x = independently organized TED event


This event occurred on
May 18, 2023
Irvine, California
United States

Because some ‘truths’ in this world aren’t really true—they’re just there to keep the status quo.

TEDxUCIrvine is thrilled to be hosting its annual spring conference on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 5 to 8:30pm. The event will be held at the Irvine Barclay Theatre and this year's theme is DEBUNKED, which aims to dismantle ideals, concepts, and stereotypes the system has advertised as ‘truth’.

Come hear our six fantastic speakers present TEDx talks on topics they want to debunk in the world—busting everything and anything that they feel should have its expectations defied and redefined. Five UCI student groups will also be performing!

TEDxUCIrvine is an independently organized event curated and executed by passionate UC Irvine students. It was founded on the belief that sharing knowledge on campus can inspire action throughout the community. Once a year TEDxUCIrvine gives our campus the opportunity to showcase our talents, achievements and ideas on TED’s worldwide platform. We strive to ignite the curiosity, passion, and wonder in the interaction amongst the different disciplines on campus. In the spirit of TED, we aim to find “ideas worth spreading” within UC Irvine and to stimulate dialogue in the greater Irvine community.

More information about our organization can be found on our website https://www.tedxucirvine.com/ or our Instagram @tedxucirvine.

Irvine Barclay
4242 Campus Dr
Irvine, California, 92612
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aaron Johnson

Facilitator, public speaker, and touch specialist who works towards identifying and interrupting barriers between people. Co-founder of both Holistic Resistance and Grief to Action
Aaron takes the time to hold the stories of black people around homophobia, transphobia, internalized racism, and those that are Chronically UnderTouched. Because oppression is a part of historical and present American culture, the long term impact of those trauma stories should be acknowledged and held as a map for our collective healing. Aaron Johnson practices and invites various methods of moving through these stories, such as the communal listening ear, sound healing, meditation, and closeness to the earth. He has facilitated over fifty workshops that required multiple hours of professional speaking and engaging with the audience. He has been a keynote speaker for events with well over a hundred attendees. He performed with a professional music group for over 25 years. As cofounder of Grief to Action, he facilitated small intimate groups around grief and loss. He has been the keynote speaker at events in the US and internationally, speaking in front of crowds of 400 people plus.

Ayati Mishra

A high school junior passionate about using science to help the global community
Ayati Mishra is a high school junior passionate about using science to help the global community. She has been interning at an Alzheimer’s disease research lab at Harvard Medical School for over 6 months, and at a lab at the UCI School of Medicine for over a year. Ayati believes that it is an innovator’s duty to share their advancements with the world; demonstrating this ideology, she presented her work from UCI at the Johns Hopkins Global Health Leaders Conference: a prestigious international conference featuring talks from Nobel Laureates, world-renowned professors, humanitarians, researchers, and physicians. Her talk was featured in her school district’s newspage, all district and school social media accounts, in 3 local newspapers, and by the Orange County Dept. of Education. At TEDxUCIrvine, she hopes to continue raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

Chad Aboud

Founder & Principal of Chad Aboud Consulting
Chad is a former General Counsel and BigLaw Lawyer, with a passion and purpose to unleash natural traits + skills so that people are more successful and feel happier in their careers. Beginning his career in a national Law Firm, he saw how people could use their natural skills and human connection to drive more successful, impactful and fulfilling careers. But Chad didn’t see these ideas being implemented, so he left BigLaw to travel the world, searching for new ways to tap into natural characteristics. When he became General Counsel of an international portfolio of tech companies, he leveraged his natural skills and the power of relationships to build a thriving Legal team, integrate Legal within the business teams, and implement Legal Technology that revolutionized the company’s operations. But Chad's passion and purpose kept calling. And that's what fueled him to launch his consulting & coaching business so that he can use what he's learned to lift as many others as possible.

Eric Hernandez

World Renown Native American Hoop Dancer, Storyteller affiliated with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina
Eric Hernandez is a Native American Hoop Dancer, Storyteller affiliated with the Lumbee Tribe. Eric has shared his story for millions around the world as the Lead Character in The Cirque du Soleil Touring production, TOTEM. Eric was taught the Hoop dance at a very young age by his uncle Terry Goedel. After 8 years of touring, Eric is now based in Los Angeles, where he continues to share, educate, inspire, heal and entertain people through the Hoop Dance.

Nicole Smolinski

MS Clinical Psychology, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist / Associate Clinical Professional Counselor
Nicole Smolinski, MS Clinical Psychology, is a writer, well-being event host and associate mental health clinician in California. As she spent time with her therapy clients, she began dreaming up ways where the principles she’s guided people through in therapy could be brought outside of the therapy room and into our communities. Her writing content and wellness events were born out of a vision where well-being is accessible, connective and non-intimidating for the everyday person. Nicole hopes to continue building a life where she writes and speaks regularly about wellness, emotional freedom and living as genuinely as possible (even if it’s not necessarily pretty or put-together).

Shawn Andrews

Keynote speaker, organizational consultant, and author of the best-selling book, The Power of Perception: Leadership, Emotional Intelligence, and the Gender Divide.
Shawn speaks and consults to a diverse range of clients, including the United Nations, Johnson and Johnson, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Broadcom, Experian, National Diversity Council, Association for Talent Development, and Society for Human Resource Management. With over two decades of corporate experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, she has helped thousands of leaders improve and develop using presentations, workshops, coaching, and psychological instruments. She serves as a professor at both UC Irvine and Pepperdine University Business Schools, teaching courses on Women and Leadership and Organizational Behavior. Her specific areas of focus include Leadership and Gender, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Unconscious Bias, and Emotional Intelligence. She serves as Board President, Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Orange County, is a member of 50/50 Women on Boards Leadership Committee, and is founder and CEO of Andrews Research International.

Organizing team




Irvine, CA, United States