x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Big Ideas, small places.

This event occurred on
March 19, 2016
9:00am - 6:00pm AST
(UTC -4hrs)
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico

TEDxUPR is a full day independently organized TED event meant to set the stage for new stories to be told and to promote invigorating ideas that can help us face present-day challenges and build a better world. Our event is aimed at sparking conversations worth having by showcasing an array of live speakers, live performances, and multimedia presentations.

The event will be held March 19th, 2016 at the University of Puerto Rico’s Theater. We count on having over 1,000 attendees. The event has the full support of the University of Puerto Rico educational system and the active participation of its eleven member campuses.

We believe in the power of ideas and how they often come from small, unexpected places.

Teatro de la Universidad de Puerto Rico
Avenida Barbosa y Avenida Juan Ponce De León
San Juan, Puerto Rico, 00931
Puerto Rico
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­U­P­R events


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


Andújar (Frank Martinez) as an artist is interested to share the creative process as one natural and accessible to all. Jazzing and painting is the event performed, since 2000, with jazz bands, where the audience has the opportunity to see how a painting develops while musical notes promote improvisation in musicians and painters. Unlike similar and very popular events in internet, there was no plan or rehearsal, but was made at spur of the moment. Thus, unleashing the creative process in painting, which eventually becomes a single image that records the emotion of the very moment. The final product influenced by the atmosphere encouraged an interaction between music, the artist and the public - involved with applause and comments. On each occasion, the public, musicians and painter, enjoy a unique moment where the senses are impacted in favor of creativity as regenerative process of the soul. Jazzing as painting as an event demystifies the creative process of the artist.

Abel Baerga

Dr. Baerga has a degree in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus and a MS and PhD in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. He did postdoctoral studies in Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Cambridge in England. Since 2007, he has been a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine.

Black Rhythm

Black Rhythm (Edgar García) is an undergraduate psychology student of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. He is an artist, educator, workshop-leader, cultural manager and beatbox composer. Currently, he is the President of Beatbox Puerto Rico, a collective of Puerto Rican beatbox artists.

Cristiano Carciani

Cristiano Carciani studied Haute Couture at the Accademia Koefia, Italy, and holds a Master in Arts Administration from the Universidad del Turabo. He works at the International School of Design and Architecture (EIDA), Universidad del Turabo, as Design Department’s Director and as full-time professor for the Fashion Design Program. His Italian origins and academic background, together with the creative experience in Textile Art and Non-wearable Art, took him to adopt experimentation and exploration as basic design tools and successful teaching methodology. Carciani’s multidisciplinary approach led him to found STEMplusD in 2013 (with Arch. Aurorisa Mateo): a design concept that aims to enhance the importance of progressive integration between STEM and design disciplines.

Eva Rodríguez

Eva is a Science teacher in WALKS / WEBS, moderator of Club Los Welteros of the school grove and Coordinator of W.W.E.C.O (WALKS WEBS ECOLOGY CLUB). Also, she founded the School Forest Project. Recognized on campus for her passion for ecological education, the environment and medicinal plants; during the school year she utilizes the School Forest as an instrument and demonstration lab for her science courses. She also directs the brigades of volunteers working on the project. It is the approach between the project and external collaborators, such as Green Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. Throughout the semester she has succeeded in promoting the use of Forest School between teachers in sciences, arts and social sciences. It is her vision that the project will serve as an external laboratory for all students in WALKS WEBS.

Gary Toranzos

Gary Toranzos, originally from Cochabamba, Bolivia, is an environmental microbiologist at the University of Puerto Rico for the last 29 years. Author of dozens of publications and books, pioneer in the field of paleomicrobiology. Together with the University of Puerto Rico archeologists as well as colleagues from California, and doctoral students, has taken the concept of paleomicrobiology to unexpected depths. He is a member of the American Academy of Microbiology, as well as an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He worked as the Program Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and was member of the Science Advisory Board of the USEPA for various years. He was a member of the Research Council of Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF).

Giovanni Roberto

Giovanni Roberto was born in Fajardo in 1982. He grew up in Caguas, in the rural area of Cañaboncitos, Barrio Hormigas. They suffered from hunger and poverty - the result of long periods without employment. However, at 18 years old, he entered the University of Puerto Rico to study Hispanic Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, career which ended in 2005. In those years, he became an activist and socialist. He was active in the International Socialist Organization from 2000 to 2014. He lived in Spain from 2005 to 2008, where he played in space Revolucionario Andaluz and worked in various social projects. Upon returning to Puerto Rico, he worked for a time at our school before returning in 2009 to the University of Puerto Rico to complement studies in Spanish for Secondary Education. He founded, along with others, the Centre for Political Development, Educational and Cultural Inc. in 2012, and then the main project, the Social Eaters Puerto Rico.

Irvin Valentín

Irvin Valentín was born in San Juan in 1961. He coursed his secondary studies in the Río Piedras Heights School in 1979. He studied his bachelors and masters in accounting at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. He worked in banking and then in a pharmaceutical industry. Alongside his wife, they founded the first Pediatric Homecare in Puerto Rico in 1998. He married his wife, Lillybeth Figueroa in 1991. The marriage produced 10 lovely children from 11 to 22 years old. He is currently single and manages the Pediatric Homecare, as well as courses studies in the University of Puerto Rico.

Joseph Carroll Miranda

Assistant Professor of the Department of Graduate Studies at the University of Puerto Rico. Between his interests and publications are youth culture, critical pedagogy, hacktivism, learning technology, emerging pedagogy, curriculum design and development, computational thinking, diversification of field Computer Sciences, emancipatory technologies, subcultures, counter-cultures and Afro-Caribbean spirituality.

Kaumudi Joshipura

Dr. Kaumudi Joshipura is the Director (NIH Endowed) of the Center for Clinical Research and Health Promotion at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus, and an Adjunct Professor at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. She has a Doctoral degree in Epidemiology, and Master’s in Biostatistics from Harvard University. She was born and raised in Mumbai, with very little accessible space, in a setting where most women rarely wore sneakers or exercised. She has experienced first-hand internal and external barriers to physical activity, and has cross-cultural experience with changing norms. Her overall goal is to develop and promote integrative interventions, policies and programs that are cost-saving, free or low-cost, with potential benefit to all segments of society especially disadvantaged populations globally.

Kendall Quiñones

After serving as a military cryptologist under the US Navy, Kendall Quiñones came back to the civilian world with a unique understanding of information and how to ‘design’ it. Kendall founded Sparkative, an education innovation non-profit organization. Sparkative prides itself in assessing, unlocking and developing children’s true intellectual potential. He is also cofounder of Elementika, an organizational social responsibility company that empowers businesses and organizations to serve their immediate community as well as country-wide initiatives. Kendall also represents the Startup Puerto Rico Region as Region Champion for the presidential economic development project ‘Startup America’, for which he participated on its Summit in Chicago. He is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers initiative and is considered one of Puerto Rico’s most promising young social entrepreneurs by the community, awarding him the H3's Mentor of the Year award for 2014.

Kurt Schindler

Dr. Kurt Schindler completed his PhD in financial planning in Kansas State. He is the only doctorate of this subject in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. His research focus was the capacity and preparation of teachers to teach personal finances. He obtained his license of a Certified Financial Planner in 1990 and has more years of experience in Puerto Rico over those certified. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education. He has worked in the field of financial planning as a certified financial planner under his company in Puerto Rico (Financial Planning Group).

Lara Caride

Lara Caride has a degree in History from the University of Murcia, Spain. In 2009, she performed an exchange to Puerto Rico that changed her life, deciding to move to this island. She is a professor of History at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus and at the same time, a History doctoral student. Currently, she is in thesis preparation, based on the experiences of those who lived through the Spanish camps in Spain, France and Germany, through hand testimony and, secondly, of fiction, to show that fiction can be an excellent source for the discipline of History. In addition, Ms. Caride has presented at conferences in Spain, Ghana, Mexico, United States, Argentina and Costa Rica, as well as in Puerto Rico. In addition to academic life, Lara Caride founded the company Gali productions with her partner, Lucas Quiroga, in 2012. Gali is a company dedicated to advertising and counts among its customers José Santiago, Inc., Subway and Banco Popular.

Mauricio Lizama

Dr. Mauricio Lizama obtained his degree in psychology from City University of New York and his doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico (UPR), specializing in the area of Human Factor Engineering. He serves as coordinator of the Unit of Design and Technology Development and directs Rehabilitation Engineering projects of the UPR. Dr. Lizama has focused on the area of design and development of technology at low cost. In this capacity, Dr. Lizama has developed hundreds of teams, received the Merck Award for Innovation in Science and Engineering and has received six patents for technologies rehabilitation engineering granted by the Government of the United States. Based on his designs, Dr. Lizama has trained hundreds of people all over the world, in workshops manufacturing "high technology at low cost" aimed at creating high quality and priority technology that are real and accessible to those in need.

Rafael Rivero

First and foremost, Rafael Rivero is a lover of the natural world. He acquired a Zoology degree from Colorado State University while also delving into Earth Sciences through coursework and an exploratory geologic study with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. It was during this time that he became interested in scientific literacy and communication, penning Op-Eds for The Rocky Mountain Collegian, training in Spanish-English translation and interpretation, and being awarded a travel scholarship to conduct interviews at the Creation Museum for his capstone documentary project on public discourse involving Evolution and Creationism.

Roberto Guzmán

Roberto Guzmán is a full professor at University of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla Campus. He is also a freelance writer and political commentator. He lives in Aguadilla with his son Kevin and cat Molly. His hobbies include collecting, reading and writing. He collects music, books and cinema.

Sofía Unanue

Sofía graduated from Brown University in 2011, where she received a B.A. in International Development with a regional focus on the Arab World and Latin America. In Latin America, Sofía worked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as the International Relations Coordinator for the drug reform campaign, "Lei de Drogas: é preciso mudar". In the Arab World, she studied Arabic in Damascus, Syria throughout 2009, and later conducted her thesis research in Cairo in the wake of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Her honors thesis, "Revolutionary Words: Protest Space and Ideational Frames in Tahrir Square" was the winner of the Brown University Distinguished Senior Thesis Award. Sofía soon became interested in urban studies and the creation of inclusive and participatory cities. In 2014, Sofía moves back to her home country, Puerto Rico, where she co-founds La Maraña - a non-profit organization that aims to revitalize cities by integrating ordinary citizens in urban design processes.

Taras Oleskyk

Dr. Taras Oleskyk is a native of Ukraine who came to Puerto Rico from the US to study genome biology of the island. He holds a MS from BGSU (Bowling Green,OH), PhD from the University of Georgia (Athens, GA) and have postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute (Frederick, MD). His research efforts today are directed towards sequencing and assembling genomes of endemic and endangered Caribbean vertebrates, specifically the critically threatened Puerto Rican parrot (Amazona vittata). Genomes of other two vertebrate species are under way, and in the future genomes of all Amazon parrots will be sequenced to provide an genome-wide model to study evolution of vertebrate species on islands. He has been speaking internationally on how to involve the local community into supporting genome science and how to excite undergraduate students about scientific careers, genomics and conservation of the endangered species from their native island.

Víctor Lleras

Víctor Lleras holds a PhD in INCITEMENT from UOL (University of Life). Author of the book “Bajo el Hechizo”, “Cómo Inyectar Magia a tus Palabras y Acciones Para Vender lo Invisible: Tus Ideas”. He is a lecturer, entrepreneur, consultant, transformation coach, MIT graduate in Hollywood California and speaks 4 languages. He was President and Executive Creative Director JMD Communications and next to a talented team led a business of 11.5 Million turnover to 19.7 million in two years. He has done work for Kellogg's, Sony, Bacardi, Häagen-Dazs, Unilever, Anheuser-Busch, General Motors, McDonald's, Pfizer, Nissan, Gillette, Medal, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, Johnnie Walker, Infiniti and Coca-Cola, among others. He has received over 60 awards worldwide. Expert in social media strategies and is sure that he will die doing some extreme sport.

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro

Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro is a Puerto Rican writer. She has published a number of books that denounce and ignite passionate approach that promotes discussion on afroidentity and sexualdiversity. She is Director of the Department of Afro-Puerto Rican Studies, Creative Writing performance project that responds to the advertisement issued by UNESCO to celebrate the International Decade of African Descent. She has been invited by the United Nations to the "Remembering Slavery" program to talk about women, slavery and creativity in 2015. Her storybook “Las Negras”, winner of PEN Club Story National Prize of Puerto Rico in 2013, explores the limits of female character evolution challenging powerful hierarchies. She has also won the Award of the Puerto Rican Culture Institute in 2015, 2012 and the National Prize of the Institute of Puerto Rican Literature in 2008.

Organizing team


New York, NY, United States

Jorge Andrés
Pérez Figueroa

San Juan, Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico
  • Paola Victoria Figueroa-Delgado