After two and a half years in the making and design, we TEDriffically announce and launch the inaugural, limited-print book

Pioneers, Provocateurs, Possibilists:

Humans of Singapore.

written by 27 global TED and TEDxSingapore speakers, in a unique large format 210 pages, beautifully illustrated on every page by veteran global book designer Kelley Cheng, with 90 full-colour photos.

Get one posted to you, when you attend any of the 10 conversation events celebrating the 10th birthday of TEDxSingapore, from Oct to Dec attend here.

You can also buy the book directly here

Like a sneak peek? Browse over 40 pages, and read first chapter in full, download here


What's this book about? Steve Jobs said it best in his iconic 1997 Apple ad: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward..”

This book is a celebration of pioneers, provocateurs, and possibilists that generations of co-curators and I have met since we founded TEDx in Singapore on 15 April 2009.

Back then, my friend and co-founder Ivan Wong and I did not have a grand design. We did not have a map. But we had a compass built upon our deep belief and desire: To bring people together to seek a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world, and to inspire ideas and action for a better future for us all.


Our journey has now spanned a decade. The community and followers of TEDxSingapore has grown from two to over 200,000 locally and globally today. We’ve lost count of the number of times we felt privileged and humbled meeting over 200 thinkers and tinkerers, dreamers and doers, creatives and creators, artists and adventures, children to centenarians, rock-n-rollers to rocket scientists (literally), and inviting them to share their stories and ideas through TED Talks and performances.

We were awed by Esther Tan who had never seen snow in her life, yet climbed Mount Everest as a member of Singapore’s All-Women’s Everest team, Noel Hidalgo Tan from Siglap who discovered thousands of hidden paintings on the ancient temple walls of Angkor Wat, and...

...photographer Bob Lee who took on a most unexpected challenge of teaching photography to an enthusiastic group of visually-impaired people.

We gleaned much life wisdom from Teresa Hsu, by far the oldest TEDx speaker at 113, but very much one of the youngest at heart. We delighted in hearing Gwee Li Sui make a case for Singlish, in Singlish of course, lah!

We beamed with joy seeing the first Singaporeans on the global TED stage, like maverick toy designer and maker Michael Sng, TED Fellow and marine biologist Neo Mei Lin, conservation drone inventor Lian Pin Koh, geopolitical guru Kishore Mahbubani, and Aaron Maniam this year.

We listened in rapt amazement while Tony Wheeler shared how he and his wife Maureen drafted and sold the first full book edition of The Lonely Planet in ‘70s Singapore - a fascinating story I’m sure 99% of people have never heard before, but should!

We also welcomed global TED speakers with often surprising and wonderful connections to Singapore, like Eames Demetrios, imaginative storyteller of the parallel world of Kcymaerxthaere, one chapter of which happened in Straits Clan House, and the late Professor Hans Rosling, the most prolific and iconic TED speaker who unknown to many had a special and deep connection to Singapore: When he was a teenage Swedish backpacker in the 70s, he proposed to his then girlfriend in Singapore.

Launch of the inaugural, limited-print book this October.

Now, for the very first time, we have invited them- 27 TED and TEDxSingapore speakers and talents in all- to share their passion, purpose, and perspectives with you in an inaugural book that we titled "Pioneers, Provocateurs, Possibilists: Humans of Singapore."

Each chapter begins with the backstory of how we met them, followed by their stories and ideas written in their own voice, and ends their response to our question: “What’s an idea worth doing?”.

After two and a half years in the making and design, this 210-page book has a unique expression and format: sized like Monocle bookazine with 362 imaginative illustrations by veteran global book designer Kelley Cheng, and 90 full-colour photographs.

The book had a limited print run of 1,800 copies, and only during this launch period, when you attend any of 10 launch conversation events, you will get the book posted to you free, find out more here.

In our decade-long journey with TED, TEDx, and in publishing this book, we have discovered just how vast, diverse, and powerful all the possibilities across humanity are. As you journey through the pages of this book and life, may you be amazed, astonished, and awed as much as we have been.

Above all, may they spark vast and wonderful possibilities that lie within you! What deeply matters to you? What is your passion? What’s your purpose? What if… ? What might be...? May you gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our world, and be inspired by ideas and action to create a better future for us all...



Take a look inside the book, and get it posted to you free when you attend any of 10 launch conversation events, click here.


Carpe diem!

Dave Lim

founding curator, TEDxSingapore, on behalf of all the passionate and purposeful people, communities, organisations, and companies who have created countless possibilities with us since 2009.






what is your idea worth doing?

ideas + dream + share + grow

we are possibilists, we are pioneers



what we are creating and have created.

IdeasWorthDoing

our purpose, passion, and work



who is dave? who is annie?

contact us:

askus @ ideasworthdoing .org





(c) Copyright 2020 IdeasWorthDoing LLP