x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
March 23, 2024
Paris, Île-de-France

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).

The American University of Paris
6 Rue du Colonel Combes
Paris, Île-de-France, 75007
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alexis Jeffries

Alexis Jeffries is a technology product strategy executive, adjunct professor, board director, startup advisor and investor, based in Los Angeles. She is currently a marketing and advertising consultant for a number of Fortune 500 companies. Previously, she served as the Global Head of Business Product Marketing at Glassdoor, leading the company’s efforts on employer branding and employee experience. Prior to Glassdoor, she was a Business Product Marketing executive in the Ads division at Meta, where she led Meta’s Ads Product Equity initiatives and the Rotational Product Marketing Manager program. Prior to Meta, she worked in strategy consulting at Accenture and global advertising at OMD and Wunderman Thompson in New York. She started her career as a personal finance journalist and has written for Money, The New York Times, Essence, Black Enterprise, and many more. Alexis is currently an “Expert-in-Residence” and adjunct professor of technology and entrepreneurship in the graduate programs at USC Marshall, and sits on the national board of directors of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and the Presidential Alumni Advisory Council for The American University of Paris. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Political Science from Northwestern University, a master’s degree in Global Communications from the American University of Paris and an MBA from the University of Southern California. Outside of work, Alexis is an active community cultivator, dance class aficionado, public speaker and party hostess, and is endeavoring to publish her first children’s book in 2024. Alexis lives in Los Angeles with her family and Amelia, the cat.

Daniela Alba

Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Daniela is currently working for the Jesuit Refugee Service International Office in Rome. She holds a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from The American University of Rome and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Classics from Brooklyn College at the City University of New York. Daniela has previously worked with OXFAM and UNICEF Italia, the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York and interned at The Consulate General of Italy in New York as well as at the FAO HQ in Rome. She is deeply committed to equitable education access and cross-cultural advocacy for the forcibly displaced. Daniela considers her family heritage and lived experience of forced displacement the impetus behind her commitment to this field and believes deeply in working as a community towards sustainable change.

Elizabeth Tobias

Elizabeth Tobias is an Interdisciplinary Artist, Expressive Arts Educator and Community Organizer. She draws upon multiple disciplines to create socially engaged immersive installations. She has exhibited her work at galleries and museums internationally, including Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, Utah MOCA and Projektraum M54 at Art Basel. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a Learning Innovation Fellowship from The National Science Foundation, a Durfee ARC Grant and awards for her short documentary, Survivor! 98 Second Stories. As an Expressive Arts Educator, Elizabeth has over 20 years of experience helping people find hope and healing through hardships and trauma. She works in private, organizational and school settings. Elizabeth holds an M.A. in Psychology and a post graduate professional diploma in Expressive Arts Therapy. She also holds certificates in Mindfulness and Yoga.

Ira McIntosh

Ira McIntosh is pursuing a Master's in Global Communications at The American University of Paris. McIntosh already holds a Master's and Bachelor's in opera performance and has spent the last decade as a drag performer in Seattle and New York City. Today, Ira is working towards a future as a queer historian and is working within academia and the communication sector to find a use for social media as a tool for gathering historical information. When not studying, Ira can be found looking whistfully out of bus windows listening to 90s grunge music, drinking far too much coffee, and sewing clothes for himself and others.

Jenn Quader

Jenn Quader is President & CEO of The Smart Agency, a 30-year-old company she acquired in 2018 that is now the leading professional communications firm for commercial real estate and financial services companies in the United States. Her personal mission is to empower the next generation of confident communicators by sharing her voice in the global movement toward empathetic and human-first business leadership. Jenn’s academic and career trajectory was unconventional and required tons of resilience! She began her career as a professional singer and actress, where she was told “no” many more times than “yes.” She spent years conveying stories through acting, singing, and performing while traveling to all 50 U.S. states and many international destinations on several national tours of Broadway shows. She then earned her Master of Arts in Global Communications from the American University in Paris, after earning a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from East Carolina University. A veteran communicator, Jenn honed her skills working on behalf of major companies such as Fox/MGM Entertainment, Ford Motor Company, Michelin, and Mazda before specializing in commercial real estate. Today, in addition to leading her company, she is a poet, author, and soon a recording artist, with a debut album called “Love, In All Its Forms” releasing in late 2024.

Kelly Culver

Kelly Culver is a seasoned global leader with 34 years of experience as a founder, director, entrepreneur, strategist, and executive coach. Renowned for empowering CEOs and global leaders to develop resilience, navigate changing business landscapes, and create innovative solutions to global challenges, Kelly holds a unique PhD in strategic resilience. Her research was conducted in Paris, where she also transformed her personal life after tragedy. Speaking at TEDxAUP represents a full-circle moment for her in Paris, where she aims to inspire others to use resilience to drive positive change.

Lilyana Yankova

Lilyana Yankova is a French-Bulgarian alumna of The American University of Paris—class of 2010—with extensive experience in higher education. She holds a deep passion for sustainable design, with a focus on waste management and systemic approaches. Lilyana is currently enhancing her skills through an Advanced Master’s in Sustainable Innovation by Design and actively participates in circular economy practices and composting, constantly seeking innovative and motivational solutions to the urgent challenges of today and tomorrow.

MaryElizabeth Murdaugh

MaryElizabeth is originally from Hampton, South Carolina. Her upbringing in a rural community sparked a curiosity about the world and humanity, leading her to pursue a double major in Political Science and Communications at the University of South Carolina. After facing personal challenges that spurred growth and healing, she moved to France to study Global Communications at The American University of Paris. Now residing in Paris with her puppy Tolle, MaryElizabeth enjoys exploring the connections between her personal interests in spirituality, philosophy, and healing arts with her academic focus on globalization, cultural advocacy, politics, and development. She aspires to a career in advocacy, aiming to cultivate personal peace and foster acceptance, understanding, and connection through her authenticity.

Spencer Hooker

Spencer Hooker is currently pursuing his Master's degree at the American University of Paris, focusing on Global Communication with a specialization in Digital Cultures and Industries. His interest in how activists utilize social media platforms to forge transnational solidarity inspired him to choose this particular track. Hooker is motivated to deliver a TEDx Talk because he recognizes the impactful potential of clicktivism when leveraged effectively.

Organizing team