x = independently organized TED event

Theme: RISE

This event occurred on
April 14, 2018
Kuwait, Ḩawallī

TEDxAUK brings the TED experience here to the American University of Kuwait. TEDx is a curated half day-long, immersive live experience bringing speakers, artists and audience members together with the purpose of sharing perspective, sparking deep discussions and inspiring positive networks and impactful actions around ideas that matter.

The theme of TEDxAUK will be formed around the concepts of perseverance, rising above the challenges of life, learning, personal growth, and self-actualization. We are seeking speakers who have found innovative ways to inspire learning and growth in others, whether in traditional educational settings or informal and alternative learning spaces.

American University of Kuwait
15 Salem Al-Mobarak Street
Kuwait, Ḩawallī, 11511
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­A­U­K events


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

Bahareh Azizi

Consultant at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) & Oxford Fellow
Dr. Bahareh Azizi currently serves as a Consultant with the Director General's Office at the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS). Prior to joining KFAS in 2016, Dr. Azizi was the Head of Basic Science and Director of Business Development at the Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI). In these capacities she worked with and managed over 30 scientists engaged in diabetes research and coordinated outreach programs to promote diabetes awareness. In 2016, she started the Experience Science program, in collaboration with the Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyah, to teach science and math to children, which was awarded by the US Department of State in 2017. Dr. Azizi received her PhD in Biochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and her BS in Biochemistry and Biotechnology from Michigan State University. She is also a Tseu Cruddas Senior Fellow at Harris Manchester College at Oxford University.

Deana Shaaban

Modern Couturier and Performance Training Coach
Deana Shaaban is former professional athlete turned Fashion Designer. After getting her BA in business marketing and a minor in psychology, she travelled to London to study Fashion Design at Istituto Marangoni. After graduating from design school she returned to Egypt to start her own clothing brand in 2010, which is founded on the belief that making the decision to wear something is one of the most profound decisions a person can make because our clothing is the most obvious form of self-expression. She has an appreciation for the profound impact that the design process can have on empowering an individual to discover their true selves.

Duncan Wardle

Former Head of Innovation & Creativity @ Disney and Founder of iD8 & innov8.
Duncan Wardle is the founder of iD8 & innov8, a Design Thinking consultancy helping companies embed a culture of innovation and creativity throughout their organizations. Prior to launching the start-up, Duncan worked for the world’s most creative company, the Walt Disney Company, for 30 years, during which time he served in various executive roles such as Vice President, Innovation & Creativity, Vice President, Global Public Relations, and Vice President, International Marketing & Sales. His work took him from London, to Paris, to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Mumbai, and Shanghai. In 2008, he was honored with the “Outstanding American Citizen Award" at the White House, and in 2014 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Edinburgh University. He also holds the Duke Edinburgh Award, presented by Her Majesty the Queen.

Engy Ibrahim

AUK Student and Vice President of Kuwait Poets Society (KPS).
Engy Galal is a first year student at the American University of Kuwait, where she serves as the Vice President of the Kuwait Poets Society and regularly writes, reads, and shares her work and others' in an attempt to make the world a more compassionate place. When not performing at open mic nights, she spends her free time contemplating the beautiful, little intricacies of life.

Fatma Al-Qadfan

Drama Therapist
Fatmah al-Qadfan has a background in anthropology, English literature and theatre. She received her MA in drama therapy from Kansas State University and went on to complete post-graduate training in PTSD care. She now works as the first drama therapist in Kuwait at Fawzia Sultan Health Network. Fatmah draws on this experience to raise awareness about the power of the arts in the healing process, utilizing techniques ranging from improvisation and storytelling to role-play and performance in her work with clients.

Jacob Gordon

Rocket Scientist
Before moving to Kuwait, Jake spent the last 12 years working as a rocket scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he also lectured at a graduate school for sailors in the United States Navy. He has an undergraduate degree in physics from Harvard University, where he played soccer, and a Master of Science in Biomedical Forensic Sciences from the Boston University School of Medicine. Prior to his last job, Jake researched atmospheric science at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), investigated legal cases with the Public Defender Service in Washington, D.C., and analyzed high-speed particle physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Monique Morrow

President and Co-founder of the Humanized Internet
Monique Morrow is the former Chief Technology Officer and Evangelist of New Frontiers Engineering at Cisco, the President and Co-Founder of The Humanized Internet, and one of the most influential technology leaders worldwide. She has been indispensable in helping engineers and business leaders understand how existing and future technologies drive business, government, non-governmental organizations, and non-profit organizations. Ms. Morrow has been widely recognized for her accomplishments with awards such as the Top Women in Cloud Innovations Award 2016 and the 2014 GEM-TECH Award and inclusion on prestigious lists such as the Top 100 CIOs for 2016, 10 Women in Networking/Communications You Should Know, and Top 10 Influential IT Women in Europe. Earning her BA in French from San Jose State University, she went on to receive her MS in Telecommunications Management from Golden Gate University and her MBA from City University of Seattle.

Mushtaq Hussain

Carpet Weaving Artist
Mushtaq Hussain Ghulami was born in Kabul, Afghanistan in 1977, where he lived until his family fled to Iran to escape the Soviet-Afghan War. He spent nine years near the city of Mashhad, where he worked in a Persian carpet factory after school and slowly learned to love the handwoven craft in spite of the poverty surrounding him. His family then moved to Kuwait shortly before the Iraqi invasion. Rebuilding the family carpet business after the liberation inspired him to share his love and knowledge with all he could, leading him to partner with local carpet weavers in order to help them overcome cultural and economic restrictions and give them a voice in the modern age.

Nicolla Hewitt

Seasoned US Media Executive - Former Producer at ABC, CBS, NBC & Yahoo
Nicolla Hewitt has a career spanning nearly 30 years in US media working at ABC, CBS, NBC and Yahoo. She worked on esteemed programs such as The Today Show and 60 Minutes, and produced interviews for ABC, CBS and NBC with numerous international leaders. Her other accomplishments include serving as an advisor to HRH The Prince of Wales, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite, and Hillary Clinton’s Vital Voices Global Partnership. Miss Hewitt holds a BA in Broadcast Journalism from Pepperdine University, and was a media fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. She has served on the board of UN Women for Peace and volunteers her time to Stand Up to Cancer and the Entertainment Industry Foundation in the United States.

Organizing team


Kuwait, Kuwait


Kuwait City , Kuwait
  • Rehab Hamza
  • Yara AlQuorashy