2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

How Overcrowded Asian Cities Inspire Innovation

#sxsw #asiacities


Asian cities, especially megacities (with populations of over 10 million) are centres of chaos. But that very chaos inspires and demands us to seek more creative and innovative solutions to help people manage and enjoy life in them. On the one hand there’s a need for innovations that truly help Asian citizens balance all the fun experiences of a big city and squeeze in as many activities, interactions and tasks as possible into every moment (and never miss out). And on the other hand, a need for solutions and hacks that combat the daily frustrations and dangers of overcrowded living (think transport, traffic jams, lack of living space and greenery, to pollution, food and health.) We take a look at these issues and examples from every corner of the region (not just India and China, but also South East Asia, Nepal and Pakistan) and see how governments, urban planners, brands, entrepreneurs, designers and even citizens themselves are stepping up and trying to answer these pressing needs.



Tara Hirebet

Asian Trend & Innovation Consultant & Ex-Head of Asia Pacific, trendwatching.com

Tara Hirebet is an Asian Trend, Innovation and Urban Foresight consultant and the Ex-Head of Asia Pacific, for global consumer trend firm, trendwatching.com. She was born in India , raised in Singapore, and spent 3 years living in China. Tara holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Advertising from the University of Falmouth and a Hon BA in Drama and English from the University of Toronto, Canada.

As Head of Asia Pacific, Tara set up and ran the Asian HQ of trendwatching.com, out of Singapore. She launched trendwatching.com's first Asia Pacific Trend Report covering 40 key consumer trends, urban shifts and demographics in Asia, and launched their first free monthly Asian Trend Bulletins, as well as grew their trend spotter network in the region.

Tara is a keynote speaker on Asian consumer and civic trends, as well as Asian Megacities and has spoken in conferences and board rooms across the region, including: UNDP Global Centre, TEDx Women and TEDx City 2.0 Singapore, Mashable Social Good Summit Singapore, VISA Technology Office, Grey Goose, Creative Mornings Singapore, iMedia Agency Summit Asia, OgilvyOne, Entrepreneurs Organization Shanghai, Bangladesh Brand Forum (Dhaka), The Australian Business Congress, FutureChina Global 2013, K.E.Y Platform Seoul, LOHAS Asia (Hong Kong), Clariant and Echelon Singapore 2013 (Asia's largest startup conference).

She is also a regular columnist for Campaign Asia and the Korea Times on how to innovate for Asian consumer needs.

Prior to joining trendwatching.com, Tara spent 7 years as a copywriter at agencies including TBWA, Ogilvy and Publicis. She also spent three years in China, working for Flamingo Shanghai (where she took part in China-wide ethnographic studies and wrote their trend white papers). Tara also worked on several Chinese youth projects with Beijing youth research consultancy, China Youthology.

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