x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Catalysts & Visionaries

This event occurred on
July 11, 2013
9:00am - 3:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Panama City

TEDxPuntaPaitlla is an event meant to spark discussion about diverse topics that are meaningfull in our lives. By mixing TED Talks on video with live speakers we intend to create a stimulating event that combines familiar topics with new areas of exploration. In the spirit of ideas worth sharing this event will be recorded and shared within the Punta Paitilla community and to the public at large. The event is independently organized by a group of volunteers using the guidelines set by TED through the TEDx program.

Auditorio ADEN Business School
Torre De Las Americas
Nivel Mezzanine
Panama City
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Joshi Venugopal

Joshi is now serving as the General Manager of Novartis organization in two Latin American markets. Prior to this role, he worked as the Assistant to Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman of Novartis. Previously, Joshi gained broad functional experience by working at the research, strategy, finance, medical affairs and marketing functions at Novartis. Joshi has broad interests ranging from behavioral economics to health care policy and has published several articles including in the Financial Times. Joshi holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland and is a graduate of the General Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Hector Aguilar

Hector joined GE in 2007 as Human Resources Director for Northern Latin America based in Mexico City. In November 2008, he was promoted as VP Human Resources, GE Latin America, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In September 2011, Hector was appointed President & CEO for GE Central America and the Caribbean, based in Panama City. Prior to joining GE, Hector held several Leadership Positions in multinational companies including The Gillette Company, British Petroleum & Baxter Laboratories. He has more than 22 years of experience; spending more than 14 years on international assignments focused on Latin American markets and has worked in Mexico City, Boston MA, San Francisco CA, Miami FL, Caracas Venezuela, Sao Paulo Brazil & now in Panama City. He spent almost five years in a General Management Leadership Program focusing on Finance, Sales & Marketing. In addition, Hector has been keynote speaker at several international forums and has worked as a University professor and a Human Resources and Business Development Consultant. In 2009, the Mexican Business Magazine “Expansion” nominated Hector as one of the top Promising Talents under the 40s. In addition he has received several excellence awards and recognitions from different universities and organizations due to his participations on conferences and congresses. Hector holds a B.S. from Universidad del Valle de Mexico, an Executive MBA from Golden Gate University in Palo Alto, CA and three Certificates in Marketing, Leadership and Top Management from several U.S. and Mexican institutions. He is currently studying his Doctorate on Business Administration at Grand Canyon University.

Simon Zebede

Simon is currently the Director of Tomorrow Digital Project, a company that is dedicated to innovation in digital advertising. One of the most successful recent projects was the REVIVE augmented reality application. In partnership with La Prensa the file has been among the most downloaded APP’s in Panama. Another of his achievements has been the Digital Deployment for Tu Panama Te Necesita foundation, where the foundation was made known in a non conventional and interactive manner. Simon has a BA in interactive media which he received in Israel which he considers the cradle of entrepreneurship in the world. Simon is also dedicated to art, a natural born musician, in his free time he composes songs with a touch of spice. With his character Wilson Kriminal he manages to get a smile out of the most embittered.

James Stice

James Stice is a founder and the driving vision behind Kalu Yala, a new sustainable community preparing to break ground in Panama. Jame's proposed Real Estate 2.0 is a business model that aligns profits with development practices that are good for local citizens, the environment and the surrounding region. The secret is Citizen Equity, or local citizens owning and helping to create the neighborhood they dream of living in, so they may share in the value they create. He hopes this model can be applied across situations so others may use it to change the future of real estate and human potential.

Jong Hwa "Duly" Lee

In one word: Connector. Born in South Korea and traveled all his life. Lived in Mexico, Chile, Panama, Italy, New York, Los Angeles and Seoul. Architect, Artist and Entrepreneur. Studied in New York University for B.A. in Urban Design, and SCI-Arc (Los Angeles) for Master of Architecture. His most recent achievements include mounting Festival Abierto as director as well as an art exhibit at the Contemporary Museum of Art of Panama. He began his architecture career at Pritzker Prize winning firm Morphosis under Thom Mayne in California and New York, however bored of the urban environment adventured back to Panama seeking jungle experiences. Here he voluntarily worked on water-collecting systems for Guna indigenous communities and taught design at ISTHMUS architecture school. He continues to experiment with an international network of collaborators, producing art installations such as in events like Nuit Blanche in Toronto, however he calls Panama his permanent home now. Abierto Corp. was founded in direct support to Festival Abierto’s creative and production needs, and is now garnering a special group of clients that seek a similar touch of social innovation and creativity in their own companies. Duly is also founding member and executive planner for Fundación ParqueArte.

Eldredge Bermingham

Eldredge Bermingham is the director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute a unit of the Smithsonian Institution headquartered in Panama City, Panama, since September 2008. He joined the institute’s scientific staff in 1989 and has served as deputy director since 2003 and acting director since 2007. As STRI’s director, Bermingham oversees the world’s premier tropical biology research institute, dedicated to increasing the understanding of the past, present and future of tropical biodiversity and its relevance to human welfare. STRI’s focus is basic research conducted primarily in tropical forest and coral reefs. STRI scientists discover new organisms, test scientific explanations for ecological adaptation and evolutionary innovation, develop methods to restore degraded ecosystems, train students and promote conservation of tropical ecosystems. One of STRI programs, the Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories [SIGEO], which evolved from STRI’s Center for Tropical Forest Science, encompasses more than 20 forest plots in 17 countries around the globe, and represents the best observational platform in the world for evaluating how forests respond to global climate change. Bermingham’s research has advanced knowledge of the movement of organisms across the land bridge formed as the Isthmus of Panama rose to connect North and South America 3 million years ago and sheds light on processes of contemporary biological invasions. His analyses of bird populations on the islands of the Lesser Antilles contribute to the understanding of extinction. He has been a strong proponent of cross-unit and intergovernmental collaborations at the Smithsonian, encouraging the development of projects through the Smithsonian Marine Science Network, the Smithsonian Barcode of Life Initiative, and the Smithsonian Global Earth Observatories. Bermingham has published over 135 peer-reviewed articles; edited the book Tropical Rainforests: Past, Present and Futurepublished by the University of Chicago Press in 2005; has sponsored over 18 postdoctoral students; advised over 31 predoctoral students, and served on the committee of 17 of the latter. Bermingham earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Cornell University in 1977 and a doctorate degree in genetics from the University of Georgia in 1986.

Olga Sinclair

Olga Sinclair, was born in Panama. Her first art lessons began with her father, painter Alfredo Sinclair. At the early age of fourteen she participated in a group exhibition with renowned Panamanian artists. In 1976, she began her studies in the School of Applied Arts and Works in Madrid, and followed a three years training in classic designs (at Arjona Studios). In Amsterdam, she studied the Great Dutch Masters of the XVIII Century. At age eighteen she held her first individual exhibition in Panama. In 1979, she joined Santa Maria la Antigua University, in Panama, and obtained her grade in Interior Design. In 1982, she follows engraving courses with Maestro Giangrandi. She returns to Europe in 1985; in London, she resumes her studies, she works, presents an exhibition and had her first encounter with Francis Bacon’s works at Tate Gallery. The Mexican historian and art critic, José Manuel Springer pointed out that — “At thirty years old Olga Sinclair, crosses the line that separates the good artist from the Master”, and states: “She has walked different roads that have taken her from figures to abstraction, returned to the figure with historic character and back to experimentation with pictorial space. She has a formalistic part of European character, more focused towards plastic experimentation and art concept. She synthesizes both moments” In 2007, she develops a new artistic experience under the guidance of her Mexican teacher, Alfia Leyva del Valle: sculpture: She presents her works with the exhibition “It is the Pear!¨ in Mexico and Panama. In 2009, Arte al Día of Miami, Fl., published her great catalogue raisonné “Olga Sinclair: Obras/Works, 1995-2008”. Olga Sinclair’s Book is a recompilation of thirteen explosive years of art, color, and creativity. Edited by Hans Roeder and the publishing house “Arte al Día” from Buenos Aires. Historian and Art critic José Manuel Springer and Carol Damian, Art Curator, introduce the book. It is composed of 224 pages in which the editor takes us by hand to experience the different periods and situations that have influenced the artist’s happenings, which manifest themselves through the hand that make the story of her art. The art of Olga Sinclair is mainly feminine without being feminist…

Sergio Tertusio

Sergio Alejandro Tertusio is Executive Director of ADEN International Business School and Dean of Universidad Alta Direccion Panama. He received his MBA from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid Spain, his Masters in Business Administration from Universidad Catolica de Cordoba in Argentina, and graduated from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo en Mendoza, Argentina with a degree in Accounting. Prior to his current role, Sergio was CEO of a company that distributed pharmaceuticals and served as financial manager in an agro-industrial company.

Ricaurte “Catín” Vásquez

A Panamanian economist, joined GE mid-2008 as CEO for Central America & The Caribbean; and currently Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policies for Latin America. With over thirty years of professional experience, Catín Vásquez has worked for both Government and private sectors, particularly in financial areas, project development and management. Mr. Vásquez served as the Panamanian Minister of Finance in two occasions and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Autoridad del Canal de Panamá, the agency that runs the Panama Canal since its transfer in 1999. His involvement with the Panama Canal dates back to 1996 when he was appointed as its first non-US Chief Financial Officer. Thereafter, an upon the Canal transfer to Panama he became Deputy Administrator and responsible for the long term planning of the Canal including the Expansion Project that includes a new third set of locks. From the Ministry of Finance, his responsibilities included general economic policy, major debt restructuring in the international capital markets, and multilateral and bilateral economic and financial agreements, fiscal and social security reform and definition of major projects, such as the Cerro Colorado Copper Project, a joint venture with Rio Tinto Zinc, Petroterminal de Panamá, the oil pipeline built to carry Alaskan crude to the US East Coast and the Panamá Canal Expansion. US educated, Mr. Vásquez holds a BS cum laudae from Villanova University, Master in Economics from North Carolina State University and a M.S. in Operations Research and Statistics and Ph. D. from Renssealer Polytechnic Institute in Managerial Economics.

Mayer Mizrachi

Mayer is the founder and president of Innovative Venture, a high tech company based out of Panama that focuses on developing world-class technologies. Its first project was a messaging app called jigl that poised itself against the likes of Whatsapp, Line and Blackberry Messenger. Since starting in 2011, Mayer found that the problem in becoming successful app wasn’t only about having the best product, but also the best strategy. Recently, jigl has pivoted to a new kind of messaging app called Hash which received a lot of attention in its Beta testing at Google Ventures. Hash allows users to exchange messages and photos that expire after 6 seconds of being opened. In a world of openness and sharing, Hash is brings back the privacy we all need. Mayer has a BS in Finance and a MS in Finance awarded by Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. He started his entrepreneurial career while completing his Graduate degree in Washington and is looking to make Panama the tech center of Latin America; something he calls “Silicon Jungle”.

Symphony Orchestra University of Panama

Comprising of students from the Faculty of Fine Arts and members of the local music community, the Symphony Orchestra of the University of Panama is one of the institutions major bodies of musical study and projection. The orchestra serves as a practical platform for students to practice and grow professionally in musical instruments as well as serving as a promoter of culture in the community. The orchestra has an annual season comprising six concerts as well as special presentations within the university and in tours. Currently the orchestra is conducted by Dr. Samuel Robles, Panamanian Director and Composer.

Organizing team


Panama City, Panama
  • Stefany Cohen
    Presentation Coach
  • Alix Tingle
    Head Volunteer & Multimedia
  • Joanna Svendsen
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Julie Hines
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Kristin Hughes
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Brian Clair
    Volunteer - Usher
  • Dan Sloboda
    Volunteer - Usher
  • Nick Ahrens
    Volunteer - Time Keeper
  • Edward Tian
    Volunteer - Photographer