x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
April 20, 2012
5:00pm - 10:00pm EEST
(UTC +3hrs)
Blagoevgrad, 01

TEDxAUBG is the first TEDx event in the history of the American University in Bulgaria. Our team is working hard to have a successful start to the event, which we are planning to have every year from now on. We tried to make a very diverse list of speakers with great variety of topics presented. Some of the speakers are Bulgarians, while some of the speakers are coming from abroad.

BAC Auditorium
Al. Stamboliyski, 54
Blagoevgrad, 01, 2700
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dilyan Pavlov

Dilyan Pavlov is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded and managed several software companies. The first one, Netage Solutions, was started back in 1998. It developed and marketed DynamoTM, the premier software-as-a-service front-office product for investment banks in the USA and Europe. In 2006, Dilyan also helped co-found and manage ComMetric and ComEq, two other software firms specializing in high-speed digital processing of communications data to analyze the impact of media on company reputation and stock prices. Previously to that, Dilyan worked as an analyst and then manager in investment banks such as the Bulgarian-American Enterprise Fund, KPMG Barents Group and Europa Capital Management. He managed the acquisition of several large industrial enterprises and their post-privatization restructuring and development. Dilyan holds BA degree in Business Administration and Applied Economics from the American University in Bulgaria. He also attended for 2 years the film directing class at the National Academy of Theater and Film Arts (NATFIZ “Krustyo Sarafov”).

Sam Potolicchio

Sam Potolicchio teaches Politics and Public Policy and Research Methods for the Semester in Washington Program at Georgetown University. At Georgetown, Potolicchio has taught courses on Presidential Rhetoric, Religion and Politics, Constitutional Law, and the United States Political System. He is the founding faculty member and academic member of the Preparing Global Leaders Summit in Moscow, Russia at the Russian Presidential Academy and the Preparing Global Leaders Institute in Tetovo, Macedonia at SEEU. He is also the academic director for Georgetown’s Global Visiting Student Program. Potolicchio was named by the Princeton Review as one of the “Best Professors in America” in 2012. He has won numerous teaching awards at Georgetown and the K.Patricia Cross Award from the American Association of Colleges and Universities as one of the future leaders of American higher education in 2011. He is the lecturer on American Federalism for the Open World Leadership program at the Library of Congress, where he speaks weekly to visiting dignitaries from the post-Soviet republics. Potolicchio’s book chapters on Religion and Politics have been published in volumes by Congressional Quarterly Press and Oxford University Press. He has delivered keynote lectures internationally at over 70 different universities in 24 countries. Potolicchio has taught students during his summers from almost 100 different countries. He is currently the lecturer on American Politics at Georgetown’s Global Education Institute where he lectures to government officials and businessmen from China and Japan. Potolicchio also serves as an administrator at the Landon School and as a basketball coach has guided his team, the Jelleff Hoyas to 6 undefeated championship seasons. He was educated at Georgetown and Harvard.

Mark Trocinski

Mark Trocinski …is stunningly good looking. No… that’s not right. Professor Mark Trocinski is stunningly good-looking. There. Much better. That’s pretty much all you need to know. But if you want more…. Mark Trocinski is the assistant professor of business administration at American University in Bulgaria. He teaches classes in business law as part of the curriculum in the business major. Prior to moving to Blagoevgrad, Professor Trocinski practiced law in Madison, Wisconsin and Minneapolis, Minnesota. His law practice was transactional and regulatory. In his regulatory practice, he focused on finding solutions for companies and individuals whose business strategies and ideas were subject to regulatory oversight. On the transactional side, he worked with various entities to close deals in both asset and stock transactions. Trocinski is a graduate of the law school at the University of Iowa. While in Iowa City he also earned an MBA from the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. Prior to that he earned two B.A. degrees, one in economics and one in political science, from Grinnell College (where he also participated in varsity football and track & field). Given that life in Bulgaria is Trocinski’s first time living outside of United States, he is enjoying the opportunity to view his home country from an outside perspective. He is also enjoying learning the culture of Bulgaria (the culture is much easier to learn than the language) and traveling throughout Europe and north Africa. (the adventures of Trocinski and his wife, Anne, are detailed at

Vladimir Borachev

Vladimir Borachev is a three-in-one character. He is in his second year of career break as Director with Avon Cosmetics, where he has managed six countries in the region ofSoutheast Europe. Currently, he is practicing his professional hobby in helping leaders at different levels to enlarge their professional and personal potential, via management coaching and personalized workshops.Vladimiris also a visiting professor at the AUBG EMBA program, where he has developed and taught in 2010 and 2011 a course in Business Communications. Vladimiris among the first graduates of theAmericanUniversityinBulgaria– he received his Bachelor degree in Business Administration in 1995 and AUBG has a special place in his heart. He has served on the AUBG Board of Trustees and is currently a member of the University Council. Vladimirfinished his MBA inIESEBusinessSchoolinSpain. Before pursuing a career in #1 Cosmetics Company – AVON, Borachev worked for Xerox in Bulgaria and the region of Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. During his 14 years with Xerox and Avon, he has held 11 management positions in sales, marketing and general management. His colleagues, clients and students describe him as a very positive, energetic, passionate, and hard-working leader. Vladimir claims that his biggest achievement in life is being a father of two amazing boys.

Kamelia Dimitrova

A social policy addict guilty of some minor yet beneficial flings with the fields of journalism and public relations. Adventures aside, Kamelia’s professional experience is in the public policy sector and the non-profit world. Her career spans in fields that may seem diverse but are highly interrelated – human trafficking, human rights and integration of vulnerable groups. She worked on counter-trafficking at the International Organization for Migration, focusing on prevention among Roma identified as risk group. Her next position at the Open Society Institute – Sofia as Roma Programme Coordinator and later on — Acting Director – allowed her to expand her perception of the challenges of the social inclusion of this ethnic minority. Kamelia is currently a Research Fellow at the the Center for the Study of Democracy – a Bulgarian think tank that is as old as Bulgarian democracy itself — and is exploring methods for effective integration of migrants (including victims of trafficking) and minorities. The thin red line that cuts across her professional experience is the belief that social inclusion of vulnerable groups – be it minorities or migrants – benefits the groups themselves and society as a whole. Kamelia Dimitrova graduated AUBG in 2001 with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and Southeastern European Studies. In 2003, a healthy mix of naïveté and inspiration to work for social justice motivated her to leave her first job – a promising position in public realtions – and pursue an MA degree in Human Rights from the University of Sarajevo and University of Bologna – a decisions she has never since regretted.

Lacey Cope

Her interest in music led to involvement with several AUBG musicals and the founding of Svetlina, a women’s folklore vocal ensemble. Although not a born Bulgarian, Lacey has the Bulgarian spirit in her vocal cords and in her feet, in her mind and in her heart. They say she can dance 70 dances, most of them Bulgarian. She is the founder, manager and conductor of a female folklore ensemble, called “Svetlina” (or “Light”). Cope was also named Presidential Medalist for 2012 in recognition of her outstanding academic record, respect for the liberal arts tradition, and clear commitment to community service. Cope has served as a volunteer in East European Folklife Center (EEFC) for the last seven years. She is an active supporter of AUBG, working in the admissions office and in the university’s relations office to recruit new students and promote the university’s mission. Most recently, Cope did an internship in Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs at United States Department of State. She is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Anthropology and is planning to have a career in cultural diplomacy.

Oleg Yordanov

Oleg Yordanov studied at Sofia University obtaining M.S. degree in Theoretical Physics. After graduating in 1977 he was appointed as a researcher in the Institute of Electronics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, from where he gained his doctorate. At the institute he carried out theoretical and computational studies in low-temperature plasma physics, rough surface scattering and radiophysical remote sensing of the environment. Later, his research broadened to fractal models in physics, random fields and chaotic systems. In the last few years, he is fascinated by the applications of physical methods /modeling to social processes; applications that are the seeds of a whole new discipline – sociophysics. O. Yordanov held long term visiting research and teaching positions in Virginia Tech, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington State University, Pullman, USA; Université de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium; and University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Between 1997 and 2006 he has been teaching General education and Math courses in the American University of Bulgaria, where has been serving as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Chair of the Faculty Assembly. Currently he is Head of the Microwave Physics and Technology and Vice-chair of the scientific council at the Institute of Electronics, and is member of the General Assembly – the ruling body of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. He is also adjunct professor of physics at the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, the capital of Nigeria. He is member of Governing Board of the Union of the Physicists in Bulgaria, serves as Vice editor-in-chief of the journal The World of Physics. He is also member of the American Physical Society. O. Yordanov has taught variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on three continents in Physics, Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, and Mathematical Economics, including Physics and Astronomy for non-science majors. He is a frequent contributor of science and science policy columns to some of the national newspapers and magazines: “24 hours” daily, “Politika” weekly, Europost weekly, “Duma” daily, Nature and “Tema”.

Maria Spirova

Journalist and a social media researcher who doesn’t know when to shut up. When people wish to be polite, they call her outspoken.At dangerously early age she was exposed to lethal doses of Latin, Greek philosophy and cultural anthropology, as well as a decidedly unhealthy amount of French, British and Russian classics. The result was an eclectic biography, including a Criminology degree from Oxford University, a stint as an police auxillary night patrol in upstate New York, an editorial internship at the National Geographic, and more than six years of reporting/editing/staff writing for diverse Bulgarian media spanning from the Bulgarian News Agency through Capital Weekly to Glamour magazine and other lifestyle publications. At Glamour, where she is still Editor-at-Large, Maria has written extensively on sexual culture, reporductive issues, domestic violence, gendered workforce inequality, victim-blaming in rape, casual racism, and other social phenomena. She has collaborated with American journalists in Asia to bring original coverage of sex trafficking to the magazine, highlighting the troubling statistics that puts Bulgria in the Top 8 countries of origin for persons trafficked through the global sex trade. Last year, she was awarded First Prize in an international media contest sponsored by the EU Directorate of Justice, Freedom and Security for an article about contemporary drug use in Bulgaria. She has also been nominated for the EU Journalist Award Against Discrimination 2011. Maria recently wrote an article highlighting the current shocking rate of teen pregnancies and black market abortions in Bulgaria, exposing a deeply troubled cultural statusquo surrounding reporductive health and decision-making both on societal and institutional level. Her TED talk will elaborate on this. Maria is currently based in Oxford, where she is Research Fellew at the Instittute for Strategic Dialogue, researching digital leadership and ways to use social media to improve intercultural cohesion. She is also a Trustee of Sofia-based NGO Cultural Foundation A25 ( a young, but ambitious endeavour to give space and resonance to unvoiced viewpoints and encourag eopen-minded discussion across the spectrum of societal concerns – from art management through minority issues, inclusion and media representation of taboos and popular prejudice. As an aside, Maria also dabbles in short story writing (in Bulgarian), one of her creations can be read here:

Manol Peykov

Manol is a managing partner at family run Publishing House “Janet 45”, which was founded by his mother Bojana Apostolova. Being responsible for the translations of the literature pieces, Peykov tries to bring new authors to the Bulgarian market and enrich the life of many readers. His publishing house is sometimes making a loss, because many of the published books are of non-marketable authors, yet Peykov believes that the cultural traces which he leaves are much more important that the profit which the company makes. He was raised in a literary family and that is why during his early years of education he treated business training with an aristocratic arrogance. After graduating AUBG in 1995, he was running on many tracks simultaneously, looking for his own field. He would never assume that Business would be of interest to him. Yet, he enrolled in the MBA program at the American University in Bulgaria, because he realized that he could take advantage of practical knowledge and skills that such training offers. Today, he is passionate about all his business projects. He is a co-owner of the cultural weekly magazine Programata in Plovdiv and Stara Zagora, dealing with the import of printing materials. Another major project of his is a Sound Recording Studio “Pekarnata”, which takes much of his energy and time.

Organizing team


Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria


Smolyan, Bulgaria
  • Tim Koroteev
  • Lyudmila Uzunova
  • Stefan Ivanovic
  • Igor Vasilachi
    Web Master
  • Timur Huseynov
  • Nikola Mladenovic
  • Dimitar Chatleski
  • Sindi Shkodrani