x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Solve for X

This event occurred on
March 28, 2020
Madison, New Jersey
United States

We are a generation of bright thinkers, solvers, and innovators. We are scientists, artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs constantly seeking answers to our everyday questions, eager to make a change in this world.

For TEDxDrewUniversity 2020, as we welcome the new decade, we’re determined to search for ideas that could become solutions to the world's most pressing problems. We want to identify the path less taken and delve deep into the issues and problems that arise in our current climate. From major world affairs to issues that exist in individual communities to personal struggles, no matter how big or small, we are certain that there is always a solution to be found. But what are the variables involved?

Join us for our most exciting conference yet on March 28, 2020, to explore and be inspired as we Solve for X. For more information, visit www.tedxdrewuniversity.com. If you have any questions or concerns, please e-mail us at tedx@drew.edu.


TEDxDrewUniversity Team

Gabriel Lima - Lead Organizer
Ajit Joyosumarto - Creative Director
Fabiana Rocha - Logistics Director
Gwen Wong - Marketing Director
Joy Kalua - Finance Director
Sofia Vargas - Curation Director
Kelsie Anh Le - Marketing Team
Jess Barrett - Curation Team
Gabriel Dutra - Finance Team
Dafne Eksioglu - Logistics Team
Deane Lopez - Production Team
Vitoria Mendes - Logistics Team
David Nesterov - Creative Team
Alex Pearce - Logistics Team
Julia Pietro - Marketing Team
Nipun Poddar - Creative Team
Leonardo Ramos - Finance Team
Michelle Brisson - Staff Advisor

Drew University
36 Madison Avenue
Madison, New Jersey, 07940
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Drew­University events


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

Abigail Zealey Bess

film · theatre
Abigail is an award-winning filmmaker and theatre director with a résumé that features work with the legendary Sidney Lumet, John Leguizamo, Kevin Smith, Matt LeBlanc, Frank Whaley, Bruce Beresford, and many others. Her work has crossed boundaries and platforms for many years as an independent director and producer in film and theatre. Zealey Bess has been working with both established and newly emerging writers on the New York scene. She continues to head Weird Sisters developing feature film projects and theatrical ventures and that promote and support prolific women artists and writers giving voice to new and exciting work.

Fred Tutman

environment · conservation
Fred is the Patuxent Riverkeeper, one of a global network of 343 people who advocate for individual rivers. He ’ s also the nation ’ s only African-American riverkeeper. Having spent 27 years in media, television, and radio, along with a stint as a late-life law student, Tutman traded in his law books and reporting expertise to protect his home river. Fred is adept at helping people explore their own values with regard to nature and stewardship of the earth. He is a committed environmentalist with many front line experiences dealing with topical conservation issues. As an outdoor adventurer, he has a true passion for taking roads less traveled, and protecting those roads for generations to come.

Ingrid Silva

dance · entrepreneurship
Ingrid was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the age of 8, she began her ballet training at Dançando Para Não Dançar, a social project in the Mangueira slum. Silva attended the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Program on a full-scholarship in 2007, joined the Professional Training Program and Dancing Through Barriers Ensemble in 2008 and became a member of the professional Company in 2013. Silva has performed in several world-famous venues around the globe, and served as a cultural ambassador for the U.S. In 2016 Silva was part of Activia campaign and was also nominated the brand's Global Ambassador embracing Women's Empowerment. In 2017 Silva was on the cover of Pointe Magazine (June/July Issue), being the first African Brazilian to be on the cover. She is the Founder of EmpowHer New York, a collaborative platform created to share stories and give a voice to real women who are determined to achieve their goals, despite any challenges they face.

Jacob Glanville

immunology · entrepreneurship
Jacob is an entrepreneur, inventor and computational immunoengineer. He works with multiple partners to generate exciting new technologies in biomedicine. In 2016, Jacob received a $1.2 million grant from the Gates Foundation for the creation of the Centivax universal vaccine technology for influenza, HIV, and other rapidly mutating pathogens. Glanville holds a Ph.D. from Stanford and has previously served as the Principal Scientist at Pfizer, before creating his own startup, Distributed Bio. He was recently featured in the Netflix series "Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak," and has been a course-founding instructor and guest lecturer for multiple graduate-level applied computational and systems immunology courses at Stanford and USCF.

Kelly Owens

healthcare · innovation
Kelly dealt with debilitating Chron's disease and inflammatory arthritis for 15 years and was on over 20 different drugs that all failed to provide any relief. Her life changed when she participated in a clinical trial for an emerging new medical field that uses the body's neural mechanisms to treat inflammatory diseases by electrically stimulating nerves, in her case, the vagus nerve. Within only 8 weeks of using the stimulator, she was in remission for the first time since her diagnosis, 15 years prior. Today, Owens works as the Director of Education and Outreach at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at Northwell Health. Her goal is to help to advance access to bioelectronic medicine so millions more can benefit while also continuing to advocate for further research and development.

Nicos Marcou

management · neurodiversity
As the Lead Talent Consultant for the Market Teams within EY, Nicos leads a significant amount of executive initiatives to implement EY's people strategy. Throughout his career, Nicos has worn many hats, owning and leading processes in talent acquisition, talent management, succession planning, diversity and inclusion, learning & development and employee relations. Nicos is driven by a passion to connect and engage in differences and champion inclusion and belonging during what will be a transformative decade. He is also a frequent contributor to Forbes.com and the curator and main organizer of the inclusive TEDxChelseaPark in New York City.

Perry Asibey-Bonsu

poetry · bioengineering
Perry ('21) is an undergraduate student at Drew University studying Biology and English. He is author of This Book Has No Spine, a collection of poems and stories, and has won the Academy of American Poets Prize for his original poem, "Stitches." He is also a scholar at The Wight Foundation, and has conducted biomedical engineering research both at Drew and at Wake Forest University.

Robert Franek

higher education · management
Robert ('93) is the editor-in-chief at The Princeton Review and a nationally-recognized expert on colleges and higher education. Over his 23-year career, he has served as a college admission counselor, test prep teacher, author, and lecturer. As lead author of the company ' s annual "Best Colleges " guide, he visits more than 50 colleges a year and has been a lecturer and panelist on college admissions for audiences of educators, parents and students. Franek regularly appears as an educational expert on NBC, CNBC, CBS, CNN, NPR, PRI, and other national media outlets to give guidance and opinion on topics in the education space.

Rowaida Abdelaziz

writing · journalism
Rowaida is a journalist at HuffPost, where she focuses on civil rights and social justice issues within the Muslim community. Based in New York City, Rowaida spearheads the coverage of Islamophobia and the rising anti-Muslim sentiment where she provides guidance for diverse coverage of the Muslim Americans within mainstream media. Rowaida has broken numerous stories from across the U.S. and the world. In 2016, She was a lead reporter for the Islamophobia Tracker, a project that documented the anti-Muslim rhetoric that spiked across the U.S. Fluent in Arabic, she also has written numerous stories on the Middle East and covered the refugee crises in Syria, Yemen and other parts of the Arab world. In her free time, Rowaida enjoys spending time with family and friends over a good cup of coffee.

Tori DeSimone

health · fitness
Tori is a 21-year-old entrepreneur that opened her own spin and fitness studio in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Through her work, she is determined to inspire and encourage others to find the best version of themselves through health and fitness. At the age of 17, DeSimone moved to Los Angeles to be a full time influencer. When that did not work out, she attended college but quickly dropped out. She then started her own YouTube channel — Tori Sterling — who now boasts more than 475,000 subscribers and who at the height of her internet fame signed brand deals that netted her up to $37,000. Tori left it all behind to found stRIDE Spin & Fitness.

Trudi Lebron

non-profit sector · social impact
Trudi works with entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and corporate institutions to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, and social impact in business. She teaches social entrepreneurs and personal development brands on how to create social impact initiatives while leading with the lens for equity, diversity, inclusion, and impact. Lebron ' s experience of being a bi-racial teen mom on welfare and working her way up in the non-profit sector provides a unique perspective on building a business for social good. She is the co-host the That’ s Not How That Works podcast, and was also recognized as one of Connecticut’ s 40 under 40. She holds a B.A. in Theatre, a Master ’ s in Psychology and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Psychology.

Organizing team