“The Era of Negative Growth” – The Annual Report of TEDxTainan 2015
“The Era of Negative Growth” is the theme of the annual conference of TEDxTainan, 2015. It might be a depressing and negative name, but is it a conference for the discussion about how incapable we are in this era?
One of the co-hosts Waylon Shyu named the topic of this year’s conference. “The original intention is to respond all depressing accidents or issues in 2015 from a fresh prospective. We have faced many depressing news in 2015 including the chaos of the media, food safety issues and the economic depression in Taiwan. ‘The Era of Negative Growth’ stands for two meanings: first, an immediate impact of negative feelings; secondly, it also tries to remind people of taking responsibility of the current situation. If we can devote ourselves to the society, would the world be a different?” said by Waylon.
“Everyone notices the signal of messy and negative messages from the accidents but we do not know how to read those meanings of the signals or we do not know how to solve the problems from the messages.” – by Waylon
From zero to one, from basis to innovation
The agenda of TEDxTainan was divided by three topics: “Staying Rational”, “Connecting the Past” and “Bringing Innovation”. The first panel invited different representatives to discuss the problems by receiving the information from the public, such as Albert Tzeng, the Editor-in-chief from CNEX, Wei Jung Huang, the co-founder of “One Day” magazine, Tieh-Chih Chang, the co-founder of “The Reporter” and Sasha Chang of the co-founder of “simpleinfo”. They analyzed the media problems starting with how people get news.
The second panel explored the possibility of turning the traditional image to the innovative concept in our lives. “TEDxTainan emphasizes the connection with locals and we believe that TED is able to let the world know about the culture of Taiwan and also install many innovative ideas to Taiwan by TED,” said by Waylon. Therefore, they invited the CEO of the Foundation of Histric City Conservation and Regeneration, Shih Hua Yen to describe the culture and history of Taiwan from the special and unique Taiwanese building.
After figuring out the problems and connecting the old with the new, the next step is “innovation.” The subtitle of the last panel is “Do not stop until the good things become better.” However, we have to have a well-rounded plan before following the innovative trend. This panel shared experiences of the new perspective from abroad including four speeches from Min-Ren Jang from SWancor, Roan Kang from Microsoft, Vanessa the moon cup crowdfunding proposer and James from Strawbees.
A complete experience to connect social communities
“Our impression to TED is the short speeches from different industries. TEDxTainan intends to express more than what the Internet can offer. We want to emphasize the atmosphere of the annual TEDxTainan conference,” said by another co-founder Nealson Li. TED’s speech videos provide only the unidirectional message but what TEDxTainan has been trying to do is to host more panels and create more interaction between the audience and speakers.
In 2015, TEDxTainan hosted three local events to explore different Tainan’s social events. For example, they hosted a traditional folks art performance in one of the oldest renovated department store, Lin Department in Tainan.
Many factors of a speech cannot be shown on the video, such as the speaker’s voice, the atmosphere and the interaction with the audience. “People can only experience these factors by attending the event personally,” said by Nealson. The events not only provide a platform for interaction, but also increase closer and stable relationships of social communities in Tainan. Knowing the importance of these factors of a speech, the annual 2015 conference not only provided interaction agenda for participants but also provided “real” personal experiences for participants.
The original goal of TEDxTainan – Think global, act local – brings Tainan into a more globally known city in the word, which also represented that Tainan can still grow despite the current negative growth era in Taiwan. All of us are living in this era but are we motivated by the story in TEDxTainan? We all understand the impact of TEDxTainan, but how do we “take actions” to make changes? This will be the next issues among us in the era of negative growth.