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 the role of armed groups and the future of armed conflict, especially in the Middle East. She has spent over a decade researching non-state armed groups, from terrorists to insurgents to militias, and has worked with governments, international organizations and NGOs to offer new approaches to better understand and tackle modern conflict. As a security and humanitarian consultant, Berti has designed disarmament campaigns; conducted trainings of counter-insurgency and protection of civilians; worked on violence prevention; and assisted humanitarian organizations on issues related to gaining access to war-torn areas. She has conducted research and worked across the globe -- from Central and Latin America to the Middle East, and from the United States to Eastern Africa -- and has focused her work on some of the world's most complex conflicts, from Syria, to Iraq, to Gaza, to Burundi.
Berti has written four books, 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.
A documentary photographer who works from a place of empathy, Isadora Kosofsky is devoted to sitting with people in their most fragile moments. She began photographing at the age of 14, documenting women in hospice care in Los Angeles. A contributor to international press and a recipient of numerous honors, Kosofsky has created long-term bodies of work considered epics of visual storytelling in which an individual or group remains her focus for years.
Whether it is documenting a woman with dementia for a decade, shadowing youths while incarcerated and after their release for the last eight years, photographing developmentally disabled couples for four years or documenting children and adults affected by relational traumas, Kosofsky often explores the intersection of intimate lives and institutions, where she typically gains unprecedented access, focusing on nuance and the complexity of human bonds. Her forthcoming work documents a young woman's life after enduring early sexual violence.
Adam Kucharski creates mathematical and computational approaches to help us understand how epidemics spread, and how we can better control them. He has worked on real-time analysis of COVID-19, influenza, dengue fever and Zika outbreaks. His research has provided new insights into how Zika spread prior to the Latin American epidemic, what factors influenced the early dynamics of COVID-19, and how social behavior can shape influenza outbreaks. His popular science articles have appeared in publications including The Observer, Financial Times, Wired and Scientific American. Currently, Kucharski is developing new ways to extract reliable insights about disease transmission from unreliable surveillance data. He is author of The Rules of Contagion: Why Things Spread -- and Why They Stop.
Lucy Marcil, MD MPH, creates innovative solutions buffering kids from the adversity they face growing up with economic stress and poverty. As a pediatrician, she cares for children at Boston Medical Center. She co-founded StreetCred, a nonprofit addressing the health impact of financial stress by providing fiscal services to low-income families in the the doctor’s waiting room. StreetCred increases access to critical anti-poverty tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit by integrating tax preparation services into pediatric clinics; it has returned over $3.2 million to 1700 clients at 9 sites in 4 states since its inception in 2016. StreetCred is now bundling tax services with enrollment in other economic mobility services to create greater financial stability.
Internationally, Dr. Marcil has undertaken pediatric health-systems strengthening. As a HIV/AIDS & Community Health Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia, she leveraged public-private partnerships to create a comprehensive orphan care program and girls’ leadership camps. In Bangladesh, she identified community engagement methods to build maternal-child healthcare systems in urban slums. In Kenya, she consulted for Jacaranda Health to transform newborn care systems.
For her work, Dr. Marcil has been recognized with the American Academy of Pediatrics Anne E. Dyson Child Advocacy Award and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Quinn Prize, and has been named a Café 100, Davidson College Game Changer and 2018 TED Fellow.
Dr. Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil is searching for the most peculiar objects in the universe. Her research led to a discovery of an extremely rare galaxy with a unique circular structure, now commonly referred to as Burçin's Galaxy. Her work provided the first description of a double-ringed elliptical galaxy, challenging current theories and assumptions about how the universe works and how galaxies start and evolve.
Mutlu-Pakdil earned her PhD at the University of Minnesota and her undergraduate degree is from Bilkent University in Turkey. She spends most of her time searching for hierarchical structure at the scale of dwarf galaxies as a novel test of the Cold Dark Matter paradigm. She uses data gathered in a large range of wavelengths from premier telescopes worldwide to learn more about how the universe came to be the way it is today.
Faith Osier works to understand how humans acquire immunity to malaria and intends to use this knowledge to design highly effective vaccines. Her studies focus on infections with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, which leads to nearly half a million deaths in Africa each year. She demonstrated that Kenyan children who did not get sick after a malaria infection had high levels of antibodies against combinations of specific proteins found within the parasite. Subsequently, her studies in immune African adults revealed that there were in fact many additional parasite proteins that could be considered for malaria vaccines. To verify her results, she designed a massive study involving children and adults from 15 different geographical locations in Africa. She designed KILchip, a custom protein microarray that enabled her team to analyze antibody responses to more than 100 intentionally selected malaria proteins in these human blood samples. Her research group also studies the mechanisms by which these antibodies kill malaria parasites.
Osier is a Professor of Malaria Immunology in the Nuffield Deptartment of Medicine at the University of Oxford, UK. She has two research laboratories: one in the Biosciences Deptartment of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya, and the other in the Parasitology Deptartment of Heidelberg University Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. She has won multiple awards for her work including the Royal Society Pfizer Award (UK) and the prestigious Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. She holds major research grants from the Wellcome Trust, is an MRC African Research Leader and an EDCTP Senior Fellow. She is also a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, an advisor to the Executive Committee of the Federation of African Immunological Societies and the vice-president/president-elect of the International Union of Immunological Societies. She was named a TED Fellow in 2018. She is passionate about training African scientists to excel and deliver the medical interventions that are urgently needed on the continent.
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 combines live performance, sound, original compositions and visual arts. The product of a rich interactive process, his work investigates community impacts, human rights issues, historical research and basic human emotions of a particular subject matter. Much of his 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, including in schools, active prisons and inactive prisons like Alcatraz.
Rucker's installation REWIND garnered much praise and acclaim, including "Best Artist 2015" from Baltimore Magazine, "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. He 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, 2018, 2019 MAP (Multi-Arts Production) Fund Grantee for performance. In 2015, he received a prestigious Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant as well as the Mary Sawyer Baker Award. In 2016, he 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.
Rucker's residencies include MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, Ucross Foundation, Art OMI, Banff Centre, Pilchuck Glass School, Rauschenberg Residency, Joan Mitchell Residency, Loghave, Montalvo, Hermitage, 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 also 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 Research Fellow embedded at the Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.
Kaitlyn Sadtler is a postdoctoral fellow at MIT and received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she discovered a certain type of immune cell -- the T cell -- was critical for muscle regeneration. This work was published in Science Magazine and has led to more findings in how our immune system responds to materials used in tissue engineering.
DeAndrea Newman Salvador is an energy expert with a background in economics, an entrepreneur and a founder of two groundbreaking organizations, Renewable Energy Transition Initiative (RETI) and JouleScout. She works to create seamless integration of low-income families into a world of energy abundance.
Witnessing neighbors in her home state of North Carolina struggle to keep up with energy expenses, Salvador took action in 2013 and founded RETI, a nonprofit focused on helping low-income families sustainably reduce energy costs and gain access to cutting-edge technology. Through RETI, Salvador is partnering with Duke Energy (one of the nation's largest utilities) to launch a low- to moderate-income shared solar program in South Carolina. RETI also worked with the City of Charlotte to create a Smart Home Kick Start for the city's residents.
Furthering her mission to create energy equity in the new energy economy, Salvador founded JouleScout in 2018. JouleScout is a social enterprise focused on helping energy providers incentivize customers to use less energy at key times without sacrificing comfort, thereby ensuring grid reliability, fewer blackouts and more renewables on the grid with a cost savings to customers.
As a social entrepreneur and advocate, Salvador has been featured by The Atlantic, Fast Company, the BBC, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Utility Drive and the Charlotte Observer. Her own articles are published in Pacific Standard Magazine, GOOD, The Development Set, BRIGHT Magazine and on TheWeek.com.
Salvador is a TED2018 Fellow, a recipient of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Young Alumna of the Year Award and was recognized as one of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Black Chamber of Commerce's 30 under 30. She is a member of the Mecklenburg County Air Quality Commission and sits on the Board of Directors for Youth Empowered Solutions (YES!).
"Blinky" Bill Sellanga is a producer, DJ and the frontman of the musical collective Just A Band, which mixes genres like hip hop, electronica and funk to make music for popular radio and to give voice to Kenyan youth.
Kotchakorn Voraakhom never thought her childhood pastimes -- like boat paddling with friends in the floodwaters in front of her house -- would later signal a catastrophic disaster: a sinking city. To help save her hometown of Bangkok from rising sea levels and climate change, Voraakhom founded the landscape architecture design firm Landprocess. She is also the founder of Porous City Network, a social enterprise working to solve urban environmental problems and increase urban resilience across Southeast Asia by aiding, engaging and educating climate-vulnerable communities about productive landscape design.
In Bangkok, Voraakhom and her team has turned an invaluable commercial property in the heart of the city into Chulalongkorn Centenary Park, a flood-proof, water-retention public green space. Voraakhom also works as a design consultant for the Bangkok250, a major redevelopment project for the city's 250th anniversary. Voraakhom is an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, Atlantic Fellow and Asia Foundation Development Fellow. She received her master's in landscape architecture from Harvard University's Graduate School of Design.
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, 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.