x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Significance and Singularity

This event occurred on
November 11, 2012
10:00am - 4:00pm GST
(UTC +4hrs)
Frankfurt am Main, HE

Reflecting the Fulbright exchange program, TEDxFulbright seeks to facilitate experiences that embody the continued power of progress through international, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary connection and community action.

Twelve acclaimed Fulbright alumni from across Europe, the U.S., and Northern Africa shared their greatest ideas on the theme, "Significance and Singularity". The concept was inspired by Senator Fulbright's monumental quote, "Perhaps the greatest power of such intellectual exchange is to convert nations into peoples and to translate ideologies into human aspirations." Speakers highlighted accounts of powerful insight sparked by a single observation or experience, rich with a breadth and depth of information that tells a captivating story about the world or the human condition. The theme perpetuated the notion that even with the best understanding of the whole, it is still made of dynamic singulars.

TEDxFulbright Speakers and Performers: (all alums)
* Marika Hedin, Director at Vasa Museum, former Curator of the Nobel Museum
* Judge Sang-Hyun Song, President of the International Criminal Court
* Dan Drollette, former Science Journalist at CERN
* Michèle van de Roer, Contemporary Artist, The DNA of Creativity
* Hassan Mekouar, Professor of Poetry and Literature
* John Sargent, Co-Founder of BroadReach, Healthcare for the Developing World
* Isabel Torres de Noronha, former UNESCO Delegate in Environmental Policy
* Joes Segal, Expert in Cold War Germany, Professor of History
* Nathan Wolek, Professor of Digital Arts, Laptop Musician
* Ozgur Bolat, Leadership in Education Research Center, Cambridge University
* Juliane Kronen, Trustee of the Alternative Nobel Prize
* George Stoffan, former Captain of the US Air Force Band

Reflection on TEDxFulbright
By Euna Lhee, current Fulbright Young Journalist in Germany

November 11 marked the first European TEDxFulbright program, which kicked off at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany. During the six-hour event, 100 participants heard from 12 formidable Fulbright alumni from across the globe, which included two musical performers.

Professional broadcaster and former Fulbright Young Journalist David Patrician hosted and moderated the talks. Speakers came from diverse backgrounds, ranging from law and medicine to art and literature.

Addressing the topic “Significance and Singularity,” presenters engaged the audience with their life stories, work and even poetry. Hassan Mekouar, a Professor of American Literature at the University Mohammed C, Rabat, Morocco, entitled his speech, “A Modest Proposal,” which was reminiscent of Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay from 1729. In fifteen minutes of free verse, Mekouar dramatically articulated how edible trash would solve the issues of world hunger and overabundant trash.

Others presented their singular ideas in their own engaging styles. Opening with a comparison between a prison and a school, researcher Özgür Bolat of Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, Turkey, talked about the happiness myth and how schools create unhappy children.

“My single idea is... the need for approval negatively affects all your behaviors and feelings in your life, including your happiness,” Bolat said.

Some speakers connected with the audience on a more personal level. Giving a vivid account on the brutalities of war, International Criminal Court judge Sang-Hyun Song spoke about his childhood experiences during the Korean War in the 1950s.

“I ask all of you here to stand in global solidarity, to ensure that everyone is protected from the worst atrocities,” Song said. He then talked about the role of the International Criminal Court and his career as its President.

All the speakers had inspirational messages, like BroachReach founder Dr. John Sargent, who expressed the power of the human spirit through his depiction of the HIV/AIDS situation in sub-Saharan Africa. And many had also led amazing lives, like freelance science journalist Dan Drollette, who had reported from the jungles of Vietnam and played the “great call” of the gibbon for the audience.

The day wasn’t only filled with speeches, however. Entertainment was also on the agenda, with clarinetist George Stoffan and audio artist Nathan Wolek, who considers his instrument to be his laptop computer.

During coffee breaks and the brown bag lunch, participants mingled with presenters, as well as with other Fulbright alumni in the natural sciences, arts, business and technology. The audience was able to keep track of their networking through special cards and stickers, which noted these different disciplines.

The day concluded with a champagne reception and the world premiere of the German Fulbright Alumni Association image video, which takes the viewer through the founding and goals of the Fulbright Program, as well as the German Fulbright Alumni Association.

Although these talks composed the inaugural TEDxFulbright in Europe, it’s actually the second ever TEDxFulbright event – the first being in Cambridge, Massachusetts in April 2012.

Deutsches Architekturmuseum
Schaumainkai 43
Frankfurt am Main, HE, 60596
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Sang-Hyun Song

Sang-Hyun Song has been a judge at the International Criminal Court since March 2003, and president of the court since March 2009. For more than thirty years, he was a professor of law at Seoul National University Law School. Judge Song has extensive practical and academic expertise in court management, civil and criminal procedure, the law of evidence, relevant areas of international law concerning international humanitarian law and human rights law. He is co-founder of the Legal Aid Centre for Women, and of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation in Seoul, and the President of UNICEF/KOREA. Judge Song is also the respected author of several publications on relevant legal issues, and the recipient of the highest decoration of the Korean Government (MUNGUNGHWA, 2011). In 1968, Judge Song attended Tulane University Law School as a Fulbright Fellow.

Marika Hedin

Marika Hedin is the director of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. Between 1992 and 1998, Dr. Hedin taught history at Stockholm University, and was the assistant editor of the Swedish Historical Association’s journal, Historisk tidskrift. She joined the inaugural team of the Nobel Museum, Stockholm in 1998, designing and setting up the museum for the Nobel Prize Centennial in 2001. In 2003, she left the museum to become Director of the Swedish Commission on Whiplash-Related Injuries which led to policy changes in Swedish healthcare and insurance. She returned to the Nobel Museum in 2005–2009 acting as Head of Public Programming. She is currently on the board of the Centre for Maritime Studies at Stockholm University and a member of the creative advisory committee for the Nobel Museum. Dr. Hedin is a board member of the Fulbright Commission in Sweden and attended the University of Notre Dame as a Fulbright Scholar.

Dan Drollette

Dan Drollette is a Freelance Science Journalist who generally focuses on stories about science, technology and the environment. He is currently completing a book on endangered species Gold Rush in the Jungle: The Race to Find—and Possibly Save—the Rarest Animals of Vietnam‘s “Lost World” , writing stories for the new ‘Future’ section of the BBC International website, as well as keeping busy freelancing and editing. His previous experience includes being an editor of the International Science Grid This Week at CERN, writing a wide range of diverse articles (from shark research to electric boats) for publications like the MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel Online and the New Scientist. Dan spent his Fulbright Postgraduate Fellowship at the Australian National University.

John Sargent

John Sargent is one of the founders of BroadReach Healthcare, a global healthcare solutions company that provides consulting, implementation and program management services improving medical access and practice in the developing world. Of particular note is his work designing and implementing, on a national scale, one of the first public private partnership models for public sector patient, delivering antiretroviral treatment in South Africa. John Sargent was recognized with one of Devex’s 40 under 40 leaders in international development. He received his master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology as a Fulbright Scholar from Oxford University, and his MD from Harvard Medical School.

Isabel Torres de Noronha

Isabel Torres de Noronha recently worked as a Program Specialist for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, where she also served as the Coordinator the IOC Fellowship Program. Often called to advise Environmental Policy, she has quickly become a leader in the field of Ocean Governance. As the current Program Director of InventAr, Portugal, Dr. Torres de Noronha continues her commitment to strategic planning in the areas of Climate Change, Maritime Policy, and Coastal Zone Management.

Özgür Bolat

Özgür Bolat is a researcher and faculty member at Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi, a researcher at the Leadership for Learning Center at the University of Cambridge, a columnist at the Hürriyet Newspaper and a project coordinator at the Turkish Education Foundation. His Ph.D. was in Educational Leadership and School improvement, at the University of Cambridge, U.K., and included a placement at the MIT Sloan School of Management conducting research on leadership and organizational culture. He received a Fulbright and Turkish Education Foundation scholarship to study at Harvard University Graduate School of Education for his Master’s degree.

Michèle Van de Roer

Born in Delft, Michèle Van de Roer is a contemporary French artist: a painter, designer, photographer, and engraver. The central theme in her artistic expression is the use of light to suggest both depth and motion through space. She is also driven to reveal figurative elements in part through the use of light layers. After initially studying with Pierre Buraglio, Jacques Clerc, and Pierre Soulages at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Valence, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982 to study fine arts in New York at Pratt Institute. Her first group show while attending the Pratt Institute was with Robert Rauschenberg and other artists at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery in New York. After graduating in 2006 from the Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage de Versailles Master’s program in landscape design, she was invited to serve as an Adjunct Professor at the Versailles school, offering instruction in the use of space, perspective, and light in the drafting and design of plans.

Joes Segal

Joes Segal is a Professor of Cultural History at Utrecht University whose work concentrates on the history of modern art, cultural history, cultural boundaries and identity constructions with reference to the common grounds between art and politics in Europe, the US, the Soviet Union and China since 1945. He is the Author of East German Material Culture and the Power of Memory (2011) and Divided Dreamworlds? The Cultural Cold War in East and West (2012). Joes was the recipient of a Senior Research Grant and was based at the Wende Museum, as a guest curator, and UCLA, as a guest professor.

George Stoffan

George Stoffan is a Fulbright Award recipient serving as an artist-in-residence at the Janacek Academy of Music in Brno, Czech Republic through January 2013. In the U.S., he is Associate Professor of Clarinet at Oakland University and Principal Clarinetist of the Oakland Symphony. He has served as Principal Clarinetist and Concert-master of the United States Air Force Band in Washington DC, a group with whom he made 14 recordings. Mr. Stoffan’s recording, A Postcard from Europe, featuring contemporary East European clarinet music, in addition to the Brahms Sonata No. 2, Op. 120, in E-flat Major, was released this past February.

Nathan Wolek

Nathan Wolek is an Audio Artist, Researcher and Associate Professor of Digital Arts and Chair of the Creative Arts Department at Stetson University in DeLand, FL. He is currently a Fulbright Scholar spending 6 months in Bergen, Norway. Nathan Wolek is the music director of the new media collective MPG: mobile performance group, which was founded by video artist Matt Roberts. The group is dedicated to the ideal of presenting audiovisual art outside of traditional venues. They engage the public using laptops, video projection, camcorders, mp3 recorders, wireless routers, mobile phones and other technologies.

Juliane Kronen

Juliane Kronen studied business administration at the University of Cologne, was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Missouri, and completed her doctoral degree at the University of Cologne in 1994. Her career began in strategy consulting, working with The Boston Consulting Group on worldwide assignments from 1994 to 2010, from 2002 on as a partner and managing director. She specialized in aligning business and information technology strategy. She has been the global sector head for information technology in the telecommunications industry and served as the European head of BCG´s global Women Initiative from 2004 to 2007, which aimed to sustainably increase the share of female consultants by improving recruiting and retention measures.Together with her sister, Juliane Kronen owns and runs a small family business in the third generation and dedicates a considerable part of her capacity to develop various charitable organizations by providing her skills and experience. She has served as an advisor on strategic and organizational issues to the board of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation from 2007 until 2010, when she was appointed as a Trustee.

Hassan Mekouar

Hassan Mekouar is a Professor of American Literature at the Faculty of Letters, University Mohammed C, Rabat, and Former President of the University Mohamed I of Oujda. Hassan Mekouar is one of the most prolific Moroccan poets writing in English. He is the author of several collections of poetry written in English which include The Future Remains, The Wings of the Walrus, and Stories in (Very) Free Verse and 7. Hassaan was a Fulbright Fellow to the USA in 1968 and 1973.

Organizing team


Boston, MA, United States


Heidelberg, Germany
  • Jan Anderssen
    Website, Technical Expert
  • Aytac Atac
    Performance Chair
  • Nancy Birkhölzer
    Participant Experience
  • Roselin Klever
    Speakers Coordinator
  • Lorcan Walsh
    Communications Chair
  • Agatha Brzezinski
    Communications Team
  • Liz Gabster
    Communications Team
  • Julian Fuchs
    Communications Team
  • Matthias Pauthner
    Communications Team
  • Panos Pantelides
    Sponsorship Co-Chair
  • Sarah Lowe
    Graphic Design
  • David Patrician
  • Nikki Anderssen
  • Dolissa Medina