Fourth Edition of TEDxNYUAD Challenges Social Preconceptions Through Inspiring Personal Stories

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi's fourth TEDx conference — TEDxNYUAD — presented 11 inspirational and thought-provoking talks on Saturday at the Blue Hall at The Arts Center at NYUAD.

Designed to allow independent organizers to create TED events anywhere in the world, TEDx promotes the concept that innovative ideas are worth spreading and should provoke new dimensions of thought. NYU Abu Dhabi’s speakers offered a collection of varied and dynamic personal experiences that illustrated a diverse range of achievements, challenges, aspirations and passions.

The fourth conference for TEDxNYUAD featured speakers from across the globe, who highlighted global issues through accounts of individual struggles, socio-political topics as well as cultural creativity that challenged how the world around us is perceived.

Robert Gordon, Class of 2020, said: “The ideas that have been showcased throughout the four year history of TEDxNYUAD have truly been important discussion topics as well as learning points from a pool of immensely diverse people. As the brilliant ideas outlined are pivotal to a successful TEDxNYUAD, it is the job of the organizing team to select a theme that is encompassing, yet not generic.”

Gordon continued: “This year’s theme, Bookmarks, was chosen because of its applicability to human lives. We believed bookmarks, similarly to the ones used in books, are noteworthy events in our lives that have helped us grow and serve as fundamental building blocks on which we reminisce when we are in times of struggle. The speakers were exclusively chosen from the student, faculty and staff body of NYUAD based on their applications, in which they detailed their idea and its relevance to the theme.”

Among the talks held throughout the evening, sophomore Luis Francisco Gonzalez took the lessons he learned on the importance of conversation in diverse communities such as that at NYU Abu Dhabi, and shared with the audience ideas on how conversation can be used to develop identities and build bridges between cultures.

Challenging psychological concepts, sophomore Nat Launder offered an alternative view to what it means to be injured in a way that cannot be seen, measured, or definitively diagnosed. While investigating cultural talent, senior Gabrielle Flores presented the secrets to her award-winning homegrown comedy.

Other talks covered topics ranging from how to overcome adversity and achieve your goals, bridging the gap between academia and the corporate world, re-conceptualizing our perception of failure, exploring the concept of having a vision, and establishing equality in society.

TED Talks are renowned around the globe for their empowering subjects, focusing on themes such as innovation, perspective and alternative thinking. Founded in 1984, TED has been established as a global platform for people across the world to share their ideas and stories with their local communities.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.