x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Catalysts & Visionaries

This event occurred on
July 11, 2013
9:00am - 3:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
Panama City, Panamá

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).

Torre De Las Americas
Calle Isaac Hanono Missri
Panama City, Panamá
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Eldredge Bermingham

Director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Eldredge Bermingham is the director of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute a unit of the Smithsonian Institution headquartered in Panama City, Panama, since September 2008. He joined the institute’s scientific staff in 1989 and has served as deputy director since 2003 and acting director since 2007. As STRI’s director, Bermingham oversees the world’s premier tropical biology research institute, dedicated to increasing the understanding of the past, present and future of tropical biodiversity and its relevance to human welfare. STRI’s focus is basic research conducted primarily in tropical forest and coral reefs. STRI scientists discover new organisms, test scientific explanations for ecological adaptation and evolutionary innovation, develop methods to restore degraded ecosystems, train students and promote conservation of tropical ecosystems. One of STRI programs, the Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatories [SIGEO], which evolved from STRI’s Center for Tropical Fore

Hctor Aguilar

President & CEO GE, Central America and the Caribbean
Hector joined GE in 2007 as Human Resources Director for Northern Latin America based in Mexico City. In November 2008, he was promoted as VP Human Resources, GE Latin America, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In September 2011, Hector was appointed President & CEO for GE Central America and the Caribbean, based in Panama City. Prior to joining GE, Hector held several Leadership Positions in multinational companies including The Gillette Company, British Petroleum & Baxter Laboratories. He has more than 22 years of experience; spending more than 14 years on international assignments focused on Latin American markets and has worked in Mexico City, Boston MA, San Francisco CA, Miami FL, Caracas Venezuela, Sao Paulo Brazil & now in Panama City. He spent almost five years in a General Management Leadership Program focusing on Finance, Sales & Marketing. In addition, Hector has been keynote speaker at several international forums and has worked as a University professor.

James Stice

President, Kalu Yala
James Stice is a founder and the driving vision behind Kalu Yala, a new sustainable community preparing to break ground in Panama. Jame’s proposed Real Estate 2.0 is a business model that aligns profits with development practices that are good for local citizens, the environment and the surrounding region. The secret is Citizen Equity, or local citizens owning and helping to create the neighborhood they dream of living in, so they may share in the value they create. He hopes this model can be applied across situations so others may use it to change the future of real estate and human potential.

Jong Hwa ‘Duly’ Lee

Architect / Artist / Entrepreneur
In one word: Connector. Born in South Korea and traveled all his life. Lived in Mexico, Chile, Panama, Italy, New York, Los Angeles and Seoul. Architect, Artist and Entrepreneur. Studied in New York University for B.A. in Urban Design, and SCI-Arc (Los Angeles) for Master of Architecture. His most recent achievements include mounting Festival Abierto as director as well as an art exhibit at the Contemporary Museum of Art of Panama. He began his architecture career at Pritzker Prize winning firm Morphosis under Thom Mayne in California and New York, however bored of the urban environment adventured back to Panama seeking jungle experiences. Here he voluntarily worked on water-collecting systems for Guna indigenous communities and taught design at ISTHMUS architecture school. He continues to experiment with an international network of collaborators, producing art installations such as in events like Nuit Blanche in Toronto, however he calls Panama his permanent home now. Abierto Corp. wa

Joshi Venugopal

Managing Director, Singapore & Asian Emerging Markets at Novartis
Joshi was serving as the General Manager of Novartis organization in two Latin American markets. Prior to this role, he worked as the Assistant to Dr. Daniel Vasella, Chairman of Novartis. Previously, Joshi gained broad functional experience by working at the research, strategy, finance, medical affairs and marketing functions at Novartis. Joshi has broad interests ranging from behavioral economics to health care policy and has published several articles including in the Financial Times. Joshi holds a PhD in Cell Biology from the University of Basel, Switzerland and is a graduate of the General Management Program at the Harvard Business School.

Mayer Mizrachi

President, Innovative Venture
Mayer is the founder and president of Innovative Venture, a high tech company based out of Panama that focuses on developing world-class technologies. Its first project was a messaging app called jigl that poised itself against the likes of Whatsapp, Line and Blackberry Messenger. Since starting in 2011, Mayer found that the problem in becoming successful app wasn’t only about having the best product, but also the best strategy. Recently, jigl has pivoted to a new kind of messaging app called Hash which received a lot of attention in its Beta testing at Google Ventures. Hash allows users to exchange messages and photos that expire after 6 seconds of being opened. In a world of openness and sharing, Hash is brings back the privacy we all need. Mayer has a BS in Finance and a MS in Finance awarded by Kogod School of Business at American University in Washington, D.C. He started his entrepreneurial career while completing his Graduate degree in Washington and is looking to make Panama the

Olga Sinclair

Olga Sinclair, was born in Panama. Her first art lessons began with her father, painter Alfredo Sinclair. At the early age of fourteen she participated in a group exhibition with renowned Panamanian artists. In 1976, she began her studies in the School of Applied Arts and Works in Madrid, and followed a three years training in classic designs (at Arjona Studios). In Amsterdam, she studied the Great Dutch Masters of the XVIII Century. At age eighteen she held her first individual exhibition in Panama. In 1979, she joined Santa Maria la Antigua University, in Panama, and obtained her grade in Interior Design. In 1982, she follows engraving courses with Maestro Giangrandi. She returns to Europe in 1985; in London, she resumes her studies, she works, presents an exhibition and had her first encounter with Francis Bacon’s works at Tate Gallery. The Mexican historian and art critic, José Manuel Springer pointed out that — “At thirty years old Olga Sinclair, crosses the line that separates th

Ricaurte Vasquez

Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policies for Latin America, General Electric
A Panamanian economist, joined GE mid-2008 as CEO for Central America & The Caribbean; and currently Vice President of Government Affairs & Public Policies for Latin America. With over thirty years of professional experience, Catín Vásquez has worked for both Government and private sectors, particularly in financial areas, project development and management. Mr. Vásquez served as the Panamanian Minister of Finance in two occasions and was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Autoridad del Canal de Panamá, the agency that runs the Panama Canal since its transfer in 1999. His involvement with the Panama Canal dates back to 1996 when he was appointed as its first non-US Chief Financial Officer. Thereafter, an upon the Canal transfer to Panama he became Deputy Administrator and responsible for the long term planning of the Canal including the Expansion Project that includes a new third set of locks. From the Ministry of Finance, his responsibilities included general economic policy, m

Sergio Tertusio

Executive Director, ADEN International Business School
Sergio Alejandro Tertusio is Executive Director of ADEN International Business School and Dean of Universidad Alta Direccion Panama. He received his MBA from Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid Spain, his Masters in Business Administration from Universidad Catolica de Cordoba in Argentina, and graduated from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo en Mendoza, Argentina with a degree in Accounting. Prior to his current role, Sergio was CEO of a company that distributed pharmaceuticals and served as financial manager in an agro-industrial company.

Simon Zebede

Director, Tomorrow Digital Project
Simon is currently the Director of Tomorrow Digital Project, a company that is dedicated to innovation in digital advertising. One of the most successful recent projects was the REVIVE augmented reality application. In partnership with La Prensa the file has been among the most downloaded APP’s in Panama. Another of his achievements has been the Digital Deployment for Tu Panama Te Necesita foundation, where the foundation was made known in a non conventional and interactive manner. Simon has a BA in interactive media which he received in Israel which he considers the cradle of entrepreneurship in the world. Simon is also dedicated to art, a natural born musician, in his free time he composes songs with a touch of spice. With his character Wilson Kriminal he manages to get a smile out of the most embittered.

Organizing team


Mexico City, Mexico
  • Stefany Cohen
    Presentation Coach
  • Alix Tingle
    Head Volunteer & Multimedia
  • Joanna Svendsen
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Julie Hines
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Kristin Hughes
    Volunteer - Registration
  • Brian Clair
    Volunteer - Usher
  • Dan Sloboda
    Volunteer - Usher
  • Nick Ahrens
    Volunteer - Time Keeper
  • Edward Tian
    Volunteer - Photographer