Student, Interdisciplinary Researcher and Entrepreneur
As a student and Leeds Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Anya has successfully founded two anti-bullying start-ups, within which there are various creative initiatives in technology, art, animation, film, and fashion, with the purpose of aiding people build resilience against bullying.
As an international speaker and a published illustrator, Anya easily grasps the difficulty of delivering a well-researched and captivating message.
This year, her TEDx talk is inspired from the fact that during the pandemic, there has been a concerning rise in levels of loneliness and cyberbullying; wherein technology has contributed somewhat negatively. However, as we further our technology capabilities, Anya illustrates how these advancements can be used to combat issues of loneliness and cyberbullying, while calling for a kinder, and brighter future for all.
Doctoral Researcher in Media and Communications at the University of Sussex
In an age where media and film act as titans of our society, Diana's talk addresses a highly important issue within the representation of trans people on screen.
In her talk, the significant role of media in affecting how we see ourselves and others is a key element in addressing the transgender representation on the screen, while arguing that representation is a key element to show the world who trans people are, especially for those who had never met or interacted with one.
Her film analysis focuses on two tipping points which have increased the authentic and positive portrayals of trans folk: Laverne Cox on Orange Is The New Black and more recently the show POSE on Netflix. However, through strong analysis and critical commentary, it is shown why even more stories are needed to be told by those who live these truths on a daily basis because of the immense impact these representations have on both sides of the screen.
Global Communications Manager
Guilherme is a communication and diversity and inclusion professional, currently working on the FMCG industry. The talk gains credibility firstly from Guilherme’s founding an inclusive mentoring program in Brazil, focused on supporting the LGBTQ+ community and their development in both professional and personal areas, and also from the role he plays as a LGBTQ+ Mentor at the University of Birmingham. His talk focuses on delivering ideas around how we can all play a role to create more inclusive environments and the importance that it can play on supporting underrepresented minorities to have access to opportunities and thrive at them. This in turn, takes two aims: firstly, discussing how we can all benefit from active listening, and how this enables people to learn from someone else’s experience, and, in sequence, the talk covers how to take these learnings into actions, especially around our own behaviours, and the potential outcomes for people.
Maruša dedicates her time working as a PhD researcher under the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, where her PhD explores the psychological and social role of music-making activities for young people and children. Her unique model of environmental factors, psychological processes and outcomes of youth engagement with group music-making has been inspired from her aspirations to help better understand and shape the future of virtual creative spaces.
In her talk, her research shines through and explores how while music groups continued to meet virtually to make music together, which could also be considered a life-line to so many participants; it did not change the fact that the act of making music with everyone around you cannot be replaced virtually. Her model further focuses on the incredible importance of making music in groups and its effect on social competence, and showing the link music-making has to individuals while together, and while apart.
As a Chevening scholar from Zambia, Mubita's journey has granted him with the expertise and experience to deliver a talk that will leave his audience with a very important set of tools when tackling their own hardships.
His talk acknowledges the most recent obstacles in day to day life, the COVID-19 pandemic, which due to its impact could push half a billion people into poverty in developing countries. Mubita argues that as social entrepreneurs serve vulnerable populations who are most at risk to the pandemic's impacts, they will be crucial to our response and recovery post-COVID. However, building a social enterprise is uncertain, difficult, painful and often takes a long time. What can social entrepreneurs learn about grit from clubfoot recovery?
Medical student and writer
With a Kurdish background, Dara understands first-hand the damage injustice causes. Witnessing racism against her Muslim and black colleagues on the wards inspired her to speak out. Her talk is reflective of her belief that it is an act of humanity to defend victims of any forms of injustice. Her background in writing of prose and poetry bring to life the humanity and emotion within the topic addressed.
In this talk N D Dara brings to light stories of racism within healthcare as experienced by her colleagues. Dara explores reasons why it is everyone’s responsibility to speak out against injustice and the importance of collective narratives. She writes: “In a world plagued by injustice, to remain silent means to choke the goodness within yourself”.
Lecturer in Corruption Analysis
Dr Roxana Bratu is postdoctoral researcher at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, with extensive research interests in corruption, transnational aid flows, entrepreneurship, informal practices, transnational crime and policing in Romania, Ukraine and other former Communist countries.
Currently, she is coordinating the activities of the FP7 ANTICORRP project at the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies.
Due to her extensive expertise in corruption studies, Dr Bratu is set to deliver within this event, a unique and captivating experience, which will explore further the ins and outs of corruption analysis, alongside new perspectives into her domain.
Independent human rights consultant & human rights lawyer
Within this event, Vicki is sharing with us a deeply touching and personal talk. The ‘Pains of Passion: A human rights lawyer’s journey’ explores the challenges human rights professionals face in their day- to- day work and how to navigate those pressures in a healthy and responsible way. Vicki shares insights of her own experience as a human rights practitioner with 24 years’ experience in the human rights sector and the difficult and often emotionally charged nature of the work. It is not an easy career option but the calling to do this work and to choose a life of service is often too hard to ignore. However, it is only by adopting our own version of ‘proper selfishness’ that we can survive in this career.
Student Social Worker
Zuzanna Briggs is a passionate mental health advocate and a dedicated Social Work MA student. Within this year's conference, she delivers new ideas surrounding the effects of limited language within mental health perspectives. She highlights the importance of talking about mental health and its uniting effect and ability to connect us, but importantly furthers this by proposing more accessible ways in which we can speak about our lived experiences.
Pushing for change to advance the reality of a world in which mental health is spoken about in everyday conversation, as well as structurally at a policy level, this talk is set to bring attention to the possibility of a large-scale transformation in the way mental health is considered.
The message is clear: the simple idea of treating mental health with respect and dignity, instead of seeing it as a burden, could become an easy reality with advancements in the accessibility of language and speech.