"Interrogating Identity" - Adam Ludwig holds a dual Israeli and US nationality, despite being educated across the world due to his father's work with the US state department. He moved to Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. Adam is fluent in both English and Hebrew. This contrast of national identity with an international upbringing has motivated Adam to share the ways in which he feels society may limit individuals in their identification or expression due to societal labels.
Social Media Advocate
"Say Yes to Social Media" - Aleksandra was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. When she was eleven, she moved with her family to Zagreb, Croatia and lived there for two years. In 2014, her family moved back to Sofia, where she is currently living. In her free time, she often finds herself browsing through social media, which has led her to discover that there are some big benefits to using it.
Bulgarian Folkloric Singers
Vocal group Avigeya brings together young and talented singers – to revive, preserve and disseminate Bulgarian folklore heritage.They recreate the beauty of Bulgarian music, taking inspiration from the legacy of their ancestors. Folklore music possesses great spiritual potential that the singers want to preserve and pass on to future generations.
Aleksandra Vasileva, Ralitsa Kirilova, and Sibina Radenkova breathe new life of Bulgarian folklore music.Each of the singers in the band has a long experience and high creative achievements and performance, but the group Avigeya brings them together to realize their bold creative dreams.
Aytek and Janset Yenisen
"Mind Your Own Mind" - Janset and Aytek Yenisen were born in Istanbul, Turkey but were raised in three different countries: Turkey, Pakistan, and Spain. Their parents are both Turkish. They moved to Bulgaria in the summer of 2016. Janset and Aytek both speak Turkish, English, Spanish but Janset is learning French and Aytek is learning Bulgarian. They have a great passion towards the concept of communication and decision making and for their talk, they dug deeper into the core of where everything starts - the brain.
Growth Mindset Champion
"The Mindset of a Champion" - Carson Byblow is a 5th grade student who goes to the Anglo American School of Sofia in Bulgaria. He was born in Belgrade, Serbia but is from Canada. Funny thing is he has never lived in Canada but have visited many times. Carson loves to play football, basketball and hangout with his friends and family. He speaks a little of Bulgarian and is fluent in English. He wrote his talk about growth and fixed mindsets because he has struggled with for his long life of ten years.
"The Power of K-Pop" - Dabin was born in 2002 in the city of Busan, South Korea. She lived in Ulsan, a neighbor city of Busan, for 10 years but then in 2012 January, she moved to Sofia, Bulgaria and lived there ever since then. Thanks to her dad's job, she had the privilege to go to an international school called Anglo-American School of Sofia. She is fluent in Korean an English and she is currently learning Spanish. Dabin likes many different activities, socializing and writing songs and is passionate about singing, dancing ever since she got inspired by K-Pop as a little girl.
Parent-Child Relationship Researcher
"Parenting Parents" - Dmitry Sorokhtin was born on a cold winter afternoon, in a city of Moscow, where he lived and studied for the next 12 years of his life. His parents, both Russian, divorced when he was 8 years old and he was to stay with his mother. Throughout his studies in Russia, Dmitry acquired fluency in Russian as well as a certain level of German and a bit of English. Yet it was only at the age of 12 that he learned English as he went to his first international school in Paris. In 2014, his family moved to Sofia, Bulgaria. Dmitry has lived in three absolutely different communities and it was most curious to him to see different relationships between children and their parents. Through his curiosity, he came to recognize different styles of parenting and options that are best for both children and parents.
High School Revolutionist
"The High School Marathon" - Elena Dimova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and has lived there her entire life. She speaks Bulgarian and English, and is currently learning Spanish and German. She spent her first seven years of education in a public Bulgarian school and then moved to an international school, the Anglo-American School of Sofia. Having experienced both the traditional Bulgarian system and the international one, she found out that students in both places have a similar perception about grades. Instead of teaching her how much grades matter, high school only made her realise how much they don't. Observing her classmates, she came to a realisation that many of them fail to understand what the true purpose of high school is and, more importantly, the whole conception of grades.
"Why I Gave Up on Princesses" - Hili Bercovich was born in Israel but currently lives in Sofia, Bulgaria. She moved to Bulgaria after living five years in Hungary. Both of her parents are Jewish. She moved to Bulgaria in September of 2011. Hili speaks English, Hebrew and is learning how to speak French. Hili enjoys traveling and cooking. While she saw the latest Star Wars movies, she realized the change and growth in the feministic side of Star Wars. That inspired her to the realization how strong female characters have an impact on children all over the world.
Musician, Producer, and Fine Artist
The Bulgarian musician, producer and fine artist Ivan Shopov presented his music and art in Europe, South America, USA,
Asia, and Australia: his music reaches all over the world.
His interest in electronic music led to different projects in the styles of techno, drum and bass, idm, jazz, and classical music. What distinguishes him is his ability to mix traditional Bulgarian folklore with electronic music and jazz, creating a bridge between the past and present.
Behind him are three albums in collaboration with Theodosii Spassov and one with Avigeya. He is also a composer for contemporary dance and theatre productions, as well as a sound designer for short films and interactive installations.
Shopov created the music for Derrida Dance, one of them winning the IKAR award in 2017.
He holds a BA in Graphics and Print Making at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and has 8 solo exhibitions in Bulgaria and abroad.
He has over 120 vinyl records and 350 releases with his music.
Teenage Brain Researcher
"Proof that the Teenage Brain Actually Works" - Jimin "Christine" Han was born in South Korea, to an all Korean family. She has lived in multiple countries and currently resides in Sofia, Bulgaria. Christine is fluent in Korean and English and, as a teenager, is interested in neurology. She's personally affected by societal expectations of the adolescent brain activity. She hopes to change people's misconceptions about the impulsiveness of teenaged behavior.
Luben Vassilev Roussev
European Union Activist
"The European Union's Battle with History" - Luben Roussev was born in Cape Town, South Africa. His parents are both Bulgarian. He started his early childhood living in Dublin, Ireland, however, spent most of his life in an international school in Sofia, Bulgaria. Luben speaks English, Bulgarian, and French and is keen to learn many more languages. He enjoys skiing, writing, playing the piano, making comedy videos and learning history. Luben from his early life has been dependent on the benefits created through Bulgaria's entry into the EU and his family's business relies on the EU and the connections it fosters. This has created a desire within Luben to study and better the EU for future generations with the help of lessons from the past.
Macarena Aviles Tamariz
"Debunking Stereotypes" - Macarena Aviles Tamariz was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia like her brother. Both of her parents are from Ecuador. She moved to Bulgaria in the summer of 2017. Macarena is fluent in both Spanish and English. She likes to play with friends and family, sing, dance also Macarena likes to find solutions to minimize or stop problems.
"Why I Cosplay" - Maria Krajewska was born in Warsaw, Poland. She has since lived in Varna, Baku and now in Sofia, where she moved in the summer of 2014. Maria is fluent in both Polish and English. One of her passions is also learning languages. She is currently learning Spanish, Bulgarian, Swedish and Russian. Maria has a lot of hobbies, from baking, publishing storied online and tennis, all the way to reading, DIY and cosplay. In the summer of 2017, she attended her first convention which inspired her to become a cosplayer - someone who dresses up as fictional characters from numerous TV shows and anime. Ever since she embarked on a journey to improve her skills, she became a much more confident person.
"A Mountain of Confidence" - Maya Perets was born in Rehovot, Israel; lived in Vanta, Finland; and moved to Sofia, Bulgaria with her parents, big brother, and little sister where she currently lives. Maya is fluent in Hebrew and English. When she just got into 4th grade, she noticed something, she felt a little wired and didn't know what to do about it. Later on in that year, she found out that she is insecure and not confident in what she does or says at all. Now Maya is in 6th grade and is still working on her confidence and is on her way to being more and more confident every day. During her journey in self-confidence, she noticed a lot of things, like how it can be a real struggle to people and how it can actually help them, like Maya, it helped her see who she really was.
"Save the Best for Last" - Michael Nunan was born from an Australian father and a Ukrainian mother. He was born in London and has lived in Ukraine, Australia, Serbia, and now Bulgaria. He speaks English and is learning French. Michael is in year 5 and loves playing football and basketball.
"Family vs Friends: The Role of Social Media" - Mimoza Aranitasi was born in Sofia, Bulgaria but has lived in various countries across the world including Cuba, England, and Turkey. Her father is Albanian and her mother is Bulgarian. She moved back to Sofia just over a year ago, after spending 7 years in Istanbul, Turkey. Mimoza is fluent in English, Spanish and Bulgarian and speaks a bit of Turkish and Albanian. Mimoza enjoys volleyball, reading, traveling and spending time with her family. After moving to so many different places, she has realized that a strong family relationship is vital in a person's life, especially that of a teenager.
"Boredom is the Mother of Creativity" - Raz Eshel was born and raised his first decade of life in the town of Rosh Haayin, Israel. He was born to two Israeli parents who have made the decision to move to Sofia, Bulgaria in 2016 after Raz turned 10. He can speak Hebrew and English and as every other person gets bored very often, he decided to diagnose boredom and found out how interesting boredom actually is.