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RISE Center at AUK Hosts its First TEDxAUK Conference

The Center for Research in Informatics, Sciences, and Engineering (RISE) at AUK was proud to host the first TEDxAUK Conference at the University campus. In May of last year, RISE was granted the TEDx event license to organize a university event within 12 months of receiving the license.

TEDx, an independently organized event, is a curated live experience, bringing speakers, artists and audience members together with the purpose of sharing perspective and deep discussions around ideas that matter.

The theme for this year's event was "RISE"- embracing life's challenges, overcoming adversity, learning, personal growth, and self-actualization. TEDxAUK brought together a diverse group of speakers from Kuwait and around the world including entrepreneurs, media leaders, scientists, innovators, and poets to discuss what RISE means to them. The talks focused on innovative ways to inspire learning and growth in others, whether in traditional educational settings or alterative learning spaces.

TEDxAUK Speakers discussed experiences with the purpose of sharing perspective, sparking deep discussions, and inspiring positive networks and impactful actions around ideas that matter. Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney touched on the importance of creativity in everyone's life-everyone is capable of being creative, but not everyone always has access to the right tools to be creative. Monique Morrow, president and co-founder of the Humanized Internet addressed the potential consequences of the new era of digital identity. Nicolla Hewitt, a seasoned US media executive and former producer shared her journey as an underdog who beat all odds against her to get to where she is now. Jacob Gordon, a rocket scientist from MIT spoke about the importance of not rationing your passion. Bahareh Azizi, a consultant at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) & Oxford fellow, shared how she learned life's most important lessons from science throughout her career. Engy Ibrahim, an AUK student and Vice President of Kuwait Poets Society, spoke about clich├ęs and how they can guide us to be more authentic. Fatmah Qadfan, the first drama therapist in Kuwait, shared her journey of discovering the power of drama therapy and bringing it home to Kuwait. Hussain Mushtaq, a carpet weaving artist and business owner opened the eyes of the audience to the importance of cultivating new markets for the ancient tradition of carpet weaving and sustaining the old ways to preserve cultural heritage. Fashion Designer Deana Shaaban led the audience to reflect on how our choice of clothing is one of the most important and obvious forms of self-expression as it allows us to decide who we want to be.

Director of RISE Center and TEDxAUK Curator, Dr. Amir Zeid described the TEDxAUK experience as a journey for people to reflect upon their own ups and downs in life with inspiration from the speakers who "will help us RISE above challenges, perhaps through seeing things with new eyes...or by connecting ideas that we never thought are related, or maybe, by reviving an old dream that was once forgotten." The significance of the event was evident in the positive response received from audience members, as Dr. Amir elaborates, "Several TEDxAUK talks have been uploaded to the TEDx Youtube page and have already gained a collective total of over 30,000 views. This is a testament to our speakers' engaging tales and positive takeaway on the importance of RISEing."


Duncan Wardle - Former Head of Innovation & Creativity @ Disney

Engy Ibrahim - AUK Student and Vice President of Kuwait Poets Society

Fatmah Al-Qadfan - Drama Therapist and AUK Alumni (Class of 2008)

Monique Morrow - President and Co-Founder of the Humanized Internet

Nicolla Hewitt - Seasoned US Media Executive & Former Producer at ABC, CBS, NBC & Yahoo

Jacob Gordon - Rocket Scientist

Bahareh Azizi - Consultant at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) & Oxford Fellow

Hussain Mushtaq - Carpet Weaving Artist, Business Owner, and Humanitarian

Deana Shaaban - Fashion Designer and Performance Training Specialist

For further updates and announcements on the event, please follow the account @tedxauk on Instagram.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 16th May 2018

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