x = independently organized TED event


This event occurred on
February 24, 2024
Sofia, Sofia-Grad

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Inter Expo Center Sofia
147, Tsarigradsko shose Blvd
Sofia, Sofia-Grad, 1000
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anthony Christov

Art Director
He is an art director and the founder of two academies of visual arts. The films he worked on won 3 nominations and 2 Academy Awards: Finding Nemo, Wall-E, and The Incredibles 2. He was the Set Designer on Cars and The Incredibles. For Pixar's 25th anniversary, Antony exhibited drawings at MoMA, New York. Anthony studied arts in Bulgaria but fled abroad from communism before graduation. One day, already in Los Angeles, he put together a portfolio of drawings, showed them here and there, and was picked by a TV commercials studio. A friend from work moved to "some studio" and, knowing his drawing talent, invited Anthony to join. This is how he ended up at Disney Animation. Later, he worked at Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox, and Warner. Until Pixar lured him with the amazing possibilities of computer animation, and he stayed with them for 18 years. In 2015, Anthony co-founded IDEA Academy in Rome, and, in 2019, ARC Academy in Bulgaria.

Brian Kelly

Breath Coach
His 9D breathing concept has taken the world by storm. He is the co-founder of the Yogilab project, with 1st cohort attended by 2,000 persons from all over the world. Brian grew up as a happy kid. He studied communication at the University of San Diego. Then he dove straight into real estate. Still in his early 20s, Brian became an extremely successful broker… until the 2008 crisis in the USA. He lost it all. That experience made him reconsider his values and pivot. For 2 years, he broadcasted an online radio show with listeners across the world, until California became too small. He went to Morocco to start a new life, and then to Bali, with 360 dollars and no clear plan. In Bali, he found his destiny. He became a partner in a spiritual tattoo studio, where he discovered the powerful combination of breathwork and music on the clients. This was the start of Brian’s unexpected journey in somatic breathing.

Gijs van Wulfen

Innovation Influencer & Blogger
He is a presenter, a keynote speaker, and an inspirer. Combining a business consultancy background with the call for creativity, in 2006, Gijs offered to the world the FORTH Innovation Method. An innovation methodology for established companies, aimed at helping these old elephants dance again. He has written 6 books since and has won the Management Book of the Year. His 1st book - The Innovation Expedition – became a bestseller, translated into 8 languages. His second book is The Innovation Maze. Gijs was chosen by LinkedIn to become one of the first-ever 150 Influencers, alongside Barak Obama and Ban Ki-moon. His reach has grown exponentially since, and his voice has made a difference. He travels all around the world to teach people to become better innovators. Gijs has lived in The Netherlands, Greece, and now Italy, where he followed love. While enjoying life, he remains faithful to the stage and his call to inspire.

Ina Dimitrova

Deep-water Diver
In 2015, Ina Dimitrova became the first woman in the world to exceed a depth of 200 m in open waters, and the second one to reach such depth. She was introduced to diving when studying architecture in Marseille, the cradle of modern diving. She joined underwater expeditions to sunken ships in the Mediterranean. She dived with the Foreign Legion in France. She became a diving instructor and co-founded the magazine Diving BG. Ina continued diving in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Malta, Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, South Africa, Mozambique, Ecuador, Maldives, Indonesia, and Micronesia. She also worked on the construction of two of the art installations of the world-famous artists Christo and Jean-Claude – The Floating Piers in Lake Iseo, Italy, and the London Mastaba in the Serpentine Lake of Hyde Park. Today, Ina is professionally engaged in technical (deep-water) diving and coaching. She is the author of the Dive Into Your Fears program, helping others overcome their own limitations.

Jules Schroeder

Musician & Podcast Host
Jules is the host of the “Unconventional Life” podcast and organizes events in exotic places around the world. Her dad taught her entrepreneurship at a very young age. She had 3 jobs in high school. Her first business, while at college, was house painting. Upon graduation, Jules started an online sale of feather hair extensions. In 2012, she co-launched an online course on self-publishing on Kindle. After a near-death experience, Jules pivoted. She was asked to be a UN Global Ambassador in Education and attended Forbes’ 30 under 30. She wrote for Forbes for years and hosted the first podcast on Forbes Under 30, “Unconventional Life" that she now runs on her own platform. That grew into a global community and into hosting events across the world. A gymnast as a kid, a snowboarded as a teenager, a keen yoga practitioner. She got into Music Idol at 16 but was dismissed because of… smoking. Jules now enjoys a healthy and prosperous life, focused on meditation, yoga, and music.

Krassimir Benjamin

Krassimir Benjamin is a self-made chef and a chocolate inventor - a successful entrepreneur who strives to contribute to the well-being of society. Together with his brother he undertakes the challenge to “open a chocolate business” as they have adored chocolate since childhood. And not just any chocolate, but a new wholesome variety - organic, vegan, innovative, and above all, delicious. Their first attempt fails and teaches them many lessons. The second attempt leads to the creation of Benjamissimo chocolates, which today are sold in 30 countries on 3 continents. Krassimir is a long-time volunteer at The Art of Living, where he teaches breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation.He is also an active runner and has personally tested his runners’ super chocolates during a 100-kilometer cross-country circuit. In all of life’s twists and turns he is always looking for the positive, converting every challenge into an opportunity to focus his creative force on.

Madlena Komitova & Mariana De Meo

Duo: Elderly Home Manager & Pantomime
Madlena is among the 8 key managers of one of the largest social care organisations in Europe headquartered in Austria, with 5,300 employees and 23,000 clients. For the last 30+ years she has managed diverse teams, organisations and projects. Madlena took part in some unique projects as the development of a cooking book for illiterates. She disrupts and transforms organisations by empowering the people that comprise them. Mariana De Meo shares without words, with a little bit of music, a lot of movement and a big heart. At the age of 10, she learned about pantomime – an art that tells the longest story in a few seconds. At 40, she moved to Austria and faced the challenges of learning a new language, integrating, dealing with fears, and re-discovering herself. She created a children's pantomime theatre, taught at the French school in Vienna, and volunteered at a nursing home. Today, the care of the elderly and the dignified experience of their old age are among her main priorities.

Panos Tsimplis

Everyone calls him Dr. Panos, as he is a medical doctor in kinesiotherapy. Since a very young age, his family considered him to have "healing fingers". He attended a kinesiotherapy school in Greece, followed by an internship at the Military Hospital in Athens where was mentored by one of the most respected kinesiotherapists in the country. Then, he studied kinesiotherapy in Bulgaria. Today, Panos lectures at the National Academy of Sports and owns two clinics in Sofia, Bulgaria. Dr. Tsimplis is a musical soul. He has been playing the piano since child. At 18, he played trumpet and drums in the Greek Philharmonic. He is also a master at the guitar. He practiced folk dances. He was a gymnast. Today he travels the world to dive in exotic destinations. He adores his profession and being in contact with his patients.

Sho Okiyama

Emergency Doctor & Entreprenuer
Sho Okiyama is an emergency doctor, who attended to the numerous situations that may happen on a small Japanese island. His start-up Aillis won, amongst 30,000 participants, the Startup World Cup 2023 in Silicon Valley and 1-million-dollar prize in investment. Sho chose the medical profession because interacting with patients and their smiles gave him energy every day. He joined the Emergency to provide help even in the most severe conditions. Sho strived to change the medical reliance on clinical trials. He became an entrepreneur, and his very first idea was an AI medical device, the first one approved by the Japanese government for use in hospitals. Sho’s company, Aillis, was selected among 500 startups to participate in the Japanese Finale of a global competition, which he won! He traveled to the USA to represent his homeland at the Startup World Cup. And he won again, amongst competitors from 50 countries! Sho still practices medicine, giving duties on weekends.

Sirma Dobreva

Acrobat / contortionist
Sirma Dobreva is a contortionist and the founder of KINETIX Sky Acrobatics - the world's only troupe for vertical acrobatics on high facades. She performs from Sofia through Cairo to Macao. At the age of 14, Sirma already tours with the Austrian National Circus. Her debut as a solo artist is in Circus "Sofia", at -20oC. The other experienced acrobats are scared to perform in such freezing conditions. But Sirma has been preparing for 2 months and she wants it so badly! Sirma discovers the limitless possibilities of the human body and becomes a contortionist. It takes her a year and a half to develop her first performance. She is one of the very few European "rubber-women": her spine bends back, and the entire weight of the raised body falls on the bite. She is self-taught in this art, through videotapes of Mongolian contortionists. Sirma maintains her flexibility and strength through regular exercise, healthy eating, enough sleep, and adequate rest.

Viktoria Beshliiska

Best-selling Author
Viktoria Beshliiska is an “admirer of words” - a limitless talent who brightly and suddenly appeared on the sky of Bulgarian literature. She charmed thousands of readers with her debut book "Clay" and soon after she wrote another historic best-seller, “Heart”. Viktoria used to have a “normal” corporate career - for 8 years she worked on marketing campaigns as a copywriter and a project manager. The pivot occurred when visiting the modest pottery museum in the village of Busintsi, in Bulgaria. A local legend reawakened her writing talent. Then, a meeting with the famous Armenian writer Narine Abgaryan inspired Victoria to say to herself: It's possible. I'm 37 now and I can still 'become a writer'. Her passion is the blog "On the tracks of words", where she collects ancient words and the stories around them. Victoria was declared the most-read contemporary Bulgarian author and won the Bookseller's Choice, the European Debut Award - Eurocon 2022, and the Stoyan Mihailovski badge.

Yordan Kamdzhalov

Maestro Kamdzhalov is an enormously talented conductor with a passion for physics. NASA and the International Astronomical Center have named asteroid No. 52292 after him. With numerous international awards, his performances span three continents and all cultural centers in the world. He has performed in Wiener Musikverein’s Golden Hall, too. His eponymous foundation is dedicated to the development of the colossal human potential and to Bulgaria’s talented youth. In 2024 he launched the Academy for the Human Self - an innovative, interdisciplinary educational center. He has founded GENESIS ORCHESTRA, the Music Laboratory of the Human Self, the Orchestra Academy, Academia Musica. He is the organizer of an annual Young Artists Competition and the STRIVE Festival in Vrana Royal Palace. He has initiated a new Bulgarian tradition with music by Arch. Dimitar Nenov, named Christmas. He is also a co-founder of the Union of General Music Directors and Principal Conductors in Germany.

Organizing team


Sofia, Bulgaria