The First Bai-Sian Convention takes place in the UK

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The first Bai-Sian Convention was held on 8 December 2018 in London, organized by the U.K. division of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), Taiwan. About 160 UK-based Taiwanese in the fields of academics, industry, and government gathered for a series of interdisciplinary meetings and activities. It was the largest full-day event of this nature in many years.

The convention, presided by the Director of UK division for MOST Prof. Jiun-Huei Proty Wu, kicked off with the opening remarks of Mr. David Y.L. Lin, Representative of Taipei Representative Office in the U.K., followed by reports from division directors including Director of Education Ms. Yen-Yi Lee and Director of Culture Ms. Siou-Ru Lai. The first half of the convention was composed of 13 short talks, including three keynote speeches (by National Taiwan University of Science and Technology’s Prof. YC Heng, Kymab Ltd.’s Dr. E-Chiang Lee, and Beyond Object’s Mr. Hanhsi Chen) and 10 contributed talks of a highly competitive basis with a pass rate of 25%. The TED-style talks covered a full gamut of fields including natural sciences, medicine, biotechnology, material science, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, design, management, philosophy, law, and more.

Bai-Sian Convention

The second half of the convention consisted in a series of interactive workshops led by eight mentors. The innovative format entailed group discussions and brain storming, to ensure the engagement of every participant. The workshops focused on four themes:  governmental policies, social networking, bottlenecks, and dreams. The convention concluded with summaries and videos made by the mentors and a special ceremony to recognize the efforts of the speakers and the co-organizers such as the Student Union of King’s College London. A dinner banquet was held afterwards at Chinatown.

The U.K. division of MOST launched the Taiwan-U.K. Network Association (TUNA) in April 2018, a cyber-society that has attracted nearly 500 members. The Bai-Sian Convention was one of TUNA’s physical activities to emphasize the idea that human temperature could never by replaced by modern technology. The participants comprised of approximately 40% of scholars/innovators/ technologists, 45% of PhD students, and the rest being master students or businesspeople. The convention was an expanded version of the meeting series successfully transformed since April 2018. It aimed for transverse interdisciplinary exchanges and vertical integration of the old and the new. It also assisted in the promotion of governmental policies and recruitment of talents. The logistics of the event were fully digitalized; for instance, the online registration, the submission and review of proposals for contributed talks, QR codes for check-in, dining and booklet download, online voting for best speakers, among others. The event has since received warm feedback and a strong online support, thus successfully inaugurating the first Bai-Sian Convention in the U.K.


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