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MaD 2014: The Fifth Direction
MaD 2014: The Fifth Direction

The Fifth Direction

MaD started with “change” in 2010. In our fifth edition, “change” takes on greater specificity. “The Fifth Direction” is a metaphor for the exploration of what we envision as “better” ways forward – how do we transcend the existing cardinal points and depart from where we are? Where are we heading to? How do we get there?

A New Format

To begin our renavigation, MaD 2014 starts with a brand new format. There will still be concurrent talks, interactive and 2.0 activities, but instead of choosing and competing for what YOU alone want to join, all 1,500 participants have to collaborate. An all-encompassing creative experience – from stage to spatial design and an experiential art piece – will rope everyone together for collective knowledge building. This is a radical experiment: we may reach a collaborative ideal; we may end up in chaos. In the spirit of sharism and common good, we trust that MaDees can make it.

MaD 2014 Timetable


Have a look at our theme and confirmed speaker lineup for MaD 2014!


The Opening of MaD 2014 presents creative leaders who “walk the talk.” Departing from critical evaluation of the here and now, they point to new directions and open up new imagination for our future.

Photo credit:
Lucy Kane


Founder + Editor-in-chief
The Big Issue Ltd(UK)

John Bird was born into poverty, brought up in care, and has lived through a lot. His life's journey has included spells as a thief, prison inmate, artist and poet. Now an established iconoclast, activist and publisher, John Bird is the force behind The Big Issue, the world's most successful street magazine. He is an inspirational business leader with an outstanding record of using business as a tool for social change.


HSIEH Ying-chun

Founder, Atelier-3 + Rural Architecture Studio (Taiwan)

Graduated from Tamkang University School of Architecture, Hsieh Ying-chun is a leading figure in post-disaster reconstruction. Since 1999, he has helped rebuilt more than 3,000 homes in natural disaster zones with the local people in Taiwan and the Mainland China. His disaster-relief housing is known for being long-lasting, ecologically sound, culturally sensitive and economical. Ying-Chun represented Taiwan in the Venice Architecture Biennale and Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art. He is the Winner of Curry Stone Design Prize 2011 for championing a force of social change with his humanitarian architectural design, and is also a recipient of National Award for the Arts 2012.



Author (India)

Born in North India in 1969, Pankaj MISHRA began his writing career in 1992 when he moved to Mashobra, a Himalayan village. Pankaj writes literary and political essays for various American, British, and Indian publications such as the New York Times, the New York Review of Books and The Guardian. His books have been repeatedly featured in the New York Times' 100 Best Books of the Year, among which include Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond (2006) and From the Ruins of Empire: The Revolt Against the West and the Remaking of Asia (2012). The latter was also shortlisted for the Orwell Prize, the Lionel Gelber Prize and the Asia Society's Bernard Schwartz Award.


Wong Yiu Ming, Anthony

Founding Chairman, Renaissance Foundation (Hong Kong)

Founding Chairman of Renaissance Foundation and founding member of BigLove Alliance. A renowned singer, composer, producer and a cultural icon of the Greater China Region for his establishing the Renaissance Foundation and active promotions on independent arts and culture events. Anthony had been honoured as “2013 Cultural China Person of the Year” by Oriental Morning Post (Shanghai), “The Man of the Year 2012 in Popular Culture” by Ming Pao (Hong Kong), and the “Local Heroes 2012” by Ming Pao Weekly Magazine and praised as a spokesperson for local culture.


Crisscrossing the axes of“school > work” and“tech < > art”, this year's Polylogues look for new models for learning and labour, and tap into the soft forces that are transforming our world.

Spring Term: Elementary Learning

Standardized education is “efficient”, but perhaps not the best approach if we value people as individuals, endowed with diverse talents, needing a variety of abilities to thrive in their unique circumstances. This polylogue calls for attention to the elements of learners and their environments. Visionary educators from the US, Denmark, Mainland China and Hong Kong will share how they cultivate individual potentials and tap into context-specific knowledge.



Teacher, Academy for Untamed Creativity (Denmark)

Finn NIELSEN is Workshop-leader of the AFUK's “Culture Pilots”, a 1-year project-based stage art development programme for young people, boosting creativity, pedagogics and self-identity. Finn is also working with the development of new learning processes, directing student projects as well as giving external workshops. He received acting training based on the the pedagogical ideas of the Jacques Lecoq, has done master studies in theatrical pedagogics and dramaturgy and possesses many years of experience on and off stage. Finn has been with AFUK for more than 20 years.


Diane GENG

Co-Founder + Executive Director
Rural China Education Foundation (Mainland China/US)

Diane GENG grew up in northern California and studied International Relations, Economics and Chinese at the University of California, Davis. While studying abroad in Beijing, Diane was drawn in by the civil rights struggles of Chinese migrant workers and villagers and returned after graduation on a Fulbright Scholarship to specifically research Chinese rural education and development. She then co-founded the Rural China Education Foundation, a non-profit based in rural Shanxi Province, and obtained a master's degree in Education from Harvard as a Harvard Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Diane is also the Director for Academic Resources at New York University, Shanghai Campus.


YIP Chung-sing
Founder + Principal
RTC Gaia School(Hong Kong)

YIP Chung-sing, Principal of RTC Gaia School, is a passionate educator and a zealous nature-lover. RTC Gaia School is the first privately owned school in Hong Kong that lays its foundation upon 3 cornerstones: nature, humanism and autonomy. The school was founded by a group of educators who share the same vision, believing that nature is the best teacher for young minds and nature-based pedagogy will be an imperative ingredient for education in the future. Through the experiential and life-valuing curriculum, kids are inculcated with heartfelt appreciation of green ideals and frugal lifestyles. They acquire a positive outlook on life, as well as desirable qualities such as truthfulness, compassion, autonomy, and resilience. Chung-sing leads a similarly rustic life in nature. He resides in an uphill rural cottage, where both of his daughters were born. On a daily basis, they engage in nature excursions, which include familiarizing themselves with the flora and fauna in their neighbourhood, indulging in agriculture, as well as appreciating the natural scenery.



Executive Director
The Innovation Zone, New York City Department of Education (US)

Dr Megan ROBERTS and her team are charged with conceptualizing, producing, and leading the whole school reform efforts of approximately 300 public middle and high schools in the New York City known as “the Innovation Zone”. Drawing from national and international research and practices of innovation; they have developed the “iZone Framework”, whose pillars define their reform efforts for these schools. Ultimately, they seek to rebuild schools around the needs, strengths and motivations of individual students. Megan holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; a Master of Science in Science Education and a Doctorate in Educational Policy from Columbia University.

If (data == "open")

From Google map to IP locations, online stores to i-banking, email passwords to DNA, to WikiLeaks - in a wired world where everything is somehow coded into data, its opening ushers in both new hopes and fear. This polylogue is about the many sides of open data. Speakers who are leveraging it for good will share how the democratization of data can contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and vital information, empowerment of people and more accountable governments.



Co-founder + Director of Technology Department
Ushahidi Inc. (Kenya/US)

David KOBIA brings more than 15 years of product development experience and a multidisciplinary background to his work, with a focus on social and emerging technologies. After pursuing a BS in Computer Science at the University of Alabama, he has been a professional software developer and has worked with almost every web technology in use today. David is an MIT Fellow and in 2010, a recipient of MIT Technology Review's TR35 award (35 top innovators under 35) and the Humanitarian of the Year award.


KAO Chia-liang

Co-Founder, (Taiwan)

KAO Chia-liang is a keen programmer and a hot spring enthusiast. He took part in the International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in 1997 and subsequently pursued a degree in Information Engineering at the National Taiwan University. Since 2000, he has been an active player in local and global open source communities, and further advanced his career in software development and consultancy during his stay in London. Chia-liang is best known for creating SVK, a distributed version control system based on Subversion. Today, he is Software Development Consultant behind the US-based company Socialtext Inc. and the Industrial Technology Research Institute of Taiwan. He also co-founded the initiative in 2012, which is a community that advocates transparent public access to information. Through inventing new, open, and inclusive internet platforms, augments civic participation in social issues by democratizing information acquisition and distribution.



Founder, Open Data Hong Kong (Hong Kong /The Netherlands)

Mart van de VEN founded Open Data Hong Kong to inspire and nurture a techno¬social revolution in Hong Kong. He believes Open Data is a chance for citizens to be better served by government. Not only because it enables greater transparency and accountability, but because when governments open up their data it allows them to concentrate on their irreducible core enabling us as citizens. He is also Open Knowledge Foundation's ambassador to Hong Kong, a data¬driven developer and technology educator for General Assembly.

The Making of Meaningful Work

Most of us spend most of our lives working, and most of our days at work. In addition to money, what sorts of values are created by our labour? Can we switch from “living with our jobs” to “living our jobs”? Can work substantially raise our quality of living, while tackling social problems? Can work translate into meanings for ourselves, society and our world? Featuring cross-continental initiatives that have rekindled the meaning of work – both as outcomes and processes, this polylogue looks forward to new directions of promising careers.




Co-founder + Directorof Urban Environments
Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (US)

Liz BARRY is an activist and designer interested in collaborative urban environments. In addition to developing geographic tools and civic science methods for collaborative cities at Public Lab, she is also co-founder and co-director of TreeKIT, an organization developing tools for collaboratively managing urban forests. Liz holds degrees in landscape architecture and urban design, and teaches at Columbia University and Parsons the New School for Design. Previously, she managed the Durham Inner-city Gardeners (DIG), a youth urban agriculture enterprise in North Carolina, and has travelled around the US catalyzing interaction among strangers with a “Talk To Me” sign – a project that received international press including the New York Times, AP, CNN, Oprah and NPR's This American Life.



Senior Project Officer
The Green Belt Movement (Kenya)

Judy KIMAMO is a Rural Development Specialist working with the Green Belt Movement. With over 10 years of progressive professional experience gained from working at the community and national levels, she has demonstrated experience in empowering local communities to participate in citizen leadership, sustainable recovery and development of their social, economic and productive infrastructure.

Judy also possesses practical experience in the promotion of rights based-local economic recovery for livelihoods improvement, employment creation and food security of vulnerable households, women, girls and communities. She has developed school and youth environmental education programs that enable students and youth to engage as good environmental stewards, peace agents, cultural ambassadors and peer leaders, through sports, songs, dance, exchanges, outdoor learner based research and peace clubs.


Shigeru YAMATO

Director, Happy Workplace International Project (Japan/Thailand)

Shigeru YAMATO co-founded Marimo5 Co., Ltd. in 2013. Today, Shigeru is responsible for the Happy Workplace International Project to strengthen Thai workers' health and happiness as well as developing a global strategy for a worksite health promotion framework in ASEAN and Japan.

Prior to co-founding Marimo5, Shigeru was engaged in a project for a global ICT healthcare solution at NTT DOCOMO. From 2007 to 2011, he worked at Mobile Innovation Co., Ltd. in Thailand, a joint venture between NTT DOCOMO and Loxley.

He earned a master's degree in human resource management from Chulalongkorn University in Thailand and currently is pursuing a Ph.D. in sport science (health promotion field) at Waseda University.

An Expanded Concept of Art

“An expanded concept of art” is a take articulated by 20th-century German artist Joseph BEUYS, who also suggests that “everyone is an artist” as he advocates “social sculpture.” Art, further to taking the form of a pretty painting on the wall, an auteur film or an orchestra piece, can actually be creative interventions realizing artists' socially relevant, critical or utopian vision. Artistic sensibilities – acute feelings towards our surroundings, imagination and the ability to give form to novel ideas – have a lot to offer. Talking about directions, “avant-garde” actually means: guards leading the way in the forefront.


Adrian TSING

Founder, Music Is Free Foundation (HK)

Adrian graduated from the Music Department of the University of Western Ontario. Apart from working on commercial music for advertisements, Adrian is also a music director and composer for theatrical works.

Since 2001, Adrian has published three solo albums and presented four solo concerts. He is the founder of Music Is Free Foundation (MIFF), which promotes sharing through music.

Starting from December 2010, Adrian has paid monthly visits to Sichuan, offering music lessons to high school students who have gone through the devastating earthquake.



Chairwoman + Board of Advisor
Kampung Halaman Foundation (Indonesia)

Dian HERDIANY is the Founder of Kampung Halaman. She is active both as a board member and a facilitator in their participatory educational programs. Graduated in Anthropology from the University of Indonesia, Dian is building and maintaining collaboration with groups of young people from diverse backgrounds throughout Indonesia. Through using photos, videos and artworks, young people are empowered to state their voices about youth problems and the reactions upon them. Such collaborative work has won Kampung Halaman the International Spotlight Award from the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards 2011 in Washington DC, USA. They are the only youth community group in Asia to have achieved the honour.


Tetsuo OGAWA


Born in 1970, Tetsuo OGAWA has experimented with various forms of collaboration mixing life and art since he graduated from high school. He had been living from home to home continuously for 7 years from 1996 to 2003 during which he issued a free paper named Isorou Life (“isorou” meaning homestay), and lodged for a short period of time at different hosts he got to know from the paper. In 2003, he came across a tent village of homeless people at a large park situated at the heart of Tokyo. Finding the life at the tent suitable for him, he has been residing there since then, during which they have aroused public attention to the threatened state of the homeless community in Tokyo due to exclusionary urban redevelopment and gentrification. He runs a barter café, Enoaru Café, pitched in front of his tent where the homeless and others gather for exchange, tea and celebration.


WU Mali

Artist + Curator, Cultural Action at the Plum Tree Creek (Taiwan)

WU Mali graduated from the National Art Academy in Dusseldorf, Germany and currently teaches at National Kaohsiung Normal University. Mali's recent work has taken an eco-feminist turn in response to the impact of globalization, focusing on the urban environment and development issues. Art as Environment — A Cultural Action on Plum Tree Creek (2010-2012) explored the possibilities of creating an eco-village and won the Taishin Visual Arts Award 2013. Her works have been exhibited at the Venice Bienniale, Taipei Biennial, Asian Pacific Triennial and Fukuoka Asian Art Trienniale.




Associate Professor, Department of Politics
Tsinghua University (Mainland China)

Dr LIU Yu is an associate professor working for the Department of Politics at Tsinghua University. Her research interests include Chinese revolution, comparative democratization and American politics. She is also known as a public intellectual in China. Her books Details of Democracy, Send You A Bullet and Tides of Ideas are well circulated in China, having significant impact on young mainland Chinese.

Interactive Activities

Discover and Learn

Jockey Club Make a Difference School Programmes

  • Fresh Learners
  • Social Innovation Studios
Share Perspectives
  • Exchange with Speakers
See in-Situ
  • Excursions
  • Night Walk
Zooming Out: A Wider Vista
  • Documentary Screenings

2.0 Programmes

Connect for Action
  • Ripple Forum
Build Collective Knowledge
  • Creative Experience for Sharing and Reflections

MaD 2014 Starts Now

All participants are invited to join the making of MaD 2014. The MaD Team will share through Facebook the discoveries, knowledge and reflections behind this year's forum. Witness how MaD 2014 gets into shape, and share your thoughts too to enrich our collective knowledge.

Registration is closed!



MaD 2016 - Listening Time

Participatory art experience @ MaD 2016 Participants' inspirations from the MaD forum evolve into a inter-media imaginary narrative
Learn More