TEDxNYUAD: Challenging the Status Quo

Speakers at the TEDxNYUAD posing with the X sign of TEDx.

On April 19, NYU Abu Dhabi's first TEDx conference — TEDxNYUAD — brings 11 inspirational and innovative talks to the NYUAD community and public.

Most of us have heard of TED Talks. These awe-inspiring, empowering talks revolve around the theme of innovation, change and thinking differently. TED has become a global phenomenon because it provides a platform for people to share their ideas and stories.

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission: ideas worth spreading. It supports independent organizers who want to create a TED-like event in their own community.

I am part of the TEDxNYUAD organizing team because I believe in the power of ideas and TED Talks have greatly influenced the way I see the world.


Ramina Sotoudeh, Class of 2015

In a university that is still new and building from a blank slate, the student body has many varied and dynamic experiences that go unshared. Within this diverse community, countless students have incredible stories and ideas inspired by their achievements, struggles, aspirations, experiences, interests and passions. This year’s speakers will talk about an array of topics and ideas that question how we view the world and the ideas we hold.

Register online to attend real-time video streaming events of the talks. We hope you will join us to unearth ideas and experiences that redefine the concepts of home and authenticity, provide a fresh look on traditions and video games, change the way we see — or don’t see — chess, and show the true power of youth.

The Speakers

TEDxNYUAD will feature speakers from the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Chile, Ethiopia, India, Montenegro, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Qatar. But the talks go beyond the boundaries of the speakers’ nations and will relate to and resonate with global issues, individual struggles, socio-political matters and technological advancements.

Charlotte De Bekker
Charlotte, a Dutch artist and filmmaker who grew up in Ras Al Khaimah, surrounded by Ikea furniture and caught in hipster angst, will question her previous conceptualizations and attempts at constructing authenticity.

Maitha Al Memari
As a young Emirati woman wearing the Abaya, Maitha is exposed to continuous questions regarding her choice of dress. She will explore how the Abaya is not a form of oppression, but a form of expression.

Sam Ridgeway
An avid traveller with a passion for science and film, Sam will question the idea of ‘home’ and what this means to him.

Hayat Seid
Everyone has a story. How do we make sure that our voices are heard and our stories are told the right way?

Jovan Jovancevic
Jovan who became the youngest competitor at the Montenegro National Youth Chess Competition at the age of five, will talk about the game of blindfold chess, and what it tells us about who we are.

Sara Al Shamlan
A Qatari social entrepreneur, Sara will talk about how curiosity and unlikely interactions with those different from herself led her to reevaluate her life and find a passion worth pursuing.

Vasily Rudchenko
Vasily is a Ukrainian engineering student and technology enthusiast whose team won the UAE Drones for Good Award 2015. He will talk about how innovation should always have a purpose.

Amer Nasr
Amer led one of Brazil’s largest peaceful campaigns against corruption and will talk about how individuals, especially youth, have the potential to change the world.

Mohit Mandal
Through his interactions with the immigrant communities, Mohit will recount the many stories he's stumbled upon while playing street cricket.

Attilio Rigotti
By combining his passion and love for theater and video games, Attilio will take us on an exciting journey of finding the heroes in ourselves.