Theme "Dare to..."

30 January 2016 | 8:00am. - 6:45pm.

@ Le Meridien Chiangmai
Creative and Connectivity
20+ speakers and artists
In Thai and English with simultaneous translation.
TEDxChiangMai 2016 talks
on youtube

TEDxChiangMai 2016 event

TEDxChiangMai 2016


Speaker profiles

Asa Kubiak

Asa is an aerial contortionist. She was born in a small town in Maine, US, but grew up in Kyoto, Japan, which she considers the heart’s home. At the age of 16, she joined Cirque de Soleil. Having honed her craft with Cirque de Soleil, Asia now a freelance artist developing and performing both aerial and floor acts for a number of international shows. She also merges aerial work with fluid dance movement and incorporates yogic and acrobatic hand balancing on the floor. She also works as a model and does promotional events and TV work.

Astrid Tuminez

Dr. Astrid S. Tuminez is Microsoft’s Regional Director for Corporate, External and Legal Affairs (Southeast Asia). Former positions include being Vice‐Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and a senior consultant to the U.S. Institute of Peace. Her written works include “Russian Nationalism Since 1856” and “Rising to the Top? A Report on Women’s Leadership in Asia.” She sits on the boards of the Singapore American School, the Bank of the Philippine Islands and advises the Global Economic Symposium, the Institute on Disability and Public Policy for ASEAN and the Asian Women’s Leadership University project. She holds a Master’s from Harvard, a Ph.D from M.I.T., is married and has three children.

Brian Bauerle

Brian Page Bauerle, coach, psychotherapist and founder of the Asian Leadership Institute, offers a unique perspective on leadership based on the application of mindfulness. Drawing on his years as a Buddhist monk and through his personal commitment to social work, Brian emphasizes establishing high trust and an open connection, characterized by genuine caring.

Chatchai Aphibanpoonpon

Chatchai Aphibanpoonpon is a newbie entrepreneur. He loves exploring and trying new things. He started his first venture “LadyTaxi” in 2012 after he finished his Master Degree from Thammasat University. LadyTaxi offered safe taxi service for women by women in the Bangkok area; but because of complications in its operations, it was closed down three months after launch. In 2013, he launched his second venture called “Klongdinsor” with a vision to create an inclusive society where people with and without disabilities can live together in harmony. Chatchai currently lives in Bangkok, Thailand.

Gai Mitwichan Lai

Gai is a founder of FACT Collective, an educational platform and consultancy service provider which organizes educational programs to help people understand the concept of sustainability and how to integrate it into their disciplines. He thinks the food we eat presents some of the most dauntingly complex problems around, and no good solutions can be designed without careful understanding of the users and interconnected stakeholders. The services they provide are about creating a “food community” with a comprehensive mindset on understanding holistic food issues and sustainability based on good, clean and fair principles.

Janpai Ongsiriwittaya

Janpai Ongsiriwittaya is a policy advocacy specialist to WWF-Thailand. Her work has been key to the success of WWF-Thailand’s “Kill the trade that kills elephant” and “Chor Chang Can Save Elephants” campaigns. Janpai catalyzes high-level government action tackling the illegal ivory trade in Thailand and believes stricter laws and enforcement will help clamp down on Thailand’s illegal ivory market. She is also a news anchor at Radio Thailand English News, FM88 and has hosted the environmental “Green Talk” program for two years. A graduate of Chulalongkorn Univesity, she holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in international environmental law from the Washington College of Law, Washington, DC and is a guest lecturer on international law at Srinakarinwirot University.

Joe Cummings

Joe Cummings was born in New Orleans and raised in California, France and Washington, DC. An interest in Buddhism drew Joe to Thailand, where he taught English before returning to the US to earn a master's degree in South Asian Civilization at the University of California at Berkeley. His Lonely Planet Thailand guide, first published in 1982, remains one of the bestselling guidebooks ever published. Reference books he has written include “Sacred Tattoos of Thailand”, “Buddhist Stupas in Asia”, “Buddhist Temples of Thailand”, “Burmese Art, Design & Architecture”, “Muay Thai”, and “Lanna Renaissance.” Joe’s honours include the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Award (twice) and Mexico's Pluma de Plata (Silver Quill) for outstanding foreign journalism on Mexico.

Jon Jandai

Born on February 24, 1964 at Sithan village, Pa Tiw district in Yasothon province, Jon graduated with only a high school education. He started his farmer career with an organic farm at Sithan village (1994) and later became well known for building clay houses and organizing workshops teaching people about his natural farming and building skills. In mid-2003, he established the Pun Pun center for self-reliance, a seed collecting center and a self-sustaining learning center. Currently, he continues giving workshops while he farms and manages home schooling for his child.

Joshua Plotnik

Joshua Plotnik, Ph.D. is the founder and executive director of Think Elephants International, a U.S. non-profit charity working to bridge the gaps between research, education and conservation by using elephants as a conduit. Dr. Plotnik is also a researcher in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and a lecturer in conservation biology at Mahidol University. His research on elephant intelligence has been published in some of science's top peer-reviewed journals and has garnered millions of media impressions since 2006. Dr. Plotnik has earned degrees from both Emory University (M.A. and Ph.D.) and Cornell University (B.Sc.) in the U.S. He has lived in Thailand and worked with Thai elephants since 2007.

Korn Chatikavanij

Currently chairman of Thailand’s Democrat Party Policy Unit, Korn Chatikavanij won international acclaim when he served as Thailand’s finance minister from 2008 to 2011. His career in finance began when he started work at SG Warburg in London after he graduated from Oxford Universty (St. John’s College) with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. He went on to cofound JF Thanakom Securities with Jardine Fleming and was its president for 11 years before it merged with JP Morgan. He was president and chairman of JP Morgan Securities (Thailand) from 2000 to 2004 before he left to run as a member of parliament for Bangkok in October 2004.

Narain Chotirosniramit

Dr. Narain Chotirosniramit works as a full time surgeon at the department of surgery at Chiang Mai University and is a deputy director of Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai hospital. Born in 1970, he went to school in Ubon Ratchathani Province before graduating in medicine in Chiang Mai University in 1993. He continued to study surgery, receiving diplomas in surgery, emergency medicine and accident surgery. Dr. Narain is a member of the National Emergency Medical Board in the National Institute of Emergency Medicine and the subcommittee of the Royal College of Surgeons of Thailand. Married with three children, Dr. Narain is determined to improve the standard of general and emergency patient care outside and inside hospitals in Thailand.

Pharadon (Por) Phonamnuai

Pharadon graduated with a degree in architecture and has a passion for music, which motivated him to learn to play the saxophone. Wanting to use music as a means to travel, he got funded in 2004 to go to a jazz improvisation workshop in Ohio and New York for 6 months. After he completed his studies in Chiang Mai University, he traveled and recorded a diary called “Blowing West.” Returning to Chiang Mai, he founded the North Gate Jazz Co-op and has opened an art space called Thapae-East Venue for Creative Arts to inspire creative activities in the community. Recently, Pharadon has set up a group called Meuyen-Meungyen to promote more green spaces (trees) in Chiang Mai.

Raquel T. Choa

Raquel was seven years old when her parents left her and her siblings. Her grandparents took them to a mountain where she grew up. Fate brought her back to the cities of Manila and Cebu where she worked hard. However, she never lost her dreams instilled in her by the beauty and magic of the mountains. Like discovering a treasure in a box, she rediscovered her dreams in cocoa beans. Inspired by her grandmother who used to make tablea (pure chocolate tablets), Raquel got her hands and heart into something that put Cebu and the Philippines on the map of chocolate making industry.

Rosalina (Rose) Alexander McKay

Rosalina (Rose) Alexander McKay graduated with a BA in Business Administration and Management from Assumption University (ABAC) in Bangkok before joining Ogilvy & Mather (Thailand) as editor and account supervisor. She also studied Mass Communication from Chulalongkorn University before she went into the Human Resources Development field in the hospitality industry. With her first child, Rosalinda became a full-time mother and got involved in Thailand’s first breastfeeding support group, the Nommae Group. After her second child was born, she cofounded the Rainbow Room Foundation—Thailand’s first special needs awareness center. She is an advocate for families of children with special needs, a motivational speaker, translator, writer and an instructor of Gordon Training International’s Parent Effectiveness Training programme.

Saran Yen Panya

Saran Yen Panya graduated with a bachelor's degree from the department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University and a Master's Degree from the Storytelling Department, Konstfack University in Stockholm. Becoming the Head Design Manager at HARNN, he supervises a design team responsibility for graphic design, product & packaging design, visual communication and visual merchandizing. Saran also co-founded 56thStudio, a creative agency that focuses on visual branding, storytelling and styling. He has been elected as "Designer of The Year" by Wallpaper Magazine, Elle Decoration Magazine, Living ETC. His work has been showcased at events such as Milan Design Week, Paris Design Week, and 21_21 Design Sight Tokyo.

Shakrit (White) Chanrungsakul

As a child, Sharit Canrugnsakul’s dream was to lead a rebellion because he thought that only coup leaders could make the broadcast media transmit stories about his favorite Japanese hero, the Masked Rider, all day. He grew up learning about the bright side of the force from Star Wars, comparing it to Buddhist principles. Whether academic work or branding and design consulting, Shakrit likes doing new things. He is the owner of FireOneOne company, which specializes in adapting big brands to mobile platforms in Thailand and angel investing, and is the founder of Wecosystem, which helps new generation entrepreneurs understand their own business in a fast changing world.

Somchana Kangwarnjit

Somchana Kangwarnjit graduated with a degreee in industrial design from King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology in Ladkrabang and chose product packaging as a major. He graduated with 15 awards and set up an office called Prompt Design in 2002. Somchana believes in the importance of packaging, which comes through in designs that have won many awards including the Pentawards and Dieline Awards, and the global packaging community has recognized his skills by inviting him to be a member of their global team of judges.

Somtow Sucharitkul

The first recipient of the Ministry of Culture’s “Distinguished Silpathorn” award for artists who have a major impact on the region’s culture, Somtow Sucharitkul is a revolutionary opera composer, novelist and conductor. Indeed, the International New York Times has called him “the most well-known expatriate Thai in the world.” His current project, the Siam Sinfonietta, is a youth orchestra he founded five years ago that is now among the most acclaimed youth orchestras worldwide—it has received standing ovations in Carnegie Hall, The Konzerthaus in Berlin, Disney Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna and many other venues. Together they’ve been working on “DasJati”, which will be “the ‘largest’ work of music and theatre of all time.”

Stuart Jay Raj

Stuart Jay Raj is an Australian polyglot specializing in the languages, dialects and cross-cultural communication of South East Asia and China. He is a professional simultaneous interpreter in Thai, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Indonesian and provides language and cultural training for multinational companies. He also hosts his own TV program on Thailand’s Channel 5. With a degree in Cognitive and Applied Linguistics from Griffith University, he is an expert in the field of language acquisition. Stuart’s background knowledge of Sanskrit, Khmer, Thai, Lao and various Chinese and Indian languages, dialects and minority languages enables him to present a unique perspective on the languages, cultures and business across the region.

Suchatvee Suwansawat

Suchatvee Suwansawat is the President of King Mongkut's Institute of Technology. He likes to disguise himself as a new student on the orientation day to get insight into how new students perceive the institution. Dr.Suchatvee graduated with a Ph.D in Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is the first Thai professor of tunnel engineering and designed the tunnel under the Chao Phraya River. Dr Suchatvee has received the “Best engineer award in ASEAN” and has been selected as the Game Changer from Ellen Men Top 40 in 2015. He is president of Engineering Institute of Thailand and the Thai Green Building Institute.

Suthisak Sucharittanonta

Suthisak Sucharittanonta, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of BBDO Bangkok, is regarded as a pioneer of creative Thai advertising. The first to introduce Thai advertising to the world stage, he is now one of the most awarded creative directors in Asia, garnering international acclaim from such as the Gold Cannes Lions and Clio Awards. His recent “Message from the Lungs” for the Thai Health Promotion Foundation was awarded a silver in innovation in the 2015 Clio Awards and a grand prix from Adstars Awards 2015. In his free time, Suthisak enjoys being with his family as well as biking, cooking, playing music and attempting to brew the perfect cup of coffee.

Titapa Thinrach

Titapa Thinrach earned a bachelor’s degree in painting, sculpture and graphics from Silpakorn University, Thailand. Working for the university’s social project to use art as an intermediary to help homeless people, Thitapa created a “Hope Bag for Homeless”. The bag is designed to be convenient for the homeless to pack anything they wish but which can also be rolled out into a bed. Gaining insights from homeless people, Thitapa realized that these people need a space in society but are unable to make it themselves. This has inspired her to want to bring hope to the homeless through her artwork by making things that both look good and are functional.

Facebook: Hope Bag for Homeless

Panelist Profiles

(Technology Luncheon)

Sarun Pinyarat

Sarun is the founder and CEO of Fungjai (, the fastest growing music community startup in Thailand since 2014. He is also a co-founder of BEAR Visual Specialist School and FUUM Design Studio. He received a Bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Chulalongkorn University (Bangkok) and an M.A. in graphic design from Aalto University (Helsinki). He has worked across various creative fields around the globe, including Be>Our>Friend (Bangkok), All The Way to Paris (Copenhagen) and Breezy (Silicon Valley).

Supichaya (Gak) Surapunthu

The CEO and Co-Founder of Piggipo (, Supichaya graduated from Thammasat University with a BA. in business administration and a Master’s in marketing. After graduation, she looked for opportunities to create her own businesses, starting with tutoring schools, selling online until she founded the Neversitup Company. Focusing on technology, she began learning about coding herself. She realized that an application that helped users manage multiple credit cards by reminding them of payment due dates and so forth would be useful, so she developed Piggipo, which has become the No. 1 application for managing credit cards in Thailand. Piggipo can be downloaded from the Apple application store free of charge.

Sittisak Wongsomnuk

A graduate in business management & economics from Oxford Brooks University in 2012, Sittisak is the CEO & founder of GIZTIX Co., Ltd., business development director at C.N. Freight & Shipping Co., Ltd. and the CEO & co-founder of ManInnovation Co., Ltd. With his enthusiasm and energy he has been seeking opportunities to maximize his investments by revolutionizing the logistics business, turning traditional logistics into e-logistics. With experience in the logistic business since his childhood, he has long studied its problems. Today, he owns three IT startups that focus mainly on the need for IT in logistics. GIZTIX gained awards in 2015 from Startup Thailand ICT, DTAC Accelerated Batch 3 and Echelon Thailand.


Le Meridien Convention Hall

108 Chang Klan Road, Tambol Chang Klan, Amphur Muang, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand

Phone: +66 53 253 666 |

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