x = independently organized TED event

Theme: X Marks the Spot

This event occurred on
March 28, 2014
2:30pm - 8:30pm CET
(UTC +1hr)

TEDxAUK was formed by a group of young individuals, students of the American University in Kosovo, to help spread awareness and allow leaders and thinkers from Kosovo and the region to speak up to our fellow students and present to them ideas put into practice. This group comes from varying academic, cultural and professional backgrounds and varying age groups with the same goal in mind.

Our purpose here is to show our fellow students that we can only move forward at this time in our lives through long term-looking perspectives and inspiration-fed actions in all fields of life regardless of the areas of interest.

TEDxAUK is a student-led, collaborative experience that inspires innovative thinking, moving others to purposeful action. We wish to promote collaboration between the students, faculty and administrations of A.U.K. We also aim to foster the ideas of TED, “believing passionately in the power of ideas to change attitude, lives and ultimately, the world.”

Our goal is to promote A.U.K as an innovative and collaborative institution of higher education that maintains discipline and promotes creative and critical thinking beyond its class curricula. We anticipate that our independent TEDx event will leave an impact on the A.U.K community and the broader Kosovo society by fostering diversity, collaboration, and the distinct values from this unique experience. Furthering discussion by students, staff, and faculty within our institution, as well as the media scene in Kosovo, civil society, and the public in general will be indicators of success along with the networking opportunity it presents for all of those involved. Feedback we receive from the community in the form of surveys, interviews, comments to our Facebook page, and views on our TEDxAUK Twitter and YouTuve accounts will be considered as the main means of measurement in regards to the conference’s effectiveness in bringing up the message.

The mission of this event will be to enlighten our audience with inspiring, hope-building personalities who have undertaken remarkable projects and created meaningful changes around the world, particularly concentrating on Kosovar personalities in the post-war Kosovo. We want to take a different approach from what we hear each day from the local media, social networks, and everything that surrounds us. Our approach will be different from that of cursing the darkness and calling for radical changes in the political sphere. Instead of self-victimization and politics-related complex issues, the message we will convey with our TEDx initiative will be to light a candle, just like our potential speakers did, and start with small but visionary changes.

The theme of TEDxAUK will be X marks the spot; a phrase that is said when someone finds something he/she has been looking for, meaning that through this conference we will be seeking ideas, speakers and performers who offer perspectives way beyond the usual and trigger thoughts and stimuli toward new inspirations among A.U.K Students and the younger generations in Kosovo.

Red Hall
Luan Haradinaj str. n.n.
Prishtina, 10000
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­A­U­K events


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

Hana Marku

Hana is the online managing editor at Kosovo 2.0, a website and magazine that covers people, culture, and politics in the Balkans. She has been writing blogs and articles on Kosovo for the past four years, with great love and – occasionally – great frustration. She holds a master’s degree in Communication and Culture from York University in Toronto. At TEDxAUK, Hana discusses stories of liberation and what they mean for Kosovo

Perparim Rama

The CEO and Founding Director of 4M Group is Kosovan born Perparim Rama – an award-winning Architectural Designer and Conceptual Artist. His distinctly integrated approach and passion for architecture has been presented in numerous media publications: London Building Design Magazine, BBC, RAI, The Times Newspaper; and his project works are visible in more than 20 countries around the globe. His career has catapulted to include accomplishments such as being a consultant for the 2012 London Olympics, project leader in designing the Urban Regulating Plan for two London boroughs, being peer reviewer and specialist consultant for Qatar National Research Fund on projects for Doha 2030 vision, and proudly making history at the 13th Venice Biennale in 2012, as the first person to represent Kosovo in the event. He is a visiting critic to various university architectural programmes, and is a former tutor for the Nottingham University School of Architecture. In 2013, at a prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London Rama won the world competition for the Best Bar award with his hometown project ‘Hamam Jazz Bar’ in Prishtina, Kosovo.For Rama, the love for architectural design and space transcends beyond lines and measurements. He has a natural gift that sees beyond looking, with an unrivaled ability to acutely cement the essence of being into a project’s foundations, forging a space that exceeds clients expectations. He is well respected by all of his employees through his diligence as an entrepreneur, Rama’s unwavering devotion to his work, and his compelling zeal for life, both as a friend and a colleague. His positive energy is infectious.He will be presenting on the importance of raising awareness towards sustainable living, the significance of outside the box creative thinking related to the community good, and building confidence on bases of innovation.

Lode Desmet

An award winning international documentary filmmaker, Lode Desmet is a writer and director from Belgium who made films for most major European broadcasters – ARTE and BBC included – but prefers not to take himself too seriously, nevertheless. He graduated in literature at the University of Leuven in Belgium with a master on the Italian novelist and holocaust survivor Primo Levi. Afterwards, he moved on to become a sports reporter. Only after he had covered all the important European cycling races he became a documentary filmmaker. He directed his first 52′ documentary film in 1997. His second long documentary “Exodus or Vina’s World” (1999 – 52′) was awarded the Fipa d’Argent in Biarritz, the UNDA trophy for Brave Journalism at the Prix Italia in Florence, and the Prix Europa in Berlin. In 2004, his film “Mother’s Crossing” (60′) won the Grand Prix at the Festival International du Grand Reportage d`Actualité in France. In New York, the documentary received the Best Documentary Award at the Brooklyn International Film Festival and at the Ismailia International Film Festival in Egypt, and won the Best Film Award by Cinema Magazine. Neil MacDonald, a correspondent of the Financial Times, reviewed Desmet’s film about Kosovo “Does Anyone Have A Plan?” as “[A]n admirable stab at journalistic objectivity without losing sight of the human characters at the core of the dispute over Kosovo.” At TEDxAUK, Lode Desmet talks about his documentary “The Majority Starts Here” which is an outcry from the younger generation in the Balkans. Six Balkan youngsters gather together and face the deep scars that run through Balkans for ages and find out that the way we perceive democracy is determined by the loudest ones, not the majority.

Linda Shala

A public personality and a committed promoter of gender equality, Linda Shala is from Mitrovica, a graduate in Economic Development at the University of Prishtina, with an MA in Diplomacy, Inter-Cultural Competency and International Relations. She has an extended experience as a journalist at Radio Television of Prishtina (RTP). From 1990 until 1999 she engaged in private business, managing a small enterprise and marketing activities. After the war in Kosovo in 1999, she assumed the position of Executive Producer at Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK). Linda Shala is a Board Member of Basketball Federation of Kosovo and Board Member of Kosovo Women`s Chamber of Commerce. In 2007, Linda Shala was awarded as the “Top Business Women” by the non-governmental organization “New Vision”. In 2008 she was medaled with the special recognition form Media Company “Koha Group” for her contribution in Kosovo’s Sport and in 2009, Kosovo Assembly Women Caucus accredited her as the “Top Business Women of the Year”. Her own company, Data Project Electronics, which she successfully has been managing it in the last ten years, was awarded with the FIDES award for corporative philanthropy at national level. At TEDxAUK she shares her own experiences around the theme “You Never Know” – aiming to depict how some of the actions she has taken in life have had a major impact in her success as a female entrepreneur. She aims to encourage youngsters to think long-term when deciding to take action because “you never know” what its consequences might be.

Visar Arifaj

A graduate of the University of Prishtina with a BA in Graphic Design, Visar Arifaj, is a graphic designer focused on classic illustrations and animations. He believes that the key factors which have contributed in developing his skills and knowledge in his childhood were the lack of peers in his mahalla (neighborhood) and easy accessibility to pirate software. Visar Arifaj is the co-founder of the design company Trembelat. He is known for the creation of video games, editorial illustrations and products, comic strips and animated videos. In 2013, he became legendary as one of the founders and as the head of the Strong Party in Kosovo. At TEDxAUK he presents the idea behind the establishment of the Strong Party.

Elizabeth Gowing

Elizabeth Gowing graduated in the University of Oxford and worked as a teacher and advisor to the government on education in London before coming to Kosovo in 2006. In Kosovo she drank her first cup of proper coffee, milked her first cow and smoked her first cigar. She co-founded the volunteer-based NGO “The Ideas Partnership” in Kosovo in 2009. Her first book was “Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo” while her most recent book is about Edith Durham, “Edith and I” on the trail of an Edwardian traveler in Kosovo. Her project supports the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian community in Fushe Kosove, registering over 200 children for school, helping to ensure more than 60 children caught up with missed vaccinations, transferring clothes to 230 families (more than 1500 individuals) and educating more than 120 kids who attend Saturday’s activities each week. She has presented what she has learned from a nine-year-old Ashkali girl about the power of volunteers.

Ivana Todorovic

Ivana is an independent documentary filmmaker with a passion for social change. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Documentary Media studies from The New School, a Diploma in Peace studies from the one year alternative studies in Belgrade and BA in Ethnology and Anthropology from University of Belgrade. Her films are character driven and are informed by personal experiences of human instincts and modes of survival when dealing with trauma. As a shooter and director she spends a lot of time in the life of her characters and captures essences of the lives of those who have been pushed to the margins in mainstream media and society. Ideally, she would like her films to immerse the audience by humanizing worlds unknown to them, through the experience and eyes of the characters. Her first documentary “Everyday life of Roma children from Block 71” won Best Short Film award at Montreal Human Rights Film Festival and has been a part of the educational curriculum in primary schools in Serbia, universities in the USA and by NGOs around the world. Her second film “Rapresent” was shown at International Film Festival Rotterdam. It won the Best National Award at Ethnographic Film Festival in Belgrade and Best Story Film award at Film for Peace Festival in Italy. Film “A Harlem Mother” had premier at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem and screened at festivals such as Traverse City, Palm Springs Shortfest, American Pavilion-Festival de Cannes and Anthology Film Archives. It won Best Documentary Profile at Mixed Messages film festival in New York, Grand Prix in Videnie Film Festival in Russia; Audience award at Utah Arts film festival, Honorable Mention at Carolina Film and Video Film Festival. It is now being used in media campaigns against youth gun violence by the Beyond the Bullets program at DCTV. In her last documentary film “When I was a Boy, I was a Girl” which premiered at Berlinale in 2013, she reveals an intimate view of Goca, a transsexual woman who decides to come out publicly through a theatre performance. It gives us a refreshing point of view and a fearless look into the everyday existence of an individual who found the courage to be herself.

Glenn Noble

Glenn Noble is a graduate of Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho USA with a degree in Engineering Physics, and has many years of experience with companies including Micron Technology, Zilog, Plexus, and several smaller companies. He is passionate about entrepreneurship and job creation in Kosovo. He is co-founder and CEO of TekFuze, LLC, an industrial electronic controls manufacturer. He is also the founder and executive director of Genesis Technology Center, which provides practical skills training to young engineers in Kosovo. He is a mentor for EYE – Encouraging Young Entrepreneurs, and is active in Start-Up Weekends, BarCamps and other entrepreneurship events. Glenn Noble will be presenting the challenges he faced while opening TekFuze in Kosovo. Glenn proposes us to convert our dreams into goals by using perseverance, passion and vision. By sharing his experiences in the field of technology he also encourages youngsters to take action and make possible the thought-to-be-impossible.

Besnik Bislimi

Besnik Bislimi studied Macroeconomic Analysis at the Faculty of Business Administration, University of Zagreb, Croatia, from 1990 to 1994. He received his PhD in Macroeconomics, with specific focus on Public Finance from the University of Freiberg, Germany in February 2005. In addition, Besnik spent four months as Fulbright Scholar at the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, at the Georgia State University in Atlanta in 2008. Besnik became a member of A.U.K. faculty in November, 2004. Since then he has taught several economics courses including Microeconomics; Macroeconomics; Public Finance; Monetary Analysis & Policy; Natural Resource Economics; International Trade & Finance and Labor Economics. His involvement with AUK was rewarded by students with the ‘2013 Teacher of the Year Faculty Award’. Apart from his career as lecturer, Besnik worked also as teaching assistant for Macroeconomics and Public Finance at the University of Freiberg, Germany; as UNDP advisor to the Ministry of Finance, Kosovo; international expert on public finance for UNMIK; Advisor for Fiscal Policy with GTZ, German Agency for Technical Cooperation; Lecturer for Macroeconomics 1 and 2 for ProCredit Academy in Veles, Macedonia; Lecturer for Macroeconomics and Public Finance at the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Business Administration and Faculty of Philosophy. Besnik was also involved as project manager, advisor or senior researcher for different projects covering Health policy issues; Business Climate Scan; National Development Strategy; Rural Development; Capacity Building for Higher Education in Kosovo with many international partners including Stability Pact, DAAD, WUS Austria; HLSP; GIZ. His areas of specific interest include Fiscal Policy, Fiscal Decentralization, Macroeconomics, Monetary Policy, Public Debt Policy, Privatization, Labor Markets, Anticorruption, and Resource Economics. In his presentation, Mr Bislimi tries to visualize different challenges facing small and medium enterprises in their attempt to fill their vacancies with skilled workers. The idea is to show the importance of a quality match and the failure of conventional instruments such as degree certificates, letters of recommendations or even interviews in ensuring a qualitative screening of candidates.

Organizing team


  • Anita Selmani
  • Donika Cami
    PR & Communication
  • Etnik Blakaj
    Media & Marketing
  • Gresa Statovci
    Speaker Coordinator
  • Jon Mulliqi
    Legal Consultant
  • Lumbardh Zagragja
    Finance Officer
  • Nida Krasniqi
    Program Manager
  • Rinor Kastrati
    Sponsor Coordinator