About Jason Hsu
Jason Hsu is a storyteller at heart. Majoring in journalism and literature
in college, he started his career as a journalist, working on a wide range of different projects including reporting a UNESCO's sustainable development in Xi'an China and launching a startup venture in a garage in San Francisco.
He also worked as EKIN, corporate storyteller at Nike Inc. An enthusiastic traveler, Jason backpacked throughout Australia and followed Che Guevera's trail in Central and South America. Jason is the founder of The Big Question and since 2009 has been co-founder of TEDxTaipei.
Latest Posts by Jason Hsu
As part of a regional effort, TEDx organizers from Taipei, Beijing, Guangzhou and Tokyo came together to create TEDxShanghai. Inspired by 10,000 hours, a theme in Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers, the conference sets the tone to unveil a story of excellence and brilliance.
TEDxShanghai was held in a Dutch performance center, a loft-style building with open space and theatre-like setting. The lineup of speakers included a creative director, bamboo bicycle maker, artist, lightweight airplane designer, social entrepreneur, creative festival organizer, city planner and many more interesting people. The curator’s efforts in making the event diverse in its content as well as consistent in messaging was clear. A good mix of both international and local speakers really represented what the city of Shanghai is about — fusion.
The event opened on a beautiful Sunday morning with the gracious remarks of Richard Hsu, TEDxShanghai curator, to thank everyone for coming. Among the audience were professors from Art Center, movie directors, foreign consulate officials, TEDx organizers and many motivated local TED enthusiasts. I sat in the back of the theatre, thinking about all the effort pouring into making this happen, and how lucky I am to be part of this global community. Throughout the day there were many TED moments for me. Clearly, 10,000 hours are not only about speakers’ stories of how they achieved their goals with passion, relentless persistence, but also stories about humanity — how we define ourselves as human beings and how we answer the question of who we are and why we are here. One speaker Mao Yiqing, the lightweight airplane designer, said “there is a desire running in my blood; that is that I want to fly.” How often do we search for the inner callings?
TEDxShanghai also presents something that is distinctively Chinese — a city that draws on the best of talents and resources. Many overseas Chinese now return to China to help build this country. They re-define the concept of homecoming in the sense that they offer what China is now lacking–the new thinking. Speaker Calvin Chin, a social entrepreneur, shared his ancestor’s journey from China to America and being a second-generation Chinese American how he redefined himself and what coming back to China meant to him.
What’s special about TEDx is you see many local stories being told in a way that makes one think we belong to a larger interconnected community. These local stories are about unsung heroes. When their stories are passed on in 18 minutes to an audience body so diverse in background and nationality and culture, I know we are making a dent in the universe.
TEDxShanghai also offers an opportunity for organizers to come together to share each others’ learning and experience. With organizers from Beijing, Guangzhou, Taipei, Shanghai and Tokyo, a regional communication was made possible. We explored what we could do to bring together more concerted efforts and what some of our common goals in the region are and how we could learn from each other. Echoing the theme of 10,000 hours, I began to ponder if TEDx organizers in different regions can join together to start discussions and share best practices, what we could achieve in the course of 10,000 hours?
At the end of the trip I was thinking TEDx is more than just awesome talks and inspiring ideas and local stories. It’s about lasting friendships that you build for the long term. I came home with a bag full of ideas and many meaningful conversations in mind. And that’s is why we travel.
by Jason Hsu
Curator and Storyteller, TEDxTaipei