x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Raise Your Voice. Walk the Talk. Accelerate youth-driven change.

This event occurred on
November 9, 2019
Boston, Massachusetts
United States

Our 8th annual event continues our enduring quest to deepen the realization and animation of the 3 central missions of our youth program. Amplify youth voices globally. Accelerate youth-driven change. Activate and weave together collaboration across generations to create a better tomorrow. The main stage features 18 teenage speakers, 5 adults, and 5 performances.This year we host our first "youth bulge" country speaker reaching mobilized youth in Dhaka. Bangladesh. The atrium features 10 immersive exhibits and breakout spaces. A separate MassArt Studio for Interrelated Media student designed community and overflow auditorium features a multisensory simulcast, art exhibit, and podcast salon experience.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design
621 Huntington Avenue
Boston, Massachusetts, 02115
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alexandria Knipper

Social Media Marketing Intern and Award-Winning Social Entrepreneur
Lex is 19 years old, lives in Clifton Springs, NY. She is a rising junior at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an award-winning social entrepreneur. She is a Media and Society Major with a minor in Entrepreneurial Studies. She is an entrepreneur/activist working to change the systems originating and supporting young cancer caregivers. She was a teenage cancer caregiver to a family member. Instagram @alexandriasknipper

Ana Tejeda Batista

Student Leader, Activist
As an immigrant, daughter, scholar, and friend, Ana has to fulfill many roles. Though overtime, she has come to learn how these roles help fulfill her. She feels whole when she is surrounded by intellectuals, artists, and loved ones. During times of isolation, such as those that come with being an only child, Ana feels reflective. She likes to reflect on different aspects of society and is curious about the way things work. Ana questions society’s definition of success as she overcomes barriers to reach her fullest potential. She tries to teach others how to use their mindset as a strength, instead of it being a limitation. Ana feels confident as a debater, baker, linguist, and scientist.

Andi Hanako

Graduate Student, Musician
Andi Hanako is an electronic musician with roots in Tokyo, Colorado, and the Okinawan islands. Andi composes dance music that features indigenous Okinawan songs to learn the indigenous languages of her home islands spoken by her elder family members and to be able to share the musical stories of her people. Andi is humbled and honored to be in Massachusetts while studying indigenous language revitalization through music at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Instagram @andihanako

Angelina Botticelli

Singer-Songwriter & Community Organizer
Raised in East Boston, 19-year-old artist-activist Angelina combines her music-making with a passion for creative discovery and civic engagement. She has been an active youth community member, multi-instrumental musician, producer, organizer, and motivated student leader. Through her involvement with ZUMIX, Berklee City Music, and Yes Fest, Angelina performs and organizes events focused on storytelling, self-expression, and the importance of arts education for young people. Her hit radio show “Bad Gal Radio” focuses on storytelling, it is a safe space for marginalized identities to express themselves. She has over 1 million streams for songwriting and lead vocals on Emotions, an EP by the band “Wild Painting.” She recently released the song Electric, under the name Angel Nrg. A 2019 graduate of Boston Arts Academy, Angelina is a full-time student at Berklee College of Music where she is studying voice and working as a mentor with Berklee City Music. Instagram @angelnrg .

Asmani Huda

Student, Filmmaker & Community Organizer
Asmani is a 17-year-old student. She is both eloquent and honest in her approach to how she frames issues of justice and access. With mixed ethnicity and race and abilities, she has come to understand the beauty and struggle of what it means to exist in multiple identities. She is a filmmaker and a lover of engaging in unique and critical dialogue. Instagram @Asmaniurfav

Chlöe Berlin

Student & Youth Activist
Chlöe is a senior in high school from Cambridge, MA. She works with the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and with Planned Parenthood as a youth sexuality educator. Additionally, Chlöe trains in martial arts and provides trauma-informed care for young people.

Coby Everton

Student, Activist
Coby is a queer student who is extremely passionate about his education and social justice. Art and fashion play a large role in how he expresses himself. Instagram @coby.everton

Dania Hallak

Student, Activist, Community Organizer
Dania is a student who has lived in the Revere, Massachusetts for the past 3 years. She is originally from Aleppo,Syria where she was born and raised. Dania and her family were displaced from Syria, which forced them to relocate to various countries. She experienced many struggles while seeking refugee status but finally settled in the United States. Once in the U.S., Dania had a simple goal in mind: to further her education, especially in science. Her passion for science and work with labs during the summer led her to a revelation that opened her eyes to injustices committed by climate change. Today, she continues to pursue her love for science while working with youth-led organizations to talk with legislators about equitable science-based climate policy and, most importantly, to empower the voices of youth and people of color.

Danny Rivera

Songwriter, Musician, Educator, and Advocate for Social Impact, Equity, and Empowerment
Danny Rivera, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, pianist, and guitarist. He graduated from the Boston Arts Academy in 2019, Boston’s public high school for the visual & performing arts. He gained a following in 2018 when he released his debut single “Gravity” on audio distribution platform Spotify. His first extended play record entitled “The Requisite” is currently available on all music platforms. Danny has performed at such venues as The White House for President Barack Obama, Fenway Park for the Boston Red Sox, TD Garden for the Boston Celtics, House of Blues Boston, The Strand Theatre, 939 Red Room Cafe, The Berklee Performance Center, Boch Center Shubert Theatre. His work has been featured on several radio stations and an Amazon Prime TV show where his original song was submitted for an Emmy Nomination. Danny wrote and produced a campaign song for U.S. Representative for Massachusetts’s 7th congressional district Ayanna Pressley. Instagram @dannyrivera_

Destin Bundu

Student, Activist, Philanthropist
Destin is an 11th grader at City on a Hill, Boston. He was born to two amazing immigrant parents. His mother always wanted him to be close to his roots and raised him in the same culture as she was raised. Due to that upbringing, Africa has a strong place in his heart. He is a passionate social advocate against the socioeconomic disparities many urban youth face especially in Boston where the income gap is so wide. His passion has led him to become a member of student government, work with elected officials providing the youth’s perspective on policies, and speaking at many galas and fundraising events for urban outreach programs. Academically, he is a candidate for valedictorian and intends on going to medical school to become a neurosurgeon. Destin is engaged in community service with the Brigham and Women Hospital, the clean my block organization, and the Haley House soup kitchen. He enjoys singing, playing rugby, and reviewing independent movies. Instagram @Iam.destinb

Evan Northrup

Performer, Illusionist, Magician
Evan always knew he would be a magician. After growing up in Salem, Massachusetts, he traveled through several countries as a street performer to learn his craft and has recently taken his performances into the world of theater. From staging his own innovative productions to designing effects for others’ theatrical endeavors, Evan’s projects seek to inspire people from all walks of life to push the boundaries of what they believe is possible. His latest ongoing production – “Mind of a Magician” – redefines the limits of magic through monthly performances of original material. He is a Live Arts Boston Grant recipient, a graduate of Brown University, a student of languages, an avid cook, a voracious reader, and a curious soul; all of which make their way into his unique magical productions. Instagram @EvanNorthrup

Jana Amin

Youth Activist, Student
Jana is an Egyptian-American high school student at Milton Academy. She founded Bantoota (Arabic for a girl) to amplify the voices of young Muslim women through storytelling. Jana has a passion for international relations and Middle Eastern studies, with a special interest in gender studies and Islam. Her research focuses on the media representation of Muslim women; she recently curated an exhibit exploring this topic at the American University in Cairo. Jana did a leadership training program at MIT on how to change the narrative around Arab / Muslim girls and worked with Heya Masr in Egypt that empowers underprivileged girls through education. Jana is a national champion in Original Oratory and writes for two student-run publications. She is co-head of the Muslim Student Association, Editor in Chief of Slant Magazine, a school publication on foreign policy and economic affairs. Jana competes on the squash team and plays the harp. Instagram @bantoota

Jeremy Ornstein

Student, Organizer, Public Narrative Activist
Jeremy has lived in the Boston area almost all of his life. This past year, he deferred from college and took a year to continue a passion: youth political organizing. He considers the work to be rooted in his family’s history– his grandparents fled religious persecution in Europe. And it’s informed by his home– Watertown, MA; which is made up of people whose parents were born there, people who were born in another country, people who are ready to work with their hands and others who are ready to work with grad school degrees. This past summer, Jeremy adventured around the country. He got the chance to see how kids from Detroit to Eugene to NYC are living, and he got to follow in the footsteps of old poets like Bob Dylan. Instagram @jer1300

John Carter

Owner Titanium Health, Master Trainer, Head Trauma Survivor
John Carter is a personal trainer at Titanium Health and Fitness, his private gym, where he shows his clients that they can push themselves to achieve more than they thought was possible. Born and raised in Worcester, MA, John grew up as a football star and all-around good son, delivering newspapers and shoveling snow for his neighbors. Trouble started when John’s dad died, and John tried to take over as head of the family. John is the proud father of one son and two daughters. Another member of John’s immediate family is his service dog, a Great Dane named Jagger. Jagger is always at John’s side, helping him keep his balance as he walks, and giving him the confidence to make many things possible again, following a serious injury that left John wheelchair-bound several years ago. A business owner and active member of his community, John now dedicates his life to teaching others: “Don’t quit! You can do more than you ever imagined.” Instagram @titaniumfitnessstudio

Katherine Huang

Student, Founder of Science and Us
Katherine Huang is a freshman at MIT, majoring in Urban Planning and Computer Science. She is the founder and director of Science and Us (, a nonprofit helping high school students communicate science with the public and explore science policy, media, and outreach—fields that are exciting, important, and rarely mentioned in classrooms. She is a founding member of the We Are America Project (, working with teachers and students from 23 states to redefine American identity through stories. She enjoys making websites, dancing, attending hackathons, eating pasta, and exploring new places. Instagram @scienceandus

Kim Kashkashian

Founder and Artistic Director, Music for Food
Hailed as “an artist who combines a probing, restless intellect with enormous beauty of tone,” Ms. Kashkashians’ work as performing and recording artist and pedagogue has been recognized worldwide. She won the coveted Grammy Award for her recording of Ligeti and Kurtag solo viola works, received the George Peabody Medal and Switzerland’s Golden Bow Award for her contributions to music. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As soloist Kashkashian has appeared with the orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York and Cleveland. Recital appearances include the great halls of Vienna, Rome, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Tokyo, Athens, London, New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia Ms. Kashkashian is founder and artistic director of Music for Food, a musician-led hunger relief initiative.

KP Bakshi

Chairman of Maharashtra Water Resource Department
Mr. K P Bakshi is an IAS officer of 1982 batch from Maharashtra. He has done his B Tech with distinction, from I I T Kharagpur (West Bengal) in 1977 & MBA with ‘Distinction’ from the United Kingdom Thereafter he worked as a Senior Scientific Officer in DEFENSE RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT LABORATORY ( DRDL) Hyderabad, developing Missiles for 5 years then joining IAS. He served the Municipal Commissioners Of Amaravati, Nashik, Ulhasnagar and Thane Cities, Joint MD of CIDCO ACS Planning and he is finally superannuated as the Additional Chief Secretary ( Home) Govt of Maharashtra. He has been awarded the Prestigious “KIGA” ( KALAM INNOVATION IN GOVERNANCE AWARD ) AWARD 2019 by the Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Foundation For INNOVATION IN GOVERNANCE. He chaired the 7th Pay Committee for the 20 Lakh employees of the State Of Maharashtra. He has been a sports enthusiast and has been a member of the All India Civil Services Badminton Tournament’s Champion Team Hyderabad in 1978 and 1979.

Luna-Nefeli Valayannopoulos-Akrivou

Student, Activist, Poet
As you can guess her last name is Greek and you are spot on, she is. But Luna-Nefeli was born in Paris making her also half-French and she is currently living in Cambridge,MA. These two cultures have had a huge influence on her life as they have taught her to live a simple life and to be happy with common things. As a little child, she had always questioned the wonders of life, why things happen and for what reason and started writing poetry at the age of nine. And when she started finding answers she felt the need to share them with others. She is an outgoing and adventurous person; a runner, a swimmer and a sailor. She loves traveling and tasting food from all the countries of the world. She likes taking risks and getting out of her comfort zone. She likes speaking out about matters that are true to her heart, but most importantly she loves to share her own experience with others. Instagram @elcrazyllama

Mattingly Wood

Student, Film Maker, Activist
Mattingly Wood is a young biracial woman living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who is a film-maker and activist. She has been a film-maker for over four years and started before she entered high school, now she is in her senior year. Mattingly is half Native American and half white and uses film-making to express her identities and talk about social issues she wants to talk about through creating a video. Instagram @mattinglylol

Md Nurunnabi

Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Nabi is our first Youth Bulge Country Program Speaker. He will give a Bengali and English language talk and remotely engage Bangladeshi youth in Dhaka. Nabi is Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso. Previously a Postdoctoral Fellow within John A. Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. He received M.S. and Pd.D. from Korea National University of Transportation in Chemical & Biological Engineering and Bioengineering, respectively. Prior that, he completed his B.S. in Pharmacy at University of Development Alternative. He has been involved in co-founding start-up (KB BioMed Inc) and industrial research in South Korea. His research interest focuses on the incorporation of knowledge and tools from engineering, materials and biology to overcome existing barriers in targeting delivery of therapeutics and monitoring therapeutic progress non-invasively.

Megan Malkemes

Student, Organizer
Megan is a long-time youth organizer passionate about community empowerment and system deconstructing. She began organizing with her family and neighbors at the Boston Project Ministries, a neighborhood development organization in Dorchester that works on civic organizing, youth development, and community art/beautification. In high school Megan led initiatives within her school and the City of Boston. She led a student group against human trafficking, helped organize a 4-day social justice conference, and was a co-director of her school’s social justice organization. She interned with March For Our Lives: Boston, was the Director of Civic Engagement on the Mayor’s Youth Council of Boston and was a lead organizer of Vote16: Boston. Megan was named Youth Director of the Year on the Mayor’s Youth Council and received Mayor Walsh’s Bigtime Peace Award. She continues to work towards social justice as she pursues a degree in Political Science at Eastern University. Instagram @megmalkx

Nyla Sams

Student, Activist
If Nyla were to say that she is a black, female, her body would be dipped in black, and lips smeared with lipstick. She would become invisible to you and no one would be at fault. So in essence, She is Nyla. She is a 16-year-old from everywhere, yet nowhere. She was born in Philly, moved to Abu Dhabi, then to Albany. The next stop was Atlanta and now she attends a school in Boston and lives in Houston. She is an activist and plays the piano, violin, bass, and guitar. She dances. She writes. She is a sister to a 13-year-old, hockey player. The daughter of a college administrator and stay at home mom. It is because of her laundry list of locations, the places where she takes up space, and the relationships she has that her identity weaves through broad labels and niche details to create the person she is today. Instagram @nylasams

Olcay Yilmazcoban

Co-Founder CEO, FalconAI Technologies
Mr.Yilmazcoban has significant experience in technological entrepreneurship and deep-tech venture capital investments. He is Co-Founder & CEO of FalconAI Technologies, Inc. He completed his MSc in the joint program of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Skoltech. He authored and is featured as an expert in reputable international press including Forbes and Venture Beat. Instagram @olcy07

Sam Borek

Student & Sound Recording Professional
Sam Borek is an 18-year-old legally blind student. His passions include playing the drums, running, skiing, and writing short stories. He attends the University of Massachusetts Lowell majoring in Sound Recording Technology. Instagram @metal.sam

The Women's Chorus; A Eureka Ensemble Project

Launched in September 2018 by David McCue and Kristo Kondakçi as a project of the Eureka Ensemble, The Women’s Chorus (TWC) connects women experiencing poverty and homelessness with the healing power of music. Since its launch, the chorus has engaged over 80 of Boston’s most vulnerable women from many diverse backgrounds, ages 19 to 82. Women in this new, permanent chorus have come to the ensemble through their association with The Women’s Lunch Place. Eureka’s assistant conductor, Ismael Sandoval, serves as the artistic director of this program, assisted by the Eureka core team and volunteers including two section leaders, two voice teachers, and a piano accompanist. TWC serves as a unique therapeutic approach to healing, dignity, and empowerment. TWC is proud to be partnered with Women’s Lunch Place, a non-profit day shelter and meals program for women experiencing homelessness or poverty in Boston, with the aim of restoring dignity to the women served.

Xoxi Mendez

Performer, Soprano, Researcher, Educator
Xoxi’s name is pronounced Zoshee. She is a researcher, educator and patient advocate working at the intersection of identity, disability and power and working on her Ph.D. in Educational Studies at Lesley University. Her additional personal mission and the academic goal is to raise awareness about the nature of disability and pain, especially in specific instances where certain medical conditions are poorly understood and create extraordinary suffering to large numbers of people. In both these major inquiries, her drive is to make the world a better place. She believes that awareness leads to empathy, that empathy leads to action, and that action can result in social change. She strives to foster this change and promote social justice, and simultaneously, entertain. She is a professionally trained singer soprano, an alumna of The Longy School of Music of Bard College where she completed a Masters’s degree in Music and Vocal Performance. Instagram @xoximendez

Organizing team


Brookline, MA, United States
  • Timothy Smith