x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Bring the light

This event occurred on
November 2, 2018
Riga, Rīga

Light is everywhere. It’s in bright talent and brilliant ideas, shining minds and sparkling eyes. It’s time to see it and save it, be it and share it. After all — what better time is there to look at everything from the bright side, if not during the dark time of the year, shortly before Latvia’s centenary?
Note: The 100th Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic of Latvia was celebrated on 18 November, 2018

National Library of Latvia
Mūkusalas iela 3
Riga, Rīga, LV-1423
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aija Paegle

Physical therapist, educator
Aija is a physical therapist, educator, and former dancer. She received her BA in Dance and Political Science from the Univ. of Calif. Santa Barbara but centered her dance career in New York City with tours to Japan and Korea, culminating with teaching and choreographing in Latvia. Aija returned to New York for her Masters in Physical Therapy from Hunter College, and currently practices at the Hospital for Special Surgery. She has specialized in the therapeutic application of Pilates, which helps patients to recover a healthy movement experience. She has presented her work nationally for the American Physical Therapy Assoc. and taught at Columbia University. Aija sees the body as an instrument — to communicate, to work, and to learn about yourself and the world around you. Aija is happy to be back in Latvia to share that learning about breathing, and specifically the muscle of breathing, is like discovering you possess a hidden power, which can help you to control, focus, and heal.

Artūrs Miksons

Medical doctor, Psychotherapist / psychosomatic medicine specialist
Artūrs Miksons, MD, is a psychotherapist and head doctor of the Riga Stradins University Clinic of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy. A well-liked teacher among students, passionate and active promoter of emotional health. In clinical practice, he successfully combines the roles of both child and adult psychotherapist. Helping an adult or child to get to the true nature of themselves, to encourage and improve emotional closeness in the family and to alleviate emotional suffering. Artūrs also actively operates outside the clinic, through mass-media, by educating the society about the importance of emotions and mental health. Through students' interest groups he improves the approach to the doctor-patient relationships of future physicians. In Balint groups, he helps colleagues to maintain work satisfaction and avoid burning out. From clinical, academic and personal experience he has come to the conviction that the greatest value is to be felt and accepted by someone.

Christopher Leake

Christopher Leake is an American economist and the National Vice President for Data Analytics, Reporting and Insights at Teach For America, a sibling organization to Mission Possible (Iespējamā misija) in Latvia. His professional experience spans multiple sectors. He began his career in finance at J. P. Morgan, before moving on to applied economic research and policy at MDRC and as a Harvard Strategic Data Project Fellow. In this latter role, he worked with the New York State Education Department to implement a research and policy agenda to match unemployed graduates to local career opportunities and was involved in regional labor force development.

Dins Vecāns

Architect, long-distance runner
Dins Vecāns is an architect from Latvia whose passion, already for a while now, is running – long distance running. Ultramarathon distance running one could say. Thus, many know Dins as a long‑distance running addict. And yet, it's not just about running. Once he attempted to and successfully ran 28 marathons in 28 consecutive days in 28 different Europe’s capital cities. The "28-28-28" marathon all across Europe was aimed to draw attention and support to a charity movement for pediatric cancer patients. Another dream of his is to run 7 marathons on 7 continents. He has already run 6 of them.

Elina Ingelande

IT educator, coding school founder
A startup enthusiast, Elina dreamt of turning Latvia into the Silicon Valley of the Baltic region. She soon realized this could only be accomplished by building the foundations for a modern, technologically-driven society. She believes it is crucial to teach and motivate children to become competitive IT professionals. That’s why she and her friend founded Learn IT, the first coding club in Latvia for children and a cradle for future IT enthusiasts.

Evija Vēbere

Musician, singer, songwriter
Evija Vebere is a Latvian singer and composer. Her solo recording Sirdsbūt won Best Alternative Music Album 2019 at Latvian music awards. Evija performs and creates music on hardware instruments - diverse synths, broken trumpet and sings with a childlike voice. The range of Evija's musical spectrum varies from light and playful melodies to wild and schizophrenic depth of sound. Before embarking on her solo performance, Evija played with Serbian drummer Lav Kovač. "Howling Owl" was the name of their avant-pop group, and were dubbed by some as having "the most eclectic, liberal approach to modern music”. In 2015, Howling Owl released an EP, "Dance For Common Sense". The year before, while studying jazz music in The Netherlands, Evija released her debut recording "Dream Whispers" with Marta Warellis on piano, Esat Ekinciouglu on bass and Lav Kovač on drums.

Faux Pas: Laura Gorodko & Aleksejs Smolovs

Cyr Wheel Performance
FAUX PAS translates from French as “a false step”, a behavior that’s considered audacious in society. In other words, a FAUX PAS is a form of expression that pushes the boundaries of social norms. It’s being yourself, regardless of everything. This is how you could describe FAUX PAS, the team of Latvian artists: expressive, passionate, bold. Their art is synergy between contemporary dance and circus. Vivid yet delicate metaphors in a story about two people and the private, invisible side of their relationship known only to those who experience it. Performers use different dance styles and techniques, and they recently introduce a Cyr wheel, which helps immerse spectators and tell their story even more dramatically.

Gatis Rozenfelds

Photographer, yahtsman
Gatis is a famous Latvian commercial photographer and entrepreneur. In 1999 and at the age of 22, Gatis created his first advertising campaign. In 2005, he founded Photo Agency F64 — an agency that focused on news. For the past 13 years the largest Latvian media companies have been seeking out the services of F64 and they keep providing excellent work from magazine covers and commercials to photo reports from various locations in Latvia and abroad. For the past 3 years, Gatis has been the creative director at Picture Agency and keeps creating impressive visual projects. As most Latvians do, Gatis also has a special connection with the sea. His hobby — sailing, fits well with his spirit of leadership and creativity.

Ģirts Ozoliņš

Noise explorer
Girts' interest in electronics, electronic music and synthesizers developed when he was only twelve years old. Now he is a founder of Erica Synths, a successful company that develops, manufactures, and exports electronic music instruments. They are used by thousands of people around the world — some worth mentioning include Martin Gore from the English electronic band Depeche Mode and the famous German composer Hans Zimmer. Erica Synths' main export products are modular synthesizers — they're played in every corner of the world, covering every continent except Antarctica. Girts strongly believes that electronic music technologies are the best combination of creativity and engineering.

Ieva Morica

A believer in the power of conversation
Ieva is the head of DOTS, the Foundation for an Open Society, best known for the annual Conversation Festival LAMPA, in Latvia. Ieva is an advocate for open dialogue. For almost two decades, Ieva has been working to promote democracy, social entrepreneurship and inclusion. In recent years, she has organized and facilitated honest conversations at the LAMPA open-air festival. In 2018, the LAMPA festival brought together more than 16,000 people with a wide range of interests and opinions from all walks of life.

Ilze Paklone

Ilze believes that recognition comes to those who bravely act upon the opportunities presented by life, and her devotion to this statement is embodied by her own life. After graduating the Riga Technical University with a Doctor of Architecture degree, Ilze was offered the chance to go to Japan to conduct her PhD at The University of Tokyo. She moved to Japan and not only continued her research, but also focused on drawing attention to Latvian architecture. In 2016 as the guest editor of the “a+u” Japanese architecture magazine, she released the special edition No. 555 titled “Feature: Latvia – Architecture Unfolding”. She was also the co-author of the exhibition “Latvia. Architecture and Convergence”. These efforts eventually resulted in a Japanese delegation visiting Latvia to experience it first-hand. Now Ilze is back and working on the next-generation appearance of Riga.

Jānis Sārts

Strategic communications expert
Janis has been on the first line of Latvia’s defense for more than twenty years. He is a former State Secretary of the Latvian Ministry of Defense and also led the Defense Section of Latvia’s Delegation to NATO and the EU. Janis is a former Chair of the National Cyber Security Board, the body responsible for developing and improving Latvia’s cyber security. Currently, Janis is head of the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence, a Riga-based hub focused on research and testing ideas and approaches in information security and cognitive resilience.

Kaspar Bindeman

Artist, musician, performer
Kaspar is a Latvian musician who has worked in various fields throughout his life, such as music, multimedia, event management and many more. He was born into a family of artists and from a young age was surrounded by creative expression. His works as a performer, composer, music producer and director have been nominated and awarded both nationally and internationally. Lately he has devoted himself mostly to composing music, and in the fall of 2018, after almost ten years of work, he finished his album AWAKE/DESPIERTO. Artists from every continent have participated in the recording of this unique album, the genre of which is an ultimate fusion of flamenco and latino, rock, funk, electronica and classical music. He uses his music to draw attention to modern social, existential and ecological problems.

Kaspars Breidaks

Improviser, radio host
People who know Kaspars call him half-man, half-amazing. Kaspars seems to be made of pure positivity, charisma, enthusiasm, and humor. Kaspars is all in one: a radio show host, an actor, a co-founder of the Spiediens improvisation theatre, Improv Comedy Riga, and is a proud member of the "Ohana" European improvisation theater project that brings together 50 experienced improvisers from different cultures, countries, and backgrounds. After performing at Chicago's The Second City Theater, known as the most influential comedy theater in the world, Kaspars returned to Latvia. Kaspars has represented Latvia in various international improvisation shows and at festivals in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Finland, and Estonia. He is now on a mission to spread the art of improvisation in his own country. For Kaspars, life is theater and he always plays his best.

Kristaps Pētersons

Presentation master
Kristaps' passion lies at the very bottom of the sea of presentations. For the last 20 years, he has been known for his eloquence and sheer devotion to the media world and the power of words. Kristaps has worked as a correspondent, producer, host, and journalist. For the last 8 years, Kristaps has been focused on his biggest passion — how to win over hearts and minds by delivering effective presentations. As a co-founder of the company Nimega, which helps businesses and governments to excel in the way they present their ideas, Kristaps and the team create immersing presentations, breathtaking pitches, and catchy messages for their clients. He teaches big companies, venturing start-ups and governments how to make their message unforgettable.

Māra Pāvula

Contemporary circus facilitator
Mara is an enthusiast of a very unique and special culture - that of contemporary circus. She had been studying Intercultural Relations between Latvia and France when in 2012 Mara headed to Paris to fulfill her dream of entering the circus world, as France had always played an important role in the evolution of contemporary circus culture. While studying her Masters in University 8 of Paris, she established “Next Door Circus”, a platform dedicated to contemporary circus in the Baltics. Since 2013 she has been co-organizing the contemporary circus festival Re Riga! In 2016 Mara returned to Latvia, established the artist residency program "Sansusī", and continued her research and production activities. As of September 2017, Mara has been running the Riga Circus School, a platform that provides amateur and professional educational activities as well as audience development strategy under the Riga Circus.

Mārtiņš Daugulis

Political scientist, TV host
A true polymath, Mārtiņš is perhaps best known as a TV personality and a former host of one of the most popular morning television shows. However, this is just one aspect of his professional life. Mārtiņš is also a researcher in political science with particular interest in anthropological angle of politics. He is a PhD candidate and a lecturer at Riga Stradins University. Mārtiņš' main fields of research are strategic and political communication, EU identity and sustainable development, as well as relations with China.

Mārtiņš Gulbis

Science conductor
Martin's main aim is to make science attractive and interesting not only for scientists but for all society groups, especially for children. Therefore, after receiving Master's degree in Chemistry and gaining practical experience while working as teacher in school, he founded his own science school Laboratorium, where he is teaching children to understand different processes and interdependencies surrounding us, through various physics and chemistry experiments. He strives to create positive image, love to science and to build strong grounds for continues interest in science for everyone from young age. In addition, Martins prepares and offers different entertaining science show programs to perform in events.

Nellija Ločmele

Nellija is an outstanding Latvian journalist and editor. A founder and editor-in-chief of the weekly magazine IR, she is a former political journalist and former editor-in-chief at some of the biggest Latvian newspapers of the past decades. Having started her career in the 1990s, she has made crucial contributions to both the journalist community, as well as society at large, by standing up for independent journalism and breaking stories on corruption at the highest levels of government. Known for her unwavering integrity and relentless fight for the truth, Nellija knows first-hand that quality journalism is essential for a country's future.

Reinis Jaunais

Guitar player, traveling artist
Reinis Jaunais is an extraordinary guitar player, traveler, and free spirit. He is a traveling musician from Latvia, Riga who has been playing his music all around Europe for many years, composing and sharing his original songs with everyone and everywhere, from by-passers on the streets to interested listeners at music concerts. So far he has given concerts in most countries of Europe, as well as in New Zealand, Australia, and Turkey. Reinis has released six solo albums — Plika ģitāra (2013), Draugu orķestris (2015), Gaišs (2016), Tumšs (2017), Music and Travel Stories (2018), Pretpolu vienādības (2019).

Organizing team


Riga, Latvia
  • Aleksandrs Borovenskis
  • Arta Beitane
    Post production
  • Julia Gifford
    Post production