TEDxChiang Mai – A personal review
Two weeks ago, my co-worker at Opendream asked me if I would like to join TEDx Chiang Mai. I watched TED videos sometimes and I really like them so I decided to join the event right away.TED means Technology, Entertainments and Design. It is an event that invites people who have “Ideas Worth Spreading” to give a talk. All talks will be record and published on TED.com. There are many TEDx events around the world and you can check for upcoming events at ted.com/tedx. TEDx are independently organised TED events, supported by local organizations and permitted by TED.
Upon arrival you had to queue up to register and get documents includinga schedule and a notebook with short speaker bios and a blank page to take notes. I walked around the event and found a lot of cool stuff for example a big X on which everybody could write their personal messages down.
There was also a DIY 3D printer made from Arduino Mega. The creator is a mechanical engineer and said it would cost around 2,500$ to build it but could be much cheaper (around 2,000$) if he would be able to build in large lots.
Several large screens that were showing the presentations on the stage as some seats were quite far from the stage. The room was kept quite dark and there were only white and red light enlightening the stage, with some dried ice smoke to make it look more fancy. There were around 25-30 speakers giving a talk at TEDx.
Dr. Thomas Tiller, A lecturer at Payap University was the first one. His topic is “Hacked Joysticks: Connecting the Developing World with the Virtual World.”. He uses cheap joysticks in which are sold at only 100-200 THB in Thailand to create a lot of sophisticated game controllers. He made a “Wooden DDR Mat” which is a game controller for the Dance Dance Revolution game made by out of wood, and attach with a jostick sensors to it. He also made a game controller from PVC tube. He made a robot from a joystick name Suckerbot which won the “10 Dollar Robot” Design challenge in 2012.
Patipat Susumpow, Co-Founder of Opendream, gave a talk about “Sensing sickness patterns from mobile phone app’s usage”. The app he talked about is DoctorMe, an application developed by Opendream with more than 300,000 downloads. The app allows you to fill out a form that determines if you are sick or not and what disease you might have. If there is an area that many people got sick, it is possible that there is an epidemic and actions can be taken by government bodied or civil society.
Ruttikorn Vuttikorn is a toy and educational game designer. Her presentation wasfull of cute cartoon characters. She developed a lot of Thai language toys about sufficiency economy, garbage management, global warming. She said “Children should be able to have educational access whether rich or poor”.
Dr. Wiriyah Ruechaipanit ran a tutorial school business which made him very rich. When is children were born he decided that they should not spent their time at tutorial schools but instead have access to the best education information possibleHe built a website that provides information about education in Thailand at eduzones.com.
Lee Ayu Chuepa has lived n a village on a beautiful mountain. I really like his calm, simple and clear speaking. He grew coffee since he was very young. After graduation, he went overseas to learn more about growing coffee. Then he used his knowledge to develop his own coffee, AKHA AMA. He said “Most of farmer who grow coffee don’t know how coffee tastes and most of coffee consumers have never seen a fresh coffee seed”.
Yada Pruksachatkun,is a writer who won an award from Argentina Independent International writing competition. She had the opportunity to get in to THINK Global School. The school that travels around the world (and students also travel along). She visited over 30 countries and founded the Light Footsteps Dance Initiative project which teaches patient in Chiang Mai to dance and make their body and their mind stronger.
Somluk Pantiboon is a skillful potter. He runs a mainstay of 100 artist who launched the Khua Silapa Project. Khua means bridge in the northern dialect. Silapa means art. So Khua Sillapa is a museum which connects artists with the community. Khua Silapa also includes a restaurant, an art school and a souvenir store. Check out it’s website at artbridgechiangrai.org
Krating Poonpol studied with a teacher who can teach a very hard subject in a very simple way so student can understand it easily. He won gold medal at International Physics Olympiad which helped him to get into Stanford University. After graduation, he worked at Google and later quit to build his own company which developed several award winning applications. After that, he came back to Thailand to work at Dtac. Finally he founded Disrupt University to teach and incubate startup businesses using the concept of “Bringing Silicon Valley to Thailand”.
There were a lot more speakers but those were the speakers that impressed me most. You can find the list of speaker here. The TEDx after party at Sala Lanna provided free beer and food for TEDx people. It allowed people more times to talk and connect with each other.
I paid 1,500 bath for a return ticket (Bangkok-Chiang Mai) and you would usually pay 550 bath for the TEDx ticket (I got it for free, special thanks to P’ Nueng from Opendream). I spent some more money on travelling around Chiang Mai but I found that this was a very good investment for me. Particularly to have the chance to listen to many great people, to make a lot more friends, to travel in Chiang Mai, to learn that English is very important in our life and to see that in this world are so much more things to learn. I will go next year again, and I hope I will see you there!