10 FEB 2018

At Le Méridien Chiang Mai

About TEDxChiangMai

TEDxChiangMai is an independently organized TEDx event operated under license from TED. TEDxChiangMai is more than an event - it is a platform for ideas worth spreading, a dialogue, a call for action, and a community of people who believe in ideas, creativity, innovation and collaboration. Apart from the annual large creativity and idea forum “TEDxChiangMai”, we also organize smaller events & activities throughout the year.

TEDxChiangMai Event 2018

The theme “Our Common Future” blends social and environmental issues and refers to our profound interdependence as humans on earth. The theme highlights the importance of finding a sustainable path development. At TEDxChiangMai, we explore how to find common ground, raise our level of understanding, and create commitment to action.

TEDxChiangMai traces its origins to a small event in 2011. For TEDxChiangMai2018, we had 20 speakers and 3 perfor s and over 1,000+ audiences.

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No plastic straws please

TEDxChiangMai is working with local groups in Chiang Mai to reduce the use of plastic straws and other forms of single-use plastic. We hope that more business owners and the public will avoid using plastic straws. Plastic straws are ranked No.5 on the list of top 10 plastic waste items collected in the oceans.

Care and love nature

We chose the four-leaf clover as a symbol of a future where we live in greater harmony with our natural environment. In our poster, a diverse group people jointly caring for the four-leaf clover, represent people cooperating for “Our Common Future”.


Social inclusion is critical for sustainable development and a positive common future. Great things can happen if we listen to each other, respect each other, find common ground, and work together.


Alex Kerr

Rural revival using what’s on hand

Alex Kerr is known for his work on regional revitalization and the restoration of traditional homes, having restored over forty houses in towns around Japan. Alex speaks to groups across Japan about ways to revive their local economies by preserving cultural heritage and developing sustainable tourism.

He writes in both English and Japanese, and is the author of nu ous books on Japan, including Lost Japan (1993), Dogs and Demons (2001), and Another Kyoto (2016).

Alex first visited Thailand in the 1970s, and since 1990 spends about half of each year in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and traveling widely in Northern Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Southern China. His experiences in Bangkok appears in his book Bangkok Found (River Books 2010).


Bhume Bhumiratana

Opportunities from a Secure Digital ID Platform

Bhume Bhumiratana is a researcher, educator and practitioner in cybersecurity. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2009, specializing in application security design, privacy design and implementation, and modern cryptography. Bhumiratana conducted research in the Department of Computer Engineering at King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thonburi from 2009-2014.

His industry consulting experience includes serving as a principal consultant at a leading IT company in Thailand, where he created a new business unit focusing on security consulting solutions. He built and managed a team of cybersecurity researchers, consultants and implementers specializing in products in the area of advanced authentication technology, machine learning and big-data, and cybersecurity. In addition, he also serves as technology consultant for the Security and Exchange Commissioner’s Office Thailand (SEC).


Kenneth Rimdahl

Forest Friendly Tea from Lanna Tradition

Involved in the field of tea since 1994, Kenneth opened his first tea shop in Spain under the wing of his mentor Per Sundmalm, who founded the Tea Shop of East West Company, Spain and introduced Kenneth to the world of tea. It was Per who first told Kenneth about the existence of wild tea. Parallel to the expansion of the East West Company, Spain, of which Kenneth later became a co-owner, he began traveling the tea world to expand his knowledge and find the elusive wild tea. His journey took him to the best tea-producing areas in China, India and Japan, but he never did find a genuine wild tea.

His travels finally led him to Thailand, where his friend and current business partner Vorakan Wongfu introduced him to “Miang” (fermented tea leaves from wild and free-grown tea plants enjoyed by Thai mountain dwellers for centuries). Impressed by the unique and remarkable flavour of miang and the sustainable way it is grown, Kenneth started a new enterprise called Monsoon Tea in 2013 and aims to be the heart of northern Thailand’s sustainable tea community.


Kirida Bhaopichitr

Aging Thailand - Time to Rethink Ageism

Kirida is an economist with expertise in analysing the developments of the global and Thai economies. Kirida is currently the Research Director for the International Research and Advisory Service at the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), a leading independent think tank in Thailand. She also leads the exclusive TDRI Economic Intelligence Service (EIS), where she prepares content for monthly seminars on economic issues of high relevance and significance for Thailand.

Kirida is a recognized fixture in economic and business circles in Thailand. She appears regularly in the media and speaks at high-level forums organized by public and private organizations in Thailand and overseas. Dr Kirida holds a PhD in Economics from Cornell University through the prestigious Ananda Mahidol Foundation Scholarship.


Klee Bho

Of Culture, Roots and Music

Klee Bho is an artist and the owner of Baan Phati Homestay in Galyani Vadhana District, Chiang Mai. He was granted a scholarship and graduated in music at Payap University and gained a masters degree in art and management from Chiang Mai University.

He welcomes outsiders to his homestay to share the culture and lifestyle of the S’gaw Karen (Pakayaw) and has built a chandising brand to support local crafts under the name “Chiang Mai Karen’s Crafts.” He also supports local far s’ production of organic rice under the brand “Thong Dee Brown Rice.” As a musician, he modifies and creates versions of melodies using native musical instruments. With the right management, he believes that his community has the resources and values for success.


Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon

Bringing Lanna Food into the Now

Kongwuth Chaiwongkachon is the owner and chef of Locus Native Food Lab in Chiang Rai. While working at the renowned Dhara Dhevi Hotel in Chiang Mai, he had the opportunity to live and learn with the Pakayaw tribe, studying their use of indigenous plants and herbs. Through this process he became captivated with northern Thai food and culture.

Chef Kongwuth’s goal is to preserve native recipes and their histories while recreating them in new ways in his food lab. Locus Native Food Lab is not a restaurant, it is a place where you go to be inspired and to hear stories about traditional northern cooking methods and recipes. Chef Kongwuth invites the next generation of cooks and to explore and recreate these dishes in new and wonderful ways.


Mo Seetubtim

Finding Happiness from Within

Born in Bangkok, Mo Seetubtim grew up with a very traditional Thai mother and a father who introduced her to western philosophy and to the field of personal development. In contrast to her parents, Mo grew up in a dual east-west environment giving her a unique perspective life and happiness. From a very young age Mo wanted to inspire people to live life with purpose and passion by finding happiness from within. She yearns to share her technique and philosophy with everyone.

In early 2015, Mo launched the Happiness Planner. This is a planner and journal designed to help people create more happiness and fulfillment in their lives by embracing the power of positive thinking, mindfulness, gratitude, and self-development. The “Happiness Planner” was also featured in TEDxLondon and TEDxOakland.


Nati Sang

Maker’s Spaces: Spaces for Learning and Innovation

Nati Sang is an entrepreneur, inventor, venture capitalist, educator and LEGO Certified Facilitator, and has taken the robes as a Buddhist monk twice. He created Makerspace Thailand as a Community Innovation Lab providing the tools, knowledge and opportunity necessary for anyone to be an innovator.

Nati was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Fresno, California to a loving family of Thai parents who encouraged his enthusiasm to learn from an early age. He studied East Asian Cultures and Languages at UCLA, and worked in Silicon Valley as an IT professional and dot-com entrepreneur. Nati has lived in Thailand for the past 15 years and currently resides with his wife Joy S. Sang in Chiang Mai, Thailand.


Oraya Sutabutr

Big Trees are A Big Deal for Cities

Oraya Sutabutr is a graduate in psychology from the University of Clark and has an MA in literature from the University of Victoria. When she noticed the drastically decreasing amount of trees in the Sukhumvit 35 area of Bangkok in 2010, Oraya joined the “Big Trees Project”, which raises awareness and protects green spaces in urban areas through social media.

With the help of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture at Chulalongkorn University, and the Somdet Chaopraya Institute of Psychiatry, Oraya is the main drive behind the “Tree School” to educate tree enthusiasts and to properly take care of plant life.


Pakpoom Subsoontorn

Hacking Bio-Technology

Pakpoom Subsoontorn is a bioengineer, a lecturer at Naresuan University and the deputy director of the Lower Northern Science Park. He specialises in synthetic biology, an e ging research area related to design and construction of artificial biological devices and living systems.

His works in synthetic DNA logic switching and data storage have been recognised as key innovations in programming life. He is also interested in science communication and the impacts of synthetic biology on society, especially in the developing world. He co-founded the ‘Hack Biodesign’ group Thailand and writes for the popular science Facebook page: “Biology Beyond Nature.”


Parnbua Boonparn

A Shift in Thai Media Management

Parnbua Boonparn is the Deputy Managing Director of Marketing at the Matichon Group. She is responsible for online/offline advertising, pocket books sales, event organization, job training and so forth. She is in the committee of Books For Children Foundation, a non-profit organization, and a board member at the Chinese Studies Center under the Institute of Asian Studies at Chulalongkorn University.

Her for positions include being a columnist for Prachachat Business Newspaper, managing editor of Matichon Publishing House, director of Matichon Academy, vice president for foreign affairs at the Printer’s Association, and publisher and book salesperson at PUBAT, an organization that creates the biggest book fair in Thailand. Her notable achievements include encouraging a publishing house to translate influential and inspiring books into Thai such as “An inconvenient Truth,” which helps Thai people understand global warming, and “I Am Malala”, whose author won the Nobel Peace Prize.


Piyasak Keawsaart (MAUY)

A Glimpse of Nature in the City

Piyasak Keawsaart is a fine arts graduate from Chiang Mai University specializing in painting. Inspired by street art and graffiti work during a visit to Germany and Switzerland in 2014, he became fascinated with the medium and through practice launched his own career as a street artist in Thailand.

In his unique anthropomorphic style, he creates animal forms imitating human behaviour to tell a different story. By bringing animals and nature into the urban visual landscape through his creations, he aspires to bring new life to urban neighborhoods.


Surachai Puthikulangkura

Happiness in Every Square Inch

Surachai Puthikulangkura is the first Thai national illustrator to receive world-class Grand Prix awards from Cannes Lions, Clio Awards, One Show, and LIA Awards among others. All of this came from his studies at Chiang Mai University Fine Arts faculty and studies in visual design with Tokyo designer Gakuin in Japan.

Mr. Surachai then became fascinated with realistic art, which led him to start Thailand’s first computer generated images (CGI) studio called Illusion Ltd. Illusion studios has created nu ous world-renowned and award-winning adverts. Surachai’s path to success combines an interesting story and philosophy that shows how attitude and practice can facilitate success in any creative field.


Tanyanuparb Anantana

Believe with me in innovation

Assistant Professor Tanyanuparb Anantana is the director and co-founder of the Science and Technology Park (STeP) at Chiang Mai University. He is also the chairman of a network of seven universities in the Northern Science Park (NSP) supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Thailand.

Since 2010, STeP and NSP have played important roles in university-industry linkage by promoting innovation development using know-how from university research, supporting utilization of science/technology/innovation for SMEs, and building up Tech Startups in Chiang Mai and the northern region of Thailand. In addition, Tanyanuparb is one of the key persons driving the “Talent Mobility” program being implemented with high visibility in Thailand.


Thanee Chaiwat

Nature > Culture > Future

Thanee Chaiwat is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Economics and director for behavioral and experimental economics at Chulalongkorn University (CBEE). He holds a doctorate degree in Economics from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Furthermore, he is the head of the project at the Laboratory for Architectural Design and Social Responsibility (SIAM lab). His research publications include economic analyses of such issues as societal behavior, human trafficking and political corruption. Thanee believes that Thai society can be viewed from many perspectives and for humanity to reach to its fullest potential requires thinking beyond the regular norms of economic and political rationality.


Tiranee Achalakul

Using Big Data to Improve Healthcare Services

Achalakul has worked in the fields of big data analytics, high performance computing and software engineering since 2000. She has extended experience working in the IT industry and academic practice in both the United States and Thailand and has published two textbooks and multiple journal and conference papers.

During the past 14 years, Achalakul has been participating in many data analytics and software development projects in both private and public sectors and has served on advisory boards for multiple agencies. She has wide experience in fields such as the design and implementation of data methodologies, software systems and computing infrastructure. She has also served in the committee of the National e-Science Infrastructure Consortium of Thailand. In addition to being an assistant president in innovation and partnership at King Mongkut’s University of Technology at Thonburi, she is also a director of the Big Data Experience Center and the KMUTT student incubator (Hatch).

Ng Yeen Seen

The Future of Jobs and Education

Ng Yeen Seen is a public intellectual and a young thought leader. She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2016 and was recently appointed as an Ambassador for TN50 (National Transformation 2050) by the Government of Malaysia. She is active in international relations with experience in political analysis, business development, research and policy analysis, and strategic and publicity communications. Furthermore, she is a mentor in Obama’s YSEALI programme in 2016

Currently, Yeen Seen is the Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Research, Advisory and Technology (CREATE). She is also the founder of #OpsHarapan, a grassroots movement created when the worst flood hit the East-Coast of Peninsular Malaysia in 2014. Today, the movement continues with recovery by bringing hope and opportunities to local communities.


Ruangsak Anuwatwimon

Uncertainty of Paradise

Ruangsak Anuwatwimon is a contemporary artist who has exhibited his work in several countries. His fascination with art started when he studied at the Pohchang Academy Of Arts in 1994. Ruangsak had a vision that art can be seen beyond the traditional two dimensional plane and can defy easy definition. Thus, he started creating installation art and first performed in 2001 under the name Metamorphosis at Siam Art Space.

Most of Ruangsak’s work portrays many aspects in the connection between humans and nature; for example, the cruelty of humans towards other beings. This has inspired him to create meaningful works such as “Revenge” (2006), the “Ash Heart Project” (2007) and “Project Golem” (2012). He recenting collaborated with Greenpeace Thailand’s “Right to Clean Air - The Art Exhibition,” raising awareness of the drastic increase of air pollution in Thailand’s major cities.

Madeleine Recknagel

From Sustainable Self to Sustainable Us

Madeleine is a passionate educator, speaker, facilitator, blogger and sustainability consultant, teaching people of all ages and backgrounds how to live with less using the 7R’s: rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle and rot. She has dedicated the past two years to learning, implementing, and teaching new ways to live a fully sustainable life in an urban environment. She is a full-time lecturer at Bangkok University International, where she also advises on internships, mentors entrepreneurial-minded students, and fosters sustainable choices and behaviour among her students and colleagues.


Walter Lee and Zy Kher Lee

Walking without Legs

Walter Lee or Chef Kani is an entrepreneur, restaurateur, author, and currently a social worker. He started his first international brand company, “Venturetec” in 1994. In the meantime, he is the co-founder of an international franchise restaurant, “Exquisine Thai” and starred in TV cooking programs for over 20 years in Thailand. He is also the founder of one of the leading 21st century culinary schools of Thailand (www.thevschool.com). His mantra, “Great Foods Good Health” is the core of his new urban self-sufficient farm school called “Baan Suan Chef Kani” which was inspired by the Late King Rama the IX philosophy.

Zy Kher Lee aka Nong Zy, is 11 years old and goes to Penang Chinese Primary School in Penang, Malaysia. He was born with only one complete left arm and 2 dislocated hips. None of the doctors in Thailand said he will ever walk but can be happy in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His father found a multi-disciplinary approach of treatment in Heidelberg University Hospital in Germany. Today, Nong Zy walks to school, swims, plays the keyboard, cooks and basically lives the life of a normal child his age.

Zy has inspired his father, Walter Lee, and others to establish the Zy Movement Foundation (www.zmf-asia.org) to raise awareness and inspire independent living to the 10 million children with movement disabilities in South-east Asia. Zy embraces the outdoors and have participated in all of ZMF’s signature activity, ”Claim To Change A Life.” He has become the youngest disabled child in the world to summit Mt Kinabalu, Mt Kilimanjaro, Mt Fuji and many other mountains in between and many more to come.


Chiang Mai Swing Dance

Let's Dance Together

Founded in 2012, Chiang Mai Swing Dance is a collection of swing dancers from around the world who live in Chiang Mai. Owing to the improvisational and playful nature of the dance, swing dance is enjoyed by people of all ages and groups as a means to communicate, express creativity, relieve stress, appreciate music and make new friends. A voluntary organizing team of the Chiang Mai Swing Dance group hosts weekly classes, social dances, and also organizes workshops and dance outings in a variety of locations.

Faifan is a lecturer at Chiang Mai University with a hobby in swing dancing. She started dancing in 2006 in the US and has participated in social dancing, performances and competitions. She has been involved in the organization of numerous local swing dance communities, where she welcomes and instructs new swing dance enthusiasts. Faifan has joined forces with several other dance enthusiasts and currently is leading the growing swing dance community in Chiang Mai.


Ronnarong Khampha (Ong)


Ronnarong (Ong) Khampha is a dancer/choreographer from Northern Thailand. Captivated by Lanna dance when he was young, he later graduated with an honors degree in Thai arts from Chiang Mai University in 2005.

Although his background is traditional, Khampha's focus is on contemporary performance. He has developed his own style using old-style dance as the base, venturing into new aesthetics. Khampha studied Javanese and Balinese dance in Solo (Surakarta), Indonesia for two years (2006-08), and Japanese Noh Drama for six months in Kyoto (2010).

Khampha has performed solo and collaborated with artists from Thailand, A ica, Japan, Korea, Australia and Indonesia, in dance festivals in Europe, North A ica, Australia and Asia.


Charlie Wilson


Charlie Wilson is a dynamic performance poet who writes cathartic, spiritually imbued verse. Charlie sees the role of the artist as a conduit for reconnecting us with the timeless, spiritual dimension beyond the comings and goings of the world. He has run writing workshops at festivals and for charities aiming to reach disadvantaged youths. He runs shamanic journeys and holds ceremonial space under the moniker Sacred Love.

Charlie’s poems can relate to all people across the world. His poems cover love, nature, family and much more. His most famous work is “Earth,” where his verse creates an emotional connection between living beings on our home planet. Among his notable works are his awareness poems, such as “Addiction,” which looks at human addiction to technology and materialism and how it takes us away from being what humans naturally are.

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