Instagram Me: Yvette Jong, TEDx Organize

A day in the life of the force behind the upcoming TEDxVictoriaHarbour

From Lifestyle Asia - Staff Writer

From design meetings and friends to guerrilla marketing, Yvette Jong's day has a little bit of everything.

You’ve seen TEDx videos, but do you know what it takes to throw the event? We catch up with TEDxVictoriaHarbour organiser and Craft House founder Yvette Jong to see how she combines work, play, TEDx and everything in between.


The first thing I see when I wake up is my cosy corner that includes finds from Jakarta, China, India, the US, Taipei, India, Nepal, Indonesia, Morocco, Israel and North Korea! That’s the guitar I’ve carried for 14 years and played 14 times. Blackbird anyone? I love waking up to these memories.


Making morning coffee is my daily ritual.


I start working in my home office. I sit at my self-made dining table made from salvaged Hong Kong wood and a frame customised by metalworkers in Cat Alley. I’m all about upcycling and making sense of things.


I bumped into these two volunteers at Man Mo Temple offering free tours to tourists via the Young Ambassador Scheme. I loved their enthusiasm for spreading awareness about Hong Kong’s history. Across them was a less eager government employee selling HK$30 audio tours for the temple.


Hotel and tourism consulting is still my forte and here I’m headed to a meeting requested by WWF to brainstorm ways to raise awareness on sustainable seafood practices in Hong Kong.


My good friend and TEDxVictoriaHarbour speaker, David Citrin, just flew into Hong Kong for the event. I threw a TEDx shirt on him and took him out on the town. These are the first two people to stop and ask us about the event.


My routine stroll through Cat Alley near my home in Sheung Wan is where I dig my fingers into piles of used goodies and hidden treasures. Today’s penny pickups? Mysterious cough medicine in glass tubes called San She Tan Chuan Pei Mo and an old Guanyin statue.

The statue is the Bodhisattva associated with compassion. Through research I later found that the tubes contain 66 percent snake bile and 34 percent fritillary (a poisonous, but medicinal plant) …


I pass this work of art on my way home. Hong Kong street art is still where my heart is. If I could cut out a concrete wall and bring it home, I would.


I make last minute changes to the TEDxVictoriaHarbour site and speaker line up. There’s so much to be done and so little time. At the end of the day we really aren’t worried about it though. It’s going to be an awesome event with 13 great speakers from around the world sharing ideas worth spreading about travel!


Good times, good food and good friends. Who said you can’t squeeze 23 on a table of 12? Our friends aren’t bothered by tight spaces and we’re happy to sit on each other’s laps so long as we’re at one table. This is us at Sijie Sichuan in Wanchai.


Finally, back home and I take a look at a recent street art/upcycling find before heading to bed: wood salvaged from the lumberyard. Technically it’s the piece of wood used to support other pieces of wood being cut by a mitre saw, but to me it looks like New York (my birthplace) and Hong Kong (my current home).

Yvette Jong is the lead curator and license holder for TEDxVictoriaHarbour, 18 May, 2012 10am-6pm, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wanchai,

Like this column with TEDxVictoriaHarbour’s Yvette Jong and want more? Follow her on Twitter then read more about her company on Craft House LLC.