The TEDxBeijing Conference returns on Saturday July 13, 2013, taking place at 751 D-Park next to the 798 Art District. The event’s theme “Old City x New Soul” explores the unique ways in which people are balancing tradition with innovation to solve problems in modern and increasingly urban environments.

Topics to be presented by speakers include the following themes:

  • Inspired by Tradition: How lessons and traditions from the past can be re-interpreted to inspire solutions to problems in transportation, housing, and even social behavior.
  • Inspired by Tradition: How lessons and traditions from the past can be re-interpreted to inspire solutions to problems in transportation, housing, and even social behavior.
  • Voices of Change: Amidst the faceless masses of an urban sprawl, individual stories have the power to shed light on a bigger picture. We explore using storytelling and conversation to combat urban isolation.
  • Community and Convergence: How shared experiences as simple as laughter and as mundane as texting can bring people together to form communities. Self-expression is a powerful tool.

The full TEDxBeijing speaker list includes:

Jesse Appell, a scholar and performer of the traditional comedic art of Chinese Xiangsheng (Cross Talk), examines the power of humor to bridge cultural gaps and as a tool for cultural communication.

Shannon Bufton, an expert on urban planning and architecture and founder of China’s first bicycle NGO “Smarter than Car,” discusses how lessons from the history of Beijing’s Bicycle Golden Age of the 1980s might help us solve the urban mobility problem of tomorrow’s cities.

Lilly Bussmann, co-founder of the Chinese design enterprise, explores how “rebooting” small talk can restore the soul of conversation and help us have more meaningful social interactions.

Jon Kaiman, a Beijing-based reporter for The Guardian covering China’s culture, politics, and environment, discusses what China’s growth teaches us about the power of tradition, storytelling, and the upside of loss.

Li Tiantian, founder of, the largest online physicians’ community in China, discusses how Chinese citizens are fighting back against the dangers of false medical advertising using their cell phones.

James Shen, Principal at People’s Architecture Office (PAO) in Beijing, explores how relationships, rather than the individual, define Chinese cities and Chinese architecture– and what this means for the future of design in China’s capital.

In addition to this diverse lineup of speakers, the 150 attendees of TEDxBeijing will watch TEDTalk videos delivered by noted author and journalist Leslie Chang on “The Voices of China’s Workers,” and TED Fellow Candy Chang on her stirring communal art project “Before I Die, I want to…”

Sponsors of this TEDxBeijing conference include Beijing Commons, Leithon Consulting Group (China), Haworth, G2S Creative Workshop, and 751 D-Park.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver, Canada, simultaneous with TEDActive, in Whistler, BC; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

On, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide into more than 90 languages. Through our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix and many websites.

The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows program helps world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.

For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit

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For more information about TEDxBeijing, please visit

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.

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