Meet the new class of TED Fellows and returning Senior Fellows who will share their ideas and innovations at TED2018.
Benedetta Berti is an expert on political violence, civil war and security — especially in the Middle East. She has spent a decade researching non-state armed groups — from terrorists to insurgents to militias — and works with governments and NGOs to offer new approaches for conflict resolution. In her book, Armed Political Organizations: From Conflict to Integration, Berti looks at Hezbollah, Hamas, the Irish Republican Army and other groups that have their roots in insurgency but moved into the political sphere. She offers surprising answers on why this happens and what it means.
Berti’s current projects include leading an effort to design new parameters for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and conducting a policy study on how to effectively deliver humanitarian aid to cut-off areas in Syria and Iraq. She recently completed a study on Gaza’s security infrastructure. And her writing has appeared in Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs.
South African conservation biologist Steve Boyes explores and studies remote wildernesses in Africa, including the endangered Okavango Delta, to protect and restore them. Trained as an ornithologist, he is the Executive Director of the Wild Bird Trust and a Fellow at the National Geographic Society.
Designer and social entrepreneur Antionette Carroll was living in St. Louis, Missouri during the 2014 protests that followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, Jr in Ferguson. Recognizing the need for a new space of inclusion, creativity and action, she formed Creative Reaction Lab, a social justice nonprofit that supports Black and Latinx populations in employing social justice-oriented design thinking to create racially equitable communities. Projects that emerged from that first lab in 2014 ranged in nature from public art initiatives to educational programs – including Cards Against Brutality, a game and curriculum addressing media framing, and Look Beyond Your Fear, a guerrilla street art campaign. Today, the St. Louis-based nonprofit educates and engages Black and Latinx youth to upend traditional design thinking and address racial inequities within the industries of education, government and public service, health and healthcare and media.
Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty is an Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes at the Museum of Natural Science and Department of Biological Science at Louisiana State University.
Chakrabarty is a systematist and an ichthyologist studying the evolution and biogeography of both freshwater and marine fishes. His work includes studies of Neotropical (Central and South America, Caribbean) and Indo-West Pacific (Indian and Western Pacific Ocean) fishes. His natural history collecting efforts include trips to Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Madagascar, Panama, Kuwait and many other countries. He has discovered over a dozen new species including new anglerfishes and cavefishes.
The LSU Museum of Natural Science fish collection that Chakrabarty oversees includes nearly half a million fish specimens and nearly 10,000 DNA samples covering most major groups of fishes. He earned his PhD at the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal. He has written two books including A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job. He is also a former Program Director at the National Science Foundation. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016 and a TED Senior Fellow in 2018.
In 2015, child psychiatrist Essam Daod was a volunteer doctor on the Greek island of Lesbos, where he witnessed the unspeakable suffering and trauma of thousands of refugees arriving from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. “I left the island wondering how these people can handle all this loss and trauma without any kind of psychosocial support,” he remembers. So, Daod founded the humanitarian aid agency Humanity Crew in 2015 with his wife Maria Jammal to provide such support. With an operating base in Greece, Humanity Crew recruits, trains and deploys mental health professionals and qualified volunteers to deliver psychosocial services to refugees and displaced populations in an effort to improve refugee well-being and prevent further psychological trauma. Leading research in the field of refugee mental health, Humanity Crew ultimately hopes to raise the profile of mental health care as a fundamental aspect of emergency humanitarian crisis response.
Laura L. Dunn, Esq., advances victims' rights through legislative and policy efforts, as well as direct representation of survivors in campus, criminal and civil systems. As a nationally-recognized victim-turned-victims’ rights attorney and social entrepreneur, her work has been featured by National Public Radio, PEOPLE Magazine, Forbes, the National Law Journal, the New York Times and many more .
While a law student, Dunn contributed to the 2011 and 2014 Title IX guidance issued by the US Department of Education. She also worked with Congress to pass the 2013 Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act and its federal regulations. For this advocacy, Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy have publicly recognized Dunn. Upon graduation from Maryland Law, she founded the survivor-led and DC-based legal organization, SurvJustice. It is still the only national nonprofit representing victims of campus sexual violence in hearings across the country and is currently the lead plaintiff in a pending federal lawsuit against the Trump administration over Title IX.
As an attorney, Dunn is now a published legal scholar, an adjunct law professor, a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence and its Criminal Justice Section's Task Force on College Due Process, a liaison to the American Law Institute’s Model Penal Code on Sexual Assault and its Student Sexual Misconduct Project, an accomplished litigator who helped win the first-ever recognition of a federal victim-advocate privilege in court and an expert legal consultant on various campus sexual assault lawsuits.
For her work, Dunn has received a 2015 Echoing Green Global Fellowship, the 2016 Benjamin Cardin Public Service Award, the 2017 Department of Justice’s Special Courage Award and a 2018 TED Fellowship, along with other honors and recognitions.
After war broke out in her home country of Syria, British-Syrian anaesthesiologist Rola Hallam wanted to use her medical expertise to work directly with Syrian NGOs to help save lives. She co-founded Hand in Hand for Syria, which played an integral part in building seven hospitals in northern Syria. But Hallam wanted to make sure local aid organizations – not just international NGOs – had support too. So in 2016, she founded CanDo, a social enterprise that enables local humanitarians from war-devastated areas to provide aid to their own communities through global crowdfunding and supporting them through an accelerator program. To date, CanDo has helped raise $400,000 from over 5,000 donors around the world. Hallam also works as a global advocate to press decision-makers to stop the targeting of civilians in war zones, and the protection of medical neutrality.
Investigative journalist Yasin Kakande works undercover in the Middle East to expose human rights abuses of migrant workers. He investigates the reasons why Africans choose to migrate to the Middle East, Europe and America, and traces the severe consequences of countries closing their borders to African migrants. A migrant himself, first to the Middle East and recently to the US, Kakande is the author of two books: Slave States, an expose of the enslavement, trafficking and abuse of workers in the Gulf Arab Region, and The Ambitious Struggle: An African Journalist's Journey of Hope and Identity in a Land of Migrants.
Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star” by the press, cellist Joshua Roman has earned a national reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level. Before embarking on a solo career, he was for two seasons principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won in 2006 at the age of 22. For his ongoing creative initiatives on behalf of classical music, he has been selected as a 2011 TED Fellow, joining a select group of Next Generation innovators who have shown unusual accomplishments and the potential to positively affect the world.
Roman’s 2009–10 season engagements include debuts as concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the Albany, Arkansas, and Santa Barbara Symphonies, the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Illinois, Oklahoma’s Signature Symphony, and Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic. In recent seasons he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, where he gave the world premiere of David Stock’s Cello Concerto, as well as with the Symphonies of Edmonton, Quad City, Spokane, and Stamford, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, among others. In 2008, Roman performed Britten’s third Cello Suite during New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival in a pre-concert recital at Avery Fisher Hall. In April 2009, he was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall.
In addition to his solo work, Roman is an avid chamber music performer. He has enjoyed collaborations with veterans like Earl Carlyss and Christian Zacharias, as well as the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the International Festival of Chamber Music in Lima, Peru. He often joins forces with other dynamic young soloists and performers from New York’s contemporary music scene, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, and artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. In spring 2007, he was named Artistic Director of TownMusic, an experimental chamber music series at Town Hall in Seattle, where he creates programs that feature new works and reflect the eclectic range of his musical influences and inspirations.
Committed to making music accessible to a wider audience, Roman may be found anywhere from a club to a classroom, whether performing jazz, rock, chamber music, or a solo sonata by Bach or Kodály. His versatility as a performer and his ongoing exploration of new concertos, chamber music, and solo cello works have spawned projects with composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Mason Bates, and Dan Visconti. One of Roman’s current undertakings is an online video series calledThe Popper Project—wherever the cellist and his laptop find themselves, he performs an étude from David Popper’s “High School of Cello Playing” and uploads it, unedited, to his YouTube channel. Roman’s outreach endeavors have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers, and displacement camps, communicating a message of hope through music.
Paul Rucker is a visual artist, composer, and musician who often combines media, integrating live performance, sound, original compositions and visual art. His work is the product of a rich interactive process, through which he investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research and basic human emotions surrounding particular subject matter. Much of his current work focuses on the Prison Industrial Complex and the many issues accompanying incarceration in its relationship to slavery. He has presented performances and visual art exhibitions across the country and has collaborated with educational institutions to address the issue of mass incarceration. Presentations have taken place in schools, active prisons and also inactive prisons such as Alcatraz.
His largest installation to date, REWIND, garnered praise from Baltimore Magazine awarding Rucker "Best Artist 2015." Additionally, REWIND received "Best Solo Show 2015" and "#1 Art Show of 2015" from Baltimore City Paper, reviews by The Huffington Post, Artnet News, Washington Post, The Root and The Real News Network. Rucker has received numerous grants, awards and residencies for visual art and music. He is a 2012 Creative Capital Grantee in visual art as well as a 2014 and 2018 MAP (Multi-Arts Production) Fund Grantee for performance. In 2015 he received a prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters & Sculptors Grant as well as the Mary Sawyer Baker Award. In 2016 Paul received the Rauschenberg Artist as Activist fellowship and the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, for which he is the first artist in residence at the new National Museum of African American Culture.
Residencies include MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ucross Foundation, Art OMI, Banff Centre, Pilchuck Glass School, Rauschenberg Residency, Joan Mitchell Residency, Hemera Artist Retreat, Air Serembe, Creative Alliance and the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy. In 2013-2015, he was the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation Artist in Residence and Research Fellow at the Maryland Institute College of Art. He was most recently awarded a 2017 John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a 2018 TED Fellowship and the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation and Artist Trust. Rucker is an iCubed Visiting Arts Fellow embedded at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Rucker's latest work, Storm in the Time of Shelter, an installation of 52 custom Ku Klux Klan robes and related artifacts, is featured in the exhibition "Declaration," on view at the new Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia through September 9, 2018.
Olga Yurkova edits the Context and Opinions sections of StopFake.org. She teaches different audiences how propaganda works and how to identify fake news, consulting a range of organizations and public structures and collaborating with mainstream media as a journalist.
Yurkova explores propaganda methods and finds out new ways to overcome these new challenges. In June 2017, she and her colleagues Maarten Schenk and Jordy Nijenhuis launched a project called Forbidden Facts, which explains how fake news spreads online through clickbait headlines on Facebook that reach out to skeptical audiences.
Yurkova has 15 years of experience in journalism. She headed the local multimedia newsroom in Ternopil city for six years, becoming the market leader during that time. She then ran the Donbas and Crimea department at the national multimedia newsroom Nova Informacia for three years. She has been working as a new media trainer since 2012.
For fighting propaganda, Yurkova was included into the list of New Europe 100 and was named a TED Fellow in 2018.
Mikhail Zygar is a Russian journalist, writer and filmmaker and the founding editor-in-chief of the Russian independent news TV-channel, Dozhd (2010 - 2015). Prior to Dozhd, Zygar worked for Newsweek Russia and the business daily Kommersant, where he covered the conflicts in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Serbia and Kosovo. His bestseller All the Kremlin's Men is based on an unprecedented series of interviews with Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, presenting a radically different view of power and politics in Russia. His recent book The Empire Must Die was released in Russian and English in 2017. It portrays the years leading up to the Russian revolution and the vivid drama of Russia's brief and exotic experiment with civil society before it was swept away by the Communist Revolution.