On Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015, the bi-annual “unconference” was hosted by Techyizu, a nonprofit volunteer-driven organization that supports China’s startup and tech industry. The event was jam-packed with unique and interesting conversations. The event started in Silicon Valley as a way of providing a space for volunteers and participants to create user-generated content and workshops, which are led by anyone and everyone that volunteers.
The Techyizu event was like no other I have ever attended. Enthusiasm was high and the content was interesting. People from all walks of life and different industries came together to share, encourage, and participate in a wide array of topics and workshop-like discussions. From positive psychology, GIF building, building a remote office in another country, and even pole-dancing and its stereotypes, all of the content was engaging and the choice of which events to attend was difficult.
While there were many options to choose from at the Techyizu conference, the biggest problem was which one to choose as there were only about 10 rooms with 1 talk in each room going on at the same time. In order to get the most out of the experience, my friends and I strategized about which topics we found interesting. Then, we opted to split up and explore the different events, while making a plan to rendezvous at lunch to discuss the morning’s sessions and dinner to discuss the afternoon sessions.
Overall, the topics were well-planned, interesting, and worthwhile. My favorite talk of the day, however, was the “Basics of Design Research” by Han Cheng. This talk presented itself as not only tech-light but also intellectual at the same time. Breathing new life into reasons why Design Research is important and a necessary part of the product development process.
The best part of the Techyizu-hosted gathering was meeting some amazing people, from entrepreneurs and industry professionals to students and professors. The startup and entrepreneurial community in Shanghai are very up-and-coming, with technology and social skills experts abundant. Among them was Zoe Zhang, the founder of Artable.cn, which is a social crowdfunding enterprise dedicated to helping artists find funding for their art projects.
Zoe is one of those rare individuals, a highly observant woman that supports and collaborates with great artists and memorable pieces of art, including a “48-hour Art in Life” event where different artists gathered in public places creating art. Her talk on “Creating Art in Everyday Life” was not only inspiring but also illuminating about the need for art and beauty in everyday life.
Alex Burner, who is a board member of IE Business School and member of the Shanghai Rotary Club, gave his presentation on “Positive Leadership and Self-Management.” With a crowd of at least 30 people, attentively listening and hanging on his every word, learning all about the benefits of positive thinking and leadership. Using the practice of storytelling and real-life examples, Alex was both engaging and entertaining.
All in all, the Techyizu conference was fun-filled and jam-packed with interesting and attractive discussions that not only contribute to the ever-changing landscape of the startup community in Shanghai but also the amazing and unique people who live in it. That is exactly why I will continue attending for many years to come.
Opinion and Blog by Jessy Santana
Edited by Leigh Haugh
Personal Experiences and Observations of the Author
Techyizu: Barcamp Fall 2015
MeetUp: Barcamp Shanghai Fall 2015
Image Courtesy of Tech Yizu’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License