About Alena


Alena Zhaliazniak can be described as an explorer of ideas adrift without a country; as a mother and an environmental economist or as a hedonistic cook and diner. By some she is viewed as passionate or exuberant. While others perceive her as a critic putting a damper on things, which yet more see as having a dose of practical reality. A phoenix product of a failing state, Belarus; an array of universities in 3 countries; work and life experience forging the ability to quickly adjust; Alena is also a keen veggie gardener and amateur homesteader. Doing translations for TED was born of the desire to share with her father that which excites her.

TED Conference

TEDWomen 2013

An idea worth spreading

If we don't love ourselves how can we love the planet that is our home? Start with accepting you for you and clean up your home.

I'm passionate about

finding good humor in every situation, environmental issues, mothering

Talk to me about

Environmental issues, homesteading, Belarus and South Africa, teaching climate change and EFL, how knowledge is not wisdom

People don't know I'm good at

Vegetable-gardening,composting and wormeries, metaphysics and spiritual understanding of the world,Toastmaster speaking, diaper-free babies, taking charge, taking risks, alleviating boredom

My TED story

Being a mother is wonderful and tedious at times. When breast-feeding, one's brain requires inspiration and challenge and I found both in first watching and then translating TEDTalks. Encouraged by the skillful manager of the Russian section (A. Autaeu) I co-started a new language section in TED, Belarusian. So now each talk gets scanned by me not only for the usual inspiration, knowledge and a sense of awe, but also for adaptability to the role of a mother and translatability into a dying language.

Favorite talks