TEDxFactory798 is one of many TEDxCity2.0 events making sure that ideas about cities of the future don’t stop at a theater stage or in a speaker’s slides. One of the many events holding an Action Pitch Session for actions creating the City 2.0, the team at TEDxFactory798 says “everyday citizens” make a city, and are the cornerstones of its future.
By inviting 5 Beijingers to pitch their ideas for a happier, healthier, improved Beijing, TEDxFactory798’s team are making efforts to make sure the citizen has a voice that is heard.
As part of the lead-up to their event, organizer Ellen Cheng told TEDx, the team traveled throughout the city’s neighborhoods to speak with local residents about their dreams for the city of tomorrow. “Some of them are life-long residents in the central old-town Hutong areas,” said Ellen, “some of them are newly [emigrated] living near downtown outside 5th Ring Road. Some of them are innocent kids filled with dreams of the future; some of them are witnesses of the constant changes of the urban landscape. We are mixing the perspectives of insiders and outsiders,” she said.
Team members asked locals to wear T-shirts that said, “I am the City 2.0,” to show that whoever makes up the city today is a vital piece of the city tomorrow. Life-sized photographs of the participants will be hung on the walls of the event on City 2.0 day, said Ellen.
TEDxFactory798 has also created an interactive online forum, where Beijing residents can ask questions about the City2.0. “The top question so far is ‘What’s your wish of City2.0? What will you do for City2.0?’” said Ellen. “We will provide 10 free tickets to the users who provide the best questions and answers,” she said.
All of this will culminate in TEDxFactory798’s Action Pitch Session, where 5 innovative Beijingers will pitch their ideas for a better, healthier, future-ready Beijing, and audience members will vote on which idea they would like to make a reality.
Photo: Beijing residents wear T-shirts that read, “I am City 2.0.” (Courtesy Ellen Cheng)