x = independently organized TED event


This event occurred on
June 26, 2021
Dubai, Dubayy
United Arab Emirates

As Terence McKenna points out, we currently face a crisis of two things: “of consciousness and conditioning. We have the technological power, the engineering skills to save our planet, to cure disease, to feed the hungry, to end war; But we lack the intellectual vision, the ability to change our minds. We must decondition ourselves from 10,000 years of bad behavior. And, it's not easy.”

The world has changed dramatically as a result of the novel coronavirus. A vaccine will start to ease our collective anxiety, but the reasons why Covid-19 hit the world so hard will not be going away.

Do we want to go back to how things were or do we see this as an opportunity to create a new normal and reinvent ourselves? We now have a chance to fix many of the challenges facing humanity. What new mindsets do we need for a new beginning? What do we need to unlearn and relearn as a species?

This conference will explore what we need to do differently in a post-pandemic world.

GEMS Wellington Academy, Al Khail
Dubai Hills
Dubai, Dubayy, 391922
United Arab Emirates
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­G­E­M­S­Wellington­Academy­Al­Khail events


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

Adriana Santos

Adriana is a year 10 student at the Academy. She’s passionate about dance and has been dancing ever since she was 4 years old. In the future she wants to study medicine in college. She is really interested in people and how they live, which has led her to talk about mental health and to be in the Human Rights Committee for Junior Model UN.

Ben Cooper

Primary Principal
Ben is a young Primary Head Teacher based in Dubai. Author of, a teaching and learning blog and vlog, Ben is passionate about teaching and learning, innovation and professional development. He focuses his work on improving the smallest aspects of teaching in order to have the biggest impact on learning.

Dorsa Esmaeili

Dorsa is a student in year 12 at the Academy. She is someone who is heavily interested in topics surrounding the subject of History and English Literature. She loves debates and spreading knowledge about topics which are often misinterpreted or don’t receive enough attention, leading her to be a part of the Model UN committee at the Academy.Her strong views on feminism and advocating for equal rights for all has led her to want a career in Law as a prosecutor in the future. As a member of the charity committee and a Senior Prefect, Dorsa has been someone who works towards a change within the Academy’s environment and community, in order to fully ensure that all students are heard and that we are all contributing to giving back.

Isla Peter-Swain

Isla is a student in year 12 at the Wellington Academy. She is someone eager to share her passions and love for the Performing Arts. She is aspiring to pursue a career within the dramatic arts as she believes that creativity and imagination are essential for young individuals to grow in the futuristic world. Throughout her 8 years studying in GEMS schools and taking part in various GEMS music academy, and dramatic arts events, she has acquired an understanding of the importance of sharing the skills learnt through the art of performing.

Paula Phinn

Primary Vice-Principal
Paula is a Primary Vice-Principal in an international school in Dubai. Originally from Scotland, she has taught with different curricula across a variety of schools, including rural schools, primary schools, special schools and ‘through’ schools. Her teaching experience, spanning 13 years, has ranged from the Early Years through to inclusion support in the secondary school. She is particularly interested in how children acquire language over time and how they develop their literacy skills across all phases of the school.

Sadie Hallum

Sadie is a year 10 student at the Academy. She has a passion for netball and animals. Her aspirations for the future are to study medicine in the UK with the hope of working with the air ambulance as a doctor. She believes that everyone in the world should love who they are because nobody can change themselves which is what led to the topic of her speech.

Salma Hilal

Salma is a year 12 student at The Academy who is passionate about design and innovation aspiring to become an architect blending both modern, cultural and sustainable building styles. She also takes part as several student leadership roles such as lead senior prefect and head girl. Being raised in the Syrian crisis, she dreams of spreading awareness about Syria and its children while projecting the beauty of her country.

Susanna Grace Johnson

Susanna is a passionate wellbeing and mental health specialist with 8+ years of UAE and India experience. She has a Masters in Clinical Psychology and is keen on envisioning a future where mental health is a top priority within all sectors of society. Her particular interests are in embedding practices from neuro-scientific and positive psychology research into improving wellbeing in schools. She is also trained in narrative therapy, suicide prevention, and grief and trauma therapy.

Youssef Rezkalla

Youssef is a student in year 13 at the Academy. Youssef is an entrepreneur and is passionate about exponential technology, innovation and the future. Youssef is the Vice head boy of the Academy and has also placed as a finalist in the Global Innovation Challenge. He has 2 companies, one called SAHI and is related to health and nutrition and the other is a clothing line called Unwritten Lines. He is very passionate about innovation in the health sector as well as education.

Zahra Abdul Gaffar

Zahra is a student in year 10 at the Academy. She is passionate about biology and would like to study government in college. She is also a part of the charity committee, where she has helped to lead many initiatives. Being passionate about feminism from a young age being brought up in a vocal household where standing up for what you believe in was encouraged. She is also a recipient of the Sheikha Fatima award.

Organizing team


Dubai, United Arab Emirates