chinali talks about the need to “come together and work as a group to ensure that species don’t get relegated to the history books.”

1. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
The challenge lies in not trying to do everything but choosing pieces of work that would add value and can lead to something that tangible. And during the pandemic, it also meant placing greater importance on well-being and supporting those in communities that were most impacted. For me, it was also coming to accept that I cannot always get it right and learn not to be so hard on myself.

2. What keeps you inspired and motivated to do the work that you do?
My primary motivation has always been making a difference – even the smallest positive action that has helped the vulnerable and focussed on protecting our wildlife. My inspiration comes from NGOs, everyday people and my mom, who are taking great strides in their own way to make our society more inclusive and preserve our beautiful environment for future generations to cherish.

3. Who is someone in your profession you really admire?
I have had the opportunity to work closely with and learn from leaders who have put others first, led by compassion and have embedded key values that they have equally followed. Good leaders are not looking for recognition but instead nurture growth and talent in others.

4. What do you want the audience to take most away from your talk?
Keeping an open mind and listening – is the first step to raising awareness of the issue that I will touch on as part of my talk. I want the audience to feel empowered to make small positive changes in their lives and surroundings that could go a long way in protecting our wildlife.

5. What does having a platform like TEDxTinHauWomen to share your work mean to you?
TEDx provides a hugely valuable platform to amplify a key issue and how we can come together to address it. It’s a fantastic opportunity for women from all walks of life to come together and talk on pertinent issues that are at the core of our society and lives. And in doing so, hoping that the audience walks away feeling that it is within their gift to make a difference.

Jen Flowers

“Skeletons in the Closet”
An avid supporter of design thinking and women empowerment, Jen is a sought-after speaker on subjects like innovation, digital transformation, team culture, design thinking and women empowerment.  From the laughs to the tears, Jen evaluates the good, the bad and the ugly of lying. And most importantly, why we do it.

1. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
Having to balance a career that I love, time with my family and friends and my love of sports and activities.

2. What keeps you inspired and motivated to do the work that you do?
My team and the impact we can make on gender communities. Also, at the end of every day, my kids and I share about our day. We always tell each other the best part of our day, the worst part of our day, and the funniest part of our day. I need to work to have these stories to share with them.

3. Who is someone in your profession that you really admire?
Fiona Knott. She has grace and grit and determination and fight and kindness and a following to make change.

4. What do you want the audience to take away from your talk?
We lie all the time, but some lies are a result of the judgement society, and people put on us. We need to stop feeling guilty for those lies, and we need people to give people space to be able to tell their truth.

5. What does having a platform like TEDxTinHauWomen to share your work mean to you?
Hard one. Lying is not my work. But TEDx is a part of my life, and I wanted to have the chance to share something personal, funny, data-driven and taboo to talk about. I like the shock and awe feeling of people starting the talk, “that is not me,” and walking away, “I am owning my next lie”.

Christina Ho

“Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”
Aside from being a pilot for a leading airline aviation company in Hong Kong, Christina created the character #christtina_meow and works on a series called #LifeLessonsFromTheSky to promote positive thinking and aviation trivia on social media. This young trailblazer is also busy inspiring youth, especially women, to chase their dreams with passion and courage.

1. What is the most challenging aspect of your work?
It is a male-dominated industry, with only 5% being female pilots, and Asian is even less.
Also, not having regular working hours and needing to stay up at night for work.
But it is a very rewarding career.

2. What keeps you inspired and motivated to do the work you do?
As a Pilot: a passion for flying.
There are a lot of challenges, and we are always being tested. Loving what you do continuously motivates you to carry on.
I enjoy sharing my work and inspiring people in schools and organisations. I created the series “Life Lessons from the Sky” to encourage people to be courageous and take the necessary steps forward to accomplish their dreams.
Many have shared with me what changes they have made in their lives and during different stages of their lives and the joy that comes with it.

3. Who’s someone in your profession you really admire?
Amelia Earhart. Amelia discovered her dream of flying when she attended an air show in Long Beach, CA, at the age of 23. She would go on to become one of the greatest aviators of all time and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.
She was brave and forward-thinking. She supported and showed other women that we all can dream big and act on our dreams.

4. What do you want the audience to take away most from your talk?
Don’t forget you have wings, you are the aviator of your life. Take good care of yourself, open up to opportunities in life, and pay it forward in society. If a normal person like me can do it, you can do it.

5. What does having a platform like TEDxTinHauWomen to share your work mean to you?
It means positivity is being spread. Being on the stage is not the end of the story, but it is the beginning. Lives affect lives.

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