Category Archives: Attendee Profile

Meet 3: TED Translators


Meet some of the amazing volunteer translators who’ve made TEDTalks accessible to people around the world. They’ve come from far and wide to make new friends, exchange ideas and share in the TEDActive experience.



Activator Role: Wikipedia Summit India Director

From: Pune, India

What has been your favorite talk so far?

My favorite talk so far is from the TED Prize winner, Sugata Mitra, because it’s a completely new concept. It’s positive disruption. It’s about bringing something new to society and the community, which could be revolutionary in upcoming years.

What’s something you wish that everyone at TEDActive could know about you?

That I love TEDActive – that’s a thing they need to know. They need to know that I love everyone here.

What’s something that’s surprised you so far this week?

People from 70 different countries under the one platform – that’s huge, that’s inspiring, that’s incredible. It’s like traveling around the globe in five days. To meet new people from different nationalities, from different cultures, different backgrounds – that’s something beyond my imagination.

What’s something you still want to learn or do before TEDActive is over?

Meet more and more people, and spend private time with each and every individual, so I can learn from their experience, their story, their culture, their country. I want to know everything about everyone.

What are you going to bring home with you?

I’m going to bring home with me a lot of positivity and energy, and I’m going to spread it to India.


Activator role: PanArmenian Network Head of Communications

From: Yerevan, Armenia

What was your favorite talk that you’ve seen?

It was about the limitations, creating. This amazing artist – Phil Hansen. I like his message. I’ve seen some of his work going viral on Facebook without attributions, so it was great that I got to know the artist.

What’s something you wish that everyone at TEDActive could know about you?

It’s actually really hard to describe myself in just a few sentences. My badge doesn’t say anything besides where I work, and it even doesn’t say much about it. And what I find interesting about this TEDActive experience is you never know what you might discover about the person you are talking to. You might be talking to someone with an amazing experience, a great inventor, or someone who has created something really impressive.

What’s something that’s surprised you so far?

It surprised me that a lot that people, when they see I’m all by myself or I’m reflecting on things, they come over and say, “Hi, how are you?” and introduce themselves and want to know about me. Since I am an introvert and I don’t usually feel comfortable approaching other people, it’s really cool that I can relax and just wait for other people to approach me.

What are you going to bring home with you?

I got a lot of ideas about event organization from TEDActive that I will definitely bring to my TEDx event. A lot of small things, like details that were nicely designed, that I could use in our event. I’m also trying to arrange my gift bag stuff to bring home to my team, to give everyone a piece of TEDActive.


Activator role: Mastermind School mathematics teacher

From: Dhaka, Bangladesh

What has been your favorite talk so far?

The [Coded Meanings] session, in its total. And John McWhorter, the LOL guy. I like it because it says language will evolve. It’s better to try understanding it, because if you try to protect it, it’s not going to work.

What do you wish that everyone at TEDActive could know about you?

That I give my 100 percent when I work. If I can’t give 100 percent, I feel guilty. Back home, I work almost 19 hours a day. This week is the first I’m getting six, seven hours of sleep per night.

What’s surprised you so far this week?

Over here you not only talk about the talks, you can talk about the people who are here. This is the thing I find amazing: You can go into any crowd and you can talk the way I’m talking right now with people. You just see your common interests, and right away can talk about it. It cannot happen in any other place; this is why TED is something different.

What’s something you still want to learn or do before the week is over?

One thing I want to do right now is to talk about my country, and what’s going on – the fight that we’ve fought for 40 years, and we’re fighting it still. If you read the story of Bangladesh, you will understand a bit.

What’s something you want to bring home with you?

When I came to the United States months before, my students asked, “Why are you going, teacher?” When I said to them that I was going to TED, they asked, “What is TED? Who is TED?” And I said, the first word you write in Google, you’ll find out what is TED. They came back and said, “How can we participate?” Now, coming here, I know how to guide them. Everyone’s stories inspired me. I have this plan that I want to produce 200 new translators by the next TEDActive. This way, one child is helping another.

Meet 3: People you may run into, literally

TEDActive Runners
Pictured From left to right: Alfredo Junior, Mohammed Abu Zeinab, Allyson Burns

The TEDActive experience is meant to stimulate all of your senses – body, mind and soul. While the talks, fun experiential spaces, bonding events and late night parties may feed your mind and soul, there are also plenty of opportunities for attendees to nurture their bodies with group health & wellness activities, including morning yoga, bike rides, hikes and runs. Meet three early birds who woke up for this morning’s run.


Activator Role: TINKOpp, TEDx Organizer, “StudEntrepreneur”, “BusAthlete”, Thai Boxer, Martial Artist

From: Doha, Qatar/Phoenix, AZ USA

Why do you run?

I’m about messages that empower your soul over your ego. Your ego is all about the physical – everything tangible, everything that has an end about you. When you wake up and start saying, no I can’t get up, that’s your ego. But your soul knows you need it, you need that run, you need that energy.

What are you most curious about?

I’m all about finding a way to unite people’s understanding of consciousness. If we are more global in the sense of becoming more conscious, then we’re in a better world. We were in the industrial era, then the technology era, then the data era, now we are in the spiritual era. Once we understand that there’s something divine in us, and we’re attached to something that’s physical and not divine … the more we can connect to that, the more we are closer to our souls. People who are more limitless in their energies are more clear to that. My truth is in finding a way to unite people on that discovery of consciousness.

What are you currently listening to?

Ed Shearing: You need me, I don’t need you.

Watch Mohammed’s TEDx Talk


Activator role: VP Communication, The Case Foundation
From: Washington, DC USA

Why do you run?

The long story: I was never athletic when I was growing up. When I was turning 30, I decided I wanted to challenge myself to do something I never thought I could do, so I decided to run a half-marathon. Considering I couldn’t even run the mile in P.E. as a kid in school, it was daunting. I started training, and that was my first of five half marathons. I’ve also done a couple of 10-mile races. I have found that running is a huge relief. I can use that time to  work out a problem in my head, to make my to-do list, to just listen to music and not think about anything, or to go running with a friend. And, it’s a challenge. It’s always still a challenge.

What problem were you working out in your head during today’s run?

I’m really curious about this idea of impact. How do you measure social impact and driving social change? How do you measure if you’re really making a difference on the ground… and is that really necessary? Sometimes I worry that we’re going to go from a world where measurement is too soft to where measurement is too scientific, and it’s not necessarily thinking about the fact that we’re dealing with people and human problems, so it’s hard to always put a number on those things. I’m really excited to learn more about the Impact Project with The Robinhood Foundation and find out how we can apply some of that to the work we’re doing at The Case Foundation.

Quick, what’s something interesting people may not know about you?

Well, according to my UP band, I walked/ran just under 23,000 steps yesterday.

What are you currently listening to?

Ho Hey by Lumineers


Activator role: Founder, The HUB Recife, TEDx Organizer

From: Recife, Brazil

Why do you run?

Mostly because I don’t like the gym, and it’s a way to exercise in the open air!

What is something undiscovered about your work?

At The HUB, we consider ourselves social innovators. We think innovation is the imperfect execution of the unknown. What we’re doing, no one else has done. We’re trying to change the way people work, people live, and people learn.

What’s your favorite thing about TEDActive?

The opportunity to meet and connect with people from different areas, multiple professions, common values and purposes, all together at the same space that is the starting engine to impulse these change makers all over the globe!

What are you currently listening to? 
Sambo’s Samba version of Sunday Bloody Sunday

Meet 3: Women of TEDActive


The Wonder Women of TEDActive came together this morning for a special breakfast hosted by TEDActive veteran Tereza Nemessanyi. In anticipation of the first session, thought leaders, artists, scientists, and TEDx organizers alike discussed new ideas, provocations around gender equality and the joys of being together over chilaquiles and orange juice. Here are a few of the interesting ladies we shared our morning meal with.



Activator Role: Digital Producer at CNN International

From: London, UK

What does it mean to be undiscovered?

Being undiscovered means that you’re working under the radar; you may have really cool ideas, but the wider public doesn’t know about them. It’s one of the reasons that motivated me to become a TEDx organizer. My community  is full of people who have great ideas and are doing great stuff. They don’t necessarily have important connections and aren’t being celebrated on the world stage, but their ideas are just as valid.

What about your work is yet to be discovered?

I work as a digital journalist, so I’m always trying to discover how to push the boundaries of our storytelling digitally. For example, I was really impressed by new York Times “Snowfall” article. At CNN International we have a very global outlook, and I also would love more people to discover what we’re doing and how we link storytelling all over the world.

What are you most curious about?

I love the lifehacking movement. I’d like to be able to manage my time more efficiently. I’m a mom, I work full time, I’m a TEDx organizer, among other commitments. I’m curious about how to work smarter and have better life harmony.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I’m really good at Scrabble and Words with Friends. I’m quite competitive at it, in fact.

What’s the last song played on your iPod?

I love to listen to gospel music in the morning. It really centers me and helps me start the day in a peaceful way. This morning I listened to a really cool song called “Like the Dew.”



Activator Role: Founder, CatalystCreativ

From:  Originally from New Jersey, now lives in Venices, NYC, and Las Vegas

Why are you excited about the work you do?

I started a company with the Downtown Project that builds community for socially conscious ventures. I have a background in both education and hospitality, but wanted to combine those two things into one company. We do a speaker’s series every month where we curate 30 individuals from around the country to speak to communities that have been really hit hard by the recession and are trying to start their lives over. The speakers give 15-minute, filmed talks that are really about vulnerability, failure, and humanity. We’ve also created ways for the audience to connect and engage with speakers via our Catalyst Community Board, as well as creating a co-working and co-living space for traveling speakers.

Why do you do what you do?

I want to create more engaged and aware individuals in the world, because I want to create more active participants in making the world a better place. I learned early on that my skill is brinigng people together. I’ve built a business around that skill with the intention of doing good and making money at the same time. We should all be driven by purpose, but with the intention of doing business in a good way.

What are you curious about? 

I’m obsessed with systems. I believe my generation is the one that is responsible for bridging the gap between our parents’ generation and the one that follows ours. The next generation is even faster than us and more aware of the world, and we need to fix the systems that are broken so this next generation can come in and create. I believe we need to change the way education, philanthropy, and business work by applying the entrepreneurial spirit into each of these systems.

Read any interesting books lately?

The three books that changed my life are “The Emperor’s Handbook” by Marcus Aurelius,  The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, and Intuition by Osho.


Activator Role: Organizational Development at Phillip Morris

From: Argentina

What does it mean to you to be a woman in your field?

As women, we have an opportunity to grown in terms of participation and decision-making. The reality is that we are still a minority in the world, especially in the corporate world. As long as we believe in the power we have and the equality of human beings, we will keep the momentum of pushing business participation for women forward.

What about your work is still undiscovered?

I still have yet to discover how we might bring this sharing platform TED has created into the corporate world. There’s a huge opportunity to make a big difference within companies. I believe that you can do business well but at the same time transform people’s lives. I’m interested in discovering how we can mix the concept of social entrepreneurship and the TED method of sharing within the corporate world.

What are you most curious about?

One of my biggest questions for myself is “How can I make a difference?” I’m most curious about how to find that answer. I’ve realized through TED that we need to start by doing something small in order to get to something really big.

What are you looking forward to this week?

I want to bring home an idea that I can implement. My expectation from this week is that I will get to know as many people as I can and start gathering ideas on how to transform what I believe into action.

Read anything good lately?

I have been moving around a lot lately, and I’ve found it very difficult to keep a routine. I’m reading a book now called The Power of Habit. I’m interesting in learning about how we can build and create routines and habits that stick, even amidst a very fast-paced lifestyle.