TEDxNTU 2019: Viewpoints

Has your friend ever asked you whether you are ‘glass half-full or half-empty’ kind of a person? The fact that we perceive the same thing differently from one another presents an interesting conundrum, does it not? The way we perceive the world is influenced by our personal points of view, gender, past, identity, etc.

As the filmmaker, Wayne Gerard Trotman aptly points it out, “It may be a fact that the sky seems blue to you. Even so, that does not mean that the sky is blue.” To put it another way, we can say that “reality is what you make of it”.

We are who and how we are because of our unique perception of the world shaped by a myriad of reference frames and experiences, building on the ever-expanding meaning of reality. In addition to that, with the rapid increase in staged realities created by “the media, governments and big corporations”, our everyday lives require ceaseless efforts to discern right and wrong, real and fake. Hence, it is imperative for an individual to have an intellectual compass that allows one to navigate through and tell knowledge apart from pseudo-science, facts apart from opinions. There is an immediate need to nurture mindsets equipped to handle multiple perspectives, to learn from others and to be inclusive.

A way of acquiring this intellectual compass is to open up our minds to the “Viewpoints” of others and address some relevant questions in the process:

  • How subjective is reality?
  • How do the plethora of perspectives affect an individual’s life?
  • How do we reconcile the differences among the overabundant perspectives around us?
  • Why should we care about the viewpoints of others?

Come and join us at TEDxNTU 2019! Witness a team of distinguished speakers from various spheres of life as they share their take on various topics from their unique ‘VIEWPOINTS’.. Transform the way you look and think about the world!


Sierin Lim
STEM Ambassador for Women

Sierin is an Associate Professor at the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and the Associate Dean at the Graduate College at NTU, Singapore. She is a scientist who aspires to inspire women to pursue careers in science and engineering. As a strong advocate for the advancement of women in STEM, she believes they bring their own unique perspective and creativity to the table. She is recipient of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowship and the founding chair and advisor to Women@NTU. She considers her parents, especially her mother, to be the driving force behind her interest in pursuing science and engineering.

Agon Hare
Project Nightfall | Honest Videos and Music

Agon is a video creator, singer and globe-traveler from Poland. A member of the Nas Daily team, he is an open-hearted storyteller who is on a mission to create a more compassionate and brighter world through his initiative, Project Nightfall. He empowers individuals to embrace themselves and change the way they think about global issues such as racism, environment and immigration through his innovative video content. He also aims to change the music industry and bring it back to its honest and authentic roots. His videos have been seen by over 160 million people.

Charu Kokate
Design Guardian

As a Principal and Director of Safdie Architects in Singapore, Charu leads the firm’s efforts. She successfully translates the firm’s design philosophy into practice during the construction phase ensuring a balance of design goals, quality construction, budget and delivery schedule of each project. She has overseen the construction of several iconic and complex projects. Since her arrival in 2007, Charu has designed and supervised the construction of the Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort and the Sky Habitat residential tower in Singapore. As Project Director of Jewel Changi Airport, Charu has headed the design integration and construction of the project that has redefined air travel experience.

Farish Noor
Historian of Ideas & Model-Maker

Farish is a political scientist and historian of Southeast Asia, whose focus has been on the impact of colonialism in Asia in particular. He has written extensively about the power of ideas and how colonization was never simply a case of violent conquest but also subtle transformation and coercion. His latest book is entitled ‘Data-collecting in 19th Century Colonial Southeast Asia: Framing the Other’ (Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, forthcoming). Farish believes that we can never truly escape history but we need not be victims of it either.

Adirupa Sengupta
Inclusivity Advocate

During her twenty years of working with leaders, Adirupa has seen cultures colliding with one another. This coupled with the biases they bring, impact key decisions across different countries, cities, and institutions. She has made it her life-mission to help leaders learn how to cross boundaries in order to tackle complex problems. Currently, as the Group Chief Executive of Common Purpose Charitable Trust, she works with major organizations and institutions around the world to develop their cultural intelligence. Adirupa grew up in India and read for an MPhil in International Relations at St. John’s College, Cambridge. She is also an alumnus of the Harvard Business School’s High Potential Leadership Programme.

Thomas Dawson
Hair Science Idealist

Tom’s passion for science was ignited at age 6 when his mother, a chemist, taught him adiabatic expansion by placing a corked glass bottle in warm water on the stove and heating it until the cork popped. This began fifty years of scientific inquisitiveness and exploration, focusing on developing technologies to improve human lives. Tom’s professional scientific journey began with organ transplantation and cancer at UNC Chapel Hill, pediatric genetics at Duke University, dandruff and ultimately hair growth at Procter & Gamble and A*STAR Singapore. Outside the lab, Tom loves to cook, travel and scuba dive around the world.

Zat Low
Singapore’s ant-man

Local Singaporean artist, Zat Low, is a successful ant collector who builds formicariums (man-made ant nests) for ants. He believes that one’s philosophy in life can be very much related to these critters. Zat helms a Facebook group, Singapore Ants, which comprises of a community of passionate ant enthusiasts like himself. His passion has piqued the interests of many, like Nasdaily and CNA while he continues to share his knowledge, bushing misconceptions about ants being pests and bridging relationships between humans and these little companions. With that being said, the Native Ants Exhibition allows Zat to showcase his artworks and promote ant knowledge to the public.

Also featuring exciting performances and engaging activities!

For any queries write to tedxntu@gmail.com