|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2013/01/15/pecha-kucha-returns-to-singapore-looks-to-grow-and-motivate-the-local-community/||| Jan 15, 2013 | News|
20 images at 20 seconds each. A total of six minutes and 40 seconds to deliver your presentation. Pecha Kucha is an event of creativity, ideas and insights. The event was hosted three times in Singapore by a different group that started it around 2008. That ended in April 2011.
Today, the husband and wife team of seasoned entrepreneur Jon Siegel and former financial advisor Waki Yoneoka is bringing this event back to Singapore. Jon is currently founder of Pikkles, a multidisciplinary creative agency based in the heart of Tokyo. His clients range from Fortune 500 companies to innovative startups and small businesses.
The first session of the reintroduced Pecha Kucha will see award-winning architect Jason Pomeroy, photographer Aik Beng Chia, Silicon Valley entrepreneur Yvan Castilloux and robotics expert Jeffrey Koh take the stage. They will also be joined by Cherie Ko, Benjamin Loh, Kelley Cheng, Nina-Noelle Hall and Leslie Ng.
To find out more about Pecha Kucha in Singapore, e27 interviewed Jon and Waki to find out more about their plans for the series.
Tell us more about the history of Pecha Kucha
Pecha Kucha Night was devised in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Tokyo’s Klein-Dytham Architecture (KDa). Mark has explained that they created the 20×20 format because architects’ presentations for their projects tended to be too lengthy (some going beyond one hour) and tedious. So, from what we know, Pecha Kucha Night in Tokyo at its early stage was more focused on architects, evolving to gradually attracting other creative speakers. Pecha Kucha (Japanese for chit-chat) has spread around the world since then, and as of June 2012, Pecha Kucha Nights were being held in 534 cities worldwide.
Jon initiated the idea to restart (*) the Singapore chapter of Pecha Kucha Night. Having lived in Singapore for about two years, one day he struck on an idea to give something back to the community through Pecha Kucha. Waki helped to crystallize the concept for the event, brainstorming what really attracts and benefits people in Singapore. Through our brainstorming, we came up with the vision “Grow and motivate community in Singapore”.
There are of course already great events in this city, but many tend to narrow their focus, concentrating on creatives, or entrepreneurs, etc.. We wanted to differentiate ourselves from others, creating greater value for both the audience and the speakers. Jon is from the creative side, and Waki is from a business background, and so we knew that combining knowledge from different segments really give us greater insights than you would get from a single segment.
We have invited various speakers including business people, entrepreneurs, photographers, designers, writers, idea innovators, comedians, musicians and scientists. We believe this diversity creates synergy, not only between audience and speaker, but also between speakers from different professions. We are already hearing positive stories of our speakers and audience members collaborating on projects after meeting at Pecha Kucha Night and that makes us really happy.
Another key aspect of our concept is that this event is approachable. Typically at other events presenters are established speakers, which might give participants the impression that you have to be really great at something, or be somewhat famous in order to talk on stage. We want to create a space where young talent can also stand up and speak about their passion. We invite experienced professionals to speak, but we also make sure to give opportunities to those motivated talents to share their ideas. We want Pecha Kucha to be a place where an audience member becomes a future speaker, and through that, the event creates an ecosystem of motivated people.
How do you see Pecha Kucha linking the different communities in Singapore?
Our event is unique and covers topics from different segments. We would like people from different communities to utilise our event as a window into fields that are perhaps unknown to them.
Jon, coming from a creative background, what do you see the tech start-up crowd most needs in terms of design or advertising skills?
Spend more time simplifying your project or product before considering approaching a creative or creative team. I have encountered all too many start-ups with overly complicated offerings that I can’t share with friends or colleagues because I simply do not immediately understand them. If I do not understand the value proposition in the few minutes over a chat at a bar or at an event, then you are not yet ready to bring in a creative to shape the outward image of your project. Great designers can bring clarity to a project, but it is still your project, and unless your business partner is a designer, then keep refining and cutting away the fat until you have a perfect offering. Then bring in a creative or creative team to help you connect with your desired audience. Function first, design second.
What are some of the topics you will see being discussed or trending at Pecha Kucha this year?
Most of the time, we approach speakers with our preference for the topic we want, so we can’t really say some topics are trending. From our past two events we have seen some common aspects of “giving new perspectives” and “new ideas”, which is something our speakers like to present, and people want to listen to. For example, Danny Santos talked about his portrait photos taken on Orchard road, explaining how he felt when he talked to a person walking by to ask to be a model, how the model reacted, then how his photo was created. The photo showed on the screen look different and more glowing after hearing the background of those stories. It was a good way to learn an appreciation of artworks, while also interesting to rethink how we shoot photos from different perspectives.
Our concept and format nicely fits to showcase entrepreneurial ideas, so we had several speakers who spoke about their projects. For instance, a story behind opening a café Muffinry by Chris Leow, building a business in Silicon Valley by Benjamin Joffe, and ideas of developing a fun Instagram analytics application by Jon Yongfook. We have two speakers, Yvan Castilloux and Leslie Ng, who will talk about startups for this next event as well.
As for our events for this year, we would like to introduce more local non-profits and start-ups, more innovators. We ran a survey after our last event and one of the popular topics which our audience would like to hear more from is innovative ideas. Inviting speakers to bring their innovative ideas is one thing, but also we would like to keep focusing on indirect benefits of giving hints to help people form innovative ideas. We expect our Pecha Kucha is a place where a chemical reaction happens among people by mixing different ingredients (people from different background, different ideas) to generate brand new substances (ideas, social network, motivation).
Join Pecha Kucha this Thursday, 17th January, at Home Club from 7.30pm onwards. More details here.
* The first three Pecha Kucha Singapore events were hosted by an unknown group started around 2008, and ended in April 2011. We took our Pecha Kucha hosting license from 2012.