Local Twitter celebrity graces TEDx

National 2 minutes, 9 seconds


SOCIAL media personality Delwin Keasberry became Brunei’s first speaker at an international TEDx event after delivering a speech last weekend at Curtin University’s Sarawak Campus on how to be purposefully engaged online.

The 35-year-old, popularly known in the sultanate for his over 20,000-strong following on his Twitter account ‘BruneiTweet’, shared with the attending crowd his thoughts on best practices for social media: to be intentional, inclusive and engage intelligently.

“My challenge to the audience was that if we didn’t use social media with purpose, social media would then be dominated by intolerance,” said Keasberry, who is the commercial and prosperity manager at the British High Commission to Brunei.

He pitched the idea of using social media to create a space for positive dialogue, which is inclusive through the large number of people being involved as well as the ideas shared.

“Having an inclusive dialogue means being open to different points of view to generate a discussion that takes into account more than just one person’s opinion,” he said.

Following the TEDx format of “short, powerful talks devoted at spreading ideas”, Keasberry shared the floor with several well-known Malaysian personalities, including Miss World and Universe Malaysia Deborah Henry, who is one of the founders of Fugee School, which was set up to provide education to refugee children from Somalia.

“It was a humbling experience speaking at TEDxCurtinUSarawak – the first TEDx in East Malaysia. Throughout my preparations, I was excited and nervous,” he said.

Realising the opportunity of the platform given to share ideas, Keasberry redrafted his talk many times, seeking advice from members of the Brunei Advanced Speakers Club.

He came to learn about last weekend’s event through his familiarity with the regional TEDx circuit, and after corresponding with the university, he was invited to speak.

Curtin and East Malaysia’s first TEDx was themed ‘The Next Chapter’ and was set by its organisers to be open to interpretation yet tied to the setting of a student environment.

The president of the Curtin University Sarawak Student Council and organising chairperson of the sold-out event also said the line-up of speakers reflected “a connection to Borneo”.

“The biggest lesson we learnt was that we are ready to change the world, one step at a time. Our team is incredibly diverse; members from Egypt, Kenya, China, Brunei and Malaysia,” said Ahmad Mirza Mokhtar.

The eight speakers, including Curtin professors Dr Clem Keuk and Dr Dominique Dodge-Wan, gave speeches not more than 18 minutes covering a wide base of topics such as technology, culture, the eco-system and leadership.

The Brunei Times