x = independently organized TED event

Theme: True GRIT

This event occurred on
April 10, 2021
9:00am - 4:00pm +03
(UTC +3hrs)
Thuwal, Makkah
Saudi Arabia

The theme of this year's event is 'True Grit'!
Grit is the sustained application of effort towards a long-term goal. It is the most significant predictor of lifelong achievement. Having true grit is to stick to your goals and persevere despite the obstacles you face along the way. It is a sustained application of effort to accomplish one's purpose.

Auditorium building 20
Thuwal, Makkah, 6900
Saudi Arabia
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Abdullah Hamdi

KAUST PhD student
bdullah is a Ph.D.candidiate in Electrical and Computer Engineering in Prof. Bernard Ghanem’s group, where he works on deep learning for computer vision. He focuses on developing robust 3D computer vision techniques and tackling the adversarial robustness of deep neural networks. Abdullah has won a “best paper award” at the European Conference of Computer Vision 2020 and the NEOM AI Challenge, among other national and international distinctions. He is also the founder and president of fihm.ai, the largest Arabic online platform dedicated to teaching, educating, and spreading awareness about AI and deep learning technologies and applications. 200,000 people have benefited from the platform since its launch in 2019. Abdullah loves to play chess and is a member of the Safa Golf Club at KAUST.

Ameerah Bokhari

KAUST Alumna
KAUST alumna Dr. Ameerah Bokhari (MS ‘11, PhD ‘18) earned her PhD in the Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering division in June 2018. She is published in high impact factor journals such as Scientific Reports and Nucleic Acid Research. Dr. Bokhari joined Saudi Aramco in March 2019 and received the prestigious 2019 EXPEC ARC’s Exceptional Newcomer Award for her outstanding contributions. She enjoys art and design in addition to reading in self-development and psychology during her free time. Her passion for helping others motivated her to share her True GRIT idea in TEDx KAUST.

Carlos Santamarina

University professor at KAUST
J. Carlos Santamarina (Professor - KAUST) graduated from Universidad Nacional de Córdoba and completed graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Purdue University. Santamarina’s Ph.D research in artificial intelligence led to research sidelines that include creativity and analyses of the events that can both hinder and enhance excellence (true grit). The core of his research centers on the science of geomaterials and engineering solutions to address global energy challenges. Santamarina is a frequent keynote lecturer at international conferences; his former group members are faculty members at more than forty universities, researchers at national laboratories, and practicing engineers at leading organizations.

Dawood Mohanna

KAUST Innovation Creative Consultant
Dawood works at the KAUST Entrepreneurship Centre as a Creative Consultant and Content Developer as part of the Online Learning Program team. He has over 16 years of experience in the fields of Marketing Communications, Advertising, and Organization Development. As a trainer, Dawood specializes in Brand Building, Creative Ideation, and Idea Pitching for startups. Dawood has a major passion for beekeeping, camping and voice acting.

Nimisha Rajawat

Yoga teacher
Nimisha was born and grew up in a small town of India. Her father was a farmer. She got a Masters in museology and later a postgraduate degree in Early Childhood Education from Canada. But these degrees couldn’t not divert her from pursuing the true purpose of her life-Yoga. Nimisha has been a Certified Registered yoga and mindful teacher for the last 11yrs. Her purpose and goal in life to bring the powerful practice of yoga to benefit people’s lives. 5 years ago she self-started Garage Yoga for the People in her garage at KAUST. She is the mother of two gorgeous young children. Nimisha loves to cook for her friends and family, is a passionate weight lifter and Thai boxer. She believes movement is the way to live life to its fullest—helping us to thrive in both physical health and mental well-being.

William McDonnough

Architect, designer, and distinguished research professor at KAUST
William McDonough is a globally recognized leader in sustainable design. His 2002 book, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, is widely recognized as a seminal text of sustainability. He is an architect, counsels corporate and government leaders, and co-created the Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Products Program. His academic history includes professorships at KAUST, Stanford University and Cornell University, and he was Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Time magazine recognized him as a “Hero for the Planet,” noting: “His utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that—in demonstrable and practical ways—is changing the design of the world.”

Organizing team


Thuwal, Saudi Arabia