TEDxUSMC: Our True Selves & Purpose

Part 2


Trailing from that was the networking session. The session consisted of a few exhibitors ranging from students displaying their projects to speakers proudly presenting their work.

Everyone can be seen mingling around with the companionship of mouth watering red velvet cakes, and delicious Belgium chocolate brownies. I spoke to John, who is an international student from Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NuMed). As John said: “The networking session was beyond expectation. Speakers are definitely great especially Nadia and Santa!” Santa had also shared with me about his QTPi project and a book that he had written titled “She: Ekla Cholo Re”. The book is about searching for one’s identity in spite of all odds, and as informed, the book itself will soon be released as a movie! The networking session was engaging as I got a few new contacts and also feedback from everyone that attended.


Attendees were then ushered to the auditorium, as something exciting was about to happen! The performers for the day, Classmates, were ready to give a live performance. Though being a local pop punk band, they had interesting instruments involving a violin and a classical guitar. Everyone was cheering, as the performance was really outstanding.



Following from the alluring musical, our next speaker was Ivan Ling, our very own PhD student from USMC as he gave a talk about nanotechnology. He started his research with the mindset of saving the planet. Ivan explained that common sensors operates with heat that requires power, leading to extraction of fuel that pollutes Mother Earth. In which case, he developed a sensor that operates in room temperature, where there is no need for an external heat source, hence saving the world. Kudos to Ivan for his research which maybe in nano scale, but it is the workload, effort and energy that he has put into his passion that contributes a lot to the world.

Last but not least was a speaker with a friendly smile, USMC’s very own Lyn Cacha. Lyn spoke about the importance of personal branding. To create a strong personal brand, one has to be bold, genuine and authentic. It is perfectly fine to showcase failures, as all successors were failures once. She had given a few examples on how personal branding can be ruined with the emphasis that social media is one’s hearing aid and not one’s microphone. Lyn ended her talk with a question for the audience: “How do you want people to remember you?”


The talks for today was definitely impactful for me as Nadia talked about her struggles that lead to her motivation, Eddie’s speech regarding on the importance of having a purpose and Lyn’s emphasise on the importance of personal branding. A token of appreciation was handed to all the speakers, performers and our very own advisor, Dr Jo-Han Ng as a thank you note. Jeremy wrapped up the event by thanking everyone that was involved in making the event a successful one.

After the closing ceremony, the members of TEDxUSMC stayed back for a group photo with the companion of the speakers, to keep and savour as a long lasting memory. Being a part of the TEDxUSMC community was a personal experience that was priceless. Though there were ups and down while creating this event, I learnt the meaning of teamwork and gained inspiration from the speakers themselves. Once again, congratulations to everyone that was involved as we successfully created history! The success of TEDxUSMC’s first ever live event, which was also the first TEDx event in Iskandar, Puteri! This may be our first but it will certainly not be our last!


TEDxUSMC: Our True Selves and Purpose

Part 1


As the alarm buzzed continuously, I stretched my hand to reach out for my phone. The screen displayed: 6:40 am – Saturday, 2nd December. I jumped out of bed and dashed into the bathroom to get myself ready. Why? Well, TEDxUSMC’s first ever main event is happening today!


Late night sleeps, countless meetings, blood and sweat of every member all comes down to this very event as the members of TEDxUSMC gather in the auditorium for a final briefing. At approximately 8am, speakers started arriving as they prepared themselves mentally for the big day. “Testing 1…2…3…Testing.” There was a final check on the sound system before the commencement of the event.


As my wristwatch displayed 9am, attendees can be seen gradually arriving as they approached the registration counter. Upon arriving, attendees were given a gift bag and a “cross” memo to be put onto the photobooth. The photobooth became a masterpiece as a contribution from all the crosses that had names, signature and notes written by everyone. Assigned ushers then lead the attendees to their respective seats.


The opening of the ceremony began as our emcee with his confidence approach, Jeremy, steps up on stage and proceeds to explain the aim of TEDxUSMC. The curators of TEDxUSMC realised that the people in our local society, especially the students, are bright and brilliant but unfortunately, not all have yet to find their purpose in life. With the hope of changing the mindset of not having a direction in life, the theme for the event was born: “Our True Selves and Purpose”.


Our first speaker for the day was Nadia Hasbi with her bright colourful leggings. Nadia is the founder and CEO of, which was famously featured in many renowned publications. Yes, she may be successful now, but life wasn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Along the way, she lost her fiancé; her business went downhill and most importantly, Nadia lost her beloved father. Exercise was her healing remedy and that is how started. Nadia conveyed three important messages to the audience, follow your curiosity, your intentions matter and the little things in life are significant. It was impactful as she shared her hardships and aspiration that changed her life.


The next speaker for the day was Santa Santosh Avvannavar. Santa’s speech was inspiring as he talked about having dreams and shared the 6 success career mantras that he has gathered. “Don’t forget that people will break your dreams like how I break yours.” Since young, his father had taught him the meaning of hardships and that not everything will go according to plan, but that is not an excuse to raise the white flag. The six career success mantras that Santa had generously shared were the importance of writing skills, presentation skills, communication skills, specialisation, internships and other academic activities. His talk was engaging and comical as the audience laughed to his jokes.



I glanced at my watch as my stomach was growling, begging for food, it was lunchtime. Attendees and speakers were ushered to the dining area, as a buffet lunch was prepared. Hungry attendees could be seen devouring the delicious food while some approached the speakers and committee members of TEDxUSMC as they socialised.


After the lunch break, most audience with their utterly full stomachs felt lethargic. To amp up the atmosphere, Jeremy gave the audience a little bit of a brainteaser, a TED-ED riddle. This activity got people’s mind cracking as they tried to solve the given riddle. Instantly, the crowd regained their energy once again!


Following from the engaging riddle, our third speaker for the event was Dr. Henry Chan. Dr. Henry shared his personal journey as he embarked to the rural part of Sarawak. His heart broke when he learned from the people that the beautiful forest would be deforested for future development. To overcome this issue, he joined WWF and collaborated with Heart of Borneo (HOB). He ended his speech with a note that it is everyone’s responsibility to replenish Mother Earth. It can be seen that Dr. Henry has a passion and that was towards saving nature.


Eddie Woo was our next speaker for the day. Eddie is currently in the training industry working in Prudential Assurance Malaysia Berhad. He had summarised his speech into three main parts of what one should do. Firstly, it is about seizing all opportunities given. Secondly, Eddie emphasises on giving a meaning to whatever you do. Lastly was to repeat the first and second pieces of advice. What impacted me most during his speech was one particular sentence, which goes: “The more YES you say today, the more NO you will say in the future. Do we live by choice or do we live by chance?” Eddie and Dr. Henry’s speeches certainly were significant as they shared the importance of giving purpose to one’s action.


Stay tuned for part 2!



A week has passed since TEDxUSMC launched their first ever salon event. The theme for the event was ‘Seeing the Invisible’. I recalled having first seen the poster of the event. What had intrigued me was the theme. What did it mean by ‘Seeing The Invisible’? How can a human being view something that was imperceptible in the very first place? And from there on, my curiosity signed me up for the event.

17th November arrived. Tonight was the night where I would be able to see the ‘Invisible’. Registration started at 7:45pm and the event room gradually filled up with people. When the participants registered, they received a unique door gift. It was a wooden engraved keychain that had the event’s theme on the front and a personalised name on the back. I knew the event would go well just by the details the committee put into the gifts.


As the guests had all arrived, up came the host for the event, Jeremy with his smart look and soothing voice that caught the eyes and ears of the attendees. The event started with a video by Scott Geller with the title “The Psychology of Self Motivation”. Following from the video, participants were then ushered out of the room and one by one were once again brought back into a pitch-black room.


In a room full of darkness and unrecognisable group mates, we were told to have a deep psychological discussion. The topic ranged from our motivation factors to what our past looked like and what hopes do we have for the future. A few participants got immersed into the topic where they shared their past while others gave encouragement to those who were too shy to open up. The discussion was impactful, as I finally understood what it meant to see the ‘invisible’. The inspiration that gets one to work harder, the fears that pulled them back, the struggles that one had to overcome and the desire that one dreamt about.




Refreshments were then served after the discussion activity as the room was filled with lights again. During the break, participants could be seen socialising while devouring sandwiches and orange juice.


Right after refreshments, we were then seated as a video titled ‘Draw Your Future’ by Patti Dobrowolski was broadcast to us. Inspired by the video, there were a few coloured pens, pencils and papers on every group’s table. Participants were encouraged to draw their dream future. Our host, Jeremy had showed us his drawing as he talked about having a dream career working in the Formula 1 industry. Others shared their dream about getting a nice body or a luxurious car while some had the desire to be an entrepreneur. I drew airplanes on the paper, as I want to travel around the world, learning the cultures of different people. Our drawings of our dream future were then collected, as the committee would like to make a mosaic to mark the very first TEDxUSMCSalon event.


After all the impactful videos and engaging activities, Jeremy then proceeded to wrap up the event. I went back to my room, feeling enlightened. I finally understood what it meant by ‘Seeing The Invisble’. Though with only a short span of two hours, the event was fun and sentimental. Now, I have to patiently wait for the main event that is coming in December.


That’s all for now. See everyone again at the main event!




The scorching hot sun shined over Johor Bahru, as its residents awoke to a new day. Amid all this, I was getting myself ready for today’s event. I am Priscilla, blogger for TEDxUSMC, and on this day, I attended my very first TEDx event hosted by TEDxSungaiSegget.


The theme of the event was ‘Connect’. There is a belief where there are connections in every individual, as connections can be deliberate or involuntary. Such theme carries great responsibility and I knew that today’s event would be impactful. The event was held at the stunning Amari Hotel, Johor Bahru.


Bangsa Johor started the opening of the event with a dramatic performance. The performance was diverse and unique as all three main groups of Malaysia, the Malay, Chinese and Indians were involved. The show had portrayed the importance of unity. Up stepped the emcee of the event, Nico. His charisma and soothing voice caught the attendees’ attention as he proceeds to introduce our first speaker of the day, Dr Chua Sook Ning.


Dr Chua is known for being the founder of Relate Malaysia. Her talk on depression and methods of combatting the crippling illness captivated every member of the audience. Citing her own battle through depression, Dr. Chua’s talk really hit home and made us all feel ‘Connected’.


Next speaker was the founder of Tanoti, Jacqueline Fong. Her talk on Songket – a traditional woven gift – showed us the artistic side of how we can ‘Connect’. Following Jacqueline’s talk, our lunch was served. It was here that I truly understood the meaning of ‘Connect’. With the companionship of mouthwatering food, everyone got to spend time together chatting away about our own lives outside of work and studies. This allowed us to bond as a team, an invaluable experience.


Right after lunch, we were greeted by Rohith Govindan, whose discussed making music a bridge to connect everyone. His engaging methods of involving the audience into his performance alongside a traditional Indian musical instrument, Tabla, lifted the mood of the event once again.


Following this musical interlude, Lisa Foo spoke about her involvement in an ASEAN bamboo installation known as “Konstruk” which was displayed at Puteri Harbour. I have seen her artworks in person as I recall my emotions when I first set my eyes on them, awed, shocked and amazed.


We were then given time to network with other attendees. During this time, I get to know interesting people from different backgrounds. Everyone can be seen mingling with each other in order to get connected. Later, the proceeding 5th speaker introduces himself as Navin Binwani, where he presented the Biji-Biji initiative and teaching the public the benefits of recycling.


Last but not least was Johan Arifin Mohd Ropi, our final speaker of the day. Johan is the proud founder of Kilang Bateri. He talks about reinvigorating the older and forgotten parts of Johor Bahru as a fresh start for the elderly as well as the new, younger generation.


After the memorable event, I truly realized what it means to ‘Connect’. Furthermore, it can be seen that the crew of TEDxSungaiSegget worked miraculously well to ensure the event went smoothly. Thank you TEDxSungaiSegget for being such a great host! TEDxPetalingStreet, you’re up next!