Currently, Benjamin is pursuing a PhD in Neurosciences at University College London in a joint program with the National Institute of Mental Health. He is studying how the brain responds to aversive stimuli in a virtual environment and the neural mechanisms underlying the development of anxiety disorders. For Benjamin, TED brings the most inspiring and accessible approach to spread ideas in a way that can be understood and appreciated by a general audience.
Favourite TED talk: Stroke of insight
Visual Arts Manager
As a student of life and observer of all things visual, Leo Jimenez appreciates TED’s accessibility. He currently works within the realm of video production, loves creating street art and painting his itty bitty big boy, Lennon.
An avid cook of inventive Asian-Latino comfort food, Leo enjoys singing in the kitchen. His family enjoys his culinary creations, but his singing: maybe not-so-much.
Favourite TED talk: How school kills creativity
Visual Arts Manager
Madiha is a student in International History at LSE, writing her dissertation on the Society of Women Geographers. She is fond of exploration, conversation, the creatives, and the musical tenor of things.
Matko Bošnjak is pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at the University College London, and plotting on world domination by artificial intelligence. In order to achieve that, he’s set on AI’s baby steps – in order to dominate us, machines first need to understand us, by reading the whole Internet. Thus Matko is helping them to do that by studying application of machine learning in natural language processing, especially of large amounts of text. He’s a fan of TED talks because he aligns dearly with the motto of TED: Ideas worth spreading; there are great thoughts, great stories, and great experiences which deserve disseminating, and TED does that splendidly.
Favourite TED talk: How to live before you die
Stefan is currently at PhD student at Imperial College London, where he does research into energy policy challenges such as the transition to clean and renewable energy, by developing and using large-scale energy systems models.
Favourite TED talk: The habits of happiness
Joanna Baron, a native of Toronto, is a Fox Scholar through Inns of Court, Middle Temple, completing a year of barrister pupillage. She is a recent graduate in law from McGill University and also studied classics at St John’s College. She’s grateful to experience London’s spoils of culture, art, and brainyness and likes to hold plank position while listening to TED talks.
Favourite TED talk: The Brain in Love
“Pursuing a PhD in Translational Cognitive Neuroscience, Javier is passionate about promoting science-driven change in healthcare and society. His PhD focuses on finding practical applications for scientific research and is currently developing an app-based treatment for low mood as well as a diagnostic for Motor Neuron Disease. Javier thinks that if aliens ever visited earth, the first thing they should do is watch TED talks because they are a repertoire of the brightest people depicting the most important aspects of what it means to be a good human: innovative in thinking, inspirational to others, caring about the world, and sometimes, just pure fun.”
Favourite TED talk: The hidden power of smiling
Event and Networking Manager
Tharindi is pursuing a PhD in Mathematical Modelling at University College London. Her work aims to better understand and simulate metabolism in the oxygen-deprived baby brain in order to inform clinical treatment. She finds TEDx a widely accessible platform for showcasing ideas and research and a means of influencing change.
Favourite TED talk: The best stats you’ve ever seen
POLLY POK-LAM FUNG
Event and Networking Manager
Polly is a qualified dentist and is currently studying PhD in Oral Medicine at the Eastman Dental Institute, University College London. Her project is on genetic factors for a drug side-effect affecting the jawbone. Polly started studying in London in 2010. One of her most amazing experiences has been drumming at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, and helping in a dental research for athletes in the Olympic Village! She loves talking, she loves learning, and she finds new things fascinating; TED definitely ticks all the boxes!
Favourite TED talk: A new way to grow bone
AYAH EL SAID
I am a Phd student in Economics at City University London, with an LLM in Law and Economics from Queen Mary, University of London, and an MA in Economics from New York University. An Egyptian by birth, having lived in both New York and London, I love travelling, playing tennis, classical music, and taking very long walks. The power and beauty of Ted(x) comes from their global and empowering inspirational messages that they spread virtually. The messages are usually simple, but their meaning to some could be life changing.
Favourite TED talk: The Psychology of Time
I am pursuing career in science. Interested in all nature surrounding us but especially in fundamental molecular principles governing the life. Doing a PhD jointly between UCL and National Institute for Medical Research and investigating protein-DNA interactions which confer bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Other interests – public engagement in science, investment, chess, cycling and basketball. For me TED is a great opportunity to educate and inspire people.
Favourite TED talk: How I repaired my own heart
Alumni Relationship Manager
Zahra is currently pursuing an MA in History of Islamic art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, after having engaged with museums in the last five years in Canada, including the Aga Khan Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum. Prior to this, Zahra completed another MA in Muslim Cultures, with a focus on culture and representations in museums. Her research interests include spaces that allow for public engagement with art, history, thought and ideas. Similar to an engaging museum narrative, TED talks are a particularly fascinating forum as they present fresh and erudite perspectives that appeal to a diverse audience base.
Favourite TED talk: The Politics of Fiction