Elizabeth Tan – Singer
Known as a songbird with a style of her own, singer-songwriter Elizabeth Tan captured the hearts of listeners all over when she sang her own rendition of Joe Flizzow’s “Havoc”. She became an overnight sensation, with more and more listeners becoming captivated with her performances. Her soulful voice, bilingual abilities (Malay and English) and ukulele skills are the defining features of her performance. She will be debuting some original tracks soon.
Though she initially wanted to be a television host, Elizabeth found her true calling in singing after winning at a talent competition June last year. A rising star in Malaysia’s entertainment industry, Elizabeth Tan is definitely a name you should be looking out for.
Azran Osman-Rani – CEO of AirAsia X
In July 2007, Azran was appointed as CEO of AirAsia X. He led the start-up team that developed the business plan, raised capital, secured relevant licenses, and led the growth from one aircraft to twenty, an annual revenue size of US$1 billion, and in July 2013, becoming the first ever long-haul LCC airline to be taken public.
Prior to his appointment, Azran was formerly the Senior Director of Business Development for Astro All Asia Networks plc, where he led the start-up and operational launch of Astro’s international investments and joint ventures across Southeast Asia, India and Greater China.
Azran was also formerly an Associate Partner of McKinsey & Company.
He holds a Masters degree in Management Science and a Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Stanford University. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia.
He is 42 years young, a competitive Ultimate Frisbee player, snowboarder, and an Ironman triathlete.
Eduardo Pena – Hollywood Blockbuster Concept Designer
Eduardo was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia in 1980s. He decided to venture into the world of design, and after 5 years of adventures, experiments and inspired thinking, he graduated as a professional Graphic Designer.
His passion for sharing knowledge drove him to lead design classes in Los Andes University, Bogota for 3 years. At the same time, he worked on video-games graphics and got his work published in books like Spectrum, Expose, Digital Art Masters, Café Sale and Imagine FX.
His career reached a peak when he started work at Weta Digital and Weta Workshop, a design agency that developed the conceptual visualization for Hollywood films. Eduardo worked on blockbuster names like Trilogy of the Hobbit, Hercules, Transcendence and Lucy. His job scope included designing and developing aesthetic solutions from a system of visual possibilities in the entertainment industry.
After a few years, Eduardo joined FZD (Feng Zhu School of Design), where he continued sharing knowledge with fellow artists while building his own brand in academic design and visual elements.
Cynthia Lam – Creator of H2PRO
At just 17 years old, Cynthia Lam is building an invention that will drastically improve the lives of people living without access to clean water and electricity.
Currently based in Melbourne, Australia, this young inventor has developed a device that can purify water and generate electricity — using just the energy from the sun. Dubbed ‘H2prO’, this potentially life-changing invention has shot to international fame this year as one of Google Science Fair’s 15 global finalists. Cynthia will be representing Australia in the Finals at Google’s Mountain View HQ.
Cynthia is currently working to put the finishing touches on her design. Her ultimate goal is for H2prO to be a sustainable source of clean energy and water for those living in underdeveloped countries.
She believes in raising awareness about water and electricity scarcity, as “it is important to realize that the things we take for granted are what a lot of others are praying for.”
Tommy Lee – Baker
From Europe to Asia, this ‘bread engineer’ is determined to revolutionize healthy eating in Malaysia.
Having graduated from French Studies in Universite de Caen, Basse Normandie, Tommy Lee Kok Seng decided to make the switch to an artisanal discipline by taking up a patisserie course at Ecole Greggoire Ferrandie. He later did his apprenticeship at Kayser rue Monge, Paris.
In 2003, Tommy obtained a certification in bread baking before returning to Kuala Lumpur.
Dubbing himself as a ‘bread engineer’, he experimented with different ingredients for seven consecutive years, trying to find alternatives for the ones that are currently used (some of which are not as natural and healthy as we think!).
Equipped with his expertise in patisserie (confectionery) and boulangerie (bread making), Tommy set out to educate the Malaysian public on healthy eating and quality tasting in his bakery, “Tommy Le Baker” on Jalan Ipoh.
Coex – Beatbox Aficionado
Cody “Coex” Foo is a 5-time beatbox champion and a leading pioneer in the Southeast Asian vocal percussion scene. Coex has captured the hearts of audiences all around the region with his flair, charisma, and the wide array of sounds he can make with his mouth.
Coex discovered his passion for beatboxing at the age of 16 and ventured further into it, supported by online tutorials and good friends. He eventually gave his first performance in school at the age of 17.
Driven to succeed, he is currently the first Malaysian beatboxer to have ever brought home a Gold Medal for Malaysia. The highest-ranking beatboxer in the country, Coex is known for his unique skillset, musicality, and a quirky sense of improvisation.
Coex has performed in large-scale events such as Future Music Festival Asia 2012, and has opened for international acts like Wang Lee Hom (Taiwan), U-KISS (Korea) and Yuna (M’sia).
Known for his talent and skill, Coex went on to judge Beat to the Box 2011 (Penang), Beat Blast 2012, and Think You Got Skills Beatbox Battle 2012. A founder of BeatNation and a leading educator in the beatbox movement, Coex’s influence makes him a prime candidate for growing and cultivating the beatbox culture of Southeast Asia.
Dr. Neil Mennie – Neuroscientist & Cognition Expert
Dr. Neil Mennie is a neuroscientist who specialises in vision science and visual cognition.
More specifically, he is interested in our ability to make predictive eye movements to spatial locations in our spatial memory of our surroundings.
He uses portable eye-movement trackers to record healthy individuals as well as neuropsychological patients performing daily tasks such as playing games, model-building and motor activities.
More interestingly, Dr. Neil also observes the strategic gaze of an Orangutan at our National Zoo (Zoo Negara), when she uses ‘tools’ to search for ‘rewards’.
Neil obtained a BSc in Neuroscience and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex in the UK. He has also conducted postdoctoral research in the United States, Germany and the UK. In 2009, he helped set up the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, where he now lectures.
Khai Aziz – Straight Edge X-pert
Rockstar by day, Activist by night – Khai Aziz is making waves in the local youth scene.
Khai is the lead singer of the band Second Combat and the founder of Drug Free Youth Association (DFYA) Malaysia, a social movement that advocates against drug abuse through music, fashion, art and creative writing. In short, he makes not taking drugs cool.
Khai’s fight against drug abuse started when he stumbled upon ‘Straight Edge’, a subculture that refrains from using alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs. Since then, he has taken it upon himself to encourage those around him to enjoy punk and rock music without being under the influence of the vices most hardcore punk artists are associated with.
Khai has had countless years’ of experience as a presenter, speaking to thousands of students from primary school to university throughout Malaysia. He also makes regular appearances on Malaysian television and radio, sharing his thoughts and opinions on drug-free living. DFYA Malaysia continues to inspire thousands of students to live drug-free lives.
Paladin – Cello Rock Band
Paladin is a newly formed Cello rock band based in Malaysia. Their name — the 16th century French word for ‘warrior’ — encompasses their daily struggle of playing heavy, new-age music with classical cello instruments in an engaging, credible way.
All of Paladin’s members are professional cellists who met while doing gigs in KL. They discovered they shared similar musical interests, as well as an ambition to take the Cello further in the contemporary scene.
Playing exclusively with classical cellos, Paladin is able to produce a wide variety of sounds, from the purest acoustic to the craziest electric.
Paladin is most well-known for their live performances of songs in all musical genres, from Hard Rock and Pop to Funk and Reggae. Performed in Paladin’s own arrangements, these popular songs are warmly welcomed by all audiences, and are perceived as “innovative, original, visually stunning and most importantly, loads of mad fun.”
Rhonwyn Hagedorn – Social Changemaker
After finishing SPM in 2011, Rhonwyn Hagedorn embarked on an unusual path toward self-development – she took three gap-years. She began interning with non-profit social enterprise, eHomemakers, before applying to university.
Her internship experiences include being the back-end online administrator for an eco-basket project targeted at the poor; the feature developer for the NGO’s mobile application, ECHO; and the training coordinator for a rural project in Bario, Sarawak.
After being a recipient of the Dana Belia grant, she founded Project WHEE!, a youth initiative to teach Bario women English for ecotourism purposes. The programme also includes elements of community service and cross-cultural exchange, which attracts the participation of youths from all over the country.
As the acting Chief Coordinator for Project WHEE!, Rhowyn hopes to take the project to greater heights. And she plans to — even if that means extending her gap years!