x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Look on the bright side

This event occurred on
February 28, 2015
9:00am - 6:00pm WET
(UTC +0hrs)
Marrakech Medina, MMD

The theme of this years TEDx Marrakech is meant to be a little playful, with images of Monty Python’s Eric, suspended on his cross joyfully singing away in the setting sun.

However as a statement it also raises many questions.

Are positive thought always powerful?
Does having a sunny disposition make you live longer or simply drive others mad?
Do we need to balance optimism with realism, light with dark?
Do those in power control with fear and negativity?
Is an overly cautious approach to life ever a force for good?

Riad El Fenn
Derb Moullay Abdullah Ben Hezzian
Marrakech Medina, MMD, 40000
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Marrakesh events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alia Radman

Alia Radman (1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American photographer and digital storyteller. She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America. During her travels, Alia has been inspired by the landscape, people, culture and cuisine. Being frustrated with words and the futility of verbal language, she turned to multi-media to portray her experiences, travels and views. She is convinced that the most universal language is not verbal, but sensory, and to achieve a more understanding world, we should learn to communicate more through our senses than our words. Alia's most recent project, I SPEAK IN IMAGE, is a compilation of photos, taken daily, over the span of 100 days. She has taken on an infinity shaped voyages from Morocco, Tanzania/Zanzibar, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nepal and West Bengal, India. She is a graduate of the United World College of the Atlantic (UWCAC) and Wellesley College where she studied Middle Eastern Studies and Studio Art with a concentration in film. Alia has lived in Yemen, Wales, the United States, Vietnam and is currently based in Marrakech, Morocco.

Geraldine Cox

Geraldine Cox is an award winning artist who originally trained in physics before studying painting. Since 2011 she has been working at the Imperial College London, Department of Physics on her project ‘Finding Patterns’, which searches for new ways to communicate our knowledge to more minds. Finding Patterns is a unique experiment that explores the expressive power of art to share so much of Nature that is hidden from the view of everyday life. Geraldine is recipient of multiple awards that include two Arts Council Awards and the Leverhulme Trust Artist in Residence Award. In 2013 the Imagine Science Film Festival selected two of her short films for screening in New York. Other recent exhibitions include ‘Beyond Ourselves’ at the Royal Society, ‘Poems about Light’ at Imperial College and the MK Fringe National Painting Prize where Geraldine was a finalist. Geraldine works in varied media: drawing, painting, writing and film through to large scale installations such as giant billboards and a Sun powered pop up cinema; she also gives illustrated talks; all with the aim of sharing the experience of discovery and some of the beautiful things we know through art.

Giulio Bonazzi

Born in Verona in 1963, he graduated in Business Economics from the University of Venice. In 1987 he started his career, working in the family business. After a year working in the commercial and technical divisions of Aquafil, he attended a six-month training course at Horizon Carpet in the United States. In 1989 he became assistant production manager at the Arco plant, and a year later took over management of the division. He was also involved in the move to Slovenia, assisting with the acquisition of the Kranj factory. In 1994 he returned to Aquafil, working on the acquisition of Julon d.d., an enterprise which was to become a fundamental asset for the Group. Between 1995 and 1998 he held the office of General Manager at Julon, relocating with his family to Slovenia. In 1999 he returned to Italy as Vice Chairman of Aquafil, before becoming Chairman of the group in 2008. At the end of 2011, he was elected as President of CIRFS, the European Association of the man-made fiber producers.

Dr. Mariana Bozesan

Dr. Bozesan is the leading authority on Integral Investing, a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a full member in the Club of Rome. She is Partner at AQAL Capital, an integral investment company and Founder of AQAL Investing, a family office. Over the past 18 years, she has been an investor in high-tech, clean-tech, and health-tech. She is an advisor on integral sustainability to various funds, businesses, and governmental organizations in Germany, China, the U.S. and The Netherlands. She is furthermore a prominent keynote speaker and an inspiring lecturer at prestigious organizations including Stanford University and RIO+20. The trained computer scientist has published numerous scientific papers and several books. Educated at Stanford University and KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology), Mariana holds an M.S. degree (Dipl.-Inform.) in AI and Computer Science from KIT, and a Ph.D. from ITP in Palo Alto, California. Her Integral Investing model is based on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory.

Vincent Mellili

Vincent Melilli est né et a grandi à Casablanca. A 18 ans, après son bac, il quitte le Maroc et poursuit des études de théâtre, de littérature et de cinéma à Paris.Au début des années 80, avec des amis, il crée, programme et dirige des salles de cinéma à Paris (Escurial et Max Linder).De 1996 à 1998, il occupe le poste de Secrétaire Général de la Maison de la Culture de Bourges.Il a ensuite dirigé l’Institut Français de Marrakech de 1998 à 2002 puis occupé le poste d’Attaché Audiovisuel et de Directeur de l’Institut Français du Royaume-Uni à Londres jusqu’en 2004.Avec Suzanna Biedermann, Il a fondé l’Ecole Supérieure des Arts Visuels de Marrakech dont il assure aujourd’hui la Direction Générale.

Jesus Greus

Jesus Greus was born in Madrid. He graduated in English from the London Institute of Linguists. He has contributed in the past to several Spanish newspapers, Liberation du Maroc and, now, to several digital literary magazines. He has worked as a translator for various publishing houses in Madrid. As a lecturer, he has been invited by the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris; the Sorbone University; the association Le Monde Autour du Livre, in Bordeaux; the Center of Arab-Portuguese Studies, in Silves, Portugal; the Fundacion Arte y Cultura in Madrid and many more. He is also a musician who has played in a range of fusion music groups. He has been cultural director of the Cervantes Institute in Marrakech, where he now belongs to different cultural foundations. He has published several novels and short stories, theatre plays and he is the author of two scripts.

Clive Alderton

Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco and Her Majesty’s non resident Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. Mr Clive Alderton has been Ambassador to Morocco since December 2012. His previous appointment was as a Member of The Royal Household from 2006 until 2012, where he served as Deputy Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall 2006 - 2008. Mr Alderton was promoted to the rank of Private Secretary to Their Royal Highnesses 2009-2012. Mr Alderton joined the FCO in 1986 and has served overseas in Poland, Belgium (European Union), Singapore and France. Clive Alderton is married to Catriona Canning and has two children.

Oliver Bienkowski

In 1982, Oliver Bienkowski was born in Kassel, Germany. After finalizing school with focus on business informatics he founded his own company for cyber security. He sold his company in 2006 and realized several different projects, founded his own association and received two awards for his social engagement from "attac" and "". Beside these activities he started to work as a Guerilla-Artist and developed different "streetbranding-promotions" on behalf of companies. During this time he also started his first political light projections. In 2008 he irradiated buildings of the Hypo Real Estate in Munich, in relation to the financial crisis, with a quote from an old german music hit „Wer soll das bezahlen, wer hat das bestellt, wer hat so viel Pinke-Pinke, wer hat so viel Geld?". This is a question asking the people who should pay for all of that, who has all that money? In 2013 he illuminated the American embassies in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Frankfurt in regards to the NSA scandal with the slogan „United Stasi of America" and „Don't spy on us". He also illuminated the cathedral of Limburg with the sentence from one of the ten commandments „Du sollst nicht stehlen" / "Thou shalt not steal" as the german bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van-Elst was in the media because of wasting a lot of money from the church for his cathedral and private house. In 2014 Bienkowski also projected the slogan "Liberty, Fraternity, Polygamy" on the french parliament building in Paris. During this time the french president Hollande was critizised for his extramarital love affair. Bienkowski was invited to the German Light Festival in Berlin several times. His light artistic projections are a well discussed through-out German medias. As a social activist he takes a firm stand against social injustice in different ways.

Echo Collins-Keegan

Echo spent her childhood both in Barcelona and travelling around the world, paving the way to her love of discovering new cultures and adapting to them, finding our points in common. When she was 18 she travelled to India spending time in an ashram and working in a hospital in rural Tamil Nadu where she worked with people with leprosy and children with AIDS. Since then she has worked on an AIDS project in Tanzania, a feminist performance art piece for Tate Modern, has translated books and directed plays. After she got her Masters from the London School of Economics Echo joined ACCESS Health International ( She arrived alone in Morocco, with some seed funding and some big ideas. Almost two years later ACCESS Health Morocco is on its way to becoming established. Echo has signed a partnership with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Health to re-design the school refractive program with a pilot project looking to provide high quality glasses to 5000 children in the region of Marrakech. She is also writing a book about how to set up innovative eye care systems in low middle and high income countries based on some extraordinary hospitals in India.

Richard Reed

Richard Reed is the co-founder of innocent, the No.1 smoothie brand in Europe. The business was started from a market stall in 1999 by Richard and two friends and has grown into a business with a turnover of over £200m, selling in 15 different countries across Europe. The innocent business is led by a mission to ‘taste good and do good’, and gives ten percent of profits each year to charity. The founders recently sold their controlling stake in innocent to Coca Cola in a deal valuing the business at over half a billion dollars and remain on the board as minority shareholders. As well as co-founding Innocent, Richard is the co founder of Jam Jar Investments, a company that backs young entrepreneurs; the co-founder of Art Everywhere, the world’s largest art show; and the co founder of The Reed Page Foundation, a personal charity that funds peace-brokering and environmental protection initiatives across the world. Richard is also Chairman of the innocent foundation, a Patron of Peace One Day and has at various stages in his career been a non-Executive at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, a director of the human rights charity Videre and a government advisor on entrepreneurship. Richard and innocent’s awards include winning E&Y’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Britain’s Greatest Business at ITV’s Great Britons Awards; Most Admired Business Leader by Marketing magazine; National Business Awards’ Small/Medium Business of the Year, and Orange Innovative Company of the Year.

Christoph Santner

Christoph Santner started his career as a TV- and radio-journalist in 1984 in Austria and Germany and specialised on the topics of future and innovation. Over the years he has interviewed over 2,000 inspiring people from around the world including: visionaries, futurists, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and scientists. He also recently visited 30 future labs and co-creation-centers of leading companies. Christoph organizes future camps and future-focused conferences like the WeimarerVisionen and the InnovationBoostCamp. With he provides a platform where people from all walks of life have the opportunity to support each other in realizing their projects, ideas and visions. RealMakers also organises conferences where entrepreneurs have the chance to present their projects in front of a panel of investors, managers, journalists and experts from various fields with the aim of arousing both interest and support. As an innovation consultant he has worked for companies like: Sixt, BMW / BMWi, Audi, VW, European Patent Office, various financial institutions and for organisations with a focus on environmental and social matters. Christoph is an active speaker and moderator for future- and innovation conferences around the world. In summary Christoph´s passions lie in encouraging individuals and companies not only to be inspired and excited about innovations but also to embrace their future. Because our future becomes what WE make of it!

Organizing team


Berlin, Germany
  • Vanessa Branson
  • Abdelhamid Bousaadi
    Project Coordinator