Past Talks

Cheffing and the Theory of Change

by Owen Wang at University of Tokyo

Chefs create recipes from the first principles. One of the ways they do this is by looking at the end product they want and combining the ingredients at hand. This is reminiscent of the Theory of Change put forth by Aaron Schwartz. Here we cover both of these while trying to make an awesome bowl of ramen!

Slides Link

Polyamory: Not for Everyone

by Sean Aubin at Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, WAT

The “mono” in the word “monogamy” means having one romantic partner. Similarly, “poly” in the word “polyamory” means multiple romantic partners. It’s a VERY personal choice that many people make that basically boils down to eschewing cultural norms (with all the challenges that implies) in exchange for greater relationship freedom and versatility.


365 days without a lease

by Chenyu Zheng at Learning Loft, SF

In Sept 2015, Chenyu returned to LA from Shenzhen and lived in different Airbnbs for 365 days, during which she knocked open 99 doors and shared a slice of life with pilots, filmmakers and artists.

Chenyu “travelled” within the city of Los Angeles, explored 20 neighborhoods and experienced the full spectrum of humanity from empathy, conflict, help from strangers, and culture differences. This journey made her belong to LA, a mega-city that she used to feel distant to.

Her live blog and lifestyle has become a media phenomenon in China, and inspired hundreds of Chinese travelers to use Airbnb.

After moving to SF, Chenyu’s urban nomad life has been more challenging. To make it affordable, Chenyu started pet-sitting and paint dogs for hosts to exchange for stays.

Discussion topics:
– urban nomad: Why, what, how, challenges, memorable stories

– Take aways for hosts & guests
– co-living & subscription service to productize urban nomad lifestyle
– culture differences as an Asian traveler, such as recycling / composting, continental breakfast does not include eggs, and “bed sheet” is not common in Asia, which can lead to better guest/host experiences

Slides Link