Category Archives: Attendee Profile

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.

Meet TEDActive’s Four-Legged Attendees

8511200112_45e1b38293_bPerhaps you have seen them wandering the red carpets of TEDActive. Peeking around La Quinta corners. Spreading ideas from MIT’s lesser-known Center for Kibbles and Bits. They have certainly garnered their fair share of attention on and off the TEDActive stage this year, so we thought they deserved a paw-per introduction (hold all further puppy puns).


Gander, an assistance labradoodle from China stretches after an exhausting debate over the future of technology and progress with is owner Lonnie Hodge.


Sneaky, a chihuahua and terrier mix who hails from the West LA Pound, spends her days causing trouble at the silkscreen station with her mom Annie of Hit+Run.  


Flash, rescue dog and 2-year TEDActive attendee keeps a careful eye on the TEDActive audience with his doggie daddy John Bates.


Four-month old French bulldog Cholula, easily one of the favorites has been keeping TEDActive host Rives good company for his owner Mariana.

TEDActive attendee Andrew Peek was so moved by the puppy presence, that he has, over the past 2 days, been convinced by fellow Activators that a new dog is in his near future. For those of you still on the fence about owning a dog, here are some reasons why you should make the leap, straight from the mouths of TEDActivators.


Meet 3: TEDYou Skillshare Teachers


TEDActive teamed up with Skillshare, a platform that helps people learn anything from anyone, to bring a new form of the TEDYou talk this year. Six attendees were selected to deliver six-minute tutorial talks. For the first time ever, we livestreamed the session, free to the public. You can see an archive of today’s session on our Facebook page. We caught up with 3 of the speakers below.




Activator Role: Co-founder of Skillshare

From: New York City

What is still undiscovered about your work or your mission?

One thing we’re spending a lot of time trying to figure out is how people should learn today. If we had to build education from the ground up for the 21st century, what would it look like today and what should it look like in the future? We’re trying to discover what learning could look like in the future if it was based around passion, curiosity, creativity, collaboration and all of those things that make learning really awesome.

What are you most curious about right now?

Right now I’m most curious about my own creativity as well as a curiosity around relationships and the people I’m surrounded with. One of the things I’ve been thinking a lot about this year is balance, balance between work and everything else. I’ve been especially curious about how to tap back into my own creativity. I’ve started taking a lot of classes on film and photography in the hopes that one day I can make some short documentaries.

What are you most looking forward to this week at TEDActive?

I’m really looking forward to experiencing TEDActive from beginning to end. I’m here without an agenda and want to hang out, immerse myself in the community, and see what happens.

Share something cool you’ve discovered recently.

Right now I’m obsessed with Eddie Huang. He’s a TED2013 Fellow and just wrote a book called “Fresh Off the Boat“. (He also has a show on Vice by the same name.) What I really liked about his book was the consistent theme about what it was like to grow up as a minority in his country. I felt like I could totally relate to everything he was saying. It sounds so simple, but I think what he is trying to say is just “be yourself.”

Michael recommends you check out this episode where Eddie goes back to Taiwan with his father.

What song are you listening to on repeat?

I really like the new Kendrick Lamar song featuring Drake.




Activator Role: Radiation Oncologist

From: Corona, CA

What are you most curious about?

I’m curious about people and what makes them tick. Each individual has a story and it’s always fascinating to learn their passions and their drives and their motivations and their fears and their vulnerabilities.

What was something that made you smile today?

Hugging my TED friends! They’re like my family. It’s good to be back – I’ve been coming for 2 years, but I didn’t get to come last year, so seeing them today has been like a welcome home party.

What are you looking forward to this week at TEDActive?

I’m really excited about meeting more new and interesting people with different ideas that will help drive me in my own passions and make me  a better person.

Share something cool you’ve recently discovered.

I’m always mesmerized that Bhutan doesn’t have a GNP or a GDP but has Gross National Happiness. That one fact led me to travel there a few years ago. I was just fascinated because a country that thrives from living on happiness is something that we should all learn from.

Check out this TEDTalk by Chip Conley for more info about Gross National Happiness.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Mindy Kaling’s book “Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me (And Other Concerns)” and loved it!

What song are you listening to on repeat?

I love Thrift Shop by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis!




Activator Role: Co-Founders of Fallen Fruit

From: Los Angeles

What do you want people to discover through your work?

What we’re really talking about is sharing and the idea that sharing is the most radical thing we can do. This is a really exciting thing to share as a skill: we can share food in cities, we can share conversation, we can just be there together. It’s an incredible social experiment we’ve created where it doesn’t matter who you are or where you fit into society and that’s something we really want people to discover for themselves.

What are you most curious about? 

I’m really curious about being present and showing up and what that means. I think through Fallen Fruit, it’s become really clear to us that showing up is in fact a way of sharing. To just be present is one of the most important ways we can share. I’m really interested in that concept.

What are you most looking forward to this week at TEDActive?

I want to apply those tools that I’m thinking about: really being present and listening.

What song are you listening to on repeat?

Juanita Banana from our Banana Hotline Playlist.

Be sure to check out Fallen Fruit’s Banana Oracle in the Lab this week at TEDActive.