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Tuesday, 24 September, 2019

TEDxASL is a full-day independently organized TED event which is curated by a group of students at the American School in London. The theme of the event stems from a Bob Dylan song title, The Times, They Are a Changin,’ and we hope that our speakers will share how their background, profession, and upbringing shapes or demonstrates how the world is changing, adapting, and evolving.

2019 speakers

Photo of Jordan Levy

As one of the founding executives of Ubuntu Pathways, Jordan Levy has played a key role in professionalizing Ubuntu’s grassroots service delivery model that places orphaned and vulnerable children on a pathway out of poverty from cradle to career. In 2003, Jordan went to Port Elizabeth, South Africa to volunteer at the Ubuntu Centre for six months. Inspired by the strength, resilience, and hope of the community, Jordan stayed for 11 years. Jordan has directed the organization’s External Relations Department across its offices and has launched a number of platforms to challenge the status quo in the development sector, changing the way we think about scale, impact, and sustainability. He is the creator and host of Failures from the Field, a podcast series that explores the unheard realities and challenges of the nonprofit sector. He has also contributed to various publications, including The Guardian and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, and speaks regularly at major events such as the Guardian Global Development Conference, the Yale University Global Health and Innovation Conference, and Harvard’s Africa Development Conference.

Watch Jordan's talk

Photo of Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram

Dr. Nadine Hachach-Haram is a surgeon, lecturer and clinical entrepreneur. She drew on her passion for innovation, education and global surgery to co-found Proximie, an augmented reality platform that allows doctors to virtually transport themselves into any operating room, anywhere in the world, to visually and practically interact in an operation from start to finish. From marking up a patient to providing real-time virtual presence in assisting and instructing on an operation, Proximie aims to provide safe, accessible and cost-effective surgery to every patient around the world. Dubbed the "future of surgery" by CNN, Proximie has gone from strength to strength and won multiple awards as well as being the main focus of the Foreign Press Association Science Story of the Year. It aims to revolutionize the delivery and education of healthcare by reducing the cost of that delivery while providing improved quality to the end patient, ensuring that every patient gets the best care, the first time, every time.

Watch Nadine's talk


Photo of Giacomo Manca di Villahermosa

Giacomo Manca di Villahermosa is a young human rights and environmental activist who has worked for Extinction Rebellion, Amnesty International and the Mozambican NGO Kulima. After his Masters at London School of Economics, he has presented his research in the magazine Longitude and in public speeches at universities, various conferences and the April Rebellion week in London.  He has been practicing engaged Buddhism and Transcultural Shamanism for 8 years, allowing these spiritual disciplines to transform his political activism.




Photo of Rukmini Banerji

Rukmini Banerji is Chief Executive Officer of Pratham Education Foundation - well-known organization working on children's education in India. Trained as an economist in India, she was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and later earned her PhD at the University of Chicago. She returned to India in 1996 and has been with Pratham ever since. Rukmini has extensive experience in the field - working directly with rural and urban communities as well as in designing and implementing large scale partnerships with governments. She led Pratham’s research and assessment efforts including the well-known ASER initiative (Annual Status of Education Report) from 2005 to 2014. Originally from Bihar, Rukmini now is based in Delhi. She enjoys telling and writing stories for children. Her sons are ASL alumni.


Photo of Johannes Heldén

Johannes Heldén is a visual artist, writer, and musician. His interdisciplinary works deal with poetry, ecology, artificial intelligence, sentience, and narrative structures. Recent projects include Astroecology (2016) which was published simultaneously in three languages, made into an interdisciplinary performance at The Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm and a digital artwork published by Bonniers Konsthall. He has published seventeen books, four music albums and seven digital works of poetry and visual art.






Student speakers

Jose ’20 is a senior at the American School in London. He is passionate about philanthropy and philosophy, and enjoys debating about controversial topics and issues. Through his talk, Jose hopes to convey how the practice of philosophy can allow us to see past the algorithms and echo chambers that have limited and hidden our access to information.

Watch Jose's talk

Isabella ’22, a sophomore student at ASL, delves into how technology has eradicated values that were treasured in past generations: Truth, Trust & Patience. She compares the pace of her life to her parents and grandparents, acknowledging all the opportunities technology has provided her with, whilst also explaining technologies detrimental effects. In addition to being a cadet at Sunningdale Golf Club and representing Varsity Golf at ASL, Isabella is enthusiastic piano player, having just passed her Grade 6 Piano Exam at the Royal Academy of Music with Distinction. She is also a member of the Debate Team and the Sustainability Council, and above all, Isabella loves spending time growing her recently founded fashion franchise: A Perdifiato, which is now retailed at Net a Porter.

Watch Isabella's talk

Micaella ’21 is a junior at the American School in London. She is originally from Israel. Her background has led her to work with Seeds of Peace and the Social Justice Council. She is passionate about social justice, and uses her voice to invoke change and to leave a positive impact on the community. Micaella hopes that her efforts can inspire her generation to become vocal activists for proactiveness and inclusivity.

Watch Micaella's talk

Amanda ’20 is a senior at the American School in London. It is safe to say that she has been through more than the average students: after briefly sharing her story with her class two years ago, she is finally ready to share it with the world. Amanda has survived the unthinkable, and stared death in the face. Her experience has taught her many valuable lessons that allowed her to grow stronger in the face of adversity. Amanda is not only surviving: she is thriving.

Watch Amanda's Talk

Previous TEDxASL speakers