Spend 2 awe-inspiring days with a diverse bunch of amazing people from all over the world who will share how their beliefs build brands, fuel causes, push boundaries in technology, create meaning, inspire curiosity, build bridges and create things that last.


Sonal Dabral

Chief Creative Officer South and South East Asia and Vice Chairman India at Ogilvy

You Are Your Best Story

Our best ideas come from our own life experiences, our own culture and our own idioms. Inside all of us is a rich source of stories. Deeply personal stories are the most universal ones because they are the most human too. These are the compelling stories that we need to tell in an era where attention is measured in seconds and not heartbeats.

James Whitlow Delano

Reportage Photographer and Documentary Storyteller

Begin with Empathy, End with Tolerance & Hope:

James is a firm believer in the principle that walking in another’s shoes builds empathy and tolerance. He will share work that demonstrates how he tries to place the viewer in the photos, to walk along side others in that moment to gain a sense of the commonality we all share with one another, whether they live on the other side of the planet or are fated to live through challenges we can only imagine. Through his work, you will meet four remarkable people out in the world who will reinforce your beliefs in the goodness of ordinary people who will give you hope for our collective future on this planet.

Ronald Rael

Applied architectural researcher, author, and design entrepreneur.

Design from the Borderlands

Ronald Rael's talk will discuss how design can flourish in the borderlands of the United States, through by rethinking technology, materials, and coupling activism with design. From 3D Printing with locally sourced materials to challenging the border wall that divides the U.S. from Mexico, Rael will suggest that design is also a form of storytelling that can spark creativity in places one wouldn't expect.

Sasa Arsovski

Programme Director AI & Robotics at Raffles University Iskandar

Are we doomed? The Rise of AI and Machine Learning.

Will we be taken over by machines? That’s a common question faced by AI scientists. To help understand this area of tech, Sasa will take us through a journey of history of AI to get an overview of Deep Learning models and its architecture. This step-by-step talk will also help us understand the potential of Prediction Machines and Generative Neural Models and its implementations in creative industries.

Eleanor Goroh

Beader, cultural activist, artist.

Indigenous Cosmology and Lost Traditions.

We are a story-telling species. We create meaning by creating narratives about our world and encode its lessons into our culture. These stories are then passed down through the generations through dance, poetry, art, wardrobe, accessories, architecture and rituals. Let Eleanor open our eyes to the story of us through her beads, poetry and music.

Santharuban Sundaram

Senior Vice President, marketing and alternate business, Etika.

Build brands, not blands.

There’s a lot of noise in the world of marketing. At every given opportunity, something is being pushed to you. Standing out requires risks. How much is too much? How little is too little? Santharuban Sundaram knows. Not one to play it safe, he knows how to get his work through the noise and into the minds of his audiences.

Stefen Chow

Photographer, Filmmaker, Data-storyteller

I survived an avalanche. Now I am one.

Stefen Chow is a renowned photographer and filmmaker whose work across 40 countries has won many awards. But it was not until a close call with death in the Karakoram that brought about a calling to create things that matter through Stefen’s unique form of art that addresses global issues through the methodology of statistical, mathematical and computational techniques.

Ismail Kamarul

Film-maker & Executive Producer, Reservoir Productions.

Telling stories in a multi-racial country.

How do you tell a ‘Truly Malaysian’ story when we seem to be divided by race, religion, language, customs, social status, education, beliefs and geography? Ismail will reveal how universal insights into the human condition in movies like Guang can be harnessed to cut through all our perceived differences and help us discover that we have more in common than we think.

Ian, Samantha and Elroi.

Investigative journalists, R.AGE.

Investigative journalism: putting it all on the line.

What if your content could mean the difference between life and death of a person? R.AGE editor and producer Ian Yee will take us into the world of investigative journalism and talk about the risks and challenges his young investigative team have to overcome in order to produce award-winning documentary journalism and how it’s used to bring about real-world impact.

Fahmi Reza

Political graphic designer, arts worker, visual activist.

Graphic Design as a weapon.

Not afraid to be jailed for his work, Fahmi was arrested in 2016, locked-up for two nights, interrogated, charged in court and went on trial and sentenced to a year in prison. Fahmi will talk about his journey into the world of graphic dissent and visual disobedience. Come discover the potential that graphic design has as a weapon of resistance and a tool for change.


Programme Director, Think City.

Envisioning Failure - Embracing a future where perfect is over-rated

We live in a world that is instant, where we are the kingmakers of our own brand. We have drunk the cool-aid of acronyms and catch phrases such as “YOLO”, “Embrace your inner goddess”, Impossible is Nothing” that we happily dived head first into being the best that we can be – perfect shot, the perfect meal, the perfect coffee foam motif for the perfect experience.  So skilled are we in building our own personality cult, fueled by followers and likes, where failure can be photo-edited or re-termed that we have become a personality at the expense of the person. But who are we really? And how do we reconnect with ourselves and to others and find real meaning? Follow the story of Jia-Ping as she takes in all these reflections into her journey to create living spaces through ThinkCity.

Sil, Jorik and Sean.

Directors, Producer – Studio Birthplace.

Information through emotion.

Ecological and humanitarian stories are the most important stories of our time. In a society in which we are exposed to a constant barrage of information, we are challenged to explore new forms of communication to engage the public in creative new ways. These three filmmakers will discuss how they bridge the gap between information and emotion and deliver a message through (the he)art.

Tai Kam Leong

Head of brands and partnership at Maxis

The Young Kancil Challenge

What happens when you hand 20 teams of young creatives and give then 24 hours to crack a real-life business brief without any outside help? You’ll be surprised with the result of this crazy, intense and sleep-deprived pressure-cooker hackathon. This challenge is sponsored by Maxis and the resulting work will be presented by Tai Kam Leong.

Iska Hashim

ECD, Leo Burnett.

The 666 Young Director’s Challenge

6 scripts, 6 minutes, 6 winners. 38 virgin and aspiring film-directors compete in this challenge. Judged by a panel of experience film-makers, 6 winning scripts are then directed by the creators themselves and supported by 6 production houses. What will these shorties look like? And who will take top prize and earn a one-year stint as a film-director-in-training in a production house? Iska will be presenting the top 6 films. This challenge is supported by Think Tank, Passion Films, PRS, Dick Chua, Graph Studio and Mojo.



These will be conducted over lunch break with lunch being provided.Spaces are limited to 12 participants per workshop on a first-come-first-served basis. Please note that this is only opened to the delegates who have signed up for the keynote speaker sessions.


Rap 101 by XXII

Ever wondered what it takes to be a rap-god? Here’s a step-by-step guide into the world of people who spew poetry and music into the hearts of the masses. You might discover a gift you never knew you had. This workshop will be conducted by rap collective XXII and will be broken into two sessions across both days.

(Part 1)

Thursday 24 Oct
12.40pm to 2.10pm

(Part 2)

Friday 25 Oct
12.15pm to 2.00pm

Participants | Only 12

Street Photography by Kenny Loh

Learn the art of street-storytelling through photography. Learn about compositions, lighting, approaching your subject matter and capturing the soul of the streets. Renowned street photographer and author of Born In Malaysia will take you through the theory and practice of visual-storytelling armed with nothing but a spirit of curiosity and a smartphone. There will be 2 separate sessions conducted over the 2 days of the festival.


Thursday 24 Oct
12.40pm to 2.10pm


Friday 25 Oct
12.15pm to 2.00pm

Participants | Only 12 per group

Bead-making by Eleanor Goroh, Magic Borneo Beads.

What’s the story behind beads? Where do they come from? Does it have any cultural significance we’ve all missed? Learn how to create your own story through this rare beading workshop from cultural enthusiast and artist Eleanor Goroh. This workshop will conducted in 2 separate sessions over two days.

Please note that your delegate fees covers the workshop only. The necklace or beads you create for yourselves will be charged accordingly.


Thursday 24 Oct
12.40pm to 2.10pm


Friday 25 Oct
12.15pm to 2.00pm

Participants | Only 12 per group


Come see the work from TOA and Lokamade, experience the tech installations from Expedio and Kezerk, study the photographs of James Whitlow and Stefen Chow, admire the protest-designs of Fahmi Reza, drool over the custom made bikes from Beautiful Machines and take part in their decal competition. (Winners get to follow these bikes to a competition in Japan.) When you’re done with this, explore every corner of RexKL and watch the films from the Young Director’s Challenge and view hundreds of the most creative work from the ad industry as well as student submissions from the Kancil Awards.