Last month, a team of RMIT Vietnam students organised their second TEDx event, this time under the theme Think Big, Think Different featuring seven guest speakers from a variety of professional backgrounds.
Aimed at inspiring the next generation of RMIT leaders, speakers at the sold out event included ELLE magazine Creative Director Dzung Yoko, filmmaker Charlie Nguyen, ultra-marathoner Thanh Vu, and Ha Mi Tran, Marketing Director at Le Flair Vietnam. All of them shared their viewpoints on what it meant to go against the grain, believe in themselves, and sacrifice something to achieve their hopes and dreams.
Thanh Vu, who last year became the first Vietnamese and first Asian [TL1] woman to complete the 4 Deserts Grand Slam – running 1000 kilometres across four of the toughest deserts in the world – focused on what it meant to be the first female to try to do anything. Using the example of the German Kathrine Switzer, who became the first woman to compete in a marathon in Boston in 1968, she said that she wanted to be “living proof” that nothing was impossible for women, especially in Vietnam.
“I want you to remove that predefined limit that you and the social norms have placed upon yourself,” she told the assembled crowd.
She then admitted that at the beginning of her journey, despite her clear goal, she didn’t know what she was doing, and encouraged students to always take on help from others, as she had done.
Filmmaker Charlie Nguyen spoke about the power of stories in his life, and how the characters in the comic books he read as a child ultimately inspired him to break free from the inner confusion he felt as a Vietnamese child growing up in America. Culminating in the release of his film The Rebel in 2007, he told the audience that the script for that movie was his life on film.
“It’s not a fiction,” he said, “it’s my life.”
He then described the challenges and obstacles he came across in the pursuit of his craft, and the art of storytelling. “A great story moves people,” he said, “but the most powerful story you have is your own.”
Thanking the crowd after the event, the organising team encouraged all participants to Think Big, Think Different and Do Better, no matter how hard the obstacles seem. Other speakers at the event were Jennifer Lucchini, CEO of Peafowl Consulting; TK Nguyen, Chief Marketing Officer of See World Group and Co-Founder of Skylight Nha Trang; and Dana Doan, Founder of Lin.
Story: Jon Aspin