TEDxTaoyuan Speech – Mayor Cheng: Making Taoyuan as the City where the youth can dream

TEDxTaoyuan Speech - Mayor Cheng: Making Taoyuan as the City where the youth can dream and challenge themselves

Taoyuan City Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan attended the TEDxTaoyuan Salon held in Taoyuan District in the afternoon of October 16th 2016 and expressed that the Taoyuan is blessed with a great geographical location, comprehensive industrial clusters, and has the youngest population over six municipalities. Taoyuan City Government places particular importance on youth entrepreneurship, providing platforms and areas where the youth can start their own businesses, transforming Taoyuan city into a place where the youth can dream and challenge themselves, giving them actual chances in making their dreams come true.

Taoyuan is a diverse and multicultural city. The city's population is currently 2.13 million, growing by 40,000 individuals per year and is the youngest of the six municipalities. Taoyuan's labor participation rate is about 60%, which is also higher than the national average. Average flight time between Taoyuan International Airport and major cities around Asia is about three hours. Taoyuan's housing prices were also kept in stable. Once the Airport Access MRT is opened to the public, the city will be an integral part of the Taipei-New Taipei-Taoyuan residential zone as well as the perfect place for young people to seek employment or start business.

Mayor Cheng also mentioned the 29 industrial zones in Taoyuan city that covered various industrial sectors such as automotive, parts and components, chemical engineering, textiles, logistics, and ICT. The Asia Silicon Valley Plan aims to establish the spirit of innovation and openness towards talented individuals and professionals, and to provide young entrepreneurs with added opportunities and an open platform. The advantages offered by Taoyuan are the reason why the architects of the Plan have focused upon the City.

Mayor Cheng said that the Taoyuan City Government has established the Department of Youth Affairs and the Zhongli Youth Entrepreneur Headquarter in the southern part of Taoyuan in 2015. Plans for 2017 include the Andong Youth Start-up Hub in Taoyuan District in the North, Xinming Market Youth Start-up Hub in the South, and Youshih International Start-up Village at the Youshih Industrial Park in Yangmei District. These venues will allow youths to host their events, conferences, and forums, providing a platform that allows young business owners to share and exchange resources.

Mayor Cheng also mentioned case studies of youth entrepreneurship platforms from other countries such as Egg Japan in Tokyo Train Station that adopted the concept of egg incubators to offer venues, a diverse selection of support, and business match-making; other examples in London, UK, included Second home and Cisco's Ideal London that offer networking and support to help creating own business.

Mayor Cheng said that it takes expertise and experiences to start a business. Business idea and creativity competitions were often held in Taiwan and other countries, while many youth entrepreneurship headquarters and centers have been founded, offering young people with a place where they can put their ideas to the test. Even if they fail, the experiences and lessons they learned will still make the attempt worthwhile. The new generation of business owners will be facing great challenges. Governments should provide youths with business venues, capital, professionals, and information to embolden them and encourage them to dream and explore without the fear for failure.

Mayor Cheng mentioned that design is the way to solve a number of social problems, and could very well be the value for a company's existence. There are many design categories in Taiwan. For example, universities and colleges are working with mothers in the community who love to cook. This partnership provided additional income for mothers while allowing college students living on campus to enjoy home-cooked meals. This combination was made possible through creativity and should be considered to a social enterprise as well.

Mayor Cheng said the Dutch pursued the concept of circular economy to its ultimate manifestation, applying its ideas to petrochemical as well as construction material industries. 95% of the materials used to build a Dutch building could be reused after demolishing the house. Taoyuan would be hosting the Agriculture Expo with the plans of using the event to display the concept of circular economy. All resources can be recycled and reused. For example, the Bitang (ponds and lakes) will be converted into Solar Powered Ponds, allowing the Agriculture Expo to run on its own renewable source of energy. Additional features of the circular economy include traditional architectural approaches that make use of bamboos and mudbricks, as well as introduction of works from the Land Art Festival such as Eternal Sea and Crab.

Attendants to the event included Taoyuan City Deputy Mayor Wang Ming-Teh, Founder and CEO of Installments Chen Jen-Ping (Bruce Chen), Founder and CEO of Parking Lot App Yu Chih-Wei (Ronald Yu), and attorney Tsai Yu-Ling.

Source: Taoyuan City