My talk is not for me

My TED talk is not for me. As much as I am proud of it, the messages in it aren’t new ideas to me – I wrote it. The ideas are to be shared with the world, but it goes beyond the concept of mobile health for developing countries. These are some of the underlying intentions of my talk:

The talk is to encourage the world to realise that innovation doesn’t have to mean high-tech.
We are fortunate to be living in an age where our constant hunger for bigger and better technology is satisfied. Thanks to this, there is perhaps an infinite number of solutions that we are now able to find to benefit society – using existing technology. Let us not become so accustomed to having the best of everything that we assume that old technology is worthless, but rather let’s leverage on this popular way of thinking to re-purpose the abundance existing technology: this is the new way of innovation.

The talk is to encourage more geeks to realise that they can change the world.
Moreover, that they don’t have to compromise on their love of technology to do it. It was only recently that I discovered that I don’t have to be a medical engineer (and sacrifice my love of electrical engineering) in order to help people in my career – I myself have worked on projects that are wholly electrical but have life-changing/saving applications. The University of Melbourne mobile health project, for example, saw me working with electronics and signal processing.. electrical engineering, my passion.. to save lives.  It took me a long time to realise that these applications were possible: almost too long.. I was just about willing to give up electrical engineering for something more humanitarian, because I could just feel that I needed to help people to be happy. How did it take me so long to realise that I can do both? The concept extends to civil engineering, mechanical.. I believe to any field.

The talk is to encourage aspiring female technologists.
Because in my opinion, we could use a few more role models. Engineers can change lives.. and they can do it wearing pretty dresses if that’s what they want.


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