As a student in Temasek Junior College, Dave Lim started a magic club and organised a full-scale magic show on campus. He didn’t know any magic tricks, but he knew a schoolmate who did. Today, the 48-year-old puts together talks on topics spanning poetry to public policies.
He is not an expert on any of the subjects, but he enables those who are to reach others, by giving them a stage through TEDxSingapore, an independent, local event styled after TED Talks. Even in his day job, Lim brings people together for a bigger cause.
His corporate innovation company, Ideas Worth Doing (a spin on Tedx’s tagline “Ideas Worth Spreading”), helps to bring innovative conventions and conferences to Singapore – such as Wisdom 2.0 Asia, focusing on mindful leadership, and Unreasonable Sea in 2013, a global entrepreneurship experiment that puts tech-entrepreneurs and mentors on a ship sailing to 13 countries to work on social and environmental challenges.
Getting people to share their talent and expertise seems to be a constant in Lim’s life. And it’s not just because he wants to learn. As a venture capitalist and economist, he sees the need for Singapore to move towards an idea-driven economy and society. “We used to trade commodities, now we trade ideas. The intangibles are even more valuable than the tangible.”
These factors led him to take up the licence for TEDx for Singapore, when the founders reached out to the global community to take the initiative worldwide. Since 2009, the TEDxSingapore community has grown from just over a thousand to some 70,000 local followers. “If you include the overseas followers, we have about 100,000,” says Lim. TEDx was held last month at Nanyang Technological University to an audience of 1,700 – a scale larger that TED Talks. This year’s speakers include global health expert Hans Rosling, who entertained as much as he enlightened the audience on global population trends, social activist Melissa Kwee and tropical disease scientist Thierry Diagana.
“People love TED because it gives them an avenue to express and explore what they like,” says Lim. “As for me, I love all topics! But the magic happens when I connect the dots while listening to different speakers, come up with an idea, or realise a commonality between fields. These unexpected connections, ideas and inspirations are the wow moments for me, and what drive me.”
Read the full article at ThePeakMagazine.