Just a month after the first TEDxWeekend (held in Vienna, Austria), 114 TEDx’ers gathered in Singapore for the second edition of these worldwide gatherings designed for knowledge sharing, cultural activities and fun. TEDx’ers sampled local cuisine, toured museums, made friends, visited local businesses, started discussions and participated in a day-long workshop covering everything from curation to leading a volunteer team.
TEDxWeekendSingapore took place over the weekend of July 3 to July 5, and was organized by a group of organizers from the area, headed by Dave Lim, senior TEDx ambassador to Asia.
Before the action even started on Friday, a small group of hungry TEDx’ers held an impromptu “Breakfast Worth Eating,” at the famous Maxwell Road Hawker Center in Singapore’s Chinatown, sampling cuisine from the Center’s many food stalls.
The main program kicked off with a tour of the Singapore City Gallery, where attendees grabbed their registration gear and pursued exhibits detailing decades of Singaporean design.
After registration, attendees had the choice of four different city tours — the North Track: Sibeh Exciting; the Central Track: Eco Kaki; the West Track: Super Zai; and the East Track: Lobang.
Each track covered a different element of Singaporean culture and enterprise. Sibeh Exciting attendees toured a mangrove forest, an aircraft engine manufacturer and local social good organizations; Eco Kaki toured the Singapore Maritime Gallery, the Botanic Gardens as well as the National Design Centre; Super Zai stopped at the Economic Development Board, a startup accelerator and an organization dedicated to sustainability in the city; and Lobang attendees visited the Economic Development Board, NEWater — a plant dedicated to making reclaimed water drinkable and the Singapore University of Technology and Design.
The day ended with a group dinner in the Empire Lounge on the 45th floor of the Singapore Land Tower overlooking the city and Singapore River.
Those who weren’t worn out by the long day of excitement, tours and bonding headed over to Lau Pa Sat, a food market and historical building that is iconic in the city. At Lau Pa Sat, gathering organizer Lim and friends ate local food and readied themselves for the day to come.
Saturday consisted of a full day of presentations and workshops — from TEDx’ers and TED staff — held in the city’s ArtsScience Museum. Organizers talked TEDx growth, knowledge sharing, budget planning, events in schools and more. A graphic recorder turned the presentation into drawings and during lunch attendees explored the museum’s exhibitions.
After the workshop, TEDx’ers walked through Singapore’s giant urban garden complex, Gardens By The Bay, to enjoy an authentic Singapore-style al fresco dinner by the waterfront. After dinner, attendees enjoyed the gardens by night, taking in the complex’s many attractions — flora, water, art installations and more.
On Sunday, attendees and organizers hosted unofficial outings and activities as part of the TEDx UnconFUNrence, including a traditional Singaporean breakfast, a trip to Google and YouTube’s Singapore offices, the Singapore Art Museum, a local design firm and more.
After the UnconFUNrence, all headed to the East Coast Park and beach for a farewell barbecue, allowing for fun, food and interactions with new friends before heading home.